NCAA Web Site Answers FCS Playoff Questions

Eagles will find out who they play on selection show Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on ESPNU

A new NCAA web site "FCS 101" is now active to answer questions media and fans might have about the upcoming NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs the Eastern Washington University football team will take part in.

The site may be found at: http://www.ncaa.com/fcs-selections-101

This Saturday's Portland State game (2:45 p.m. at Roos Field on ROOT Sports) concludes EWU’s first-ever 12-game regular season, and the Eagles have already clinched the league’s automatic berth in the FCS Playoffs.

Pairings will be announced on Sunday (Nov. 24) at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time on ESPNU. This year's field will include 24 teams for the first time, with the top eight receiving a first-round bye. The top eight seeded teams are guaranteed home games as long as they are the higher-seeded team in their match-up and have met NCAA guidelines to host.

Eastern has already won at least a share of their seventh Big Sky Conference title in school history. The Eagles shared the title with Cal Poly and Montana State last year, and have also won league titles in 1992, 1997, 2004, 2005 and 2010. It was Eastern’s third in the last four years (2010, 2012, 2013). Winning three titles in the last four years is unprecedented in school history.

Moreover, the Eagles will make their 10th playoff appearance, including seven in the last 10 seasons (1985, 1992, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013).

 

Eagles in the Playoffs

* Eastern will be making its 10 appearance in the playoffs in 2013. The other appearances for the Eagles came in 1985, 1992, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. With a 6-5 record during an injury-ravaged season in 2011, Eastern fell a victory shy of making its first back-to-back-to-back appearances. Through 2012, EWU’s nine berths ranked the Eagles among a select group of 20 schools with at least that many berths.   

* For the third time in school history, the 2012 Eagles advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs. Eastern defeated Wagner (29-19) and #16 Illinois State (51-35) in the first two rounds, then fell to #5 Sam Houston State (45-42) to finish 11-3 on the season. Eastern hosted all three games at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash., and also hosted three games in 2010 (Roos Field) and 1997 (Albi Stadium in Spokane). The Eagles received the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, with eventual champion North Dakota State getting the top seed, followed by EWU, Montana State, Old Dominion and Georgia Southern. The top five teams are seeded 1-5, and are guaranteed home games as long as they are the higher-seeded team in their match-up and have met NCAA guidelines to host. In 2010, Eastern was the No. 5 seed, and because of higher-seeded teams losing in the early rounds, hosted three games at Roos Field.

* Eastern has now advanced to the semifinals in the FCS Playoffs three times (1997, 2010, 2012), and has won its opener six times (1985, 1997, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012). The Eagles have an 11-8 record in nine playoff appearances (1985, 1992, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012). Only 15 teams have made more playoff appearances than the Eagles. The 2012 season marked EWU’s sixth appearance in the quarterfinals, and 2010 was EWU’s first appearance in the championship game.

* Eastern has had six playoff berths in a nine-year span (2004-12), ranking the Eagles as one of only five schools among 121 in FCS to accomplish that feat. The only other four teams to have qualified six of the last nine years are Appalachian State (2005-06-07-08-09-10-11-12), Montana (2004-05-06-07-08-09-11), New Hampshire (2004-05-06-07-08-09-10-11-12) and Southern Illinois (2004-05-06-07-08-09).

* Seeded fifth, Eastern won four-straight games to win the 2010 NCAA Division I National Championship. The top-ranked Eagles defeated #9 Southeast Missouri State (37-17), #25 North Dakota State (38-31 in overtime) and defending champion #10 Villanova (41-31) in three home playoff games, then defeated #5 Delaware (20-19) in the championship game on Jan. 7, 2011, in Frisco, Texas. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was selected as the game’s Most Outstanding Player after throwing three touchdowns passes in the final 16:48 as EWU rallied from a 19-0 deficit.

* In 2009, the 13th-ranked Eagles lost at No. 12 Stephen F. Austin 44-33 in the first round. In 2007, the Eagles handed second-seeded and No. 3 ranked McNeese State its first loss of the year in a 44-15 first-round victory. Eastern then lost in the quarterfinals at two-time defending champion Appalachian State. In 2004, Eastern defeated No. 1 ranked and top-seeded Southern Illinois 35-31 in the first round and then lost 35-34 to Sam Houston State in the quarterfinal round in EWU’s first-ever playoff game at Roos Field (formerly Woodward Field) in Cheney, Wash. In both 2004 and 2007, Eastern entered the playoffs ranked 14th nationally.

* Until 2004, Eastern hadn’t appeared in the FCS playoffs since 1997 when the Eagles advanced to the semifinals where it lost to Youngstown State 25-14 at Albi Stadium in Spokane, Wash. Eastern played two early-round games at Albi, defeating Northwestern State 40-10 and Western Kentucky 38-21. Western Kentucky was coached by Jack Harbaugh, whose sons Jim and John are the first pair of brothers to serve as NFL head coaches and face off in a Super Bowl (XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013)

* Eastern also participated in the playoffs in 1985 (won at Idaho 42-38 and lost at Northern Iowa 17-14) and 1992 (lost at Northern Iowa 17-14). The school’s only other postseason experience came in 1967 when Eastern advanced to the NAIA Championship game where it lost to Fairmont State 28-21. Eastern has won three previous national titles, but none in head-to-head competition or at the NCAA Division I level. Eastern won the 1977 NAIA wrestling title, the 1982 NCAA Division II men’s cross country championship and the 1970 Class II national championship for women’s collegiate gymnastics programs.

Here is a complete list of EWU’s FCS playoff games (EWU received a first-round bye in 2010, the first year the playoffs were expanded to 20 teams):
2012 – Sam Houston State – L, 42-45 (Semifinals/Cheney)
2012 – Illinois State – W, 51-35 (Quarterfinals/Cheney)
2012 – Wagner – W, 29-19 (Second Round/Cheney)
2010 - Delaware - W, 20-19 (Championship/Frisco, Texas)
2010 - Villanova - W, 41-31 (Semifinals/Cheney)
2010 - North Dakota State - W, 38-31 in OT (Quarterfinals/Cheney)
2010 - Southeast Missouri State - W, 37-17 (Second Round/Cheney)
2009 - at Stephen F. Austin - L, 33-44 (First Round)
2007 - at Appalachian State - L, 35-38 (Quarterfinals)
2007 - at McNeese State - W, 44-15 (First Round)
2005 - at Northern Iowa - L, 38-41 (First Round)
2004 - Sam Houston State - L, 34-35 (Quarterfinals/Cheney)
2004 - at Southern Illinois - W, 35-31 (First Round)
1997 - Youngstown State - L, 14-25 (Semifinals/Spokane)
1997 - Western Kentucky - W, 38-21 (Quarterfinals/Spokane)
1997 - Northwestern State - W, 40-10 (First Round/Spokane)
1992 - at Northern Iowa - L, 14-17 (First Round)
1985 - at Northern Iowa - L, 14-17 (Quarterfinals)
1985 - at Idaho - W, 42-38 (First Round)

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