Sports

Montana State, Montana Get First-Round Byes in FCS Playoffs

The top eight teams will host second-round games

The Montana State and Montana football teams received first-round byes in the FCS playoffs.

Montana State (9-3) was seeded fifth and Montana (9-3) sixth in the 24-team field announced Sunday, a day after the Bobcats beat the Grizzlies 48-14. The top eight teams will host second-round games.

The winner of the first-round game between Albany and Central Connecticut will travel to Montana State for a second-round game while the Southeast Louisiana-Villanova winner will play at Montana. Both games are at 1 p.m. on Dec. 7.

Only two of the four Big Sky Conference teams in the field could advance to the semifinals. If they all win their second-round games, Montana would meet third seed Weber State (9-3) in the quarterfinals and Montana State would take on fourth seed Sacramento State (9-3).

North Dakota State (12-0), which has won seven out of the last eight FCS championships, is seeded first. James Madison (11-1), the 2016 champ and 2017 runner-up, is seeded second.