Griz, Bobcats earn first-round byes in FCS playoffs

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Posted at 10:41 AM, Nov 21, 2021

Now that the latest installment of the Brawl of the Wild is in the books, both Montana and Montana State will get a week off.

Both the Grizzlies and Bobcats earned top-8 seeds during Sunday's selection show for the FCS playoffs. The Grizzlies earned the No. 6 seed while the Bobcats grabbed the No. 8 seed heading into the FCS playoffs.

The top eight seeds earn a first-round bye in the postseason and host a second round game. Big Sky Conference champion Sacramento State earned the No. 4 seed as five Big Sky teams made the playoffs.

Montana (9-2, 6-2 Big Sky Conference) is coming off of a 29-10 victory over MSU on Saturday in Missoula. The Grizzlies snapped a four-game losing skid to the Bobcats with the win and UM is currently riding a five-game winning streak on the season. The Grizzlies host the winner of Northern Iowa and Eastern Washington in the second round. UM and EWU met back in October in Cheney with the Eagles winning 34-28 as Montana almost won on a last-second throw.

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Montana's second-round game is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

For MSU (9-2, 7-1), the loss snapped a nine-game winning streak. The Bobcats will host the winner of the University of Tennessee at Martin and Missouri State in the second round. Missouri State is coached by Montana native Bobby Petrino.

MSU's second-round game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m.

Sam Houston State, North Dakota State and James Madison all earned the top three seeds. Villanova earned the No. 5 seed while East Tennessee earned the No. 7 seed. The Grizzlies are on the same side of the bracket as JMU for a potential quarterfinal matchup while NDSU and ETSU are on the other side for a possible semifinal opponent.

For Montana State, they are set up for a potential quarterfinal matchup with top-seeded Sam Houston State, while Villanova and Sacramento State are on the other side of the bracket for a possible semifinal opponent.

If the Grizzlies and Bobcats were to meet again this season, it would be in the national championship game.

UC Davis, the fifth Big Sky team to make the playoffs, will play at South Dakota State in the first round with the winner taking on Sac State the following week.

The FCS playoffs begin on Saturday, Nov. 27. The national championship game will be played in Frisco, Texas, on Jan. 8, 2022.