Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Football Championship Subdivision

Here's what NCAA Division I should do...a playoff, just like the NCAA Division I-AA does. This year Appalachian State won its third straight national championship. Whoever wins the National Division I championship, LSU or Ohio State, will be subject to much debate.

The FCS is a 16 team playoff that culminates in a championship. On August 3, 2006, the Division I Board of Directors took action regarding the two football subdivisions in Division I (Division I-A and I-AA), approving new labels. The university presidents approved a change in terminology to "NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision" for the former I-A classification and "NCAA Football Championship Subdivision" for the former I-AA group. The Collegiate Commissioners Association helped develop the new labels.

The teams this year in the playoffs were New Hampshire, UNI, (University of Northern Iowa), Delaware, Delaware State, Southern Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Massachusetts, Fordham, McNeese State, Eastern Washington, Appalachian State, James Madison, Montana, Wofford, Richmond, Eastern Kentucky.

These aren't powerhouse programs like Ohio State and Michigan, in fact, here are the NFL current alumni for Appalachian State and Delaware.
Jason Hunter (57) Green Bay Packers DE
Marques Murrell (94) New York Jets DE
Daniel Wilcox (83) Baltimore Ravens TE

Mike Adams (20) Cleveland Browns DB
Jamin Elliott (18) Atlanta Falcons WR
Joe Minucci Baltimore Ravens OL
Ben Patrick (89) Arizona Cardinals TE

The presidents believe the new nomenclature, which became effective in December 2006, more accurately distinguishes Division I institutions for purposes of governing football, the only sport for which such a distinction is necessary. Members felt the old nomenclature inaccurately tiered Division I institutions in all sports, not just football, and produced instances in which media outlets and other entities incorrectly cited institutions as being Division I-AA in basketball or baseball, for example.

The new nomenclature does not affect the voting structure used in Division I governance matters.

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 the present 16-team format, requiring four post-season victories to win the title.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Appalachian State came up with the perfect bookend to the crazy football season the Mountaineers kicked off with that stunning upset of Michigan: history as Division I-AA's first three-peat national champions.

"I can't tell you how much relief there is in being a three-peat," Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore said. "It is over."

Armanti Edwards threw for three touchdowns, and Appalachian State jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never trailed in beating Delaware 49-21 on Friday night for a third consecutive title in the Football Championship Subdivision.

And don't think that Michigan win will stand out more in their memories than the third consecutive title.

"Michigan didn't put a ring on our finger," Edwards said.

They became only the third team to win consecutive titles last year, but the Mountaineers now have done something that neither Georgia Southern nor Youngstown State could. They returned to a third straight championship game -- and won by their biggest margin yet.

No. 13 Delaware (11-4) came in looking for its second championship five years. The Fightin' Blue Hens had rallied from 10-0 deficits in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Not this time.

"They were as good as advertised," Delaware coach K.C. Keeler said.

Year Champion Runner-up Score Head Coach
1978 Florida A&M Massachusetts 35-28 Rudy Hubbard
1979 Eastern Kentucky Lehigh 30-7 Roy Kidd
1980 Boise State Eastern Kentucky 31-29 Jim Criner
1981 Idaho State Eastern Kentucky 34-23 Dave Kragthorpe
1982 Eastern Kentucky Delaware 17-14 Roy Kidd
1983 Southern Illinois Western Carolina 43-7 Rey Dempsey
1984 Montana State Louisiana Tech 19-6 Dave Arnold
1985 Georgia Southern Furman 44-42 Erk Russell
1986 Georgia Southern Arkansas State 48-21 Erk Russell
1987 Northeast Louisiana Marshall 43-42 Pat Collins
1988 Furman Georgia Southern 17-12 Jimmy Satterfield
1989 Georgia Southern Stephen F. Austin (vacated) Erk Russell
1990 Georgia Southern Nevada 36-13 Tim Stowers
1991 Youngstown State Marshall 25-17 Jim Tressel
1992 Marshall Youngstown State 31-28 Jim Donnan
1993 Youngstown State Marshall 17-5 Jim Tressel
1994 Youngstown State Boise State 28-14 Jim Tressel
1995 Montana Marshall 22-20 Don Read
1996 Marshall Montana 49-29 Bob Pruett
1997 Youngstown State McNeese State 10-9 Jim Tressel
1998 Massachusetts Georgia Southern 55-43 Mark Whipple
1999 Georgia Southern Youngstown State 59-24 Paul Johnson
2000 Georgia Southern Montana 27-25 Paul Johnson
2001 Montana Furman 13-6 Joe Glenn
2002 Western Kentucky McNeese State 34-14 Jack Harbaugh
2003 Delaware Colgate 40-0 K.C. Keeler
2004 James Madison Montana 31-21 Mickey Matthews
2005 Appalachian State Northern Iowa 21-16 Jerry Moore
2006 Appalachian State Massachusetts 28-17 Jerry Moore
2007 Appalachian State Delaware 49-21 Jerry Moore

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