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The 2019 FCS playoff bracket is out

The 2019 FCS playoff bracket was released Sunday, and the Bison of North Dakota State will once again enter as the favorite. NDSU is looking to win its eighth FCS title in nine years, but their first title under new head coach Matt Entz. The Bison carry a 33-game winning streak into the playoffs.

James Madison -- the only program other than North Dakota State to win a title since 2011 -- enters as the No. 2 seed. The Dukes are also under the leadership of a new head coach in Curt Cignetti. Cignetti has coached in the FCS playoffs before, taking CAA bunk mate Elon to the playoffs in 2017-18, where the Phoenix made first-round exits each time.

Another team led by a first year coach -- Sacramento State -- checks in at No. 4, meaning the Hornets would host a quarterfinal game should they get there. Not only is it the Hornets' first appearance under Troy Taylor, it's the program's first FCS playoffs trip, period.

The top eight seeds will receive byes to the second round, while the remaining 16 will play first round games this weekend.

The top eight:

1. North Dakota State
2. James Madison
3. Weber State
4. Sacramento State
5. Montana State
6. Montana
7. South Dakota State
8. Central Arkansas

First-round games, playing this weekend (all games Saturday):

North Dakota at Nicholls (4 p.m. ET, ESPN3) -- winner gets No. 1 North Dakota State

Illinois State at Southeast Missouri State (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3) -- winner gets No. 8 Central Arkansas

Furman at Austin Peay (1 p.m. ET, ESPN3) -- winner gets No. 4 Sacramento State

Central Connecticut State at Albany (1 p.m. ET, ESPN3) -- winner gets No. 5 Montana State

Kennesaw State at Wofford (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3) -- winner gets No. 3 Weber State

Villanova at Southeastern Louisiana (4 p.m. ET, ESPN3) -- winner gets No. 6 Montana

Holy Cross at Monmouth (noon ET, ESPN3) -- winner gets No. 2 James Madison

San Diego at Northern Iowa (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3) -- winner gets No. 7 South Dakota State

FCS first round

And for those FCS bracketologists out there (and yes, that's a real thing):

FCS last 4 out

The national championship will once again return to Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 11 (noon ET, ABC).

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.

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