1981 NCAA Division II football season

Last updated
1981 NCAA Division II football season
Regular seasonAugust – November 1981
PlayoffsDecember 1981
National Championship Palm Bowl
Veterans Stadium
McAllen, TX
Champion Southwest Texas State

The 1981 NCAA Division II football season, part of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division II level, began in August 1981, and concluded with the NCAA Division II Football Championship on December 12, 1981, at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium in McAllen, Texas. During the game's five-year stretch in McAllen, the "City of Palms", it was referred to as the Palm Bowl.

Contents

Southwest Texas State defeated North Dakota State in the championship game, 42–13, to win their first Division II national title. [1]

Conference changes and new programs

School1980 Conference1981 Conference
Eastern Washington Evergreen (NAIA) D-II Independent
Mankato State Northern North Central
Northern Michigan Mid-Continent D-II Independent
Portland State I-AA Independent D-II Independent
Southwest Missouri State MIAA Mid-Continent (I-AA)
St. Cloud State Northern North Central
Tennessee State Mid-Continent (D-II) Ohio Valley (I-AA)

Conference standings

1981 California Collegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
CalState Northridge $200  641
Cal Poly Pomona 110  470
Cal Poly 020  450
  • $ Conference champion
1981 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Northern
No. 2 Virginia Union xy$^700  1110
Elizabeth City State ^610  830
Hampton 520  820
Norfolk State 340  451
Virginia State 340  460
Saint Paul's (VA) 070  0100
Southern
North Carolina Central xy610  740
Winston-Salem State 430  550
Johnson C. Smith 340  460
Fayetteville State 250  350
Livingstone 160  370
Bowie State *250  550
Championship: Virginia Union 45, North Carolina Central 7
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
  • * – ineligible for conference title
Rankings from NCAA Division II Football Committee poll
1981 Far Western Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
UC Davis +410  640
Cal State Hayward +410  641
Humboldt State 320  640
Chico State 320  550
Sacramento State 140  560
San Francisco State 050  370
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from Division II Football Committee poll
1981 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Grand Valley State $600  720
Hillsdale ^510  1020
Ferris State 330  440
Wayne State (MI) 330  450
Northwood 240  460
Saginaw Valley State 240  370
Michigan Tech 060  180
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ – NAIA Division I playoff participant
1981 Gulf South Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 5 Jacksonville State $^600  830
No. T–10 North Alabama 420  820
Livingston 420  630
Mississippi College 330  640
Tennessee–Martin 330  470
Troy State 150  370
Delta State 060  370
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from NCAA Division II Football Committee poll
1981 Heartland Collegiate Conference standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Franklin (IN) +610  820
Indiana Central +610  740
Saint Joseph's (IN) 520  630
Ashland 520  640
Butler 250  370
Evansville 250  380
Georgetown (KY) 160  190
Valparaiso 160  190
  • + Conference co-champions
1981 Lone Star Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 4 Southwest Texas State $^610  1310
No. 9 Texas A&I 520  920
Abilene Christian 520  820
Angelo State 520  830
East Texas State 430  740
Sam Houston State 250  370
Howard Payne 160  370
Stephen F. Austin 070  1100
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from NCAA Division II Football Committee poll
1981 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
NE Missouri State $410  640
Missouri-Rolla 311  631
NW Missouri State 320  640
Central Missouri State 221  443
SE Missouri State 230  290
Lincoln (MO) 050  0110
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
1981 North Central Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 6 North Dakota State $^700  1030
North Dakota 430  640
Northern Colorado 430  540
South Dakota *331  560
Nebraska–Omaha 340  560
South Dakota State *241  460
Morningside 250  560
Augustana (SD) 250  370
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
  • * – South Dakota and South Dakota State split two head-to-head games, which counted as a tie for each team in the conference standings.
Rankings from AP Poll
1981 NCAA Division II independents football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Northern Michigan ^    1110
Eastern Washington     730
Saint Mary's     730
Arkansas–Pine Bluff     542
New Haven     442
Towson State     550
Morgan State     450
Central State (OH)     470
Sonoma State     370
Santa Clara     280
Portland State     290
Liberty     190
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from NCAA Division II Football Committee poll

Conference summaries

Conference Champions

Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association – Virginia Union
Far Western Football Conference – UC Davis and Cal State–Hayward
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Grand Valley State
Gulf South Conference – Jacksonville State
Lone Star Conference – Southwest Texas State
Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association – Northeast Missouri State
North Central Conference – North Dakota State
Northern Intercollegiate Conference – Minnesota State–Moorhead
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference – Shippensburg
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference – New Mexico Highlands
South Atlantic Conference – Elon
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Alabama A&M

Postseason

1981 NCAA Division II Football Championship
Teams8
Finals Site
Champion
Runner-up
Semifinalists
Winning coach

The 1981 NCAA Division II Football Championship playoffs were the ninth single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division II college football. The championship game was held at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium in McAllen, Texas, for the first time.

Playoff bracket

First round
Campus sites
Semifinals
Campus sites
Championship
McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium
McAllen, TX
         
Northern Michigan 55
Elizabeth City State 6
Northern Michigan 0
Southwest Texas State62
Southwest Texas State 38
Jacksonville State 22
Southwest Texas State42
North Dakota State 13
North Dakota State 24
Puget Sound 10
North Dakota State18
Shippensburg State 6
Shippensburg State 40
Virginia Union 27

See also

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References

  1. "1981 NCAA Division II National Football Championship Bracket" (PDF). NCAA. NCAA.org. p. 13. Retrieved January 4, 2014.