2004 NCAA Division I-AA season
Regular season
DurationAugust 28–November
Payton AwardQB Lang Campbell, William & Mary
Buchanan AwardLB Jordan Beck, Cal Poly
Playoff
DurationNovember 27–December 17
Championship dateDecember 17, 2004
Championship siteFinley Stadium
Chattanooga, Tennessee
ChampionJames Madison
NCAA Division I-AA football seasons

The 2004 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 on August 28, 2004, and concluded with the 2004 NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship Game on December 17, 2004, at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee. James Madison won their first I-AA championship, defeating Montana by a final score of 31−21.

Conference changes and new programs

School 2003 Conference 2004 Conference
Cal Poly I-AA Independent Great West
East Tennessee State Southern Dropped Program
North Dakota State North Central (D-II) Great West (I-AA)
Northern Colorado D-II Independent Great West (I-AA)
Siena MAAC Dropped Program
St. Mary's (CA) I-AA Independent Dropped Program
Southern Utah I-AA Independent Great West
South Dakota State North Central (D-II) Great West (I-AA)
Towson Patriot Atlantic 10
UC Davis D-II Independent Great West (I-AA)

I-AA team wins over I-A teams

Conference standings

2004 Atlantic 10 Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 1 James Madison $^   7 1     13 2  
No. 3 William & Mary $^   7 1     11 3  
No. 7 Delaware $^   7 1     9 4  
No. 6 New Hampshire ^   7 2     11 3  
Northeastern   4 4     5 6  
Villanova   4 5     6 5  
Maine   4 5     6 6  
UMass   4 5     6 6  
Hofstra   3 5     5 6  
Rhode Island   2 6     4 7  
Richmond   2 6     3 8  
Towson   0 8     3 8  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from The Sports Network poll
2004 Big Sky Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 2 Montana $^   6 1     12 3  
No. 8 E. Washington ^   6 1     9 4  
Montana State   4 3     6 5  
Portland State   4 3     7 4  
Northern Arizona   3 4     4 7  
Idaho State   2 5     3 8  
Sacramento State   2 5     3 8  
Weber State   1 6     1 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from The Sports Network poll
2004 Big South Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 24 Coastal Carolina $   4 0     10 1  
Liberty   3 1     6 5  
Gardner–Webb   2 2     5 6  
Charleston Southern   1 3     5 5  
VMI   0 4     0 11  
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from The Sports Network poll
2004 Gateway Football Conference standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 9 Southern Illinois $^   7 0     10 2  
No. 11 Western Kentucky ^   6 1     9 3  
No. 25 Northern Iowa   5 2     7 4  
Southwest Missouri State   3 4     6 5  
Western Illinois   2 5     4 7  
Illinois State   2 5     4 7  
Youngstown State   2 5     4 7  
Indiana State   1 6     4 7  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from The Sports Network poll
2004 Great West Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 16 Cal Poly $   4 1     9 2  
UC Davis   3 2     6 4  
No. 23 North Dakota State   2 3     8 3  
South Dakota State   2 3     6 5  
Southern Utah   2 3     6 5  
Northern Colorado   2 3     2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from The Sports Network poll
2004 Ivy League football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 13 Harvard $   7 0     10 0  
No. 21 Penn   6 1     8 2  
Cornell   4 3     4 6  
Brown   3 4     6 4  
Princeton   3 4     5 5  
Yale   3 4     5 5  
Dartmouth   1 6     1 9  
Columbia   1 6     1 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from The Sports Network poll
2004 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Duquesne $   4 0     7 3  
Marist   3 1     3 6  
La Salle   1 3     3 7  
Saint Peter's   1 3     3 7  
Iona   1 3     2 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
2004 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 12 Hampton +^   6 1     10 2  
No. 22 South Carolina State +   6 1     9 2  
Bethune–Cookman   4 3     6 4  
Delaware State   4 3     4 7  
Howard   3 4     6 5  
Morgan State   3 4     5 6  
North Carolina A&T   1 6     3 8  
Norfolk State   1 6     1 8  
Florida A&M   0 0     3 8  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
  • Florida A&M games did not count as conference games.
Rankings from The Sports Network poll
2004 Northeast Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Monmouth +   6 1     10 1  
Central Connecticut +   6 1     8 2  
Albany   4 3     4 7  
Sacred Heart   3 4     6 4  
Robert Morris   3 4     6 5  
Wagner   3 4     6 5  
Stony Brook   2 5     3 7  
Saint Francis (PA)   1 6     3 8  
  • + – Conference co-champions
2004 Ohio Valley Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 14 Jacksonville State $^   7 1     9 2  
Murray State   6 2     7 4  
Eastern Kentucky   6 2     6 5  
Eastern Illinois   4 4     5 6  
Tennessee Tech   3 4     6 5  
Samford   3 5     4 7  
Southeast Missouri State   3 5     3 8  
Tennessee State   2 5     4 7  
Tennessee–Martin   1 7     2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from The Sports Network poll
2004 Patriot League football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 15 Lehigh +^   5 1     9 3  
No. 19 Lafayette +^   5 1     8 4  
Bucknell   4 2     7 4  
Colgate   4 2     7 4  
Fordham   2 4     5 6  
Holy Cross   1 5     3 8  
Georgetown   0 6     3 8  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from The Sports Network poll
2004 Pioneer Football League standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
North Division
Drake xy$   4 0     10 2  
San Diego   3 1     7 4  
Dayton   2 2     7 3  
Valparaiso   1 3     5 6  
Butler   0 4     1 10  
South Division
Morehead State xy   2 1     6 6  
Jacksonville x   2 1     3 7  
Davidson   1 2     2 7  
Austin Peay   1 2     2 9  
Championship: Drake 20, Morehead State 17
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
2004 Southern Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 5 Furman $^   6 1     10 3  
No. 10 Georgia Southern ^   6 1     9 3  
No. 18 Wofford   4 3     8 3  
Appalachian State   4 3     6 5  
Western Carolina   2 5     4 7  
The Citadel   2 5     3 7  
Elon   2 5     3 8  
Chattanooga   2 5     2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from The Sports Network I-AA Poll
2004 Southland Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 4 Sam Houston State +^   4 1     11 3  
No. 17 Northwestern State +^   4 1     8 4  
Texas State   3 2     5 6  
Nicholls State   2 3     5 5  
Stephen F. Austin   1 4     6 4  
McNeese State   1 4     4 7  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
Rankings from The Sports Network poll
2004 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
East
No. 20 Alabama State x$   6 1     10 2  
Alabama A&M   5 2     7 4  
Alcorn State   4 3     7 4  
Jackson State   3 4     4 7  
Mississippi Valley State   1 6     3 8  
West
Southern x   6 1     8 4  
Arkansas–Pine Bluff   5 2     6 3  
Grambling State   3 4     6 5  
Prairie View A&M   1 6     3 8  
Texas Southern   0 7     0 11  
Championship: Alabama State 40, Southern 35
December 11, 2004
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
2004 NCAA Division I-AA independents football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Florida Atlantic       9 3  
Southeastern Louisiana       7 4  
FIU       3 7  
Savannah State       2 8  

Postseason

NCAA Division I-AA playoff bracket

First Round
November 27
Campus sites
Quarterfinals
December 4
Campus sites
Semifinals
December 10 and December 11
Campus sites
National Championship Game

December 17
Finley Stadium
Chattanooga, Tennessee

            
1 Southern Illinois* (10–1) 31
Eastern Washington (8–3) 35
Eastern Washington* 34
Sam Houston State 35
Sam Houston State* (9–2) 54
Western Kentucky (9–2) 24
Sam Houston State 13
Montana* 34
Montana* (9–2) 56
Northwestern State (8–3) 7
Montana* 47
New Hampshire 17
New Hampshire (9–2) 27
4 Georgia Southern* (9–2) 3
Montana 21
James Madison 31
3 William & Mary* (9–2) 42
Hampton (10–1) 35
3 William & Mary* 44
Delaware 38
Delaware* (8–3) 28
Lafayette (8–3) 14
3 William & Mary* 34
James Madison 48
James Madison (9–2) 14
Lehigh* (9–2) 13
James Madison 14
2 Furman* 13
Jacksonville State (9–1) 7
2 Furman* (9–2) 49

* Denotes host institution

References