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Football Championship Subdivision playoffs to begin in April

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 22, 2020

Eastern Washington wide receiver Johnny Edwards IV attempts to dodge the Northern Arizona defense on Nov. 2, 2019, at Roos Field in Cheney.  (TYLER TJOMSLAND)
Eastern Washington wide receiver Johnny Edwards IV attempts to dodge the Northern Arizona defense on Nov. 2, 2019, at Roos Field in Cheney. (TYLER TJOMSLAND)

The 2021 spring season – a postponement of the 2020 fall season due to the coronavirus pandemic – is beginning to shape up for the Football Championship Subdivision.

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved plans Tuesday for an FCS playoff schedule and format set to begin April 24.

Eastern Washington, FCS national champion in 2010 and runner-up in 2018, has qualified for seven of the previous 11 postseasons.

With several teams in southern states pursuing a fall season, the FCS postseason bracket will be reduced from its regular 24 teams to 16.

The FCS selection committee will release its bracket April 18. First-round games will be April 24, quarterfinals on May 1, the semifinals the weekend of May 8 and the national title game tentatively scheduled between May 14-16 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

The bracket will include 11 automatic qualifiers and five at-large berths.

The Big Sky Conference, which had all four of its 2019 playoff teams (Weber State, Montana, Montana State and Sacramento State) earn first-round byes, has yet to release its eight-game spring conference schedule.

With schools adhering to different state and local social distancing mandates, the start of spring games is at the discretion of each school.

Eight regular-season games can be played in a 13-week window that begins Jan. 23.

The Southland Conference released its schedule on Tuesday with games beginning Feb. 20.

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