#12 Southeast Missouri (9-3) will host Missouri Valley Football Conference member #13 Illinois State (8-4) in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Division I Football Championship on Saturday, Nov. 30. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m., CT, at Houck Field. The game will air live on ESPN3.
The winner of the SEMO and ISU matchup will advance to play Central Arkansas, which secured the #8 national seed.
The Redhawks entered this year’s 24-team bracket as an at-large selection joining automatic qualifier Austin Peay out of the Ohio Valley Conference. APSU also plays a first round game against Furman Saturday.
SEMO makes its third playoff appearance all-time and advances to the postseason for a program-first second straight season. The Redhawks earned a share of the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference title with Austin Peay after beating Murray State, 31-24, Nov. 23.
This year marks the seventh of an expanded 24-team playoff field. In 2010 the FCS Playoffs expanded from 16 teams to 20 teams, the first expansion since the field grew from 12 to 16 teams in 1997. The OVC has placed multiple teams in the playoffs (which began in 1978) in 22 of the 41 years; the OVC has now had multiple teams in the field in seven of the last 10 and nine of the last 14 years.
The top eight seeds received byes to the second round while the first round features 16 teams in eight total matchups. The first round of the playoffs will be played on Nov. 30, with the second round taking place on December 7. For the 10th-straight year the championship game will be played in Frisco, Texas at Toyota Stadium. The Southland Conference will serve as the host of the championship, which will be held on Saturday, January 11.