North Dakota State ranked #1 21 Nov 16

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Five-time defending national champion North Dakota State is the No. 1 seed in the FCS playoffs.

The NCAA announced the 24-team playoff field on Sunday. The top eight seeds receive first-round byes and host second-round games. Joining the Bison in the top four are Eastern Washington at No. 2, Jacksonville State, last season’s runner-up, at No. 3 and James Madison at No. 4.

No. 5 Sam Houston State, No. 6 The Citadel, No. 7 North Dakota and No. 8 South Dakota State also have first-round byes.

North Dakota State will begin defense of its title on Dec. 3 against the winner of Cal Poly and San Diego.

Youngstown State under former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is in the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2006. The Penguins host Samford on Saturday.