1981 NCAA Division I-AA football season

Last updated
1981 NCAA Division I-AA season
NCAA logo.svg
Regular season
DurationAugust–November
Playoff
DurationDecember 5–December 19
Championship date December 19, 1981
Championship site Memorial Stadium
Wichita Falls, Texas
Champion Idaho State
NCAA Division I-AA football seasons
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1982 »

The 1981 NCAA Division I-AA football season, part of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division I-AA level, began in August 1981 and concluded with the 1981 NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship Game on December 19, 1981, at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Idaho State Bengals won their first I-AA championship, defeating the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in the Pioneer Bowl, 34−23. [1] [2] [3]

Contents

Conference changes and new programs

School1980 Conference1981 Conference
Portland State I-AA Independent D-II Independent
Tennessee State I-A Independent I-AA Independent
Youngstown State Mid-Continent (D-II) Ohio Valley (I-AA)

Conference standings

1981 Association of Mid-Continent Universities football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Eastern Illinois +210  740
Western Illinois +210  560
Northern Iowa +210  740
Southwest Missouri State 030  352
  • + Conference co-champions
1981 Big Sky Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Idaho State $^610  1210
No. 5 Boise State ^610  1030
Montana 520  730
Nevada 430  740
Weber State 430  740
Northern Arizona 250  470
Montana State 160  370
Idaho 070  380
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA Poll
1981 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 South Carolina State $^500  1030
Florida A&M 410  740
Bethune–Cookman 320  640
Howard 230  650
Delaware State 140  290
North Carolina A&T 050  380
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA Football Committee poll
1981 Ohio Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Eastern Kentucky $^800  1220
No. 9 Murray State 530  830
Youngstown State 530  740
Tennessee Tech 440  650
Middle Tennessee 440  650
Western Kentucky 440  650
Akron 440  550
Austin Peay 350  550
Morehead State 080  190
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA Football Committee poll
1981 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 4 Jackson State $^510  921
Grambling State 411  641
Texas Southern 321  451
Alcorn State 330  550
Mississippi Valley State 240  461
Southern 240  380
Prairie View A&M 150  280
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from Div I-AA Football Committee poll
1981 Yankee Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Rhode Island +^410  660
No. T–10 UMass +410  630
Boston University 320  650
No. T–10 New Hampshire 230  730
Connecticut 140  470
Maine 140  371
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA Football Committee poll
1981 NCAA Division I-AA independents football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 8 Lafayette     920
No. 7 Delaware ^    930
No. 6 Tennessee State ^    930
Southeastern Louisiana     830
Lehigh     830
Nicholls State     551
Northwestern State     460
Bucknell     460
Northeastern     370
James Madison     380
  • ^ NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from Div I-AA Football Committee poll

Conference champions

Conference champions

Big Sky Conference – Idaho State
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – South Carolina State
Ohio Valley Conference – Eastern Kentucky
Southwestern Athletic Conference – Jackson State
Yankee Conference – Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Postseason

After holding four-team playoffs after the first three I-AA seasons, the NCAA increased the bracket size to eight this postseason. It grew to twelve in 1982 and sixteen in 1986. The eight-team field was determined via automatic bids to five conference champions (Idaho State, South Carolina State, Eastern Kentucky, Jackson State, and Rhode Island), a bid to the top-ranked independent team (Tennessee State), and two at-large bids (Boise State and Delaware). [4]

NCAA Division I-AA Playoff bracket

First Round
December 5
Campus Sites
Semifinals
December 12
Campus Sites
National Championship Game
Pioneer Bowl
December 19
  Memorial StadiumWichita Falls, TX  
         
7 Delaware 28
1 Eastern Kentucky * 35
1Eastern Kentucky23
4 Boise State* 17
4 Boise State 19
5 Jackson State* 7
1 Eastern Kentucky 23
2Idaho State34
8 Rhode Island 0
2 Idaho State * 51
2Idaho State* 41
3 South Carolina State 12
6 Tennessee State 25
3 South Carolina State * 26*

*Next to team name denotes host institution
*Next to score denotes overtime
Source: [5]

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References

  1. "1981 NCAA Division I Football Championship" (PDF). NCAA.org. p. 14. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  2. "Bengals win I-AA crown". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 20, 1981. p. 6D.
  3. "Bengals ride like the wind". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 20, 1981. p. 2D.
  4. Cooper, Barry (May 1, 1981). "MEAC gets berth in I-AA football playoffs". Tallahassee Democrat . p. 23. Retrieved February 9, 2019 via newspapers.com.
  5. "NCAA sets playoffs for I-AA teams". Fort Lauderdale News . Fort Lauderdale, Florida. UPI. November 29, 1981. p. 29. Retrieved February 9, 2019 via newspapers.com.