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2017 NCAA Division I FCS football season

The 2017 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 6, 2018, in Frisco, Texas. The North Dakota State Bison beat the James Madison Dukes, 17–13, to capture their sixth title in seven years.

2017 NCAA Division I FCS season
NCAA logo.svg
Regular season
DurationAugust 26 – November 18
Payton AwardJeremiah Briscoe, QB, Sam Houston State
Buchanan AwardDarius Jackson, DE, Jacksonville State
Playoff
DurationNovember 25 – December 16
Championship dateJanuary 6, 2018
Championship siteToyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
ChampionNorth Dakota State
Division I FCS football season

Contents

Conference changes and new programsEdit

Membership changesEdit

School Former conference New conference
Coastal Carolina FCS Independent Sun Belt (FBS)

In addition, this was the final year for Campbell in the Pioneer Football League. In November 2016, the school announced that it would transition to scholarship football, and would add the sport to its existing membership in the Big South Conference in 2018.

This was the final season for Idaho as a football member of the Sun Belt Conference, and was also Idaho's final FBS season. Following the 2016 decision of the Sun Belt not to extend its football membership agreements with Idaho after their 2017 expiration, Idaho announced that it would downgrade to FCS football, adding the sport to its full but non-football membership in the Big Sky Conference. This is the first time in Division I that a school has voluntarily descended from FBS to FCS.

It was also the final season for Liberty in the Big South, and also potentially the final season for Hampton in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) football (see below).

Other headlinesEdit

OffseasonEdit

  • January 26 – The Missouri Valley Football Conference announced that North Dakota would join the league in 2020. The school's other sports, except for men's ice hockey, will move from the Big Sky Conference to the non-football Summit League in 2018, but the football team will remain a Big Sky member until 2020.[1][2]
  • February 16 – Liberty announced plans to undergo the two-year transition period join the Division I FBS as a football independent, while remaining in the Big South Conference in all other sports.[3] While normally against NCAA rules to transition to FBS without a conference invite, Liberty was granted a waiver.[3] Liberty will join FBS in 2018, but will not become a full member and eligible for post-season play until 2019.
  • April 14 – The NCAA Division I Council approved a suite of rule changes affecting the recruiting process. The changes most significant to FCS football were:[4]
    • Effective with the 2017–18 school year, a national early signing period for high school players was to be introduced, at a time in December to be announced later.
    • Effective with the 2017–18 recruiting season, FCS programs no longer have any restriction on the number of new players that may be signed to letters of intent or financial aid agreements. Previously, FCS teams were limited to signing 30 new players per year.[5]
  • May 8 – The Collegiate Commissioners Association, which controls the letter of intent program, approved the recruiting changes approved last month by the Division I Council. The early signing period for high schoolers was fixed as the first three days of the midyear signing period for junior college players; in 2017, this window fell on December 20–22.[6]

SeasonEdit

  • November 15 – The Big South Conference announced that Hampton would leave the MEAC and join the Big South effective with the 2017–18 school year. While Hampton will join the Big South in non-football sports at that time, it had not yet been determined whether Hampton football would begin Big South play in 2018 or 2019.[7]
  • November 20 – The Pioneer Football League and Presbyterian College jointly announced that the Presbyterian football team would immediately start a transition to non-scholarship football. PC football will leave the Big South after the 2019 season, play the 2020 season as an FCS independent, and join the Pioneer League in 2021.[8]

Kickoff gamesEdit

New stadiumsEdit

FCS team wins over FBS teamsEdit

(FCS rankings from the STATS poll)

Conference standingsEdit

2017 Big Sky football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 14 Southern Utah +^   7 1         9 3  
No. 5 Weber State +^   7 1         11 3  
Northern Arizona ^   6 2         7 5  
No. 21 Eastern Washington   6 2         7 4  
Sacramento State   6 2         7 4  
Montana   5 3         7 4  
Montana State   5 3         5 6  
UC Davis   3 5         5 6  
Idaho State   2 6         4 7  
Northern Colorado   2 6         3 7  
North Dakota   2 6         3 8  
Cal Poly   1 7         1 10  
Portland State   0 8         0 11  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 Big South football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 8 Kennesaw State $^   5 0         12 2  
Monmouth ^   4 1         9 3  
Charleston Southern   3 2         6 5  
Liberty   2 3         6 5  
Presbyterian   1 4         4 7  
Gardner–Webb   0 5         1 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
  • † Liberty ineligible for postseason due to FBS transition
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 CAA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 2 James Madison $^   8 0         14 1  
No. 11 Stony Brook ^   7 1         10 3  
No. 20 Elon ^   6 2         8 4  
No. 12 New Hampshire ^   5 3         9 5  
Delaware   5 3         7 4  
Richmond   4 4         6 5  
Towson   3 5         5 6  
Villanova   3 5         5 6  
Maine   3 5         4 6  
Albany   2 6         4 7  
Rhode Island   2 6         3 8  
William & Mary   0 8         2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 Ivy League football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 24 Yale $   6 1         9 1  
Columbia   5 2         8 2  
Dartmouth   5 2         8 2  
Penn   4 3         6 4  
Harvard   3 4         5 5  
Cornell   3 4         3 7  
Princeton   2 5         5 5  
Brown   0 7         2 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • The Ivy League does not participate in the FCS Playoffs.
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 MEAC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 7 North Carolina A&T $   8 0         12 0  
Howard   6 2         7 4  
Bethune–Cookman   6 2         7 4  
North Carolina Central   5 3         7 4  
Hampton   5 3         6 5  
Norfolk State   4 4         4 7  
Savannah State*   3 5         3 8  
South Carolina State   2 6         3 7  
Florida A&M*   2 6         3 8  
Delaware State   2 6         2 9  
Morgan State*   1 7         1 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • *Florida A&M, Morgan State and Savannah State ineligible for postseason due to APR violations
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 MVFC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 1 North Dakota State$^   7 1         14 1  
No. 3 South Dakota State^   6 2         11 3  
No. 19 Northern Iowa ^   6 2         8 5  
No. 13 Western Illinois ^   5 3         8 4  
No. 15 South Dakota ^   4 4         8 5  
Illinois State   4 4         6 5  
Youngstown State   4 4         6 5  
Southern Illinois   2 6         4 7  
Missouri State   2 6         3 8  
Indiana State   0 8         0 11  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 NEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Central Connecticut $^   6 0         8 3  
Bryant   4 2         6 5  
Duquesne   4 2         7 4  
Saint Francis (PA)   3 3         5 6  
Sacred Heart   2 4         4 7  
Wagner   2 4         4 7  
Robert Morris   0 6         2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 OVC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 9 Jacksonville State $^   8 0         10 2  
Austin Peay   7 1         8 4  
Eastern Illinois   5 3         6 5  
UT Martin   4 4         6 5  
Eastern Kentucky   3 5         3 7  
Southeast Missouri State   3 5         3 8  
Tennessee State   2 5         6 5  
Murray State   2 5         3 8  
Tennessee Tech   1 7         1 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 Patriot League football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Colgate +   5 1         7 4  
Lehigh +^   5 1         5 7  
Holy Cross   3 3         4 7  
Fordham   3 3         4 7  
Lafayette   3 3         3 8  
Bucknell   2 4         5 6  
Georgetown   0 6         1 10  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 Pioneer Football League standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 23 San Diego $^   8 0         10 3  
Drake   6 2         7 4  
Jacksonville   5 3         7 4  
Campbell   5 3         6 5  
Valparaiso   5 3         6 5  
Butler   4 4         6 5  
Dayton   4 4         5 6  
Marist   3 5         4 7  
Morehead State   3 5         4 7  
Stetson   1 7         2 9  
Davidson   0 8         2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 Southern Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 6 Wofford $^   7 1         10 3  
No. 18 Samford ^   6 2         8 4  
No. 19 Furman ^   6 2         8 5  
Western Carolina   5 3         7 5  
Mercer   4 4         5 6  
The Citadel   3 5         5 6  
Chattanooga   3 5         3 8  
East Tennessee State   2 6         4 7  
VMI   0 8         0 11  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 Southland Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 10 Central Arkansas $^   9 0         10 2  
No. 4 Sam Houston State ^   8 1         12 2  
No. 25 Nicholls State ^   7 2         8 4  
No. 22 McNeese State   7 2         9 2  
Southeastern Louisiana   6 3         6 5  
Northwestern State   4 5         4 7  
Stephen F. Austin   4 5         4 7  
Abilene Christian   2 7         2 9  
Incarnate Word   1 7         1 10  
Lamar   1 8         2 9  
Houston Baptist   0 9         1 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2017 SWAC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East
Alcorn State xy   5 2         7 5  
Alabama State   4 3         5 6  
Alabama A&M   3 4         4 7  
Jackson State   3 4         3 8  
Mississippi Valley State   1 6         2 9  
West
No. 16 Grambling State xy$   7 0         11 2  
Southern*   5 2         7 4  
Prairie View A&M   4 3         6 5  
Texas Southern   2 5         2 9  
Arkansas–Pine Bluff   1 6         2 9  
Championship: Grambling State 40, Alcorn State 32
December 2, 2017
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
  • *Southern ineligible for postseason due to APR violations
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll

Conference summariesEdit

Championship gamesEdit

Conference Champion Runner-up Score Offensive Player of the Year Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
SWAC Grambling State
11–1 (8–0)
Alcorn State
7–5 (5–2)
40–32 Devante Kincade
(Grambling State)
De’Arius Christmas
(Grambling State)
Broderick Fobbs
(Grambling State)

Other conference winnersEdit

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

Conference Champion Record Offensive Player of the Year Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
Big Sky Southern Utah
Weber State
9–2 (7–1)
9–2 (7–1)
Keelan Doss
(UC Davis)
Taron Johnson
(Weber State)
Demario Warren
(Southern Utah)
Big South Kennesaw State 10–1 (5–0) Chandler Burks
(Kennesaw State)
Anthony Ellis
(Charleston Southern)
Brian Bohannon
(Kennesaw State)
CAA James Madison 11–0 (8–0) Kyle Lauletta
(Richmond)
Andrew Ankrah
(James Madison)
Curt Cignetti
(Elon)
Ivy Yale 9–1 (6–1) Chad Kanoff
(Princeton)
Matthew Oplinger
(Yale)
Al Bagnoli
(Columbia)
MEAC North Carolina A&T 11–0 (8–0) Lamar Raynard
(North Carolina A&T)
Darius Leonard
(South Carolina State)
Rod Broadway
(North Carolina A&T)
MVFC North Dakota State 10–1 (7–1) Chris Streveler
(South Dakota)
Brett Taylor
(Western Illinois)
Chris Klieman
(North Dakota State)
NEC Central Connecticut 8–3 (6–0) Tommy Stuart
(Duquesne)
Tom Costigan
(Bryant)
Peter Rossomando
(Central Connecticut)
OVC Jacksonville State 10–1 (8–0) Roc Thomas
(Jacksonville State)
Darius Jackson
(Jacksonville State)
Will Healy
(Austin Peay)
Patriot Colgate
Lehigh
7–4 (5–1)
5–6 (5–1)
Dom Bragalone
(Lehigh)
Abdullah Anderson
(Bucknell)
Dan Hunt
(Colgate)
Pioneer San Diego 9–2 (8–0) Anthony Lawrence
(San Diego)
Jonathan Petersen
(San Diego)
Dave Cecchini
(Valparaiso)
Southern Wofford 9–2 (7–1) Devlin Hodges
(Samford)
Ahmad Gooden
(Samford)
Clay Hendrix
(Furman)
Southland Central Arkansas 10–1 (9–0) Hayden Hildebrand
(Central Arkansas)
George Odum
(Central Arkansas)
Steve Campbell
(Central Arkansas)

Playoff qualifiersEdit

Automatic berths for conference championsEdit

Conference Team Appearance Last bid Result
Big Sky Conference Southern Utah 3rd 2015 First Round (L – Sam Houston State)
Big South Conference Kennesaw State 1st  
Colonial Athletic Association James Madison 14th 2016 National Champions (W – Youngstown State)
Missouri Valley Football Conference North Dakota State 8th 2016 Semifinals (L – James Madison)
Northeast Conference Central Connecticut 1st  
Ohio Valley Conference Jacksonville State 8th 2016 Second Round (L – Youngstown State)
Patriot League Lehigh 11th 2016 First Round (L – New Hampshire)
Pioneer Football League San Diego 3rd 2016 Second Round (L – North Dakota State)
Southern Conference Wofford 8th 2016 Quarterfinals (L – Youngstown State)
Southland Conference Central Arkansas 4th 2016 Second Round (L – Eastern Washington)

At large qualifiersEdit

Conference Team Appearance Last bid Result
Big Sky Conference Northern Arizona 6th 2013 First Round (L – South Dakota State)
Weber State 6th 2016 First Round (L – Chattanooga)
Big South Conference Monmouth 1st  
Colonial Athletic Association Elon 2nd 2009 First Round (L – Richmond)
New Hampshire 16th 2016 Second Round (L – James Madison)
Stony Brook 3rd 2012 Second Round (L – Montana State)
Missouri Valley Football Conference Northern Iowa 19th 2015 Quarterfinals (L – North Dakota State)
South Dakota 1st  
South Dakota State 7th 2016 Quarterfinals (L – North Dakota State)
Western Illinois 11th 2015 Second Round (L – Illinois State)
Southern Conference Furman 17th 2013 Second Round (L – North Dakota State)
Samford 5th 2016 First Round (L – Youngstown State)
Southland Conference Nicholls State 4th 2005 First Round (L – Furman)
Sam Houston State 11th 2016 Quarterfinals (L – James Madison)

AbstentionsEdit

PostseasonEdit

NCAA FCS Playoff bracketEdit

  First round
November 25
Campus sites
ESPN3
    Second round
December 2
Campus sites
ESPN3
    Quarterfinals
December 8 and 9
Campus sites
ESPN2, ESPN3
    Semifinals
December 15 and 16
Campus sites
ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3
    National Championship
January 6
12:00 pm
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
ESPN2
                                               
      1 James Madison* 26  
  Stony Brook* 59     Stony Brook 7    
  Lehigh 29         1 James Madison* 31  
    Weber State 28    
      8 Southern Utah* 13    
  Weber State* 21     Weber State 30  
  Western Illinois 19       1 James Madison* 51  
    5 South Dakota State 16    
      4 Central Arkansas* 15  
  New Hampshire* 14     New Hampshire 21    
  Central Connecticut 0         New Hampshire 14  
    5 South Dakota State* 56  
      5 South Dakota State* 37    
  Northern Iowa* 46     Northern Iowa 22  
  Monmouth 7       1 James Madison 13
    2 North Dakota State 17
      2 North Dakota State* 38  
  Northern Arizona* 10     San Diego 3    
  San Diego 41         2 North Dakota State* 42  
    7 Wofford 10    
      7 Wofford* 28    
  Elon* 27     Furman 10  
  Furman 28       2 North Dakota State* 55  
    6 Sam Houston State 13  
      3 Jacksonville State* 7  
  Kennesaw State* 28     Kennesaw State 17    
  Samford 17         Kennesaw State 27  
    6 Sam Houston State* 34  
      6 Sam Houston State* 54    
  Nicholls State* 31     South Dakota 42  
  South Dakota 38  

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

Bowl gamesEdit

Game Date/TV Location Home team Away team Score Offensive MVP Defensive MVP
Celebration Bowl December 16
ABC
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta, Georgia
North Carolina A&T Grambling State 21–14 Marquell Cartwright
(RB, North Carolina A&T)
Franklin McCain III
(DB, North Carolina A&T)

Awards and honorsEdit

Walter Payton AwardEdit

Buck Buchanan AwardEdit

Jerry Rice AwardEdit

CoachesEdit

Coaching changesEdit

In-seasonEdit

This is restricted to coaching changes that took place on or after May 1, 2017. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2017, see 2016 NCAA Division I FCS end-of-season coaching changes.

School Outgoing coach Date Reason Replacement
Alabama State Brian Jenkins October 6 Fired Donald Hill-Eley [a]
Holy Cross Tom Gilmore October 15 Fired Brian Rock (interim)
  1. ^ Interim for remainder of season; interim tag removed on December 7, 2017.

End of seasonEdit

School Outgoing coach Date Reason Replacement
Alabama A&M James Spady November 19 Fired[15] Connell Maynor
Arkansas–Pine Bluff Monte Coleman November 19 Resigned Cedric Thomas
Central Arkansas Steve Campbell December 7 Hired as head coach by South Alabama Nathan Brown
Davidson Paul Nichols November 27 Contract not renewed Scott Abell
Delaware State Kenny Carter November 20 Fired Rod Milstead
East Tennessee State Carl Torbush December 8 Retired Randy Sanders
Florida A&M Alex Wood November 21 Contract not renewed Willie Simmons
Fordham Andrew Breiner December 5 Hired as OC at Mississippi State Joe Conlin
Hampton Connell Maynor November 20 Fired Robert Prunty
Holy Cross Brian Rock December 20 Permanent replacement Bob Chesney
Incarnate Word Larry Kennan November 27 Fired Eric Morris
Mississippi Valley State Rick Comegy November 20 Contract not renewed Vincent Dancy
Montana Bob Stitt November 20 Contract not renewed[16] Bobby Hauck
Morgan State Fred Farrier December 18 Fired Ernest T. Jones (interim)
North Carolina A&T Rod Broadway January 8 Retired[17] Sam Washington
North Carolina Central Jerry Mack December 8 Hired as OC at Rice Granville Eastman (interim)
Northwestern State Jay Thomas December 2 Resigned Brad Laird
Prairie View A&M Willie Simmons December 8 Hired as head coach by Florida A&M Eric Dooley
Robert Morris John Banaszak November 19 Retired Bernard Clark
Southeastern Louisiana Ron Roberts January 19 Hired as DC by Louisiana Frank Scelfo
Tennessee Tech Marcus Satterfield November 19 Fired[18] Dewayne Alexander
Western Illinois Charlie Fisher January 4 Hired as WR coach by Arizona State Jared Elliott
Wofford Mike Ayers December 13 Retired Josh Conklin

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Summit League Adds The University of North Dakota" (Press release). The Summit League. January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "UND to Join Missouri Valley Football Conference" (Press release). Missouri Valley Football Conference. January 26, 2017. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Sordelett, Damien (February 16, 2017). "LU to be FBS bowl eligible starting in 2019". The News & Advance. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Kercheval, Ben (April 14, 2017). "NCAA DI Council approves early signing period for football, prohibits oversigning". CBSSports.com. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  5. ^ Stephenson, Creg (April 14, 2017). "NCAA adopts 10th assistant, restricts off-field staff hires, satellite camps in sweeping vote". The Birmingham News. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  6. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (May 8, 2017). "Collegiate Commissioners Association approves early signing period for football". ESPN. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  7. ^ "Big South Adds Hampton University as Full Member" (Press release). Big South Conference. November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "Presbyterian College to join Pioneer Football League in 2021" (Press release). Pioneer Football League. November 20, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  9. ^ "Thomas had 190 yards, Jacksonville St tops Chattanooga 27–13". ESPN. Associated Press. August 26, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  10. ^ "Mangum, Canada lead BYU to 20–6 win over Portland State". ESPN. Associated Press. August 26, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "Colgate fends off Cal Poly 20–14 behind Holland". ESPN. Associated Press. August 26, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "Stanley accounts for 2 TDs, FAMU beats Texas Southern 29–7". ESPN. Associated Press. August 26, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  13. ^ O'Neill, Kane (September 2, 2017). "ETSU tops Limestone 31–10 in season opener at new stadium". Johnson City, TN: WJHL-TV. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  14. ^ "Abilene Christian inaugurates new stadium with 24–3 win". ESPN. Associated Press. September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  15. ^ "Spady not returning to Alabama A&M as head football coach". Alabama A&M Athletics. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  16. ^ Nuanez, Colter (November 20, 2017). "Bob Stitt out as head coach of Griz football". Skyline Sports.
  17. ^ "A&T's Broadway retires; Washington promoted". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  18. ^ "Head football coach Marcus Satterfield relieved of duties, national search to begin immediately". Tennessee Tech Athletics. November 19, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2017.