2018 NCAA Division I FCS football season

Last updated
2018 NCAA Division I FCS season
NCAA logo.svg
Regular season
Number of teams125
DurationAugust 25 – November 17
Payton Award Devlin Hodges, QB, Samford
Buchanan Award Zach Hall, LB, Southeast Missouri State
Playoff
DurationNovember 24 – December 15
Championship date January 5, 2019
Championship site Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
Champion North Dakota State
NCAA Division I FCS football seasons
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2019 »

The 2018 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 5, 2019, in Frisco, Texas. North Dakota State claimed its second consecutive FCS title, and seventh in eight years.

Contents

Conference changes and new programs

Membership changes

SchoolFormer conferenceNew conference
Campbell Pioneer Big South
Hampton MEAC FCS Independent
Idaho Sun Belt (FBS) Big Sky
Liberty Big South FBS Independent
North Alabama Gulf South (D–II)FCS Independent
North Dakota Big SkyFCS Independent [lower-alpha 1]
  1. North Dakota will officially join the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020, and is classified as an FCS independent for 2018 and 2019. However, to accommodate pre-existing game contracts, it still plays its Big Sky Conference schedule and conference games still count for their opponents.

In addition to the schools changing conferences, the 2018 season was the last for Savannah State in D-I with its decision to reclassify all of its sports to D-II. [1]

Other headlines

Offseason

Season

Pre-season international exhibitions

DateNameLocationNCAA teamHosting TeamScore
May 26, 2018Drake-China Ambassadors Bowl UIBE, Beijing, China Drake China All-Stars
(AFLC, CAFL, & CBL)
77–0

Kickoff games

One kickoff game was played during "Week Zero" on August 25:

FCS team wins over FBS teams

(FCS rankings from the STATS poll, FBS rankings from the AP poll.)

Hurricane Florence

All times Eastern

Several games on the east coast were rescheduled, canceled, or moved due to Hurricane Florence:

Sources: [9] [10] [11]

Conference standings

2018 Big Sky Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 6 Weber State +^ 71    103 
No. 2 Eastern Washington +^ 71    123 
No. 7 UC Davis +^ 71    103 
No. 17 Montana State ^ 53    85 
Idaho State  53    65 
Montana  44    65 
Cal Poly  44    56 
Northern Arizona  34    46 
Portland State  35    47 
Idaho  35    47 
Northern Colorado  26    29 
Southern Utah  17    110 
Sacramento State  07    28 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
  • Although North Dakota was classified as an independent, games against them still counted as Big Sky Conference games.
Rankings from STATS Poll
2018 Big South Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 5 Kennesaw State $^ 50    112 
Monmouth  41    83 
Charleston Southern  32    56 
Gardner–Webb  23    38 
Campbell  14    65 
Presbyterian  05    28 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2018 CAA football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 4 Maine $^ 71    104 
No. 9 James Madison ^ 62    94 
No. 16 Stony Brook ^ 53    75 
No. 20 Towson ^ 53    75 
No. 24 Delaware ^ 53    75 
No. 19 Elon ^ 43    65 
Rhode Island  44    65 
William & Mary  34    46 
New Hampshire  35    47 
Villanova  26    56 
Richmond  26    47 
Albany  17    38 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2018 Ivy League football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 11 Princeton $ 70    100 
No. 18 Dartmouth  61    91 
Harvard  43    64 
Yale  34    55 
Penn  34    64 
Columbia  34    64 
Cornell  25    37 
Brown  07    19 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from STATS Poll
2018 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 12 North Carolina A&T $ 61    92 
Bethune–Cookman  52    75 
Florida A&M  52    65 
South Carolina State  43    56 
Howard  43    46 
North Carolina Central  34    56 
Morgan State  34    47 
Norfolk State  25    47 
Delaware State  25    38 
Savannah State  16    28 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from STATS Poll
2018 Missouri Valley Football Conference standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 1 North Dakota State $^ 80    150 
No. 3 South Dakota State ^ 62    103 
No. 23 Northern Iowa ^ 53    76 
Indiana State  53    74 
Western Illinois  44    56 
Illinois State  35    65 
Youngstown State  35    47 
South Dakota  35    47 
Missouri State  26    47 
Southern Illinois  17    29 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2018 Northeast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 21 Duquesne +^ 51    83 
Sacred Heart + 51    74 
Central Connecticut  42    65 
Wagner  33    47 
Saint Francis (PA)  24    47 
Bryant  24    65 
Robert Morris  06    29 
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2018 Ohio Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 10 Jacksonville State $^ 71    83 
No. 15 Southeast Missouri State ^ 62    83 
Eastern Kentucky  52    74 
Murray State  53    56 
Tennessee State  34    45 
Eastern Illinois  35    38 
Austin Peay  35    56 
UT Martin  26    29 
Tennessee Tech  17    110 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2018 Patriot League football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 8 Colgate $^ 60    102 
Holy Cross  42    56 
Georgetown  42    56 
Lehigh  24    38 
Lafayette  24    38 
Fordham  24    29 
Bucknell  15    110 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2018 Pioneer Football League standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 25 San Diego $^ 80    93 
Stetson  62    82 
Drake  62    74 
Marist  53    56 
Dayton  53    65 
Davidson  35    65 
Butler  26    47 
Morehead State  26    38 
Valparaiso  26    29 
Jacksonville  17    28 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2018 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 13 Wofford +^ 62    94 
No. 22 East Tennessee State +^ 62    84 
Furman + 62    64 
Samford  53    65 
Chattanooga  44    65 
The Citadel  44    56 
Mercer  44    56 
Western Carolina  17    38 
VMI  08    110 
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 Southland Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 14 Nicholls +^ 72    94 
Incarnate Word +^ 62    65 
Lamar ^ 63    75 
Abilene Christian  54    65 
Central Arkansas  54    65 
McNeese State  54    65 
Sam Houston State  54    65 
Northwestern State  45    56 
Southeastern Louisiana  45    47 
Stephen F. Austin  27    28 
Houston Baptist  09    110 
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS poll
2018 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
East Division
Alcorn State x$ 61    93 
Alabama A&M  52    65 
Jackson State  43    55 
Alabama State  34    47 
Mississippi Valley State  16    110 
West Division
Southern xy 61    74 
Grambling State  43    65 
Prairie View A&M  43    56 
Texas Southern  16    29 
Arkansas–Pine Bluff  16    29 
Championship: Alcorn State 37, Southern 28
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 NCAA Division I FCS independents football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
North Alabama      73 
Hampton      73 
North Dakota      65 

Conference summaries

Championship games

ConferenceChampionRunner-upScoreOffensive Player of the YearDefensive Player of the YearCoach of the Year
SWAC Alcorn State
9–3 (6–1)
Southern
7–4 (6–1)
37–28Noah Johnson
(Alcorn State)
De’Arius Christmas
(Grambling State)
Fred McNair
(Alcorn 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
UC Davis
Weber State
9–2 (7–1)
9–2 (7–1)
9–2 (7–1)
Jake Maier
(UC Davis)
Jay-Tee Tiuli
(Eastern Washington)
Aaron Best
(Eastern Washington)
Dan Hawkins
(UC Davis)
Big South Kennesaw State 10–1 (5–0)Chandler Burks
(Kennesaw State)
Anthony Gore, Jr.
(Kennesaw State)
Brian Bohanon
(Kennesaw State)
CAA Maine 8–3 (7–1)Tom Flacco
(Towson)
Jimmy Moreland
(James Madison)
Joe Harasymiak
(Maine)
Ivy Princeton 10–0 (7–0)John Lovett
(Princeton)
Isiah Swann
(Dartmouth)
Bob Surace
(Princeton)
MEAC North Carolina A&T 9–2 (6–1)Caylin Newton
(Howard)
Darryl Johnson Jr.
(North Carolina A&T)
Sam Washington
(North Carolina A&T)
MVFC North Dakota State 11–0 (8–0) Easton Stick
(North Dakota State)
Jabril Cox
(North Dakota State)
Curt Mallory
(Indiana State)
NEC Duquesne
Sacred Heart
8–3 (5–1)
7–4 (5–1)
A. J. Hines
(Duquesne)
Cam Gill
(Wagner)
Mark Nofri
(Sacred Heart)
Jerry Schmitt
(Duquesne)
OVC Jacksonville State 8–3 (7–1)Marquis Terry
(Southeast Missouri State)
Zach Hall
(Southeast Missouri State)
Tom Matukewicz
(Southeast Missouri State)
Patriot Colgate 9–1 (6–0)James Holland, Jr.
(Colgate)
T. J. Hill
(Colgate)
Dan Hunt
(Colgate)
Pioneer San Diego 9–2 (8–0)Anthony Lawrence
(San Diego)
Nathan Clayberg
(Drake)
Roger Hughes
(Stetson)
Southern East Tennessee State
Furman
Wofford
8–3 (6–2)
6–4 (6–2)
8–3 (6–2)
Devlin Hodges
(Samford)
Isaiah Mack
(Chattanooga)
Randy Sanders
(East Tennessee State)
Southland Incarnate Word
Nicholls
6–4 (6–2)
8–3 (7–2)
Jazz Ferguson
(Northwestern State)
B. J. Blunt
(McNeese State)
Eric Morris
(Incarnate Word)

    Playoff qualifiers

    Automatic berths for conference champions

    ConferenceTeamAppearanceLast bidResult
    Big Sky Conference Weber State 7th 2017 Quarterfinals (L – James Madison)
    Big South Conference Kennesaw State 2nd2017Quarterfinals (L – Sam Houston State)
    Colonial Athletic Association Maine 8th 2013 Second Round (L – New Hampshire)
    Missouri Valley Football Conference North Dakota State 9th2017National Champions (W – James Madison)
    Northeast Conference Duquesne 2nd 2015 First Round (L – William & Mary)
    Ohio Valley Conference Jacksonville State 9th2017Second Round (L – Kennesaw State)
    Patriot League Colgate 11th2015Quarterfinals (L – Sam Houston State)
    Pioneer Football League San Diego 4th2017Second Round (L – North Dakota State)
    Southern Conference Wofford 9th2017Quarterfinals (L – North Dakota State)
    Southland Conference Nicholls 5th2017First Round (L – South Dakota)

    At large qualifiers

    ConferenceTeamAppearanceLast bidResult
    Big Sky Conference Eastern Washington 13th 2016 Semifinals (L – Youngstown State)
    UC Davis 1st
    Montana State 9th 2014 First Round (L – South Dakota State)
    Colonial Athletic Association Delaware 16th 2010 Championship Game (L – Eastern Washington)
    Elon 3rd 2017 First Round (L – Furman)
    James Madison 15th2017Championship Game (L – North Dakota State)
    Stony Brook 4th2017Second Round (L – James Madison)
    Towson 3rd 2013 Championship Game (L – North Dakota State)
    Missouri Valley Football Conference Northern Iowa 20th2017Second Round (L – South Dakota State)
    South Dakota State 8th2017Semifinals (L – James Madison)
    Ohio Valley Conference Southeast Missouri State 2nd2010Second Round (L – Eastern Washington)
    Southern Conference East Tennessee State 2nd 1996 Quarterfinals (L – Montana)
    Southland Conference Incarnate Word 1st
    Lamar 1st

    Abstentions

    Postseason

    NCAA FCS Playoff bracket

    First Round
    November 24
    Campus sites
    ESPN3
    Second Round
    December 1
    Campus sites
    ESPN3
    Quarterfinals
    December 7/8
    Campus sites
    ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3
    Semifinals
    December 14/15
    Campus sites
    ESPN2
    National Championship
    January 5
    12:00 pm
    Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
    ESPN2
    1 North Dakota State 52
    Montana State 35 Montana State 10
    Incarnate Word 14 1 North Dakota State 35
    8 Colgate 0
    8 Colgate 23
    James Madison 20 James Madison 20
    Delaware 6 1 North Dakota State 44
    5 South Dakota State 21
    4 Kennesaw State 13
    Wofford 19 Wofford 10
    Elon 7 4 Kennesaw State 17
    5 South Dakota State 27
    5 South Dakota State 51
    Towson 10 Duquesne 6
    Duquesne 311 North Dakota State 38
    3 Eastern Washington 24
    2 Weber State 48
    SE Missouri State 28 SE Missouri State 23
    Stony Brook 14 2 Weber State 18
    7 Maine 23
    7 Maine 55
    Jacksonville State 34 Jacksonville State 27
    ETSU 27 7 Maine 19
    3 Eastern Washington 50
    3 Eastern Washington 42
    Nicholls 49 Nicholls 21
    San Diego 30 3 Eastern Washington 34
    6 UC Davis 29
    6 UC Davis 23
    Northern Iowa 16 Northern Iowa 16
    Lamar 13

    Bowl games

    DateGameSiteTelevisionParticipantsAffiliationsResults
    December 15 Celebration Bowl Mercedes-Benz Stadium
    Atlanta, Georgia
    12:00 pm
    ABC North Carolina A&T Aggies (9–2)
    Alcorn State Braves (9–3)
    MEAC
    SWAC
    North Carolina A&T 24
    Alcorn State 22

    Awards and honors

    Walter Payton Award

    Buck Buchanan Award

    Jerry Rice Award

    Coaches

    Coaching changes

    Preseason and in-season

    This is restricted to coaching changes that took place on or after May 1, 2018. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2018, see 2017 NCAA Division I FCS end-of-season coaching changes.

    SchoolOutgoing coachDateReasonReplacement
    Stephen F. Austin Clint Conque August 6Resigned Jeff Byrd (interim)
    Jackson State Tony Hughes October 28Fired John Hendrick [lower-alpha 1]
    1. Interim for remainder of season; interim tag removed on November 28, 2018.

    End of season

    SchoolOutgoing coachDateReasonReplacement
    Eastern Illinois Kim Dameron November 18Contract not renewed Adam Cushing
    William & Mary Jimmye Laycock November 18Retired Mike London [12]
    Howard Mike London November 19Hired as head coach by William & Mary Ron Prince
    Northern Arizona Jerome Souers November 19Retired Chris Ball
    Brown Phil Estes November 19Resigned James Perry
    McNeese State Lance Guidry November 20Contract not renewed Sterlin Gilbert
    Sacramento State Jody Sears November 26Fired Troy Taylor
    Texas Southern Michael Haywood November 27Resigned Clarence McKinney
    Stephen F. Austin Jeff Byrd (interim)December 1Permanent replacement Colby Carthel
    James Madison Mike Houston December 3Hired as head coach by East Carolina Curt Cignetti
    Bryant James Perry December 3Hired as head coach by Brown Chris Merritt
    Austin Peay Will Healy December 4Hired as head coach by Charlotte Mark Hudspeth
    Charleston Southern Mark Tucker December 7Resigned Autry Denson
    Savannah State Erik Raeburn December 7Fired Shawn Quinn (interim)
    Lehigh Andy Coen December 7Retired Tom Gilmore
    North Dakota State Chris Klieman December 10Hired as head coach by Kansas State Matt Entz [13]
    Drake Rick Fox December 10Resigned Todd Stepsis
    North Carolina Central Granville Eastman (interim)December 12Permanent replacement Trei Oliver
    Chattanooga Tom Arth December 14Hired as head coach by Akron Rusty Wright
    Elon Curt Cignetti December 14Hired as head coach by James Madison Tony Trisciani
    Maine Joe Harasymiak December 21Hired as defensive assistant by Minnesota Nick Charlton
    Bucknell Joe Susan January 14Resigned Dave Cecchini
    Central Connecticut Peter Rossomando January 23Hired as offensive line coach by Rutgers Ryan McCarthy
    Valparaiso Dave Cecchini February 6Hired as head coach by Bucknell Landon Fox
    Morgan State Ernest T. Jones (interim)February 7Permanent replacement Tyrone Wheatley

    See also

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    2019 NCAA Division I FCS football season American college football season

    The 2019 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 11, 2020, in Frisco, Texas. North Dakota State entered the season as the defending champion, and after completing the regular season undefeated, successfully defended their title and secured their eighth championship in nine seasons.

    2020–21 NCAA Division I FCS football season American college football season

    The 2020–21 NCAA Division I FCS football season, part of college football in the United States, is organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.

    2020 James Madison Dukes football team American college football season

    The 2020 James Madison Dukes football team represented James Madison University as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) during the 2020–21 NCAA Division I FCS football season. They were led by second-year head coach Curt Cignetti and played their home games at Bridgeforth Stadium.

    2021 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game Postseason college football game

    The 2021 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game was a postseason college football game played to determine a national champion in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision for the 2020–21 season. It was played at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on May 16, 2021. It was the culminating game of the 2020–21 FCS Playoffs. The Sam Houston State Bearkats defeated the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, 23–21.

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    3. "DI football to offer more participation opportunities" (Press release). NCAA. June 13, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
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