2016 NCAA Division I FCS season
NCAA logo.svg
Regular season
Number of teams125
DurationAugust 26 – December 3
Payton AwardJeremiah Briscoe, Sam Houston State
Buchanan AwardKarter Schult, Northern Iowa
Playoff
DurationNovember 26 – December 17
Championship dateJanuary 7, 2017
Championship siteToyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
ChampionJames Madison
NCAA Division I FCS football seasons

The 2016 NCAA Division I FCS football season, part of college football in the United States, was organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. The NCAA Division I Football Championship Game was played on January 7, 2017, in Frisco, Texas. The James Madison Dukes defeated the Youngstown State Penguins, 28–14, to capture their second national championship in team history.

Rule changes

The following rule changes were voted on by the NCAA Football Rules Committee for the 2016 season:[1]

The committee, once again, took no action on changing the ineligible receiver downfield rule from three yards to one yard; however it will once again be a "point of emphasis" and will adjust officiating mechanics to better officiate those plays.

In addition to the above changes, the NCAA approved an experimental rule on kickoffs and touchbacks to be used this season by the Ivy League in conference games only. In those games, kickoffs were taken from the 40-yard line instead of the 35, and touchbacks were brought back to the 20-yard line instead of the 25. The Ivies proposed the experiment in the interest of player safety, believing that increasing the frequency of touchbacks would reduce injury risk from kick returns. The Ivies were scheduled to report the results of the experiment to the NCAA in February 2017.[2]

Conference changes and new programs

Membership changes

School Former conference New conference
Coastal Carolina Big South FCS independent
East Tennessee State FCS independent SoCon
Note
Coastal Carolina began a two-year transition to FBS in 2016, playing as an FCS independent while housing most of its other sports in the FBS Sun Belt Conference. The Chanticleers will join Sun Belt football in 2017.[3]

Other headlines

Updated stadiums

Two teams played their final season in their then-current venues:

FCS team wins over FBS teams

(FCS rankings from the STATS poll)

Conference standings

2016 Big Sky Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 4 Eastern Washington +^   8 0     12 2  
No. 12 North Dakota +^   8 0     9 3  
No. 25 Weber State ^   6 2     7 5  
No. 24 Cal Poly ^   5 3     7 5  
Southern Utah   5 3     6 5  
Northern Colorado   4 4     6 5  
Northern Arizona   4 4     5 6  
Montana   3 5     6 5  
Montana State   2 6     4 7  
Portland State   2 6     3 8  
UC Davis   2 6     3 8  
Sacramento State   2 6     2 9  
Idaho State   1 7     2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Big South Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 15 Charleston Southern +^   4 1     7 4  
Liberty +   4 1     6 5  
Kennesaw State   3 2     8 3  
Gardner–Webb   3 2     5 6  
Presbyterian   1 4     2 9  
Monmouth   0 5     4 7  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Colonial Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 1 James Madison $^   8 0     14 1  
No. 11 Villanova ^   6 2     9 4  
No. 17 New Hampshire ^   6 2     8 5  
No. 8 Richmond ^   5 3     10 4  
Maine   5 3     6 5  
Albany   4 4     7 4  
Stony Brook   4 4     5 6  
William & Mary   3 5     5 6  
Towson   3 5     4 7  
Delaware   2 6     4 7  
Elon   1 7     2 9  
Rhode Island   1 7     2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Ivy League football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Princeton +   6 1     8 2  
Penn +   6 1     7 3  
Harvard   5 2     7 3  
Brown   3 4     4 6  
Yale   3 4     3 7  
Cornell   2 5     4 6  
Columbia   2 5     3 7  
Dartmouth   1 6     4 6  
  • + – Conference co-champions
2016 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 22 North Carolina Central $   8 0     9 3  
No. 20 North Carolina A&T ^   7 1     9 3  
Hampton   5 3     5 6  
South Carolina State   5 3     5 6  
Bethune-Cookman   4 4     4 6  
Florida A&M *   4 4     4 7  
Norfolk State   3 5     4 7  
Savannah State *   3 5     3 7  
Morgan State *   3 5     3 8  
Howard *   2 6     2 9  
Delaware State   0 8     0 11  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
  • * Florida A&M, Howard, Morgan State, and Savannah State ineligible for postseason due to APR violations
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Missouri Valley Football Conference standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 3 North Dakota State +^   7 1     12 2  
No. 6 South Dakota State +^   7 1     9 4  
No. 2 Youngstown State ^   6 2     12 4  
Illinois State ^   4 4     6 6  
Northern Iowa   4 4     5 6  
Western Illinois   3 5     6 5  
South Dakota   3 5     4 7  
Indiana State   2 6     4 7  
Missouri State   2 6     4 7  
Southern Illinois   2 6     4 7  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Northeast Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Duquesne +   5 1     8 3  
Saint Francis (PA) +^   5 1     7 5  
Wagner   4 2     6 5  
Bryant   4 2     5 6  
Sacred Heart   1 5     6 5  
Central Connecticut   1 5     2 9  
Robert Morris   1 5     2 9  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
2016 Ohio Valley Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 6 Jacksonville State $^   7 0     10 2  
UT Martin   6 2     7 5  
Tennessee Tech   5 3     5 6  
Tennessee State   4 3     7 4  
Eastern Illinois   4 4     6 5  
Murray State   4 4     4 7  
SE Missouri State   3 5     3 8  
Eastern Kentucky   2 6     3 8  
Austin Peay   0 8     0 11  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Patriot League football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 21 Lehigh $^   6 0     9 3  
Fordham   5 1     8 3  
Colgate   4 2     5 5  
Bucknell   3 3     4 7  
Holy Cross   2 4     4 7  
Lafayette   1 5     2 9  
Georgetown   0 6     3 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Pioneer Football League standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 19 San Diego $^   8 0     10 2  
Dayton   7 1     9 2  
Drake   6 2     7 4  
Marist   5 3     5 6  
Jacksonville   4 3     5 5  
Campbell   3 4     5 5  
Morehead State   3 5     4 7  
Valparaiso   3 5     4 7  
Butler   2 6     4 7  
Stetson   2 6     4 7  
Davidson   0 8     2 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS Poll
2016 Southern Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 10 The Citadel $^   8 0     10 2  
No. 9 Wofford ^   6 2     10 4  
No. 13 Chattanooga ^   6 2     9 4  
No. 23 Samford ^   5 3     7 5  
Mercer   4 4     6 5  
Furman   3 5     3 8  
East Tennessee State   2 6     5 6  
Western Carolina   1 7     2 9  
VMI   1 7     3 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2016 Southland Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 5 Sam Houston State $^   9 0     12 1  
No. 14 Central Arkansas ^   8 1     10 3  
SE Louisiana   7 2     7 4  
McNeese State   5 4     6 5  
Nicholls State   5 4     5 6  
Stephen F. Austin   4 5     5 6  
Houston Baptist   3 5     4 7  
Incarnate Word *   3 6     3 8  
Lamar   3 6     3 8  
Abilene Christian *   2 7     2 9  
Northwestern State   0 9     1 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – FCS playoff participant
  • * – ineligible for FCS playoffs due to transition from NCAA Division II
Rankings from STATS poll
2016 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
East
Alcorn State xy   5 4     5 6  
Alabama A&M   4 5     4 7  
Alabama State   3 6     4 7  
Jackson State   3 6     3 8  
Mississippi Valley State   1 8     1 10  
West
No. 16 Grambling State xy$   9 0     12 1  
Southern*   8 1     8 3  
Prairie View A&M   7 2     7 4  
Texas Southern   4 5     4 7  
Arkansas–Pine Bluff   1 8     1 10  
Championship: Grambling State 27, Alcorn State 20
December 3, 2016
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
  • *Southern ineligible for postseason due to APR violations
Rankings from STATS FCS Poll
2016 NCAA Division I FCS independents football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 18 Coastal Carolina       10 2  
  • Coastal Carolina ineligible for FCS playoffs as part of FBS transition
Rankings from STATS Poll

Conference summaries

Championship games

Conference Champion Runner-up Score Offensive Player of the Year Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
SWAC Grambling State
11–1 (9–0)
Alcorn State
5–6 (5–4)
27–20 Devante Kincade
(Grambling State)
Tiger Donovan McCray
(Grambling State)
Broderick Fobbs
(Grambling State)

Other conference winners

Note: Records are regular-season only, and do not include playoff games.

Conference Champion Record Offensive Player of the Year Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
Big Sky Eastern Washington
North Dakota
10–1 (8–0)
9–2 (8–0)
Gage Gubrud
(Eastern Washington)
Cooper Kupp
(Eastern Washington)
Cole Reyes
(North Dakota)
Bubba Schweigert
(North Dakota)
Big South Charleston Southern
Liberty
7–3 (4–1)
6–5 (4–1)
Tyrell Maxwell
(Gardner–Webb)
Anthony Ellis
(Charleston Southern)
Jamey Chadwell
(Charleston Southern)
CAA James Madison 10–1 (8–0) Bryan Schor
(James Madison)
Tanoh Kpassagnon
(Villanova)
Mike Houston
(James Madison)
Ivy Penn
Princeton
7–3 (6–1)
8–2 (6–1)
John Lovett
(Princeton)
Folarin Orimolade
(Dartmouth)
Bob Surace
(Princeton)
MEAC North Carolina Central 9–2 (8–0) Tarik Cohen
(North Carolina A&T)
Darius Leonard
(South Carolina State)
Jerry Mack
(North Carolina Central)
MVFC North Dakota State
South Dakota State
10–1 (7–1)
8–3 (7–1)
Taryn Christion
(South Dakota State)
Karter Schult
(Northern Iowa)
John Stiegelmeier
(South Dakota State)
NEC Duquesne
Saint Francis (PA)
8–3 (5–1)
7–4 (5–1)
Kamron Lewis
(Saint Francis)
Christian Kuntz
(Duquesne)
Chris Villarrial
(Saint Francis)
OVC Jacksonville State 10–1 (7–0) Eli Jenkins
(Jacksonville State)
Darius Jackson
(Jacksonville State)
John Grass
(Jacksonville State)
Patriot Lehigh 9–2 (6–0) Nick Shafnisky
(Lehigh)
Pat Afriyie
(Colgate)
Andy Coen
(Lehigh)
Pioneer San Diego 9–1 (8–0) Jonah Hodges
(San Diego)
Donald Payne
(Stetson)
Dale Lindsey
(San Diego)
Southern The Citadel 10–1 (8–0) Devlin Hodges
(Samford)
Keionta Davis
(Chattanooga)
Brent Thompson
(The Citadel)
Southland Sam Houston State 11–0 (9–0) Overall: Jeremiah Briscoe
(Sam Houston State)
Offensive: Yedidiah Louis
(Sam Houston State)
P. J. Hall
(Sam Houston State)
K. C. Keeler
(Sam Houston State)

Playoff qualifiers

Automatic berths for conference champions

Conference Team Appearance Last bid Result
Big Sky Conference Eastern Washington 12th 2014 Quarterfinals (L – Illinois State)
Big South Conference Charleston Southern 2nd 2015 Quarterfinals (L – Jacksonville State)
Colonial Athletic Association James Madison 13th 2015 National Champions (W – Youngstown State)
Missouri Valley Football Conference South Dakota State 6th 2015 First Round (L – Montana)
Northeast Conference Saint Francis (PA) 1st
Ohio Valley Conference Jacksonville State 7th 2015 Championship Game (L – North Dakota State)
Patriot League Lehigh 10th 2011 Quarterfinals (L – North Dakota State)
Pioneer Football League San Diego 2nd 2014 First Round (L – Montana)
Southern Conference The Citadel 5th 2015 Second Round (L – Charleston Southern)
Southland Conference Sam Houston State 10th 2015 Semifinals (L – Jacksonville State)

At large qualifiers

Conference Team Appearance Last bid Result
Big Sky Conference Cal Poly 4th 2012 Second Round (L – Sam Houston State)
North Dakota 1st
Weber State 5th 2009 First Round (L – William & Mary)
Big South Conference None
Colonial Athletic Association New Hampshire 15th 2015 First Round (L – Colgate)
Richmond 11th 2015 Semifinals (L – North Dakota State)
Villanova 11th 2014 Quarterfinals (L – Sam Houston State)
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference North Carolina A&T 5th 2003 First Round (L – Wofford)
Missouri Valley Football Conference Illinois State 7th 2015 Quarterfinals (L – Richmond)
North Dakota State 7th 2015 Semifinals (L - James Madison)
Youngstown State 14th 2006 Semifinals (L – Appalachian State)
Northeast Conference None
Ohio Valley Conference None
Patriot League None
Pioneer Football League None
Southern Conference Chattanooga 4th 2015 Second Round (L – Jacksonville State)
Samford 6th 2013 First Round (L – Jacksonville State)
Wofford 6th 2012 Quarterfinals (L – North Dakota State)
Southland Conference Central Arkansas 3rd 2012 Second Round (L – Georgia Southern)
Southwestern Athletic Conference None

Abstentions

NC Central and Grambling, as the winners of the MEAC and SWAC, will face off in the 2016 Celebration Bowl on December 17 for the unofficial HBCU national championship.

Postseason

NCAA Division I playoff bracket

First round
November 26
Campus sites
ESPN3
Second round
December 3
Campus sites
ESPN3
Quarterfinals
December 9 and 10
Campus sites
ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3
Semifinals
December 16 and 17
Campus sites
ESPN2, ESPNU
National Championship
January 7
12:00 pm
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
ESPN2
1 North Dakota State* 45
Cal Poly* 21 San Diego 7
San Diego 35 1 North Dakota State* 36
8 South Dakota State 10
8 South Dakota State* 10
Villanova* 31 Villanova 7
Saint Francis (PA) 21 1 North Dakota State* 17
4 James Madison 27
4 James Madison* 55
New Hampshire* 64 New Hampshire 22
Lehigh 21 4 James Madison* 65
5 Sam Houston State 7
5 Sam Houston State* 41
Chattanooga* 45 Chattanooga 36
Weber State 14 4 James Madison 28
  Youngstown State 14
2 Eastern Washington* 31
Central Arkansas* 31 Central Arkansas 14
Illinois State 24 2 Eastern Washington* 38
Richmond 0
7 North Dakota* 24
Richmond* 39 Richmond 27
North Carolina A&T 10 2 Eastern Washington* 38
Youngstown State 40
3 Jacksonville State* 24
Youngstown State* 38 Youngstown State 40
Samford 24 Youngstown State* 30
  Wofford 23
6 The Citadel* 3
Wofford* 15 Wofford 17
Charleston Southern 14

Home team   
 Winner
All times in Eastern Standard Time (UTC−05:00)

Bowl games

Game Date/TV Location Winning Team Losing Team Score Offensive MVP Defensive MVP
Celebration Bowl December 17
ABC
Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Georgia
Grambling State
12–1 (9–0)
North Carolina Central
9–3 (8–0)
10–9 Martez Carter
(RB, Grambling State)
Jameel Jackson
(DB, Grambling State)

Awards and honors

Walter Payton Award

Buck Buchanan Award

Jerry Rice Award

Coaches

Coaching changes

In-season

This is restricted to coaching changes that took place on or after May 1, 2016. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2016, see 2015 NCAA Division I FCS end-of-season coaching changes.

School Outgoing coach Date Reason Replacement
Delaware Dave Brock October 16 Fired[16] Dennis Dottin-Carter (interim)

End of season

School Outgoing coach Date Reason Replacement
Abilene Christian Ken Collums November 20 Fired Mark Ribaudo (interim)
Howard Gary Harrell November 20 Contract was not renewed Mike London[17]
Presbyterian Harold Nichols November 20 Resigned Tommy Spangler
UC Davis Ron Gould November 20 Fired Dan Hawkins
Lamar Ray Woodard November 21 Fired Mike Schultz
Bryant Marty Fine November 30 Resigned James Perry
Lafayette Frank Tavani December 1 Fired John Garrett
Furman Bruce Fowler December 2 Resigned Clay Hendrix
Villanova Andy Talley December 3 Retired Mark Ferrante[18]
Delaware Dennis Dottin-Carter (interim) December 13 Permanent replacement Danny Rocco[19]
Richmond Danny Rocco December 13 Hired by Delaware Russ Huesman[20]
Chattanooga Russ Huesman December 14 Hired by Richmond Tom Arth
Indiana State Mike Sanford December 16 Resigned Curt Mallory
Abilene Christian Mark Ribaudo (interim) December 18 Permanent replacement Adam Dorrel
Eastern Washington Beau Baldwin January 16 Hired as OC at California Aaron Best

See also

References

  1. ^ "Football Rules Committee Approves Proposals to Enhance Player Safety". NCAA. February 11, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Ivy League to move kickoffs to 40-yard line" (Press release). NCAA. July 20, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  3. ^ "Coastal Carolina Announces 2016 Football Schedule" (Press release). Coastal Carolina Athletics. March 1, 2016. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2016. "This is an important year for our program as we start our transition to the FBS," said fifth-year head coach Joe Moglia. "However, we are still an FCS independent this year and have put together a nationally-competitive schedule to reflect that.
  4. ^ "ETSU, WCU to Play at Bristol Motor Speedway" (Press release). Southern Conference. January 29, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  5. ^ "Sun Belt Football to Be 10 Teams in 2018" (Press release). Sun Belt Conference. March 1, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "UI Moving Football to Big Sky Conference" (Press release). University of Idaho Office of the President. April 28, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  7. ^ Dodd, Dennis (April 27, 2016). "Idaho will become first team to drop from FBS to FCS in 2018". CBSSports.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  8. ^ "Big South and ASUN Conference Establish FCS Membership Partnership" (Press release). ASUN Conference. September 13, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  9. ^ "Campbell Football To Join Big South in 2018" (Press release). Big South Conference. November 14, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  10. ^ "Joe Thomas Sr., 55, becomes oldest D-I football player ever to take field". Sports Illustrated. November 19, 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  11. ^ "UNA Accepts ASUN Division I Invitation" (Press release). North Alabama Lions. December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  12. ^ "North Alabama To Join Big South Football in 2019" (Press release). Big South Conference. December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  13. ^ "New Stadium, Pair of FBS Opponents Highlight 2016 Football Schedule". Prairie View A&M University Athletics. February 4, 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "The New Look Panther Stadium". Prairie View A&M University Athletics. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  15. ^ "2016 College Football Rankings – Week 4". ESPN.com. September 18, 2016. Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  16. ^ "University of Delaware Athletics Announces Changes in Coaching Staff". Delaware Athletics. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  17. ^ "Mike London leaving Maryland to become Howard head coach".
  18. ^ "SDSU slips past 'Nova to end Talley's career". ESPN. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  19. ^ "Delaware 'closer to home' for new football coach Rocco". Delaware Online. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  20. ^ "Huesman Named Head Coach Of Spiders Football". RichmondsSpiders.com. Retrieved December 14, 2016.