As expected, Cal Poly's football season officially came to a close today when it was not among the 16 teams invited to the FCS playoffs. Here's the bracket. New Hampshire (7-4) was the only four-loss team to make the playoffs, which shows just how important getting to that eighth win is. New Hampshire will open the playoffs next weekend against top-seeded Northern Iowa (11-0).
Montana (11-0) and Eastern Washington (8-3) advanced from the West out of the Big Sky Conference. The Gateway Conference, where the North Dakota State and South Dakota State will be playing next season, got two berths to the playoffs. The Colonial Athletic Association raised eyebrows when it got five teams in. New Hampshire got in despite being ranked No. 20 in last week's Sports Network Top 25, only five spots better than Cal Poly. The CAA was represented by UMass and former Cal Poly AD John McCutcheon on the selection comittee. UMass earned an automatic bid as a co-champion of the league.
As expected, no Great West Football Conference teams advanced. Neither did any of the Mustangs' nonconference opponents. Cal Poly finished 7-4 the past two seasons after making the playoffs in 2005 with an 8-3 mark.
AT-LARGE QUALIFERS (8): Eastern Washington (Big Sky Conference), Delaware (Colonial Athletic Association), James Madison (Colonial Athletic Association), New Hampshire (Colonial Athletic Association), Richmond (Colonial Athletic Association), Southern Illinois (Gateway Football Conference), Eastern Illinois (Ohio Valley Conference), Appalachian State (Southern Conference).