Indianapolis, IN – The NCAA is expanding the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs from 20 to 24 teams beginning in 2013.
The non-scholarship Pioneer Football League will become the 11th conference to earn an automatic qualifier for its champion. The other three new spots will go to at-large bids, bringing that number to 13.
Under the new format, eight teams will be seeded, earn first-round byes and host second-round games against first-round winners. By seeding only one- third of the field, the NCAA will be able to create more geographic matchups in the earlier rounds.
The PFL will join the Big Sky Conference, Big South Conference, CAA Football, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Football Conference, Northeast Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Patriot League, Southern Conference and Southland Conference with an automatic qualifier.
The Ivy League and Southwestern Athletic Conference don't send their champions to the playoffs.
The FCS playoffs previously expanded from 16 to 20 teams for the 2010 season.