INDIANAPOLIS---The field of 20 teams competing for the 2010 NCAA Division I Football Championship was announced today by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee.
Stephen F. Austin, the automatic qualifier as conference champion, was the only Southland Conference teams to make the field. The University of Central Arkansas, which finished 7-4 after a victory Saturday over McNeese State, as on the board for a possible at-large berth, but was not selected. The Bears were in their first season of eligibility for the postseason.
Appalachian State University (9-2) tops the bracket as the top seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Southern Conference. The Mountaineers, who won three consecutive championships from 2005-07, are making their 18th appearance and sixth straight overall.
Second-seeded College of William and Mary (8-3) is making its ninth appearance. The Tribe captured the Colonial Athletic Association automatic berth.
University of Delaware (9-2), which is making its 15th overall tournament appearance, is the No. 3 seed. The 2003 national champion, the Blue Hens tied William and Mary for the CAA championship.
Montana State University (9-2) is the No. 4 seed after capturing the Big Sky Conference automatic berth. The Bobcats, the 1984 national champion, are making its fifth appearance and first since 2006.
Rounding out this year’s seeded teams is Eastern Washington University (9-2) with the No. 5 seed. The Eagles are making their eighth overall appearance.
First-round hosts include Big South automatic qualifier Coastal Carolina (6-5), North Dakota State University (7-4), Missouri Valley Football Conference automatic qualifier University of Northern Iowa (7-4), and Georgia Southern University (7-4).
The top four national seeds will host winners from the first round matchups. Others hosting second-round games will be Eastern Washington, Bethune-Cookman University (10-1), who was the automatic qualifier from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State University (9-2) and Stephen F. Austin (9-2), which earned the Southland Conference’s automatic bid.
Other automatic qualifiers in the tournament include Robert Morris University (8-2), the Northeast Conference champion, which clinched its first trip into the championship. Also making its first trip into the championship is Southeast Missouri State University, winner of the automatic bid from the Ohio Valley Conference. Winning the Patriot League was the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh University (9-2).
Other teams in the field are New Hampshire University (7-4), South Carolina State University (9-2), the defending national champion Villanova University (7-4), Western Illinois University (7-4) and Wofford College (9-2). Along with Southeast Missouri State, North Dakota State and Robert Morris are making their first appearance in the championship.
Ten conferences received automatic-qualifying berths: the Big Sky Conference, Big South Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Football Conference, Northeast Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Patriot League, Southern Conference and Southland Conference.