2019 NCAA Division I FCS football season

The 2019 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 11, 2020, in Frisco, Texas.[2] North Dakota State entered the season as the defending champion,[3] and after completing the regular season undefeated, successfully defended their title and secured their eighth championship in nine seasons.[4]

2019 NCAA Division I FCS season
NCAA logo.svg
Regular season
Number of teams126[1]
DurationAugust – November
Payton AwardTrey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Buchanan AwardDante Olson, LB, Montana
Playoff
DurationNovember 30 – December 21
Championship dateJanuary 11, 2020
Championship siteToyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
ChampionNorth Dakota State
NCAA Division I FCS football seasons

Conference changes and new programsEdit

Membership changesEdit

School Former conference New conference
Hampton Pirates FCS independent Big South
LIU Sharks[a] NE-10 (D-II) NEC
Merrimack Warriors NE-10 (D-II) NEC
North Alabama Lions FCS independent Big South
North Dakota Fighting Hawks Big Sky FCS independent[b]
Savannah State Tigers MEAC SIAC (D-II)
  1. ^ Following the 2018–19 school year, Long Island University merged its two then-existing athletic programs—the Division I non-football LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds and Division II football-sponsoring LIU Post Pioneers—into a single Division I program that now competes as the LIU Sharks. The Sharks inherited LIU Brooklyn's membership in the Northeast Conference, with the former Post football team joining the NEC alongside most of LIU's other sports.
  2. ^ 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 played its Big Sky Conference schedule and conference games counted for their opponents.

The 2019 season was the last for Presbyterian in Big South Conference football. The school announced in 2017 that it had begun a transition to non-scholarship football. Presbyterian will play the 2020 season as an FCS independent before joining the non-scholarship FCS Pioneer Football League in 2021; it will remain a full but non-football Big South member.

This was also the final season for Jacksonville football, as the school announced shortly after the end of the season that it was dropping the sport.[5]

Rule changesEdit

The following playing rule changes have been recommended by the NCAA Football Rules Committee for 2019:[6]

  • Requiring replay reviews on targeting calls be either confirmed or overturned by reviewing all aspects of the play. If the review shows not all elements of targeting exist or if there is no indisputable video evidence, the call will be overturned.
  • Players who commit a second targeting penalty in the same season will not only have to sit out the remainder of that game, but will also have to sit out their team's entire next scheduled game.
  • Eliminating the two-man wedge on kickoffs.
  • Starting with the fifth overtime period, each team will line up to attempt a two-point conversion instead of snapping the ball from the 25-yard-line. Successful plays are scored as conversions.
  • Adding a two-minute break after the second and fourth overtime period.
  • Blindside blocks delivered with forcible contact will draw a 15-yard penalty (personal foul). If elements of targeting exist, the player delivering the block will be subject to ejection as with any other targeting foul.

All FCS teams were allowed to schedule 12 regular season games in the 2019 season. A standard provision of NCAA bylaws allows for 12 regular season games during years having 14 Saturdays in the period starting with the Labor Day (first Monday in September) weekend and ending with the last Saturday of November. The next time that a 12-game regular season will be allowed is 2024.[7]

"Week Zero"Edit

The regular season began with two games on Saturday, August 24:

FCS team wins over FBS teamsEdit

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

Non-DI team wins over FCS teamsEdit

Conference standingsEdit

2019 Big Sky Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 3 Weber State +^   7 1         11 4  
No. 9 Sacramento State +^   7 1         9 4  
No. 6 Montana ^   6 2         10 4  
No. 4 Montana State ^   6 2         11 4  
Eastern Washington   6 2         7 5  
UC Davis   3 5         5 7  
Idaho   3 5         5 7  
Portland State   3 5         5 7  
Cal Poly   2 6         3 8  
Southern Utah   2 6         3 9  
Northern Arizona   2 6         4 8  
Northern Colorado   2 6         2 10  
Idaho State   2 6         3 9  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
  • Although North Dakota was classified as an independent, games against them still counted as Big Sky Conference games.
Rankings from STATS Poll
2019 Big South Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 12 Monmouth $^   6 0         11 3  
No. 13 Kennesaw State ^   5 1         11 3  
Charleston Southern   4 2         6 6  
Campbell   3 3         6 5  
Hampton   1 5         5 7  
Gardner–Webb   1 5         3 9  
Presbyterian   1 5         2 10  
North Alabama *   0 0         4 7  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
  • * North Alabama ineligible for FCS postseason play due to transition to NCAA Division I
Rankings from STATS Poll
2019 Colonial Athletic Association football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 2 James Madison $^   8 0         14 2  
No. 18 Albany ^   6 2         9 5  
No. 15 Villanova ^   5 3         9 4  
New Hampshire   5 3         6 5  
Towson   4 4         7 5  
Maine   4 4         6 6  
Elon   4 4         5 6  
Richmond   4 4         5 7  
Delaware   3 5         5 7  
William & Mary   3 5         5 7  
Stony Brook   2 6         5 7  
Rhode Island   0 8         2 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2019 Ivy League football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 22 Dartmouth +   6 1         9 1  
No. 25 Yale +   6 1         9 1  
Princeton   5 2         8 2  
Penn   3 4         5 5  
Cornell   3 4         4 6  
Harvard   2 5         4 6  
Columbia   2 5         3 7  
Brown   1 6         2 8  
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from STATS Poll
2019 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 24 Florida A&M *   7 1         9 2  
No. 20 North Carolina A&T +   6 2         9 3  
South Carolina State +   6 2         8 3  
Bethune–Cookman   5 3         7 4  
Norfolk State   4 4         5 7  
North Carolina Central   3 5         4 8  
Howard   2 6         2 10  
Morgan State   2 6         3 9  
Delaware State   1 7         2 10  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • * Florida A&M ineligible for conference title due to NCAA sanctions
Rankings from STATS Poll
2019 Missouri Valley Football Conference standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 1 North Dakota State $^   8 0         16 0  
No. 5 Northern Iowa ^   6 2         10 5  
No. 7 Illinois State ^   5 3         10 5  
No. 10 South Dakota State ^   5 3         8 5  
Southern Illinois   5 3         7 5  
South Dakota   4 4         5 7  
Indiana State   3 5         5 7  
Youngstown State   2 6         6 6  
Missouri State   1 7         1 10  
Western Illinois   1 7         1 11  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2019 Northeast Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 23 Central Connecticut $^   7 0         11 1  
Robert Morris   6 1         7 5  
Duquesne   4 3         6 5  
Sacred Heart   4 3         7 5  
Saint Francis   3 4         6 6  
Bryant   3 4         4 8  
Wagner   1 6         1 11  
LIU   0 7         0 10  
Merrimack *   0 0         6 5  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
  • * – Merrimack ineligible for NEC title and FCS postseason play due to transition to NCAA Division I, and also ineligible for NEC title due to not playing a full conference schedule
Rankings from STATS Poll
2019 Ohio Valley Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 8 Austin Peay +^   7 1         9 3  
No. 17 Southeast Missouri State +^   7 1         9 3  
UT Martin   6 2         7 5  
Eastern Kentucky   5 3         7 5  
Tennessee Tech   3 5         6 6  
Jacksonville State   3 5         6 6  
Murray State   2 6         4 8  
Tennessee State   2 6         3 9  
Eastern Illinois   1 7         1 11  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2019 Patriot League football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Holy Cross $^   5 1         7 5  
Lafayette   4 2         4 8  
Bucknell   3 3         3 8  
Lehigh   3 3         4 7  
Colgate   3 3         4 8  
Fordham   2 4         4 8  
Georgetown   1 5         5 6  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
2019 Pioneer Football League standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
San Diego $^   8 0         9 3  
Dayton   6 2         8 3  
Drake   6 2         6 5  
Davidson   5 3         8 4  
Stetson   4 4         7 4  
Marist   4 4         4 7  
Morehead State   3 5         5 7  
Butler   2 6         3 9  
Jacksonville   1 7         3 9  
Valparaiso   1 7         1 11  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
2019 Southern Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 16 Wofford $^   7 1         8 3  
No. 21 Furman ^   6 2         8 4  
Chattanooga   5 3         6 6  
The Citadel   4 4         6 6  
Samford   4 4         5 7  
VMI   4 4         5 7  
Mercer   3 5         4 8  
Western Carolina   2 6         3 9  
East Tennessee State   1 7         3 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2019 Southland Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 14 Nicholls +^   7 2         8 4  
No. 11 Central Arkansas +^   7 2         9 3  
No. 19 Southeastern Louisiana ^   6 3         8 5  
Sam Houston State   6 3         7 5  
McNeese State   5 4         7 5  
Incarnate Word   4 5         5 7  
Abilene Christian   4 5         5 7  
Northwestern State   3 6         3 9  
Stephen F. Austin   3 6         3 9  
Houston Baptist   2 6         5 7  
Lamar   2 7         4 8  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2019 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
Alcorn State x$   6 1         9 4  
Alabama State   4 2         5 5  
Alabama A&M   4 3         7 5  
Jackson State   3 4         4 8  
Mississippi Valley State   1 6         2 9  
West Division
Southern x   6 1         8 5  
Grambling State   4 3         6 5  
Prairie View A&M   3 3         5 5  
Arkansas–Pine Bluff   3 4         6 5  
Texas Southern   0 7         0 11  
Championship: Alcorn State 39, Southern 24
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
2019 NCAA Division I FCS independents football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
North Dakota ^           7 5  
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant

PostseasonEdit

A 24-team single-elimination tournament bracket culminated in the 2020 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game. Champions of the following 10 conferences automatically received playoff bids:[8]

Teams were announced in a selection show on November 24, with the top eight teams seeded and receiving first-round byes.[9]

NCAA FCS Playoff bracketEdit

  First Round
November 30
Campus sites
    Second Round
December 7
Campus sites
    Quarterfinals
December 13/14[a]
Campus sites
    Semifinals
December 21
Campus sites
    National Championship
January 11
12:00 pm EST
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
                                               
        1 North Dakota State 37  
    Nicholls 24       Nicholls 13    
    North Dakota 6         1 North Dakota State 9  
        Illinois State 3    
        8 Central Arkansas 14    
    Southeast Missouri State 6       Illinois State 24  
    Illinois State 24         1 North Dakota State 42  
      5 Montana State 14    
        4 Sacramento State 28  
    Austin Peay 42       Austin Peay 42    
    Furman 6           Austin Peay 10    
      5 Montana State 24  
        5 Montana State 47    
    Albany 42       Albany 21  
    Central Connecticut 14         1 North Dakota State 28
      2 James Madison 20
        2 James Madison 66  
    Monmouth 44       Monmouth 21    
    Holy Cross 27         2 James Madison 17  
        Northern Iowa 0    
        7 South Dakota State 10    
    Northern Iowa 17       Northern Iowa 13  
    San Diego 3         2 James Madison 30    
      3 Weber State 14  
        3 Weber State 26  
    Wofford 21       Kennesaw State 20    
    Kennesaw State 28         3 Weber State 17    
      6 Montana 10  
        6 Montana 73    
    Southeastern Louisiana 45       Southeastern Louisiana 28  
    Villanova 44  

Source:[10]

Bowl gamesEdit

Date Game Site Television Participants Affiliations Results
Dec. 21 Celebration Bowl Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta, Georgia
12:00 p.m.
ABC North Carolina A&T Aggies (8–3)
Alcorn State Braves (9–3)
MEAC
SWAC
North Carolina A&T 64
Alcorn State 44

Coaching changesEdit

Preseason and in-seasonEdit

This is restricted to coaching changes that took place on or after May 1, 2019. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2019, see 2018 NCAA Division I FCS end-of-season coaching changes.

School Outgoing coach Date Reason Replacement
Howard Ron Prince November 6 Placed on administrative leave  Aaron Kelton (interim)

  Prince was placed on administrative leave by the university, "after allegations of verbal abuse and intimidation of players."[11]

End of seasonEdit

School Outgoing coach Date Reason Replacement
Gardner–Webb Carroll McCray November 24 Fired Tre Lamb
Mercer Bobby Lamb November 24 Fired Drew Cronic
Murray State Mitch Stewart November 24 Reassigned within athletic department Dean Hood
Northern Colorado Earnest Collins Jr. November 24 Fired Ed McCaffrey
Eastern Kentucky Mark Elder November 25 Contract not renewed Walt Wells
Lamar Mike Schultz November 25 Fired Blane Morgan
Cal Poly Tim Walsh November 25 Retired Beau Baldwin
Jacksonville Ian Shields December 3 Program discontinued None
Wagner Jason Houghtaling December 6 Fired Tom Masella
Howard Ron Prince December 6 Resigned[12] Larry Scott
Missouri State Dave Steckel January 9 Fired Bobby Petrino
McNeese State Sterlin Gilbert January 12 Became OC at Syracuse Frank Wilson
Youngstown State Bo Pelini January 27 Became DC at LSU Doug Phillips
Arkansas Pine-Bluff Cedric Thomas February 17 Became DB coach at Southern Miss Doc Gamble

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ North Dakota State vs. Illinois State on December 14; other games on December 13

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Road to the Championship". ncaa.com. 2019. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  2. ^ "2019 FCS Playoff Schedule". FBSchedules.com. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  3. ^ "North Dakota State Completes Perfect Season as No. 1 Ranked Team". FCS Football Insider. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  4. ^ "North Dakota State football beats James Madison for eighth FCS championship". NCAA.com. January 11, 2020. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  5. ^ "Jacksonville University Discontinues Football" (Press release). Jacksonville Dolphins. December 3, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  6. ^ "Football Rules Committee to examine targeting". ncaa.org. February 26, 2019. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "Bylaw 17.10.5.1: Number of Contests, Maximum Limitations—Institutional" (PDF). 2018–19 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. July 2018. p. 273. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Chiusano, Anthony (November 16, 2019). "Every automatic qualifier for the 2019 FCS football playoffs". NCAA.com. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  9. ^ "FCS bracket revealed for 2019 Division I football championship". ncaa.com. November 24, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  10. ^ "2019 FCS Football Official Bracket". NCAA.org. December 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  11. ^ VanHaaren, Tom (November 6, 2019). "Howard places coach Ron Prince on leave amid ongoing investigation". ESPN. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  12. ^ Bogage, Jacob (December 6, 2019). "Howard football coach Ron Prince resigns after allegations of verbal abuse, player intimidation". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 14, 2019.