Bethune-Cookman got what it wanted Sunday when the NCAA Football Championship Series selection committee awarded the 9-2 MEAC champs with a first-round home game to open the playoffs.
B-CU will host Coastal Carolina (7-4) next Saturday at Daytona Beach Memorial Stadium at 2 p.m. All first-round games will be streamed live on ESPN3.
"We're happy and excited to be lining up against a team like Coastal Carolina," said B-CU head coach Brian Jenkins of the Chanticleers, who are the 15th-highest scoring team in the FCS at 35.16 points per game. B-CU averages 30.15 and ranks 34th of the 121 FCS schools.
"We need to be consistent, operate our scheme and continue to play good, sound defense like we have all season."
This is the second time in three seasons that B-CU is hosting a playoff game.
"It speaks volumes for the direction we are headed in," Jenkins said.
"Coastal Carolina is a well-coached team, and I'm sure they will be prepared for this game," said Jenkins. "They play at a high level and are very talented. It's going to be a tough and exciting game."
Coastal Carolina has local Orlando-area product Alex Catron as it's field goal kicker. Catron has had a nice sophomore season for the Chanticleers. The former Apopka kicker has made 8-of-10 field goals with his longest being a 45-yarder that sent Coastal into overtime against Furman, and the Chanticleers came out on top 47-45.
No. 4-seeded Old Dominion (10-1) awaits the winner of the B-CU-Coastal game with a first-round bye. That second-round game will take place on Dec. 1. The other second-round game in the ODU side of the bracket is Central Arkansas (9-2) at Georgia Southern (8-3). All second-round game will also be available on ESPN3.
The other first-round byes go to top-seeded and defending national champion North Dakota State (10-1), No. 2 Eastern Washington (9-2) and No. 3 Montana State (10-1).
North Dakota State's side of the bracket features a first-round game between Eastern Illinois (7-4) at South Dakota State (8-3), with the other second-round matchup being New Hampshire (8-3) at Wofford (8-3). All second-round games are Dec. 1.
Eastern Washington will face the winner of Colgate (8-3) at Wagner (8-3) and the other second-round matchup in the EWU side is Illinois State (8-3) at Appalachian State (8-3).
Montana State awaits the Villanova (8-3) at Stony Brook (9-2) winner, and the other second-round matchup in the MSU side is Cal-Poly (9-2) at San Houston State (8-3).
The semifinal pairings on Dec. 14-15 match the winners of the Old Dominion bracket and the North Dakota State bracket, while the other half pits the bracket-side winners from the Eastern Washington and Montana State sides.
The national title game is Jan. 5 at 1 p.m. at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times