1978 NCAA Division I-AA football season

Last updated
1978 NCAA Division I-AA season
NCAA logo.svg
Regular season
Number of teams43
DurationAugust–November
Playoff
DurationDecember 9–December 16
Championship date December 16, 1978
Championship site Memorial Stadium
Wichita Falls, Texas
Champion Florida A&M
NCAA Division I-AA football seasons
1979 »

The 1978 NCAA Division I-AA football season was the first season of Division I-AA college football; Division I-AA was created in 1978 when Division I was subdivided into Division I-A and Division I-AA for football only. [1] With the exception of seven teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Division I teams from the 1977 season played in Division I-A during the 1978 season. The SWAC teams, along with five conferences and five other teams formerly in Division II, played in Division I-AA.

Contents

The Division I-AA season began in August 1978 and concluded with the 1978 NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship Game played on December 16 at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Florida A&M Rattlers won the first I-AA championship, defeating the UMass Minutemen in the Pioneer Bowl, 35–28. [2] Florida A&M of 1978 remains the only team from an HBCU to play in the I-AA/FCS national championship game.

Conference changes and new programs

School1977 Conference1978 Conference
Bucknell D-II Independent I-AA Independent
Lafayette D-II Independent I-AA Independent
Lehigh D-II Independent I-AA Independent
Nevada D-II Independent I-AA Independent
Northwestern State D-I Independent I-AA Independent
Portland State D-II Independent I-AA Independent

Conference standings

1978 Big Sky Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 7 Northern Arizona $600  820
No. T–9 Montana State 420  820
Montana 420  560
Boise State 330  740
Weber State 240  470
Idaho 240  290
Idaho State 060  290
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA AP Poll
1978 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 6 South Carolina State $501  821
North Carolina A&T 420  660
Delaware State 330  370
Morgan State 231  461
Howard 240  460
Maryland Eastern Shore 240  380
North Carolina Central 240  380
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1978 Ohio Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. T–4 Western Kentucky $700  820
No. 8 Eastern Kentucky 610  820
Tennessee Tech 430  560
Austin Peay 430  640
Murray State 250  470
Morehead State 250  261
East Tennessee State 250  470
Middle Tennessee 160  191
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1978 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Grambling State $501  911
No. 2 Jackson State ^510  1020
Mississippi Valley State 321  631
Alcorn State 231  541
Southern 240  470
Texas Southern 141  361
Prairie View A&M 150  370
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1978 Yankee Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. T–4 UMass $^500  940
No. 7 Rhode Island 320  730
Connecticut 320  470
Boston University 230  640
New Hampshire 131  641
Maine 041  371
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1978 NCAA Division I-AA independents football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 Florida A&M ^    1210
No. 1 Nevada ^    1110
No. 9 Lehigh     830
Northeastern     650
Bucknell     550
Northwestern State     560
Portland State     560
Lafayette     470
  • ^ NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll

Conference champions

Conference champions

Big Sky ConferenceNorthern Arizona
Mid-Eastern Athletic ConferenceSouth Carolina State
Ohio Valley ConferenceWestern Kentucky
Southwestern Athletic ConferenceGrambling State
Yankee ConferenceUMass

Postseason

NCAA Division I-AA Playoff bracket

The bracket consisted of three regional selections (West, East, and South) plus an at-large team. [3] Florida A&M (FAMU) of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) was the at-large selection. [4] While the SIAC was a Division II conference, FAMU had successfully petitioned the NCAA for Division I classification (Division I-AA in football), which took effect on September 1, 1978. [5]

Semifinals
December 9
Campus Sites
National Championship Game
December 17
Pioneer Bowl
Memorial StadiumWichita Falls, TX
      
AtLg Florida A&M 15
South Jackson State* 10
AtLg Florida A&M35
East UMass 28
East UMass 44
West Nevada* 21

*Denotes host institution

See also

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References

  1. "Big schools win battle". St. Petersburg Independent. (Florida). Associated Press. January 13, 1978. p. 5C.
  2. "1978 NCAA Division I Football Championship" (PDF). NCAA.org. p. 14. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  3. Climer, David (July 22, 1978). "I-AA Finals Set At Pioneer Bowl". The Tennessean . Nashville, Tennessee. p. 20. Retrieved February 9, 2019 via newspapers.com.
  4. "FAMU Gains I-AA Playoffs". Fort Lauderdale News . Fort Lauderdale, Florida. December 4, 1978. p. 19. Retrieved February 9, 2019 via newspapers.com.
  5. Cooper, Barry (August 31, 1978). "Florida A&M granted Division 1 status". Tallahassee Democrat . Tallahassee, Florida. p. 1B. Retrieved May 13, 2019 via newspapers.com.