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2012 FCS playoff schedule: Big Sky Conference looks for another title

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Montana State could face either Big Sky rival Cal Poly in the quarterfinals, or, Sam Houston – the same Sam Houston that defeated the Bobcats in the quarterfinals in 2011.

Layne Murdoch

Though the Montana State Bobcats are the No. 3 seed, they still don't know who they will be facing in their first game of the 2012 FCS playoffs.

Montana State currently awaits the winner of the Stony Brook-Villanova game, as the Bobcats earned a bye in the first round of the tournament, thanks to a 10-1 regular-season record.

With the way the FCS bracket is set up this year, the Big Sky Conference could boast a third-round matchup and semifinal matchup:

North Dakota State was given the No. 1 seed. Eastern Washington earned the No. 2 seed and will play the winner of the Colgate-Wagner game. Eastern Washington was placed on the same side of the bracket as MSU. The third Big Sky representative in the postseason, Cal Poly, was also given a bye and will play Sam Houston State on Dec. 1. The winner of that game could play the Bobcats in the quarterfinals.

If both Sam Houston and Montana State advance, they would ensure a rematch of one of last year's playoff games, when Sam Houston defeated the Bobcats, 49-13, in a quarterfinal game.

Still, the Bobcats can ill afford to look ahead to a potential Big Sky date with Cal Poly, or a rematch against Sam Houston, as Montana State still needs to advance past either Stony Brook or Villanova in the second round.

Montana State's first playoff game this season will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1.