1981 NCAA Division I-AA football season

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1981 NCAA Division I-AA season
Duration August – November 1981
Playoff
Duration December 5–19, 1981
Championship site Memorial Stadium
Wichita Falls, TX
Champion Idaho State Bengals
Division I-AA football season

The 1981 NCAA Division I-AA football season, part of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, began in August 1981 and concluded with the Division I-AA championship game on December 19 at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Idaho State Bengals won their only I-AA championship, defeating the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in the Pioneer Bowl, 34−23.[1][2][3]


Conference changes and new programs[edit]

School 1980 Conference 1981 Conference
Portland State I-AA Independent D-II Independent
Tennessee State I-A Independent I-AA Independent
Youngstown State Mid-Continent (D-II) Ohio Valley (I-AA)

Conference standings[edit]

1981 Big Sky football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#2 Idaho State $^ 6 1 0     12 1 0
#5 Boise State ^ 6 1 0     10 3 0
Montana 5 2 0     7 3 0
Nevada 4 3 0     7 4 0
Weber State 4 3 0     7 4 0
Northern Arizona 2 5 0     4 7 0
Montana State 1 6 0     3 7 0
Idaho 0 7 0     3 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – Division I-AA playoff participant
  • Idaho State earned automatic berth and
    Boise State earned at-large berth in I-AA playoffs.
Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA poll (released before championship playoffs)
Template:1981 MEAC football standings Template:1981 Ohio Valley football standings
Template:1981 SWAC football standings
1981 Yankee Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Rhode Island +^ 4 1 0     6 6 0
UMass + 4 1 0     6 3 0
Boston University 3 2 0     6 5 0
#10 New Hampshire 2 3 0     7 3 0
Connecticut 1 4 0     4 7 0
Maine 1 4 0     3 7 1
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from NCAA I-AA Poll
1981 NCAA Division I-AA independents football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Delaware ^         9 3 0
Lafayette         9 2 0
Tennessee State ^         9 3 0
SE Louisiana         8 3 0
Lehigh         8 3 0
Nicholls State         5 5 1
Northwestern State         4 6 0
Bucknell         4 6 0
James Madison         3 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – Division I-AA playoff participant

Conference champions[edit]

Conference champions

Big Sky Conference – Idaho State
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – South Carolina State
Ohio Valley Conference – Eastern Kentucky
Southwestern Athletic Conference – Jackson State
Yankee Conference – Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Postseason[edit]

NCAA Division I-AA Playoff bracket[edit]

First Round
December 5
Campus Sites
Semifinals
December 12
Campus Sites
Championship Game
December 19
Pioneer Bowl
Memorial Stadium
Wichita Falls, TX
                 
Delaware 28
Eastern Kentucky* 35
Eastern Kentucky 23
Boise State* 17
Boise State 19
Jackson State* 7
Eastern Kentucky 23
Idaho State 34
Rhode Island 0
Idaho State* 51
Idaho State* 41
South Carolina State 12
Tennessee State 25
South Carolina State* (OT) 26

* Denotes host institution

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1981 NCAA Division I Football Championship" (PDF). NCAA. NCAA.org. p. 14. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Bengals win I-AA crown". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 20, 1981. p. 6D. 
  3. ^ "Bengals ride like the wind". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 20, 1981. p. 2D.