The Western Illinois Leathernecks will represent the Land of Lincoln in the upcoming Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs. Head coach Charlie Fisher's team plays in first-round action Saturday against Weber State.
Here's our Prairie State Pigskin look at Illinois and its FCS programs with a By the Numbers playoffs history lesson.
By the Numbers
5 -- Missouri Valley Football Conference teams in this year's playoff field (including WIU)
6 -- Championships won by Georgia Southern (the most in history)
7 -- Playoff appearances by Illinois State
8 -- Playoff appearances by Southern Illinois
11 -- Playoff appearances by Western Illinois
13 -- Times the championship game was held in Chattanooga (the most of any site)
16 -- Playoff appearances by Eastern Illinois
24 -- Teams in this year's playoff field
98 -- Seconds that Illinois State came within winning the 2014 FCS national championship. Current Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Carson Wentz drove his North Dakota State Bison 78 yards in 61 seconds to snatch the trophy away from the Redbirds.
1978 -- The first year that FCS existed (it was called I-AA back then). Florida A&M knocked off UMass 35-28 for the title.
1983 -- The year that Southern Illinois won the championship by romping over Western Carolina 43-7