Open main menu

1978 NCAA Division I-AA football season

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.

1978 NCAA Division I-AA season
NCAA logo.svg
Regular season
Number of teams41
DurationAugust–November
Playoff
DurationDecember 9–December 16
Championship dateDecember 16, 1978
Championship siteMemorial Stadium
Wichita Falls, Texas
ChampionFlorida A&M Rattlers
Division I-AA football season

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.

Contents

Conference changes and new programsEdit

Conference standingsEdit

1978 Big Sky football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#7 Northern Arizona $   6 0         8 2  
#7 Montana State   4 2         8 2  
Montana   4 2         5 6  
Boise State   3 3         7 4  
Weber State   2 4         4 7  
Idaho   2 4         2 9  
Idaho State   0 6         2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from NCAA Poll
1978 MEAC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#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 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 5 Western Kentucky $ 6 0 0     8 2 0
No. 8 Eastern Kentucky 5 1 0     8 2 0
Tennessee Tech 4 2 0     5 6 0
Austin Peay 3 3 0     6 4 0
Murray State 1 5 0     4 7 0
Morehead State 1 5 0     2 6 1
Middle Tennessee 1 5 0     1 9 1
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1978 SWAC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Grambling State $ 5 0 1     9 1 1
#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
  • ^ – Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1978 Yankee Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#4 UMass $^ 5 0 0     9 4 0
#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
  • ^ – Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from NCAA I-AA Poll
1978 NCAA Division I-AA independents football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#1 Nevada ^   0 0         11 1  
#9 Lehigh   0 0         8 3  
Northeastern   0 0         6 5  
Bucknell   0 0         5 5  
Northwestern State   0 0         5 6  
Portland State   0 0         5 6  
Lafayette   0 0         4 7  
  • ^ – Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll

Conference championsEdit

PostseasonEdit

NCAA Division I-AA Playoff bracketEdit

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 StadiumWichita 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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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 December 29, 2013.
  3. ^ Climer, David (July 22, 1978). "I-AA Finals Set At Pioneer Bowl". The Tennessean. Nashville, Tennessee. p. 20. Retrieved February 9, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "FAMU Gains I-AA Playoffs". Fort Lauderdale News. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. December 4, 1978. p. 19. Retrieved February 9, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Cooper, Barry (August 31, 1978). "Florida A&M granted Divison 1 status". Tallahassee Democrat. Tallahassee, Florida. p. 1B. Retrieved May 13, 2019 – via newspapers.com.