1978 NCAA Division I-AA Football Season
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1978 NCAA Division I-AA Football Season
1978 NCAA Division I-AA season
NCAA logo.svg
Regular season
43
DurationAugust-November
Playoff
DurationDecember 9-December 16
December 16, 1978
Memorial Stadium
Wichita Falls, Texas
ChampionFlorida A&M
NCAA Division I-AA football seasons

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.

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

Conference standings

1978 Big Sky Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 7 Northern Arizona $ 6 0 0     8 2 0
No. T-9 Montana State 4 2 0     8 2 0
Montana 4 2 0     5 6 0
Boise State 3 3 0     7 4 0
Weber State 2 4 0     4 7 0
Idaho 2 4 0     2 9 0
Idaho State 0 6 0     2 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA AP Poll
1978 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 6 South Carolina State $ 5 0 1     8 2 1
North Carolina A&T 4 2 0     6 6 0
Delaware State 3 3 0     3 7 0
Morgan State 2 3 1     4 6 1
Howard 2 4 0     4 6 0
Maryland Eastern Shore 2 4 0     3 8 0
North Carolina Central 2 4 0     3 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1978 Ohio Valley Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. T-4 Western Kentucky $ 7 0 0     8 2 0
No. 8 Eastern Kentucky 6 1 0     8 2 0
Tennessee Tech 4 3 0     5 6 0
Austin Peay 4 3 0     6 4 0
Murray State 2 5 0     4 7 0
Morehead State 2 5 0     2 6 1
East Tennessee State 2 5 0     4 7 0
Middle Tennessee St. 1 6 0     1 9 1
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1978 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Grambling State $ 5 0 1     9 1 1
No. 2 Jackson State ^ 5 1 0     10 2 0
Mississippi Valley State 3 2 1     6 3 1
Alcorn State 2 3 1     5 4 1
Southern 2 4 0     4 7 0
Texas Southern 1 4 1     3 6 1
Prairie View A&M 1 5 0     3 7 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1978 Yankee Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. T-4 UMass $^ 5 0 0     9 4 0
No. 7 Rhode Island 3 2 0     7 3 0
Connecticut 3 2 0     4 7 0
Boston University 2 3 0     6 4 0
New Hampshire 1 3 1     6 4 1
Maine 0 4 1     3 7 1
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1978 NCAA Division I-AA independents football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 3 Florida A&M ^         12 1 0
No. 1 Nevada ^         11 1 0
No. 9 Lehigh         8 3 0
Northeastern         6 5 0
Bucknell         5 5 0
Northwestern State         5 6 0
Portland State         5 6 0
Lafayette         4 7 0
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll

Conference champions

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 Stadium-Wichita Falls, TX
      
AtLg Florida A&M 15
South Jackson State* 10
AtLg Florida A&M 35
East UMass 28
East UMass 44
West Nevada* 21

* Denotes host institution

See also

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 2013.
  3. ^ Climer, David (July 22, 1978). "I-AA Finals Set At Pioneer Bowl". The Tennessean. Nashville, Tennessee. p. 20. Retrieved 2019 – via newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "FAMU Gains I-AA Playoffs". Fort Lauderdale News. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. December 4, 1978. p. 19. Retrieved 2019 – via newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Cooper, Barry (August 31, 1978). "Florida A&M granted Division 1 status". Tallahassee Democrat. Tallahassee, Florida. p. 1B. Retrieved 2019 – via newspapers.com.

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