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2018 NCAA Division I FCS football season

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.

2018 NCAA Division I FCS season
NCAA logo.svg
Regular season
Number of teams125
DurationAugust 25 – November 17
Payton AwardDevlin Hodges, QB, Samford
Buchanan AwardZach Hall, LB, Southeast Missouri State
Playoff
DurationNovember 24 – December 15
Championship dateJanuary 5, 2019
Championship siteToyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
ChampionNorth Dakota State
Division I FCS football season

Conference changes and new programsEdit

Membership changesEdit

School Former conference New 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 Sky FCS Independent [a]
  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 headlinesEdit

OffseasonEdit

  • June 13 – Major changes to redshirt rules in Division I football (both FBS and FCS) took effect from this season forward after having been approved by the NCAA Division I Council. Players can now participate in as many as four games in a given season while still retaining redshirt status. The only exception to this new rule is that players who enroll at a school in midyear and participate in postseason competition that takes place during or before their first academic term at that school will lose a full year of athletic eligibility.[3]

SeasonEdit

  • September 10 – The Northeast Conference (NEC) announced that Merrimack College would start a transition from the NCAA Division II Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) and join the NEC effective July 1, 2019. Merrimack's football team is expected to immediately start playing a full NEC schedule, but will not be eligible for the FCS playoffs until becoming a full D-I member in 2023.[4]
  • October 3 – Long Island University announced that it would merge its two current athletic programs—the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds, full but non-football members of the NEC, and LIU Post Pioneers, a Division II program that is a full member of the non-football East Coast Conference and an NE-10 football member—effective with the 2019–20 school year. The new program will compete under the LIU name with a new nickname. The Post football team will become the LIU football team, playing in the NEC. There has been no definitive report as to when the new LIU football team will be eligible for the FCS playoffs.[5]
  • October 27 – Central Connecticut's Aaron Dawson ran for 308 yards in the second half, a record for a half throughout Division I, and 361 overall to lead the Blue Devils to a 49–24 win over Wagner.[6]
  • November 17 – In the final game of his college career, Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges set a new FCS record for career passing yardage, surpassing late Alcorn State and NFL great Steve McNair in the Bulldogs' 38–27 win over East Tennessee State. Hodges finished his career with 14,584 yards.[7]
  • January 4 – The NCAA and the Southland Conference (SLC) announced that the FCS championship game, which is currently co-hosted by the SLC, would remain at its current home of Toyota Stadium in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas through at least the 2024 season, with an option for the 2025 season.[8]

Pre-season international exhibitionsEdit

Date Name Location NCAA team Hosting Team Score
May 26, 2018 Drake-China Ambassadors Bowl UIBE, Beijing, China Drake China All-Stars
(AFLC, CAFL, & CBL)
77–0

Kickoff gamesEdit

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

FCS team wins over FBS teamsEdit

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

Hurricane FlorenceEdit

All times Eastern

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

Sources:[9][10][11]

Conference standingsEdit

2018 Big Sky football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 6 Weber State +^   7 1         10 3  
No. 2 Eastern Washington +^   7 1         12 2  
No. 7 UC Davis +^   7 1         10 3  
No. 17 Montana State ^   5 3         8 5  
Idaho State   5 3         6 5  
Montana   4 4         6 5  
Cal Poly   4 4         5 6  
Northern Arizona   3 4         4 6  
Portland State   3 5         4 7  
Idaho   3 5         4 7  
Northern Colorado   2 6         2 9  
Southern Utah   1 7         1 10  
Sacramento State   0 7         2 8  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
  • *Although North Dakota is classified as an independent, games against them still count as Big Sky conference games.
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 Big South football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 5 Kennesaw State$^   5 0         11 2  
Monmouth   4 1         8 3  
Charleston Southern   3 2         5 6  
Gardner–Webb   2 3         3 8  
Campbell   1 4         6 5  
Presbyterian   0 5         2 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 CAA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 4 Maine $^   7 1         10 4  
No. 9 James Madison ^   6 2         9 4  
No. 16 Stony Brook ^   5 3         7 5  
No. 20 Towson ^   5 3         7 5  
No. 24 Delaware ^   5 3         7 5  
No. 19 Elon ^   4 3         6 5  
Rhode Island   4 4         6 5  
William & Mary   3 4         4 6  
New Hampshire   3 5         4 7  
Villanova   2 6         5 6  
Richmond   2 6         4 7  
Albany   1 7         3 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 Ivy League football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 11 Princeton $   7 0         10 0  
No. 18 Dartmouth   6 1         9 1  
Harvard   4 3         6 4  
Yale   3 4         5 5  
Penn   3 4         6 4  
Columbia   3 4         6 4  
Cornell   2 5         3 7  
Brown   0 7         1 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • The Ivy League does not participate in the FCS Playoffs.
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 MEAC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 12 North Carolina A&T $   6 1         9 2  
Bethune–Cookman   5 2         7 5  
Florida A&M   5 2         6 5  
South Carolina State   4 3         5 6  
Howard   4 3         4 6  
North Carolina Central   3 4         5 6  
Morgan State   3 4         4 7  
Norfolk State   2 5         4 7  
Delaware State   2 5         3 8  
Savannah State   1 6         2 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 MVFC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 1 North Dakota State $^   8 0         15 0  
No. 3 South Dakota State ^   6 2         10 3  
No. 23 Northern Iowa ^   5 3         7 6  
Indiana State   5 3         7 4  
Western Illinois   4 4         5 6  
Illinois State   3 5         6 5  
Youngstown State   3 5         4 7  
South Dakota   3 5         4 7  
Missouri State   2 6         4 7  
Southern Illinois   1 7         2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 NEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 21 Duquesne +^   5 1         8 3  
Sacred Heart +   5 1         7 4  
Central Connecticut   4 2         6 5  
Wagner   3 3         4 7  
Saint Francis (PA)   2 4         4 7  
Bryant   2 4         6 5  
Robert Morris   0 6         2 9  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 OVC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 10 Jacksonville State $^   7 1         8 3  
No. 15 Southeast Missouri State ^   6 2         8 3  
Eastern Kentucky   5 2         7 4  
Murray State   5 3         5 6  
Tennessee State   3 4         4 5  
Eastern Illinois   3 5         3 8  
Austin Peay   3 5         5 6  
UT Martin   2 6         2 9  
Tennessee Tech   1 7         1 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 Patriot League football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 8 Colgate $^   6 0         10 2  
Holy Cross   4 2         5 6  
Georgetown   4 2         5 6  
Lehigh   2 4         3 8  
Lafayette   2 4         3 8  
Fordham   2 4         2 9  
Bucknell   1 5         1 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 Pioneer Football League standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 25 San Diego $^   8 0         9 3  
Stetson   6 2         8 2  
Drake   6 2         7 4  
Marist   5 3         5 6  
Dayton   5 3         6 5  
Davidson   3 5         6 5  
Butler   2 6         4 7  
Morehead State   2 6         3 8  
Valparaiso   2 6         2 9  
Jacksonville   1 7         2 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 Southern Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 13 Wofford +^   6 2         9 4  
No. 22 East Tennessee State +^   6 2         8 4  
Furman +   6 2         6 4  
Samford   5 3         6 5  
Chattanooga   4 4         6 5  
The Citadel   4 4         5 6  
Mercer   4 4         5 6  
Western Carolina   1 7         3 8  
VMI   0 8         1 10  
  • + – 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 +^   7 2         9 4  
Incarnate Word +^   6 2         6 5  
Lamar ^   6 3         7 5  
Abilene Christian   5 4         6 5  
Central Arkansas   5 4         6 5  
McNeese State   5 4         6 5  
Sam Houston State   5 4         6 5  
Northwestern State   4 5         5 6  
Southeastern Louisiana   4 5         4 7  
Stephen F. Austin   2 7         2 8  
Houston Baptist   0 9         1 10  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2018 SWAC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
Alcorn State x$   6 1         9 3  
Alabama A&M   5 2         6 5  
Jackson State   4 3         5 5  
Alabama State   3 4         4 7  
Mississippi Valley State   1 6         1 10  
West Division
Southern xy   6 1         7 4  
Grambling State   4 3         6 5  
Prairie View A&M   4 3         5 6  
Texas Southern   1 6         2 9  
Arkansas–Pine Bluff   1 6         2 9  
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           7 3  
Hampton           7 3  
North Dakota*           6 5  
  • *North Dakota ineligible for Big Sky title due to transition to the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
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 Alcorn State
9–3 (6–1)
Southern
7–4 (6–1)
37–28 Noah Johnson
(Alcorn State)
De’Arius Christmas
(Grambling State)
Fred McNair
(Alcorn 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 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 qualifiersEdit

Automatic berths for conference championsEdit

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

At large qualifiersEdit

Conference Team Appearance Last bid Result
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 15th 2017 Championship Game (L – North Dakota State)
Stony Brook 4th 2017 Second Round (L – James Madison)
Towson 3rd 2013 Championship Game (L – North Dakota State)
Missouri Valley Football Conference Northern Iowa 20th 2017 Second Round (L – South Dakota State)
South Dakota State 8th 2017 Semifinals (L – James Madison)
Ohio Valley Conference Southeast Missouri State 2nd 2010 Second Round (L – Eastern Washington)
Southern Conference East Tennessee State 2nd 1996 Quarterfinals (L – Montana)
Southland Conference Incarnate Word 1st
Lamar 1st

AbstentionsEdit

PostseasonEdit

NCAA FCS Playoff bracketEdit

  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 31       1 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 gamesEdit

Date Game Site Television Participants Affiliations Results
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 honorsEdit

Walter Payton AwardEdit

Buck Buchanan AwardEdit

Jerry Rice AwardEdit

CoachesEdit

Coaching changesEdit

Preseason and in-seasonEdit

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.

School Outgoing coach Date Reason Replacement
Stephen F. Austin Clint Conque August 6 Resigned Jeff Byrd (interim)
Jackson State Tony Hughes October 28 Fired John Hendrick [a]
  1. ^ Interim for remainder of season; interim tag removed on November 28, 2018.

End of seasonEdit

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

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Savannah State Plans Athletic Division Reclassification" (Press release). Savannah State Athletics. April 17, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Haley, Craig (March 14, 2018). "5 College Football Teams Changing FCS Affiliations in 2018". athlonsports.com. Athlon Sports & Life. Retrieved April 18, 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  3. ^ "DI football to offer more participation opportunities" (Press release). NCAA. June 13, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  4. ^ "Merrimack College Accepts Invitation to Join the Northeast Conference" (Press release). Northeast Conference. September 10, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "Long Island University Announces Unification Into One LIU Division I Program" (Press release). LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds. October 3, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "CCSU's Aaron Dawson sets record with 308 rushing yards in a half". ESPN. October 27, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "Devlin Hodges notches FCS mark with 14,584 career passing yards". ESPN. November 17, 2018. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "FCS Championship Will Stay in Frisco Through 2025 With Option for 2026" (Press release). Southland Conference. January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  9. ^ Adelson, Andrea. "UNC, NC State, Va. Tech called due to Florence". ESPN. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  10. ^ "Football Cancels Game against Stetson". GoBlueHose.com. Presbyterian College. Retrieved September 13, 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  11. ^ "NCAAF College Football Scores - FCS Week 3". ESPN. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  12. ^ "London replaces legend as William & Mary coach". STATS FCS Football. November 19, 2018.
  13. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (December 13, 2018). "North Dakota St. promotes defensive coordinator Matt Entz to head coach". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 14, 2018.