Boise State earned automatic berth in NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship. Idaho State and Weber State met twice in league play with each game counting as a half game.
Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA poll (released before championship playoffs)
The Broncos finished the regular season at 8–3 and 6–1 in conference to win their fifth Big Sky title in 11 seasons, their first since 1976. BSU defeated their two Division I-A opponents, but lost a road contest in November to Cal Poly-SLO, the 1980 Division II national champions. The Broncos easily defeated rivalIdaho for the fourth consecutive year in mid-October in Boise. During halftime of the Nevada-Reno game on November 8, BSU dedicated the playing field at Bronco Stadium to athletic director and former head coach Lyle Smith.
The Broncos were invited to the four-team I-AA playoffs. As Big Sky champions with a substantial stadium and fan base, BSU was chosen to host in the first round, a national semifinal on December 13, three weeks after the completion of the regular season. The opponent was Grambling State, coached by legend Eddie Robinson. The Broncos won 14–9 and advanced to the I-AA national championship game the following week at Sacramento, California, against defending champion Eastern Kentucky, coached by Roy Kidd. In a back-and-forth contest played in the fog at Hughes Stadium, Boise State won 31–29 to win their only I-AA national title.