clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Taking a Look at Potential FCS Championship Storylines

However unlikely some of these matchups may be, the way this year’s bracket is laid out could result in some fantastic headlines in Frisco.

2021 NCAA Division I Football Championship Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The FCS playoffs get underway this weekend and soon the field of 24 will be whittled down to 16. While all the teams are still alive, though, let’s take a look at what some of the potential championship matchups could be based on how the bracket fell this year and the storylines that would go with these hypothetical matchups.

Sure, several of these are probably very unlikely to occur but for the sake of fun here’s some rematches, homecomings and all-around exciting pairings that Frisco could give us this season.

Good Chance to Happen

NDSU Gets Revenge Opportunity Against SDSU

Everyone’s been talking about the idea of this one for a while; North Dakota State and South Dakota State meeting on the turf to decide a national champion in what would undoubtedly be the biggest Dakota Marker game ever played. This year might be the best chance fans have of that transpiring as SDSU and NDSU have the #1 and #3 seeds respectively. Each just needs to win three games and most... if not all... of said games could be at home for both teams. If the Bison and the Jacks both make it then it’ll be must-see TV for any FCS fan, especially those in the MVC. South Dakota State has won three in a row in the series including this year in Fargo but their neighbors from the north are unbeaten in the big game.

Vigen Meets His Old Team (Again)

2022 NCAA Division I Football Championship Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Last season Montana State head coach Brent Vigen got the chance to coach against his former team in the championship but it didn’t go as planned. Vigen, who served as an assistant intermittently for NDSU from 2001 all the way up to 2014 won his fair share of titles with the Bison but now he’s trying to do so with the Bobcats. In just his second year he’s gotten MSU back into the playoff fray and earned the program another seed in the tournament. North Dakota State has been the ‘Cats’ bugaboo in the postseason, though, and you’ve got to believe Vigen and company would relish another opportunity to see the Bison. If they did, it would be in Toyota Stadium once more and this year’s Montana State team might make things more interesting than last year.

Jacks, Hornets Keep Rankings True and Battle for Title

It just so happens sometimes that the committee gets it exactly right and the #1 and #2 seeds go all the way to collide in the championship. In fact, before last year it happened twice in a row and, quite frankly, fans deserve a showdown between South Dakota State and Sacramento State. The Hornets boast one of the best rushing attacks in the country with the one-two punch of Cameron Skattebo and Asher O’Hara. The Jackrabbits, however, have a defense that’s built for stopping the run. With both teams having homefield advantage throughout, this pairing is very possible. After all, they’ve only lost one game between them (to FBS Iowa). If it came to fruition it would have the makings of an all-timer with the talent that would be strewn about the field.

Maybe Could Happen

Weber State Gets Second Chance at Sac State

When the Wildcats and Hornets met earlier this month, Sac State won nail-biter to keep their undefeated season alive. It was also one of only two losses Weber State suffered on the year but it was enough to knock Jay Hill’s team from a seeded position. WSU would have a tougher road to get to the title game but they might be the best team that didn’t get a bye in the bracket. Sacramento State is flying high as the #2 seed and has homefield advantage on their side. If they can quell their playoff woes and find a way to pick up some wins, the Hornets could easily be in Frisco come January. Last time they met the Wildcats it was a 33-30 game and this time would likely be just as good on a neutral field. Who wouldn’t love an all-Big Sky championship?

Mike London Faces Richmond

Now, we put this one in the “maybe could happen” category but we’ll make it clear; a lot would need to go right. Still, William & Mary head man Mike London has done a tremendous job with the Tribe since taking over in 2019. After just missing out on the playoffs last year, W&M went 10-1 this year and earned the #5 seed. London’s first coaching job, though, was way back in 2008 and 2009 with Richmond where he actually won a national championship. There exists a chance, albeit slim, that he could see his former team in the title game this year. Richmond is staring down the barrel of a tough road that has Davidson and Sac State but anything is possible.

Probably Won’t Happen

Montana, Montana State Meet in Brawl of the Wild Act II

The Grizzlies barely snuck into the playoff field and that was thanks to the beatdown that Montana State delivered them in the regular season finale. The two Big Sky powerhouses have never met in the playoffs which is a little surprising considering how often both make it. This year they’ve been placed on opposite sides of the bracket so technically they could meet in Texas but it would take a lot, especially on Montana’s side. The Griz would need to escape SEMO, North Dakota State and probably Sacramento State (whom they lost to earlier in the year) down the line. It would make for a tremendous story if this one came to be but it is quite unlikely.

FCS’ Best QBs, Offenses Square Off for Title

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 18 Fordham at FAU Photo by Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Wouldn’t it be something to see two offenses like Fordham and Incarnate Word meet in the big game? UIW quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. has done nothing but light up opposing teams this season to the tune of 3,791 passing yards and 50 touchdowns. Those numbers come in second to only Tim DeMorat who, coincidentally, pilots the Rams. DeMorat has thrown 53 touchdowns and is the only FCS passer with over 4,000 yards this fall. Now imagine two signal-callers capable of putting up those numbers meeting on the gridiron. What would unquestionably be a long day for the defenses would be also be a spectacle to watch for fans. Incarnate Word is already one step closer to the championship than Fordham is and, let’s be real, this is a really long shot to happen. Still, though, it’s fun to think about.

McKay Clashes with Former Team

One of the biggest storylines in last year’s playoffs was the emergence of Montana State quarterback Tommy Mellott who made his first start in MSU’s second round game. Mellott got that opportunity because the previous quarterback, Matthew McKay, entered the transfer portal days before the game. McKay found his way over to Elon where he helped the Phoenix win eight games and get back into the postseason mix. If Elon and Montana State won out they would come together in Frisco in what would be a heck of a reunion for McKay and the Bobcats. Who knows how much bad blood still is there but one thing is for sure; both sides would want to stick it to the other. This one, though, is again a reach as the Phoenix have a tough road in front of them.