What are the most-played FCS playoff matchups?
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - Reigning national champion North Dakota State's brief but highly successful history in the FCS playoffs is producing some of the most-played postseason matchups.
It's not surprising the results have been one-sided.
NDSU first appeared in the FCS playoffs in 2010 and hasn't missed a postseason since then. Last season, the Bison tied the record for the most national titles with six in their eighth straight appearance.
Along the way, they defeated Sam Houston State in the semifinals, which was the fourth meeting (2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017) between the two programs. That tied for the most-played games between two schools in FCS playoff history, according to NCAA research.
Appalachian State, which now plays on the FBS level, and Richmond also have met four times in the playoffs, most recently in 2009, as have McNeese State and Montana, most recently in 2006.
North Dakota State also has been involved in two matchups that have been contested three times - against James Madison (2011, 2016 and 2017) and South Dakota State (2012, 2014 and 2016). The Bison have won nine of their 10 playoff games against Sam Houston, James Madison and South Dakota State. The only defeat was to JMU 27-17 in the 2016 semifinals.
"Bison pride and NDSU, we always talk, we're different," coach Chris Klieman said after the 2017 national championship game win. "If I could tell you why, I'd retire and make a million dollars selling it, but I can't tell you. It's hard.
"But it's just different, and it's special."
The playoffs began as a four-team event in 1978 (won by Florida A&M). It's now a 24-team playoff.
Most-Played Games in FCS Playoff History
Appalachian State and Richmond (1987, 2007, 2008, 2009)
McNeese State vs. Montana (1994, 1997, 2002, 2006)
North Dakota State vs. Sam Houston State (2011, 2012, 2014, 2017)
Delaware vs. Georgia Southern (1997, 2000, 2010)
Delaware vs. Marshall (1992, 1993, 1996)
Eastern Illinois vs. Northern Iowa (1996, 2001, 2015)
Eastern Illinois vs. Southern Illinois (2005, 2007, 2009)
Eastern Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky (1987, 1988, 1997)
Eastern Washington vs. Northern Iowa (1985, 1992, 2005)
Florida A&M vs. Troy (1996, 1998, 1999)
Furman vs. Georgia Southern (1985, 1988, 2001)
Georgia Southern vs. Maine (1987, 2002, 2011)
Georgia Southern vs. Montana (1989, 1995, 2000)
Idaho vs. McNeese State (1992, 1994, 1995)
James Madison vs. North Dakota State (2011, 2016, 2017)
Marshall vs. Northern Iowa (1991, 1995, 1996)
Marshall vs. Youngstown State (1991, 1992, 1993)
Montana vs. Northwestern State (2001, 2002, 2004)
Montana vs. Sam Houston State (2001, 2004, 2011)
New Hampshire vs. Northern Iowa (2005, 2007, 2008)
North Dakota State vs. South Dakota State (2012, 2014, 2016)
Villanova vs. Youngstown State (1991, 1992, 1997)
Updated May 21, 2018