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The NCAA Division I Football Championship[1] is an American college football tournament played each year to determine the champion of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Prior to the year 2006, the game was known as the NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship. The FCS is the highest division in college football to hold a playoff tournament to determine its champion.

The 2009 national champions are the Wildcats of Villanova University.[2]

Contents

History

When Division I-AA was formed for football in 1978, the playoffs included just four teams, doubling to eight teams in its fourth season of 1981. In 1982 the I-AA playoffs were expanded to 12 teams, with each of the top four seeds receiving a first-round bye and a home game in the quarterfinals. In its ninth season of 1986, the I-AA playoffs were expanded again to a 16-team format, requiring four post-season victories to win the title. Eight conference champions received automatic bids, with the remaining eight bids available on an at-large basis. The field is traditionally set the Sunday before Thanksgiving and play begins that weekend. The top four teams are seeded, however, the matchups are not strictly set up by these seedings as geographic considerations are also taken into account to minimize travel. In April 2008 the NCAA announced that the playoff field would again expand to include 20 teams beginning in 2010. At the same time, it announced that the number of conferences receiving automatic bids would increase to 10.[3]

Appalachian State's National Championship trophies showing the differences between 2005 (I-AA), 2006 (FCS), and 2007 (FCS).

The tournament has historically been played in November and December; with the latest expansion to a 20-team field, the championship game will move from December to January. From 1997 through 2009, the title game had been played in Chattanooga, Tennessee at Finley Stadium, the home football venue of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. From 2010 through 2012, it will be played in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas at Pizza Hut Park, a soccer-specific stadium primarily used by FC Dallas of Major League Soccer.[4]

Two Football Championship Subdivision conferences usually do not participate in the tournament. The Ivy League, I-AA since 1982, plays a strict ten game regular season and does not participate in any post-season football, citing academic concerns[5][6] The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has a conference schedule which conflicts with the tournament, so its members do not normally participate.[7] The SWAC was 0-19 in the tournament during its first twenty years (1978-97) and has not sent a team since Jackson State in 1997.

Champions

Year Champion[8] Runner-up Score Venue Location Attendance Head Coach
1978 Florida A&M Massachusetts 35–28 Memorial Stadium Wichita Falls, Texas 13,604 Rudy Hubbard
1979 Eastern Kentucky Lehigh 30–7 Orlando, Florida 5,500 Kidd, RoyRoy Kidd
1980 Boise State Eastern Kentucky 31–29 C.C. Hughes Stadium Sacramento, California 8,157 Criner, JimJim Criner
1981 Idaho State Eastern Kentucky 34–23 Memorial Stadium Wichita Falls, Texas 11,003 Kragthorpe, DaveDave Kragthorpe
1982 Eastern Kentucky Delaware 17–14 Memorial Stadium Wichita Falls, Texas 11,257 Roy Kidd
1983 Southern Illinois Western Carolina 43–7 Johnson Hagood Stadium Charleston, S.Car. 15,950 Dempsey, ReyRey Dempsey
1984 Montana State Louisiana Tech 19–6 Johnson Hagood Stadium Charleston, S.Car. 9,125 Dave Arnold
1985 Georgia Southern Furman 44–42 Tacoma Dome Tacoma, Washington 5,306 Russell, ErkErk Russell
1986 Georgia Southern Arkansas State 48–21 Tacoma Dome Tacoma, Washington 4,419 Erk Russell
1987 NE Louisiana Marshall 43–42 Mini Dome Pocatello, Idaho 11,513 Pat Collins
1988 Furman Georgia Southern 17–12 Holt Arena Pocatello, Idaho 11,500 J. Satterfield
1989 Georgia Southern S.F. Austin 37–34 Paulson Stadium Statesboro, Georgia 25,725 Erk Russell
1990 Georgia Southern Nevada 36–13 Paulson Stadium Statesboro, Georgia 23,204 Tim Stowers
1991 Youngstown State Marshall 25–17 Paulson Stadium Statesboro, Georgia 12,667 Tressel, JimJim Tressel
1992 Marshall Youngstown State 31–28 Marshall U. Stadium Huntington, W.Va. 31,304 Donnan, JimJim Donnan
1993 Youngstown State Marshall 17–5 Marshall U. Stadium Huntington, W.Va. 29,218 Jim Tressel
1994 Youngstown State Boise State 28–14 Marshall U. Stadium Huntington, W.Va. 27,674 Jim Tressel
1995 Montana Marshall 22–20 Marshall U. Stadium Huntington, W.Va. 32,106 Read, DonDon Read
1996 Marshall Montana 49–29 Marshall U. Stadium Huntington, W.Va. 30,052 Pruett, BobBob Pruett
1997 Youngstown State McNeese State 10–9 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 14,771 Jim Tressel
1998 Massachusetts Georgia Southern 55–43 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 17,501 Whipple, MarkMark Whipple
1999 Georgia Southern Youngstown State 59–24 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 20,052 Johnson, PaulPaul Johnson
2000 Georgia Southern Montana 27–25 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 17,156 Paul Johnson
2001 Montana Furman 13–6 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 12,698 Glenn, JoeJoe Glenn
2002 Western Kentucky McNeese State 34–14 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 12,360 Harbaugh, JackJack Harbaugh
2003 Delaware Colgate 40–0 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 14,281 Keeler, K. C.K. C. Keeler
2004 James Madison Montana 31–21 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 16,771 M. Mattews
2005 Appalachian State Northern Iowa 21–16 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 20,236 Moore, JerryJerry Moore
2006 Appalachian State Massachusetts 28–17 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 22,808 Jerry Moore
2007 Appalachian State Delaware 49–21 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 23,010 Jerry Moore
2008 Richmond Montana 24–7 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 17,823 London, MikeMike London
2009 Villanova Montana 23–21 Finley Stadium Chattanooga, Tenn. 14,328 Talley, AndyAndy Talley
2010 Pizza Hut Park Frisco, Texas

† Known as Louisiana-Monroe since 1999.

Most national championships

Team Titles Title Years Finals Runner-up
Georgia Southern 6 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1999, 2000 8 1988, 1998
Youngstown State 4 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997 6 1992,1999
Appalachian State 3 2005, 2006, 2007 3
Eastern Kentucky 2 1979, 1982 4 1980, 1981
Marshall ^ 2 1992, 1996 6 1987, 1991, 1993, 1995
Montana 2 1995, 2001 7 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009
Boise State ^ 1 1980 2 1994
Delaware 1 2003 3 1982, 2007
Florida A&M 1 1978 1
Furman 1 1988 3 1985, 2001
Idaho State 1 1981 1
James Madison 1 2004 1
NE Louisiana ^ 1 1987 1
Massachusetts 1 1998 3 1978, 2006
Montana State 1 1984 1
Richmond 1 2008 1
Southern Illinois 1 1983 1
Villanova 1 2009 1
Western Kentucky ^ 1 2002 1
Lehigh 0 1 1978
Western Carolina 0 1 1983
Louisiana Tech ^ 0 1 1984
Arkansas State ^ 0 1 1986
Stephen F. Austin 0 1 1989
Nevada ^ 0 1 1990
McNeese State 0 1 1997
Colgate 0 1 2003
Northern Iowa 0 1 2005

^ Now a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision

See also

References

External links

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