1976 NCAA Division II football season
Regular seasonAugust – November 1976
PlayoffsNovember 27 –
December 11, 1976
National ChampionshipPioneer Bowl
Memorial Stadium
Wichita Falls, TX
ChampionMontana State

The 1976 NCAA Division II football season, part of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division II level, began in August 1976 and concluded with the championship game on December 11 at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Montana State Bobcats defeated the Akron Zips 24–13 in the Pioneer Bowl to win their only Division II national title.[1][2][3]

Conference changes and new programs

School 1975 Conference 1976 Conference
Alabama State SIAC D-II Independent
Cal State Los Angeles CCAA Independent
Eastern Michigan Independent MAC (D-I)
Illinois State Independent D-I Independent

Conference standings

1976 Big Sky Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 1 Montana State $^ 6 0 0 12 1 0
Idaho 5 1 0 7 4 0
Northern Arizona 4 2 0 8 3 0
Montana 3 3 0 4 6 0
Boise State 2 4 0 5 5 1
Weber State 1 5 0 2 9 0
Idaho State 0 6 0 0 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from NCAA Division II AP Poll
1976 California Collegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Cal Poly $ 2 0 0 7 1 1
Cal Poly Pomona 1 1 0 4 5 1
Cal State Northridge 0 2 0 8 3 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1976 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Norfolk State $ 7 1 0 8 3 0
Hampton 6 2 0 7 4 0
Fayetteville State 5 3 0 7 3 0
Virginia Union 5 3 0 7 4 0
Livingstone 4 4 0 6 5 0
Winston-Salem State 4 4 0 4 6 0
Johnson C. Smith 3 5 0 4 7 0
Virginia State 3 5 0 4 7 0
Elizabeth City State 3 5 0 3 7 0
Saint Paul's (VA) 1 7 0 3 8 0
Shaw 1 7 0 2 7 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1976 Far Western Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
UC Davis $ 5 0 0 8 2 0
Humboldt State 4 1 0 5 5 0
Chico State 2 3 0 5 6 0
San Francisco State 2 3 0 4 7 0
Sacramento State 2 3 0 2 8 0
Cal State Hayward 0 5 0 1 8 1
  • $ – Conference champion
1976 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Northwood $ 4 1 0 5 2 1
Grand Valley State 3 2 0 8 2 0
Wayne State (MI) 3 2 0 6 2 0
Ferris State 3 2 0 5 5 0
Hillsdale 2 3 0 5 5 0
Saginaw Valley State 0 5 0 3 7 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1976 Gulf South Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 6 Troy State $ 7 1 0 8 1 1
Southeastern Louisiana 6 1 1 9 1 1
Jacksonville State 6 2 0 6 4 0
Tennessee–Martin 5 3 0 8 3 0
Livingston 5 3 0 5 5 0
North Alabama 3 4 1 4 5 1
Delta State 2 5 1 4 6 1
Nicholls State 2 5 1 4 6 1
Mississippi College 0 8 0 2 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1976 Indiana Collegiate Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Saint Joseph's (IN) + 4 1 0 6 3 0
Evansville + 4 1 0 4 6 0
Indiana Central 3 2 0 6 4 0
Butler 2 3 0 6 4 0
Valparaiso 2 3 0 2 7 1
DePauw 0 5 0 2 8 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
1976 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. T–8 South Carolina State + 5 1 0 10 1 0
Morgan State + 5 1 0 6 4 0
North Carolina A&T 3 2 1 6 4 1
Howard 3 2 1 5 5 1
North Carolina Central 2 4 0 6 5 0
Delaware State 1 5 0 3 7 1
Maryland Eastern Shore 1 5 0 2 9 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1976 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
SE Missouri State + 4 1 1 7 3 1
NE Missouri State + 4 1 1 5 3 1
NW Missouri State 4 2 0 8 2 0
SW Missouri State 4 2 0 5 6 0
Missouri–Rolla 2 4 0 4 6 1
Central Missouri State 2 4 0 3 8 0
Lincoln (MO) 0 6 0 0 11 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
1976 North Central Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. T–8 North Dakota State $^ 6 0 0 9 3 0
South Dakota State 4 1 1 5 4 1
Northern Iowa 4 2 0 8 3 0
South Dakota 3 2 1 4 5 1
North Dakota 1 4 1 1 7 1
Augustana (SD) 1 5 0 4 6 0
Morningside 0 5 1 1 7 1
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AP Poll
1976 Ohio Valley Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 5 Eastern Kentucky $^ 6 1 0 8 3 0
Tennessee Tech 5 2 0 8 3 0
Murray State 4 3 0 5 6 0
Austin Peay 3 4 0 5 6 0
Western Kentucky 3 4 0 4 5 1
East Tennessee State 3 4 0 3 7 0
Middle Tennessee 2 5 0 4 7 0
Morehead State 2 5 0 2 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division II playoff participant
  • Morehead State record adjusted for forfeit to Marshall
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1976 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. T–8 Alcorn State $   5 1     8 2  
Grambling State   4 2     8 4  
Southern   4 2     8 3  
Prairie View A&M   3 3     6 5  
Jackson State   3 3     5 4  
Mississippi Valley State   1 5     4 6  
Texas Southern   1 5     2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1976 Yankee Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. T–8 New Hampshire $^ 4 1 0 8 3 0
UMass 3 2 0 5 5 0
Maine 2 3 0 6 5 0
Rhode Island 2 3 0 3 5 0
Boston University 2 3 0 3 7 0
Connecticut 2 3 0 2 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll
1976 NCAA Division II independents football records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 2 Northern Michigan ^     11 2 0
No. 3 Akron ^     10 3 0
No. 7 UNLV ^     9 3 0
No. 4 Delaware ^     8 3 1
Nevada     8 3 0
Portland State     8 3 0
Tennessee State     7 2 1
American International     6 3 0
Northern Colorado     6 3 0
Madison     7 4 0
Santa Clara     7 4 0
Chattanooga     6 4 1
Central State (OH)     6 5 0
Lehigh     6 5 0
Cal State Los Angeles     5 3 1
Arkansas–Pine Bluff     5 5 0
Central Connecticut     5 5 0
Lafayette     5 5 0
Eastern Illinois     5 6 0
Bucknell     4 5 0
Youngstown State     4 6 0
Nebraska–Omaha     3 8 0
Northeastern     2 7 0
  • ^ – NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from Associated Press poll

Conference summaries

See also: List of NCAA Division II football seasons

Conference Champions

Big Sky Conference – Montana State
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association – Norfolk State
Far Western Football Conference – UC Davis
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Northwood
Gulf South Conference – Troy State
Lone Star Conference – Texas A&I
Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association – Northeast Missouri State and Southeast Missouri State
North Central Conference – North Dakota State
Northern Intercollegiate Conference – Minnesota–Morris
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference – East Stroudsburg
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference – Western State
South Atlantic Conference – Elon
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (Division II) – Bethune-Cookman
Yankee Conference – New Hampshire

Postseason

1976 NCAA Division II Football Championship
Teams8
Finals Site
Champion
Runner-up
Semifinalists
Winning coach
Attendance13,200
(Pioneer Bowl)

The 1976 NCAA Division II Football Championship playoffs were the fourth single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's Division II college football. The championship game (Pioneer Bowl) was held at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls, Texas for the first time.

Playoff bracket

First round
Campus sites

November 27
Semifinals
Campus sites
Knute Rockne Bowl
Grantland Rice Bowl
December 4
Championship
Pioneer Bowl
Memorial Stadium
Wichita Falls, TX
December 11
         
Akron* 27
UNLV 6
Akron* 29
Northern Michigan 26
Northern Michigan 28
Delaware* 17
Akron 13
Montana State 24
North Dakota State 10
Eastern Kentucky* 7
North Dakota State* 3
Montana State 10
Montana State* 17
New Hampshire 16

* Denotes host institution

See also

References

  1. ^ "1976 NCAA Division II National Football Championship Bracket" (PDF). NCAA. NCAA.org. p. 13. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Montana State wins title". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 12, 1976. p. 4B.
  3. ^ "Dennehy leads Montana State's bowl win". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. December 12, 1976. p. D1.