For the second straight year, the NCAA selection committee is giving FCS teams an early look at where they stand heading into the final weeks of the regular season.

The initial rankings for this season were released Thursday night with the Bearkats (7-1, 5-1 Southland) ranked No. 6. The top eight teams in final rakings on Selection Sunday, Nov. 19, will receive a bye in the FCS playoffs and at least one home game. 

The committee started releasing rankings prior to Selection Sunday last season. In the first poll last year the Bearkats were the No. 2 ranked team in the committee rankings. After an 11-0 regular season and No. 1 ranking in the polls, they were seeded fifth in the FCS playoffs.

The Kats, ranked No. 5 in the STATS FCS Top 25 will play two of their final three games of the season at home starting with Saturday’s 1 p.m. kick against Incarnate Word on ESPN3.

The committee will release rankings one more time this season, next Thursday on ESPNU, during the halftime of the Georgia Southern and Appalachian State game which will kick off at 6:30 p.m.

The 2017 championship field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and 14 at-large qualifiers. The top eight teams will be seeded, receive first-round byes and host second-round games. The 16 other teams will bid to host first-round games, which will take place Saturday, Nov. 25. The national championship game will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, in Frisco and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

 

The Full Top 10: 

  1. James Madison
  2. North Dakota St.
  3. Jacksonville St.
  4. Central Arkansas
  5. South Dakota
  6. Sam Houston State
  7. Elon
  8. Wofford
  9. Northern Arizona
  10. South Dakota State