Of course we're all aware of the four FBS teams that made the College Football Playoff, but this weekend looms huge for a number of FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA teams with dreams of winning the national title.
Below is a quick reminder of the teams that remain alive in the hunt at each respective level.
The FCS Playoffs are in the quarterfinals, meaning eight teams remain including five-time defending national champs North Dakota State, who has to play the one team they lost to in the regular season this weekend. There are some really good match ups on tap this weekend. Here they are:
Sam Houston State vs. James Madison - December 9th @ 7pm EST
North Dakota State vs. South Dakota State - December 10th @ 12pm EST
Youngstown State vs. Wofford - December 10th @ 2pm EST
Richmond vs. Eastern Washington - December 10th @ 4pm EST
Two number one seeds remain, while Ferris State (D-II - MI) knocked off one of the other #1 seeds in Grand Valley State (D-II - MI), and Shepherd knocked off the other in California University (D-II - PA) en route to their respective spots in the semis.
#1 seed North Alabama vs. #3 seed Shepherd - December 10th @ 12pm EST
#2 seed Ferris State vs. #1 seed Northwest Missouri State - December 10th @ 3:30pm EST
All four of the semifinal teams remaining in the Division III bracket have hummed their way through the playoffs - Mount Union put up 70 points last week in the quarterfinals, John Carroll hasn't allowed more than 17 points in a game yet during the playoff (and they broke Mount Union's stranglehold on the Ohio Athletic Conference title during the regular season), UW-Oshkosh had to knock off Minnesota powerhouses St. Johns AND 2015 runner-up St. Thomas to get there, and UMHB had to take down west coast powers Redlands (CA), Linfield (OR) and then one of the top programs in the midwest in Wheaton (IL).
A win by John Carroll and Mount Union would set up an OAC league rematch worth ALL THE MARBLES. All of them.
John Carroll (OH) vs. UW-Oshkosh
Mount Union (OH) vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX)
At the NAIA level, just two teams remain and 14-0 Baker (NAIA - KS) will face off against 12-1 St. Francis (NAIA - IN) in the NAIA national title game. This should be a really good match up between two quality teams.
Baker (NAIA - KS) vs. St. Francis (NAIA - IN)
Congrats to all of the coaching staffs on getting their teams this deep into the playoffs, and best of luck this weekend, and moving forward.