1978 NCAA Division I-AA football season

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1978 NCAA Division I-AA season
Duration August – November 1978
Playoff
Duration December 9–16, 1978
Championship site Pioneer Bowl
Memorial Stadium
Wichita Falls, TX
Champion Florida A&M Rattlers
Division I-AA football season

The 1978 NCAA Division I-AA football season, part of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division I-AA level, began in August 1978 and concluded with the championship game on December 16 at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls, Texas. This was the first season of Division I-AA football.[1]

The Florida A&M Rattlers won their first I-AA championship, defeating Massachusetts Minutemen 35–28 in the Pioneer Bowl.[2]

As of 2016, Florida A&M of 1978 remains the only team from an HBCU to play in the I-AA/FCS national championship game.

Conference changes and new programs[edit]

School 1977 Conference 1978 Conference
Bucknell D-II Independent I-AA Independent
Lafayette D-II Independent I-AA Independent
Lehigh D-II Independent I-AA Independent
Nevada D-II Independent I-AA Independent
Northwestern State D-I Independent I-AA Independent
Portland State D-II Independent I-AA Independent

Conference standings[edit]

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
  • No Big Sky teams were selected for I-AA playoffs.
Rankings from NCAA Poll
Template:1978 MEAC football standings Template:1978 Ohio Valley football standings
Template:1978 SWAC football standings
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  
Nevada ^   0 0         11 1  
Lehigh   0 0         8 3  
Northwestern State   0 0         5 6  
Portland State   0 0         5 6  
Bucknell   0 0         5 5  
Lafayette   0 0         4 7  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – Division I-AA playoff participant

Conference champions[edit]

Conference champions

Big Sky ConferenceNorthern Arizona
Mid-Eastern Athletic ConferenceSouth Carolina State
Ohio Valley ConferenceWestern Kentucky
Southwestern Athletic ConferenceGrambling State
Yankee ConferenceUMass

Postseason[edit]

NCAA Division I-AA Playoff bracket[edit]

Semifinals
Campus Sites
December 9
Championship Game
Pioneer Bowl
Memorial Stadium
Wichita Falls, TX
December 17
           
Florida A&M 15
Jackson State* 10
Florida A&M 35
UMass 28
UMass 44
Nevada-Reno* 21

* Denotes host institution

References[edit]

  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. NCAA.org. p. 14. Retrieved December 20, 2013.