On Sunday, the playoff fields for Division 2 and Division 3 were revealed, officially getting the postseason fun started around college football this week. Both defending national champions from the D2 and D3 levels are back in the field, including Division 3 powerhouse Mount Union, the No. 1 team in D3 going into the postseason.
The Purple Raiders clinched their spot in the Division 3 playoff field by going 10-0 and clinching the Ohio Athletic Conference, Doing so awarded Mount Union one of 26 automatic berths in the playoffs. Mount Union has won 13 of 20 national championship games since 1993 in the Division 3 playoffs, and the Purple Raiders will bring a postseason record of 99-16 into this year’s tournament. This will be Mount Union’s 27th consecutive playoff appearance.
The Division 3 field is highlighted by some familiar national title contenders at the D3 level. Other top seeds in the field include Mary Hardin-Baylor, last year’s runner-up to Mount Union and the 2016 national champion, and Wisconsin-Whitewater, the program previously coached by current Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold. Wisconsin-Whitewater is looking to make their first national championship game appearance since Leipold left for Buffalo, which he did after winning three of the previous four Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowls for the national title against Mount Union.
Defending D2 national champion Texas A&M-Commerce is in the D2 field, although they will have a bit of an uphill climb as the No. 6 seed in their region. They also have a tough draw out of the gate with Minnesota-Duluth (11-0) in the opening round. Last year’s runner-up, West Florida, failed to make the playoff field this season. Longtime D2 giants Grand Valley State and Northwest Missouri State will clash in the opening round with a possible matchup with another longtime power, Ferris State, in the second round. Valdosta State, Minnesota State, Ouachita Baptist and Notre Dame (Ohio) all received top seeds in their respective regions.
The FCS Playoffs begin Nov. 24. The selection show for the FCS playoff field is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 18 because the FCS season is still ongoing this week with a handful of FCS teams playing FBS programs.