On Sunday, the NCAA announced the seeding and sites for the 2015 NCAA Division I Football Championship and the Villanova Wildcats (10-2) will be the number-six seed in the bracket. Fellow CAA-Wildcats New Hampshire earned the overall number-one seed, with defending champions North Dakota State earning the 2-seed.
24 schools were selected with Eight schools — including Jacksonville State (3), EWU (4), Illinois State (5), Coastal Carolina (7), and Chattanooga (8)— earning a First Round bye.
Villanova will play the winner of James Madison and Liberty (hosted by JMU) at Villanova Stadium on December 6th (4:30 pm). Should they advance to the Quarterfinals on December 12th or 13th, they would line up against the winner of the 3-seed Jacksonville State's (Alabama) second-round game. Should Jacksonville State win that game, they will host the Wildcats.
The 'Cats are on the 2-seed's side of the bracket, meaning that they could be looking at a trip to the FargoDome in North Dakota, to take on the Bison. 7-seeded Coastal Carolina is also on the Wildcats' side of the bracket.
Richmond was the fourth CAA team in the bracket, facing the Wildcats' homecoming opponent Morgan State in the first round. The Spiders won their way into the field with a victory at William & Mary yesterday. The Missouri Valley Football Conference had five schools in the bracket -- the most of any league -- while the CAA was second. The CAA has put at least three schools into the playoff bracket for nine straight seasons now.
Four of Villanova's opponents from the 2014 schedule are making an appearance in the playoffs, including CAA members, Richmond and JMU, homecoming opponent Morgan State, and week-two opponent Fordham. Richmond is the only one of those opponents who handed the Wildcats a loss during the season -- with the 'Cats winning easily over the other three.
James Madison, however, is a much different team entering the playoffs than they were in their last trip to Villanova Stadium. Transfer quarterback Vad Lee seemed to get much more comfortable with his new offensive unit after that game, and the Dukes put some big offensive number up in the remainder of their schedule.
All games leading up to the championship game are held on the campus of one of the competing institutions. First round home games are awarded via a bidding process, where selected institutions submit a monetary bid to the NCAA to host the game. The eight first-round game participants are not seeded by the tournament committee. In the second round, the eight seeded teams enter the bracket and will all host a first-round winner. The quarterfinal and semi-final games will be hosted by the higher-ranked team.
The winners of the semifinal games will play in the 2015 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game in Frisco, Texas, on January 10th. The Championship game has long been held at a pre-selected site, and since 2010 that has been the neutral Toyota Stadium.
FCS Playoff TV Schedule
First round, Nov. 29
Fordham vs. Sacred Heart, 12p, ESPN3
Eastern Kentucky vs. Indiana State, 1p, ESPN3
Richmond vs. Morgan State, 1p, ESPN3
Sam Houston State vs. Southeastern LA, 2p, ESPN3
Montana vs. San Diego, 4p, ESPN3
James Madison vs. Liberty, 4p, ESPN3
Montana State vs. South Dakota State, 4p ESPN3
UNI vs. Stephen F. Austin, 8p ESPN3
Second round, Dec. 6
No. 1 New Hampshire vs. Fordham/Sacred Heart, 1p, ESPN3
No. 8 Chattanooga vs. Eastern Kentucky/Indiana State, 1p, ESPN3
No. 5 Illinois State vs. UNI/Stephen F. Austin, 2p, ESPN3
No. 4 Eastern Washington vs. Montana/San Diego, 4p., ESPN3
No.3 Jacksonville State vs. Sam Houston State/Southeastern Louisiana, 2p, ESPN3
No. 6 Villanova vs. James Madison/Liberty, 430p, ESPN3
No. 7 Coastal Carolina vs. Richmond/Morgan State, 1p, ESPN3
No. 2 North Dakota State vs. Montana State/South Dakota State, 4p, ESPN3
Quarterfinals, Dec. 12/13
Semifinals, Dec. 19/20
Championship, Jan. 10, 1p, ESPN2