NCAA Tournament expanded, automatic bids awarded

After years of underrepresentation in the playoffs, Division III football finally gets its due with a double expansion. First the NCAA expanded the 16-team field to 24. Then in May, four more teams were added to the field.

It means automatic bids for the following conferences: Centennial, CCIW, Freedom, Heartland, Iowa, Michigan, Middle Atlantic, Midwest, Minnesota, NEFC, North Coast, Ohio, Old Dominion, Southern and Wisconsin.

Nine bids are guaranteed to independents and members from the remaining conferences (Pool B) and the final four bids are for runners-up in the 15 conferences above.