The NCAA Division I Football Championship is an American college football tournament played each year to determine the champion of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Prior to the year 2006, the game was known as the NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship. The FCS is the highest division in college football to hold a playoff tournament to determine its champion. The four-team playoff system used by the Bowl Subdivision is not sanctioned by the NCAA.
The reigning national champions are the North Dakota State Bison, who have won five consecutive Championship games. They are the first team at any level of NCAA football to win five consecutive titles. The Bison are the only FCS team to have appeared in five straight championship games.
When Division I-AA was formed for football in 1978, the playoffs included just four teams, doubling to eight teams in its fourth season of 1981. In 1982 the I-AA playoffs were expanded to 12 teams, with each of the top four seeds receiving a first-round bye and a home game in the quarterfinals. In its ninth season of 1986, the I-AA playoffs were expanded again to a 16-team format, requiring four post-season victories to win the title. Eight conference champions received automatic bids, with the remaining eight bids available on an at-large basis. The field is traditionally set the Sunday before Thanksgiving and play begins that weekend. The top four teams are seeded, however, the matchups are not strictly set up by these seedings as geographic considerations are also taken into account to minimize travel. In April 2008 the NCAA announced that the playoff field would again expand to include 20 teams beginning in 2010. At the same time, it announced that the number of conferences receiving automatic bids would increase to 10.
The tournament has historically been played in November and December; with the latest expansion to a 20-team field, the championship game will move from December to January. From 1997 through 2009, the title game had been played in Chattanooga, Tennessee at Finley Stadium, the home football venue of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. From 2010 through 2012, it will be played in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas at Pizza Hut Park, a multi-purpose stadium primarily used by FC Dallas of Major League Soccer.
Two Football Championship Subdivision conferences usually do not participate in the tournament. The Ivy League, I-AA since 1982, plays a strict ten game regular season and does not participate in any post-season football, citing academic concerns The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has a conference schedule which conflicts with the tournament, so its members do not normally participate. The SWAC has not sent a team since Jackson State in 1997.
Most national championshipsEdit
|Georgia Southern^||6||1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1999, 2000||8||1988, 1998|
|North Dakota State||5||2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015||5|
|Youngstown State||4||1991, 1993, 1994, 1997||6||1992, 1999|
|Appalachian State^||3||2005, 2006, 2007||3|
|Montana||2||1995, 2001||7||1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009|
|Marshall^||2||1992, 1996||6||1987, 1991, 1993, 1995|
|Eastern Kentucky||2||1979, 1982||4||1980, 1981|
|Delaware||1||2003||4||1982, 2007, 2010|
|McNeese State||0||2||1997, 2002|
|Sam Houston State||0||2||2011, 2012|
|Stephen F. Austin||0||1||1989|
^ Now a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
- NCAA Division I FBS National Football Championship
- NCAA Division I FCS Consensus Mid-Major Football National Championship
- NCAA Division II National Football Championship
- NCAA Division III National Football Championship
- NAIA National Football Championship
- NJCAA National Football Championship
- List of college bowl games
- NCAA Division I National Championship
- ↑ NCAA Division I Football Championship - Official Web Site
- ↑ "NCAA approves playoff expansion to 20 teams for 2010. The current structure will include eight teams playing in four first round games. The four first round winners will advance to the second Round of Sixteen where they will play the top four seeds. Eight second round winners will advance to the regional championships (commonly referred to as East Region: Boardwalk Bowl, Midwest Region: Pecan Bowl, Mideast Region: Tangerine Bowl, and West Region: Camellia Bowl), with the winners of the regional championships advancing to the national semifinals. The National Semifinal winners with play in the FCS Championship Bowl in January. publisher=The Sports Network", 2008-04-25.
- ↑ Caplan, Jeff. "20 teams to compete for FCS crown", ESPNDallas.com, 2010-02-26. Retrieved on 2010-02-26.
- ↑ Pablo Torre. "No playoffs for you!", SI, 2007-11-29. Retrieved on 2009-06-27.
- ↑ David Burrick. "Ivy League not likely to see I-AA playoffs", The Daily Pennsylvanian, 2003-09-18. Retrieved on 2009-06-27.
- ↑ Craig T. Greenlee. "Not Exactly for THE SPORT OF IT", Black Issues in Higher Education, 2000-01-06. Retrieved on 2009-06-27. Archived from the original on 2012-07-09.