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2009 FCS Champ Logo

Logo for the 2009 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game.

The NCAA Division I Football Championship[1] 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.

HistoryEdit

NC TrophiesASU

Appalachian State's National Championship trophies showing the differences between 2005 (I-AA), 2006 (FCS), and 2007 (FCS).

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.[2]

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.[3]

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[4][5] The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has a conference schedule which conflicts with the tournament, so its members do not normally participate.[6] The SWAC has not sent a team since Jackson State in 1997.

ChampionsEdit

Year Champion Runner-Up Score Location
1978 Florida A&M UMass 42-28 Wichita Falls, TX
1979 Eastern Kentucky Lehigh 30-7 Orlando, FL
1980 Boise State Eastern Kentucky 31-29 Sacramento, CA
1981 Idaho State Eastern Kentucky 34-23 Wichita Falls, TX
1982 Eastern Kentucky Delaware 17-14 Wichita Falls, TX
1983 Southern Illinois Western Carolina 43-7 Charleston, SC
1984 Montana State Louisiana Tech 19-6 Charleston, SC
1985 Georgia Southern Furman 44-42 Tacoma Dome Tacoma, WA
1986 Georgia Southern Arkansas State 48-21 Tacoma Dome Tacoma, WA
1987 Northeast Louisiana Marshall 43-42 Holt Arena Pocatello, ID
1988 Furman Georgia Southern 17-12 Holt Arena Pocatello, ID
1989 Georgia Southern Stephen F. Austin 37-34 Statesboro, GA
1990 Georgia Southern Nevada 36-13 Statesboro, GA
1991 Youngstown State Marshall 25-17 Statesboro, GA
1992 Marshall Youngstown State 31-28 Huntington, WV
1993 Youngstown State Marshall 17-5 Huntington, WV
1994 Youngstown State Boise State 28-14 Huntington, WV
1995 Montana Marshall 22-20 Huntington, WV
1996 Marshall Montana 49-29 Huntington, WV
1997 Youngstown State McNeese State 10-9 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
1998 Massachusetts Georgia Southern 55-43 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
1999 Georgia Southern Youngstown State 59-24 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2000 Georgia Southern Montana 27-25 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2001 Montana Furman 13-6 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2002 Western Kentucky McNeese State 34-14 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2003 Delaware Colgate 40-0 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2004 James Madison Montana 31-21 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2005 Appalachian State Northern Iowa 21-16 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2006 Appalachian State Massachusetts 28-17 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2007 Appalachian State Delaware 49-21 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2008 Richmond Montana 24-7 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2009 Villanova Montana 23-21 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, TN
2010 Eastern Washington Delaware 20-19 Pizza Hut Park Frisco, TX
2011 North Dakota State Sam Houston State 17-6 Pizza Hut Park Frisco, TX
2012 North Dakota State Sam Houston State 39-13 Pizza Hut Park Frisco, TX
2013 North Dakota State Towson 35-7 Toyota Stadium Frisco, TX
2014 North Dakota State Illinois State 29-27 Toyota Stadium Frisco, TX
2015 North Dakota State Jacksonville State 37-10 Toyota Stadium Frisco, TX

Most national championshipsEdit

Team Titles Title Years Finals Runner-up
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
Furman 1 1988 3 1985, 2001
Massachusetts^ 1 1998 3 1978, 2006
Boise State^ 1 1980 2 1994
Eastern Washington 1 2010 1
Florida A&M 1 1978 1
Idaho State 1 1981 1
James Madison 1 2004 1
Northeast Louisiana^ 1 1987 1
Montana State 1 1984 1
Richmond 1 2008 1
Southern Illinois 1 1983 1
Villanova 1 2009 1
Western Kentucky^ 1 2002 1
McNeese State 0 2 1997, 2002
Sam Houston State 0 2 2011, 2012
Arkansas State^ 0 1 1986
Colgate 0 1 2003
Illinois State 0 1 2014
Jacksonville State 0 1 2015
Lehigh 0 1 1979
Louisiana Tech^ 0 1 1984
Nevada^ 0 1 1990
Northern Iowa 0 1 2005
Stephen F. Austin 0 1 1989
Towson 0 1 2013
Western Carolina 0 1 1983

^ Now a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. NCAA Division I Football Championship - Official Web Site
  2. "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. 
  3. Caplan, Jeff. "20 teams to compete for FCS crown", ESPNDallas.com, 2010-02-26. Retrieved on 2010-02-26. 
  4. Pablo Torre. "No playoffs for you!", SI, 2007-11-29. Retrieved on 2009-06-27. 
  5. David Burrick. "Ivy League not likely to see I-AA playoffs", The Daily Pennsylvanian, 2003-09-18. Retrieved on 2009-06-27. 
  6. 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. 

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