How Many Teams Make the FCS Football Playoffs?

    The FCS football playoffs conclude Sunday with the national championship. So how many teams can make the playoffs in FCS?

    The FBS is set to change its current postseason format following the 2023-24 season. That format which expands to 12 teams, is set to mirror the FCS College Football Playoffs to an extent.

    How exactly does that compare to how FCS sets up their postseason tournament?

    FCS Football Playoffs Format

    Compared to FBS, more teams play in the FCS playoffs, as 24 teams make the playoffs. Of those 24, 10 are conference champions that receive automatic bids to the playoffs.

    The rest of the 14 teams are at-large bids as those are the best remaining 14 records in the country.

    MORE: How Did Montana Make the FCS National Championship?

    The top eight teams in the playoffs are seeded and receive first-round byes. Team pairing is determined by geographical proximity. No teams in the same conference get paired in the first and second rounds.

    In preparation for the playoffs, there is a selection show a week before the playoffs begin. It all begins with the first round of the playoffs, as eight first-round games are played at non-predetermined campus sites.

    There is a similar setup with the second round of the playoffs, with eight more games played at non-predetermined campus sites. The quarterfinals consist of non-predetermined sites once again, with fewer games being played at four.

    The semifinals are just two games at non-predetermined sites, with the winners advancing to the final. The national title will be played at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, with an option in 2026 available.

    This format has been in place since 2013 except for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic dropping it to 16. The FCS previously had 20 teams from 2010 through 2012, with most of its history having 16 teams from 1986 through 2009.

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