2016 NCAA Division I FCS football season

Last updated

2016 NCAA Division I FCS season
NCAA logo.svg
Regular season
Number of teams125
DurationAugust 26 – December 3
Payton Award Jeremiah Briscoe, Sam Houston State
Buchanan Award Karter Schult, Northern Iowa
Playoff
DurationNovember 26 – December 17
Championship date January 7, 2017
Championship site Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
Champion James Madison
NCAA Division I FCS football seasons
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2017 »

The 2016 NCAA Division I FCS football season, part of college football in the United States, was organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. The FCS Championship Game was played on January 7, 2017, in Frisco, Texas. The James Madison Dukes defeated the Youngstown State Penguins, 28–14, to capture their second National Championship in team history.

Contents

Rule changes

The following rule changes were voted on by the NCAA Football Rules Committee for the 2016 season: [1]

The committee, once again, took no action on changing the ineligible receiver downfield rule from three yards to one yard; however it will once again be a "point of emphasis" and will adjust officiating mechanics to better officiate those plays.

In addition to the above changes, the NCAA approved an experimental rule on kickoffs and touchbacks to be used this season by the Ivy League in conference games only. In those games, kickoffs were taken from the 40-yard line instead of the 35, and touchbacks were brought back to the 20-yard line instead of the 25. The Ivies proposed the experiment in the interest of player safety, believing that increasing the frequency of touchbacks would reduce injury risk from kick returns. The Ivies were scheduled to report the results of the experiment to the NCAA in February 2017. [2]

Conference changes and new programs

Membership changes

SchoolFormer conferenceNew conference
Coastal Carolina Big South FCS independent
East Tennessee State FCS independent SoCon
Note
Coastal Carolina began a two-year transition to FBS in 2016, playing as an FCS independent while housing most of its other sports in the FBS Sun Belt Conference. The Chanticleers will join Sun Belt football in 2017. [3]

Other headlines

Updated stadiums

Two teams played their final season in their then-current venues:

FCS team wins over FBS teams

(FCS rankings from the STATS poll)

Conference standings

2016 Big Sky Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 4 Eastern Washington +^ 80    122 
No. 12 North Dakota +^ 80    93 
No. 25 Weber State ^ 62    75 
No. 24 Cal Poly ^ 53    75 
Southern Utah  53    65 
Northern Colorado  44    65 
Northern Arizona  44    56 
Montana  35    65 
Montana State  26    47 
Portland State  26    38 
UC Davis  26    38 
Sacramento State  26    29 
Idaho State  17    29 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Big South Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 15 Charleston Southern +^ 41    74 
Liberty + 41    65 
Kennesaw State  32    83 
Gardner–Webb  32    56 
Presbyterian  14    29 
Monmouth  05    47 
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Colonial Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 1 James Madison $^ 80    141 
No. 11 Villanova ^ 62    94 
No. 17 New Hampshire ^ 62    85 
No. 8 Richmond ^ 53    104 
Maine  53    65 
Albany  44    74 
Stony Brook  44    56 
William & Mary  35    56 
Towson  35    47 
Delaware  26    47 
Elon  17    29 
Rhode Island  17    29 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Ivy League football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Princeton + 61    82 
Penn + 61    73 
Harvard  52    73 
Brown  34    46 
Yale  34    37 
Cornell  25    46 
Columbia  25    37 
Dartmouth  16    46 
  • + Conference co-champions
2016 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 22 North Carolina Central $ 80    93 
No. 20 North Carolina A&T ^ 71    93 
Hampton  53    56 
South Carolina State  53    56 
Bethune-Cookman  44    46 
Florida A&M * 44    47 
Norfolk State  35    47 
Savannah State * 35    37 
Morgan State * 35    38 
Howard * 26    29 
Delaware State  08    011 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
  • * Florida A&M, Howard, Morgan State, and Savannah State ineligible for postseason due to APR violations
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Missouri Valley Football Conference standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 3 North Dakota State +^ 71    122 
No. 6 South Dakota State +^ 71    94 
No. 2 Youngstown State ^ 62    124 
Illinois State ^ 44    66 
Northern Iowa  44    56 
Western Illinois  35    65 
South Dakota  35    47 
Indiana State  26    47 
Missouri State  26    47 
Southern Illinois  26    47 
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Northeast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Duquesne + 51    83 
Saint Francis (PA) +^ 51    75 
Wagner  42    65 
Bryant  42    56 
Sacred Heart  15    65 
Central Connecticut  15    29 
Robert Morris  15    29 
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
2016 Ohio Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 6 Jacksonville State $^ 70    102 
UT Martin  62    75 
Tennessee Tech  53    56 
Tennessee State  43    74 
Eastern Illinois  44    65 
Murray State  44    47 
SE Missouri State  35    38 
Eastern Kentucky  26    38 
Austin Peay  08    011 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Patriot League football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 21 Lehigh $^ 60    93 
Fordham  51    83 
Colgate  42    55 
Bucknell  33    47 
Holy Cross  24    47 
Lafayette  15    29 
Georgetown  06    38 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Pioneer Football League standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 19 San Diego $^ 80    102 
Dayton  71    92 
Drake  62    74 
Marist  53    56 
Jacksonville  43    55 
Campbell  34    55 
Morehead State  35    47 
Valparaiso  35    47 
Butler  26    47 
Stetson  26    47 
Davidson  08    29 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 10 The Citadel $^ 80    102 
No. 13 Chattanooga ^ 62    94 
No. 9 Wofford ^ 62    104 
No. 23 Samford ^ 53    75 
Mercer  44    65 
Furman  35    38 
East Tennessee State  26    56 
VMI  17    38 
Western Carolina  17    29 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2016 Southland Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 5 Sam Houston State $^ 90    121 
No. 14 Central Arkansas ^ 81    103 
SE Louisiana  72    74 
McNeese State  54    65 
Nicholls State  54    56 
Stephen F. Austin  45    56 
Houston Baptist  35    47 
Incarnate Word * 36    38 
Lamar  36    38 
Abilene Christian * 27    29 
Northwestern State  09    110 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
  • * – ineligible for FCS playoffs due to transition from NCAA Division II
Rankings from STATS poll
2016 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
East
Alcorn State xy 54    56 
Alabama A&M  45    47 
Alabama State  36    47 
Jackson State  36    38 
Mississippi Valley State  18    110 
West
No. 16 Grambling State xy$ 90    121 
Southern* 81    83 
Prairie View A&M  72    74 
Texas Southern  45    47 
Arkansas–Pine Bluff  18    110 
Championship: Grambling State 27, Alcorn State 20
December 3, 2016
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
  • *Southern ineligible for postseason due to APR violations
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2016 NCAA Division I FCS independents football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 18 Coastal Carolina      102 
  • Coastal Carolina ineligible for FCS playoffs as part of FBS transition
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll

Conference summaries

Championship games

ConferenceChampionRunner-upScoreOffensive Player of the YearDefensive Player of the YearCoach of the Year
SWAC Grambling State
11–1 (9–0)
Alcorn State
5–6 (5–4)
27–20Devante Kincade
(Grambling State)
Tiger Donovan McCray
(Grambling State)
Broderick Fobbs
(Grambling State)

Other conference winners

Note: Records are regular-season only, and do not include playoff games.

ConferenceChampionRecordOffensive Player of the YearDefensive Player of the YearCoach of the Year
Big Sky Eastern Washington
North Dakota
10–1 (8–0)
9–2 (8–0)
Gage Gubrud
(Eastern Washington)
Cooper Kupp
(Eastern Washington)
Cole Reyes
(North Dakota)
Bubba Schweigert
(North Dakota)
Big South Charleston Southern
Liberty
7–3 (4–1)
6–5 (4–1)
Tyrell Maxwell
(Gardner–Webb)
Anthony Ellis
(Charleston Southern)
Jamey Chadwell
(Charleston Southern)
CAA James Madison 10–1 (8–0)Bryan Schor
(James Madison)
Tanoh Kpassagnon
(Villanova)
Mike Houston
(James Madison)
Ivy Penn
Princeton
7–3 (6–1)
8–2 (6–1)
John Lovett
(Princeton)
Folarin Orimolade
(Dartmouth)
Bob Surace
(Princeton)
MEAC North Carolina Central 9–2 (8–0) Tarik Cohen
(North Carolina A&T)
Darius Leonard
(South Carolina State)
Jerry Mack
(North Carolina Central)
MVFC North Dakota State
South Dakota State
10–1 (7–1)
8–3 (7–1)
Taryn Christion
(South Dakota State)
Karter Schult
(Northern Iowa)
John Stiegelmeier
(South Dakota State)
NEC Duquesne
Saint Francis (PA)
8–3 (5–1)
7–4 (5–1)
Kamron Lewis
(Saint Francis)
Christian Kuntz
(Duquesne)
Chris Villarrial
(Saint Francis)
OVC Jacksonville State 10–1 (7–0)Eli Jenkins
(Jacksonville State)
Darius Jackson
(Jacksonville State)
John Grass
(Jacksonville State)
Patriot Lehigh 9–2 (6–0)Nick Shafnisky
(Lehigh)
Pat Afriyie
(Colgate)
Andy Coen
(Lehigh)
Pioneer San Diego 9–1 (8–0)Jonah Hodges
(San Diego)
Donald Payne
(Stetson)
Dale Lindsey
(San Diego)
Southern The Citadel 10–1 (8–0) Devlin Hodges
(Samford)
Keionta Davis
(Chattanooga)
Brent Thompson
(The Citadel)
Southland Sam Houston State 11–0 (9–0)Overall: Jeremiah Briscoe
(Sam Houston State)
Offensive: Yedidiah Louis
(Sam Houston State)
P. J. Hall
(Sam Houston State)
K. C. Keeler
(Sam Houston State)

    Playoff qualifiers

    Automatic berths for conference champions

    ConferenceTeamAppearanceLast bidResult
    Big Sky Conference Eastern Washington 12th 2014 Quarterfinals (L – Illinois State)
    Big South Conference Charleston Southern 2nd 2015 Quarterfinals (L – Jacksonville State)
    Colonial Athletic Association James Madison 13th 2015 National Champions (W – Youngstown State)
    Missouri Valley Football Conference South Dakota State 6th2015First Round (L – Montana)
    Northeast Conference Saint Francis (PA) 1st
    Ohio Valley Conference Jacksonville State 7th2015Championship Game (L – North Dakota State)
    Patriot League Lehigh 10th 2011 Quarterfinals (L – North Dakota State)
    Pioneer Football League San Diego 2nd2014First Round (L – Montana)
    Southern Conference The Citadel 5th2015Second Round (L – Charleston Southern)
    Southland Conference Sam Houston State 10th2015Semifinals (L – Jacksonville State)

    At large qualifiers

    ConferenceTeamAppearanceLast bidResult
    Big Sky Conference Cal Poly 4th 2012 Second Round (L – Sam Houston State)
    North Dakota 1st
    Weber State 5th 2009 First Round (L – William & Mary)
    Big South Conference None
    Colonial Athletic Association New Hampshire 15th 2015 First Round (L – Colgate)
    Richmond 11th 2015 Semifinals (L – North Dakota State)
    Villanova 11th 2014 Quarterfinals (L – Sam Houston State)
    Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference North Carolina A&T 5th 2003 First Round (L – Wofford)
    Missouri Valley Football Conference Illinois State 7th 2015 Quarterfinals (L – Richmond)
    North Dakota State 7th 2015 Semifinals (L - James Madison)
    Youngstown State 14th 2006 Semifinals (L – Appalachian State)
    Northeast Conference None
    Ohio Valley Conference None
    Patriot League None
    Pioneer Football League None
    Southern Conference Chattanooga 4th 2015 Second Round (L – Jacksonville State)
    Samford 6th 2013 First Round (L – Jacksonville State)
    Wofford 6th 2012 Quarterfinals (L – North Dakota State)
    Southland Conference Central Arkansas 3rd 2012 Second Round (L – Georgia Southern)
    Southwestern Athletic Conference None

    Abstentions

    NC Central and Grambling, as the winners of the MEAC and SWAC, will face off in the 2016 Celebration Bowl on December 17 for the unofficial HBCU national championship.

    Postseason

    NCAA FCS Playoff bracket

    First round
    November 26
    Campus sites
    ESPN3
    Second round
    December 3
    Campus sites
    ESPN3
    Quarterfinals
    December 9 and 10
    Campus sites
    ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3
    Semifinals
    December 16 and 17
    Campus sites
    ESPN2, ESPNU
    National Championship
    January 7
    12:00 pm
    Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
    ESPN2
    1 North Dakota State*45
    Cal Poly* 21 San Diego 7
    San Diego 351 North Dakota State*36
    8 South Dakota State 10
    8 South Dakota State*10
    Villanova * 31Villanova 7
    Saint Francis (PA) 21 1 North Dakota State* 17
    4 James Madison27
    4 James Madison*55
    New Hampshire * 64New Hampshire 22
    Lehigh 21 4 James Madison*65
    5 Sam Houston State 7
    5 Sam Houston State*41
    Chattanooga * 45Chattanooga 36
    Weber State 14 4 James Madison28
     Youngstown State 14
    2 Eastern Washington*31
    Central Arkansas * 31Central Arkansas 14
    Illinois State 24 2 Eastern Washington*38
    Richmond 0
    7 North Dakota* 24
    Richmond * 39Richmond27
    North Carolina A&T 10 2 Eastern Washington* 38
    Youngstown State40
    3 Jacksonville State* 24
    Youngstown State * 38Youngstown State40
    Samford 24 Youngstown State*30
     Wofford 23
    6 The Citadel* 3
    Wofford * 15Wofford17
    Charleston Southern 14

    * Home team  
     Winner
    All times in Eastern Standard Time (UTC−05:00)

    Bowl games

    GameDate/TVLocationWinning TeamLosing TeamScoreOffensive MVPDefensive MVP
    Celebration Bowl December 17
    ABC
    Georgia Dome
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Grambling State
    12–1 (9–0)
    North Carolina Central
    9–3 (8–0)
    10–9Martez Carter
    (RB, Grambling State)
    Jameel Jackson
    (DB, Grambling State)

    Awards and honors

    Walter Payton Award

    Buck Buchanan Award

    Jerry Rice Award

    Coaches

    Coaching changes

    In-season

    This is restricted to coaching changes that took place on or after May 1, 2016. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2016, see 2015 NCAA Division I FCS end-of-season coaching changes.

    SchoolOutgoing coachDateReasonReplacement
    Delaware Dave Brock October 16Fired [16] Dennis Dottin-Carter (interim)

    End of season

    SchoolOutgoing coachDateReasonReplacement
    Abilene Christian Ken Collums November 20Fired Mark Ribaudo (interim)
    Howard Gary Harrell November 20Contract was not renewed Mike London [17]
    Presbyterian Harold Nichols November 20Resigned Tommy Spangler
    UC Davis Ron Gould November 20Fired Dan Hawkins
    Lamar Ray Woodard November 21Fired Mike Schultz
    Bryant Marty Fine November 30Resigned James Perry
    Lafayette Frank Tavani December 1Fired John Garrett
    Furman Bruce Fowler December 2Resigned Clay Hendrix
    Villanova Andy Talley December 3Retired Mark Ferrante [18]
    Delaware Dennis Dottin-Carter (interim)December 13Permanent replacement Danny Rocco [19]
    Richmond Danny RoccoDecember 13Hired by Delaware Russ Huesman [20]
    Chattanooga Russ HuesmanDecember 14Hired by Richmond Tom Arth
    Indiana State Mike Sanford December 16Resigned Curt Mallory
    Abilene ChristianMark Ribaudo (interim)December 18Permanent replacement Adam Dorrel
    Eastern Washington Beau Baldwin January 16Hired as OC at California Aaron Best

    See also

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