.--Defending national champion North Dakota State University earned the top seed and a first round bye in the 2012 NCAA Division I FCS playoffs that start next weekend.
The Bison will play the South Dakota State-Eastern Illinois winner on at 3 p.m. (Central) on Saturday, Dec. 1, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
North Dakota State (10-1) won the 2012 Missouri Valley Football Conference title and received the conference's automatic bid. NDSU is making its third straight NCAA Division I FCS playoff appearance and the program's 26th postseason appearance overall including 17 in the Division II playoffs.
The Bison won the 2011 NCAA FCS national championship with a 17-6 win over Sam Houston State on Jan. 7, 2012, in Frisco, Texas.
North Dakota State, the No. 2 seed last season, posted home wins over James Madison (26-14), Lehigh (24-0) and Georgia Southern (35-7) to advance.
The Bison are 41-14 overall in the postseason including a 6-1 record in the NCAA FCS playoffs and 31-12 record in NCAA Division II.
North Dakota State has won nine national championships (1965, 1968, 1969, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990 and 2011) and were national runner-up three times (1967, 1981 and 1984).
The Bison also were third place five times (1970, 1976, 1977, 1982, 2000). Championships & placings prior to 1973 were determined by AP or UPI polls. Championship & runner-up finishes after that were through the NCAA playoff format. Third-place finishes after 1973 were the result of semifinal losses in the playoff system.