Crunch time! One week to go until Selection Sunday. Again this week I first broke down each conference and grouped teams together based on whether they're locks, should be in, or work left do. The "Should be in" category is teams I think will be in unless they're upset in the final week and even then they might be ok. The "Work left to do" category is teams that I think are on the bubble or have to win a game they're not expected to win in order to get in. I put the percentage chance each team listed has to win their final based on the Massey ratings at

After sitting down and mapping it all out conference by conference I came to the conclusion that this is going to be a tough bubble this year unless there's a bunch of upsets in week 12. You pretty much need to have 8+ wins and 3- losses to feel very comfortable.

Things shifted quite a bit this week in the MVFC based on a hail mary in Vermillion. I think that probably set the MVFC "floor" to 5 bids and I still think UNI has a shot at 6-5 but USD and Missouri St moving clearly past them in the MVFC pecking order probably puts their playoff hopes on life support. I contemplated adding UND but I don't see them passing any of the 6 teams listed below in the MVFC pecking order even if they beat SDSU. There might only be one seed out of the MVFC though with all the 9+ win teams the Big Sky and CAA will produce.

Locks (1):
NDSU (9-1, 6-1) - Last game vs USD (80%)

Should be in (4):
SIU (7-3, 5-2) - Last game vs YSU (78%)
Missouri St (7-3, 6-2) - Last game @ Dixie St (97%)
South Dakota (7-3, 5-2) - Last game @ NDSU (20%)
SDSU (7-3, 4-3) - Last game vs UND (84%)

Work left to do (1):
UNI (5-5, 3-4) - Last game vs WIU (87%)

Big Sky
5 teams are locked in from the Big Sky and no one else is still alive in my estimation. The interesting thing is all 5 could be seeded and everyone other than Montana St could still drop out of the seeds as well so even though these teams are all in the postseason there's plenty to still be decided.

Locks (5):
Montana St (9-1, 7-0) - Last game @ Montana (36%)
Sacramento St (8-2, 7-0) - Last game @ UCD (47%)
EWU (8-2, 5-2) - Last game @ PSU (73%)
UC Davis (8-2, 5-2) - Last game vs Sac St (53%)
Montana (8-2, 5-2) - Last game vs Montana St (64%)

JMU and Nova are locks, after that URI looks pretty good with a winnable final game (but Massey doesn't necessarily think so) that could get them in as the 3rd CAA team. William & Mary needs a lot of help I think even if they win their final game. I'm going to guess the CAA gets 3 in.

Locks (2):
JMU (9-1, 6-1) - Last game vs Towson (92%)
Villanova (8-2, 6-1) - Last game @ Delaware (75%)

Work left to do (2):
Rhode Island (7-3, 4-3) - Last game @ Elon (43%)
William & Mary (6-4, 4-3) - Last game vs Richmond (56%)

The SOCON got quite a bit simpler after Saturday's games. ETSU and Mercer basically play the SOCON championship game next Saturday. ETSU is a lock and I think Mercer is fine even if they lose. Chatty and VMI however are vulnerable and on the bubble no matter what happens. I think it's very unlikely both make it in and VMI has the head-to-head win between the two plus a dominating win over Mercer (although Chatty has a win over ETSU). 2 or 3 bids seems to be what they'll land at, to get 4 they'd need a lot to go their way elsewhere on the bubble.

Locks (1):
ETSU (9-1, 6-1) - Last game vs Mercer (58%)

Should be in (1):
Mercer (7-2, 6-1) - Last game @ ETSU (42%)

Work left to do (2):
VMI (6-4, 4-3) - Last game vs WCU (66%)
Chattanooga (6-4, 5-2) - Last game vs The Citadel (91%)

Sam Houston is locked in and a likely top 2 seed, SFA is likely in with a win over Lamar which they should get, and that's about all there is to say for the playoff picture in the AQ7. I think they get 2.

Locks (1):
SHSU (9-0, 5-0) - Last game @ ACU (83%)

Should be in (1):
SFA (7-3, 3-2) - Last game @ Lamar (91%)

The SLC got pretty simple on Saturday as well with SLU and UIW both locking themselves in with their win today and Nicholls, the last of the others still in contention, getting knocked out. The only drama left is to see if either one of these SLC teams might be able to snag a seed.

Locks (2):
UIW (8-2, 6-1) - Last game @ HBU (85%)
SLU (8-2, 6-1) - Last game @ Nicholls (62%)

The de facto Big South title game between Kennesaw and Monmouth is big for bubble - a Monmouth win (which Massey has as a slight favorite) probably gives the Big South an at-large in Kennesaw and knocks someone from the SOCON/MVFC/CAA/AQ7 off the bubble. The bubble softened elsewhere amongst this group as UTM (OVC) and Holy Cross (Patriot) locked up their respective autos meaning those will be one bid leagues. FAMU seems very likely to get to 9-2 and won't make the SWAC title game. They'll probably be a wild card in the at-large discussion although their SoS is really not good so I don't like their chances given how tough the bubble is shaping up.

Locks (autobids):
OVC - UTM (9-1, 5-0) - Last game @ SEMO (60%)
Patriot - Holy Cross (8-2, 5-0) - Last game @ Bucknell (97%)

Should be in:
Big South - KSU (9-1, 6-0) - Last game vs Monmouth (46%)

Work left to do:
Big South - Monmouth (7-3, 6-0) - Last game @ KSU (54%)
SWAC - FAMU (8-2, 6-1) - Last game vs BCU (74%)

Projected bracket

So for locks and teams that should be in I've got 4 at-large from the MVFC, 4 from the Big Sky, and 1 each from the CAA, SOCON, AQ7, and Southland. That leaves only 1 left and I think there will be teams from the MVFC, CAA, and SOCON along with FAMU in contention for that last spot. I think URI out of the CAA is in the driver's seat for the last spot. So, like I mentioned earlier, the bubble is looking pretty tough. Here's my crack at the bracket projecting what will happen in the final week (which will no doubt be horribly wrong) - autobid denoted with an *:

Mercer (7-3) @ Southeastern Louisiana* (9-2) to #1 Sam Houston* (10-0)
Incarnate Word (9-2) @ Stephen F Austin (8-3) to #8 Missouri St (8-3)

Sacramento St (8-3) @ South Dakota St (8-3) to #5 Eastern Washington (9-2)
Rhode Island (8-3) @ Holy Cross* (9-2) to #4 James Madison (10-1)

South Dakota (7-4) @ Montana (8-3) to #3 North Dakota St* (10-1)
Sacred Heart* (8-3) @ UC Davis (9-2) to #6 Villanova* (9-2)

Davidson* (8-2) @ Kennesaw St* (10-1) to #7 East Tennessee St* (10-1)
UT-Martin* (10-1) @ Southern Illinois (8-3) to #2 Montana St* (10-1)

My last 4 in, in no particular order would be Mercer, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Stephen F Austin. My first four out, in no particular order, would be Chattanooga, FAMU, UNI, and VMI. Discuss away.