Welcome to your athletic director’s favorite page on the Internet today.
Of the 252 football-playing institutions split between the two subdivisions of Division I, 34 reached last winter’s football postseason (bowls in FBS, playoffs in FCS) and heard their name called Sunday for this month’s NCAA Tournament. That’s a shade over 13 percent. Breaking it down by subdivision, 27 of the 128 FBS schools (21 percent) reached both postseasons, while seven of the 124 (5.6 percent) FCS schools did the same – a feat with a much higher degree of difficulty.
The power conferences lead the way, of course. Each of the Power Five leagues placed at least four programs in both postseasons, plus football independent Notre Dame. The Big 12 led the way in terms of density with five of its 10 teams reaching a bowl and the Big Dance. In looking at individual schools, Arizona and Baylor share the lead heading into the tournament; the Wildcats won the Pac-12 South and reached the Fiesta Bowl in football and achieved a No. 2 seed in the Big Dance, while Baylor won the Big 12 and appeared in the Cotton Bowl while also garnering a No. 3 seed on the hardwood.
But the most impressive overall school may be North Dakota State. On top of winning four straight football titles, the Bison have now won two straight Summit League tournaments. North Dakota State upset Oklahoma in last year’s tournament, becoming the first FCS school to ever win a football national title and an NCAA Tournament game in the same academic year. They’ll face a much taller task this season, though, as a No. 15 seed facing No. 2 seed Gonzaga in Seattle.
Big 12 (5)
Big Ten (5)
Mountain West (2)
San Diego State
North Dakota State
Stephen F. Austin
* – Harvard did not appear in the FCS football playoffs, but the Crimson did win the Ivy League in football and basketball.