1973 NCAA Division II football season
The 1973 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. The season began in September and concluded with the Division II Championship on December 15 at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, California. This was the first season for Division II (and Division III) football, which were formerly in the College Division in 1972 and prior.
|1973 NCAA Division II football season|
|Regular season||September –|
|National Championship||Camellia Bowl|
Conference changes and new programsEdit
- The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference began football play in 1973.
|School||1972 Conference||1973 Conference|
|Eastern Michigan||Independent||D-II Independent|
|Illinois State||Independent||D-II Independent|
|1973 NCAA Division II Football Championship|
The 1973 NCAA Division II Football Championship playoffs were the first single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division II college football. The inaugural edition had only eight teams; of the four quarterfinal games, three were played on campus and a fourth was in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the final edition of the Boardwalk Bowl. The semifinals were held at the Grantland Rice Bowl in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the Pioneer Bowl in Wichita Falls, Texas.
The championship game was the Camellia Bowl, held at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, California. The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs defeated the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 34–0 to win their first national title.
Atlantic City, NJ
& 3 campus sites
Grantland Rice Bowl
|Western Kentucky *||25|
|Louisiana Tech *||18|
|Boise State *||53|
* Denotes host institution
United Press International (UPI) and the Associated Press (AP) continued to rank teams in their College Division or "small college" polls, which had started in 1958 and 1960, respectively. In 1973, UPI published their final poll at the end of the regular season, while the AP waited until postseason games had been completed. Both wire services named the Tennessee State Tigers as the number one team; Tennessee State did not compete in the playoffs "because five of its starters would not be eligible to play." The players in question had sat out their freshmen year ("redshirt") and then played four seasons; under NCAA rules at the time, such players were not eligible for postseason play as fifth-year seniors. During the regular season, the Tigers were undefeated (10–0) and had outscored their opponents 333–87.
United Press International (coaches) final poll
Associated Press (writers) final poll
- "All-Time Conference Champions" (PDF). NCAA. NCAA.org. pp. 15–28. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
- "Western Kentucky (Louisiana Tech) champs after 34-0 romp". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 16, 1973. p. 20.
- "Boise St. smears South Dakota". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 2, 1973. p. 19.
- "Western Kentucky triumphs". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 9, 1973. p. 19.
- "Boise in semis". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 8, 1973. p. 17.
- "Late TD tops Boise". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 9, 1973. p. 19.
- "1973 NCAA Division II National Football Championship Bracket" (PDF). NCAA. NCAA.org. p. 13. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
- Finocchiaro, Ray (November 15, 1973). "5 Ineligible So Tennessee State Quits Playoff". The News Journal. Wilmington, Delaware. Retrieved February 28, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
- "College Football Small College Poll". The Republic. Columbus, Indiana. United Press International. November 28, 1973. Retrieved February 28, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
- Associated Press (December 19, 1973). "Tennessee St. Picked No. 1 In Grid Poll". The Northwest Arkansas Times. Fayetteville, Arkansas. Retrieved February 28, 2017 – via newspapers.com.