FCS Playoff Bracket: Predictions, tips for every FCS Playoff game and round

The FCS Playoffs 2022 are here! The full field of 24 teams was announced on Sunday November 20th. South Dakota State took first place, followed by Sacramento State and North Dakota State in second and third place.

With the entire field cleared and the first round starting on Saturday November 26th, there is no better time to predict every round and game for the 2022 tournament.

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Here are my predictions for the 2022 FCS Championship.

2022 FCS Playoff Predictions

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FCS Playoff Predictions

First round | Nov 26

Saint Francis (PA) in Delaware | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Winner: Delaware

Saint Francis (PA) makes the playoffs after going unbeaten in the NEC game for his second conference title. Meanwhile, Delaware is entering the playoffs after losing three of its last four games.

At one point in the season, Delaware was a top 10 team in the country. Then there were injuries to players like quarterback Nolan Henderson. I think even with Henderson struggling with injuries, the Blue Hens are the better all-around team and take the win.

PLAYOFFS: Watch the full field of the 2022 FCS Championship

Fordham in New Hampshire | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Winner: Fordham

Co-CAA champion New Hampshire hosts Fordham in the first round. New Hampshire’s run to the CAA title was impressive, but Fordham’s explosive offense is more impressive. Still, I think this game will end with over 70 points between the two teams thanks to Fordham’s leaky defence.

In a shootout, I trust Fordham quarterback and likely Walter Payton Award finalist Tim DeMorat to get the job done.

Gardner-Webb in eastern Kentucky | 5 p.m. | ESPN+

Winner: Eastern Kentucky

Gardner-Webb had to wrap up the season by playing playoff-level football, beating North Carolina A&T in a Big South game that was all-everything. Eastern Kentucky won ASUN and WAC’s joint bid for the playoffs.

I have Eastern Kentucky winning their first round game because of Parker McKinney, a top 10 FCS quarterback. I expect at least four touchdowns from the signal caller for a win.

North Dakota in the state of Weber | 4 p.m. | ESPN+

Winner: State Weber

Weber State’s only losses were to the second- and third-place teams in the playoffs. North Dakota has also played a tough schedule, but Weber State has looked like a top-10 team all season. I see Weber State come out on top in a low-scoring defensive fight.

BRACKET: View the full 2022 FCS playoff bracket

State of Southeast Missouri in Montana | 10 p.m. | ESPN2

Winner: Montana

The nightcap in the first round might be the biggest surprise of the first round. Or it can’t be.

Montana just snuck into the playoffs 7-4 while Southeast Missouri State needed a coin toss to get in.


Both Southeast Missouri State and Montana could do without their starting quarterbacks (Paxton DeLaurent and Lucas Johnson, respectively) in this playoff match. If one team gets their starter back and the other doesn’t, I would bet on that team to win.

For these predictions, I’m going to assume that both quarterbacks aren’t playing. In this case, I’ll give Montana the advantage and play with a strong defense at home.

Idaho in southeastern Louisiana | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Winner: Idaho

Idaho has impressed on its way to 7-4. Southeastern Louisiana won the Southland Auto-Bid by an 8-3 record. I have Idaho taking the win here, led by a freshman quarterback.

If Gevani McCoy returns, I don’t think he’ll be close thanks to the McCoy-to-Hatten connection. When McCoy isn’t playing, I like what I saw from backup Jack Layne last week to have faith in the Vandals.

Elon at Furman | 12 p.m. | ESPN+

Winner: Elon

I think this will be the best game of the first round. Elon and Furman were both guaranteed teams at large heading into the final week of the season. It’s a real toss-up game, but I give the advantage to Elon because of his talented backfield. Quarterback Matthew McKay and running back Jalen Hampton will lead the Phoenix to victory.

Davidson in Richmond | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Winner: Richmond

Richmond was a game away from winning the CAA title. Davidson won his automatic Pioneer Football League bid but did not win the conference championship. Richmond was more battle hardened in 2022. Richmond’s experience against tough opponents will help him secure a first-round win.

AQ: Any auto-qualifying offer for the 2022 FCS Playoffs

Second Round | 3 Dec | ESPN+

Delaware in State No. 1 South Dakota | 3 pm

Winner: State of South Dakota

I hesitated about this choice because a healthy Delaware team is capable of beating South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits are no strangers to disappointments in the playoffs. Delaware hasn’t been healthy in a while, though, and there’s no telling what bumps and bruises the Blue Hens will walk away with after the first round. South Dakota State wins this game.

Fordham at Holy Cross No. 8 | 12 o’clock

Winner: Holy Cross

Holy Cross needed a game-winning two-point conversion in overtime to defeat Fordham in the regular season. If the two schools meet in the round of 16, things will get tight again in this game.

I predict Holy Cross will beat Fordham for the second time this year. The Crusaders proved they could score enough points in the last game to rival Fordham. I think Holy Cross will turn to motivated defense to get a few more stops and a win.

SEEDS: The Importance of a Top Seed in the FCS Playoffs Explained

Eastern Kentucky at No. 5 William & Mary | 14 o’clock

Winners: William & Mary

William & Mary have played solid, (mostly) flawless football all season. Giving head coach Mike London a week to prepare for a team gives me confidence that the tribe will settle matters against Eastern Kentucky.

State of Weber at #4 in the State of Montana | 3 pm

Winner: State Weber

In the regular season, Montana State defeated Weber State 43-38, a five-point lead. In the loss, Weber State gambled away a 24-9 lead and allowed a record four safeties from long miss snaps on punts. This is an eight point swing.

I think Weber State will fix their snapping issues and defeat Montana State in a rematch.

Montana in the state of North Dakota No. 3 | 3:30 p.m

Winner: State of North Dakota

Montana will bring either a fragile quarterback or a backup quarterback to the Fargodome. That doesn’t bode well for the defense of the state of North Dakota. The bison are winning here.

2022 HBCU: Follow all that’s happening in the 2022 HBCU football season

Idaho at Samford | 3 pm

Winner: Samford

If Idaho goes up against Samford in the second round, it should be a good game. I won Samford because quarterback Michael Hiers was always one of the best in the nation on offense. Combine that with a defense that has three ranked wins and another win over a playoff team and you have the balance needed for a Bulldog win.

Elon at No. 7 UIW | 14 o’clock

Winner: UIW

UIW wins its inaugural playoff contest as Elon will have no answer to quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. and a high-profile offense.

Richmond in the State of Sacramento No. 2 | 17 o’clock

Winner: State of Sacramento

Sacramento State, to lose here, wouldn’t be a surprise given its recent playoff history. However, I think a two-quarterback system will lead to Richmond seizures and the Hornets narrowly win.

CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Every champion in the history of FCS football

Quarterfinals | 9th/10th dec

Holy Cross #8 in the State of South Dakota #1

Winner: State of South Dakota

South Dakota State wins victory over Holy Cross in a battle of teams unbeaten against FCS competition. The Jackrabbits have the defense to slow down Crusader quarterback Matthew Sluka’s dual threat abilities.

Weber State at No. 5 William & Mary

Winners: William & Mary

Weber State may be the most popular pick here with the Wildcats losing just two Big Sky games, but I see William & Mary winning this game. The Tribe have an elite pass-rushing duo set to wreak havoc in the Weber State backfield.

No. 6 Samford in the state of North Dakota No. 3

Winner: State of North Dakota

North Dakota State defeats Samford over bison play in the trenches. North Dakota State will defeat Samford upfront in the quarterfinals.

#7 UIW in #2 Sacramento State

Winner: UIW

This game features two of the top four attacks in FCS. The number that shows a shootout depends on the quarterbacks. UIW has arguably the best quarterback in the nation in Lindsey Scott Jr., while Sacramento State will be looking to both Jake Dunniway and Asher O’Hara. The slight advantage goes to Scott Jr. here, and that gives UIW the upset win.

RING SZN: Schools with the most FCS championships

Semifinals | 16th/17th dec

No. 5 William & Mary in State No. 1 South Dakota

Winner: State of South Dakota

South Dakota State is one of the most talented teams in the country. In every position on offense and most positions on defense, the Jackrabbits have a good, if not elite, player. That talent will overwhelm William & Mary and earn the state of South Dakota its second-place finish in the championship in three years.

No. 7 UIW in the state of North Dakota No. 3

Winner: State of North Dakota

The state of North Dakota has demonstrated time and time again that it can stop productive crime. When UIW gets into the Fargodome, the Cardinals will be the last productive offensive to stop. From there, a physical Bison offense featuring TaMerik Williams and Hunter Luepke gets the job done.

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FCS championship game 2022

#3 State of North Dakota vs. #1 State of South Dakota

2022 FCS Champions: State of South Dakota

A duel between the state of North Dakota and the state of South Dakota in the game for the FCS national championship could be the most anticipated title game in FCS history. The game will see two of FCS’ biggest rivals for the fifth time in the postseason, but it will be the first time a title is at stake.

🏆: Information about the FCS championship game

South Dakota State was the most successful team against the Bison in their dynastic run, with the Jackrabbits winning three straight games in the rivalry. South Dakota State has already proven it can beat North Dakota State once this season; the jackrabbits will do it again for all the marbles.