The 2021 NCAA Division III football season was the component of the 2021 college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States. The regular season began on September 4 and ended on November 13.

The season's playoffs were played between November 20 and December 17, and culminated in the national championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The Mary Hardin–Baylor Crusaders beat the North Central Cardinals in the title game, 57–24.

Conference changes and new programs

Membership changes

Team Former conference New conference
Austin SAA American Southwest
Becker CCC Football College closed
Emory & Henry Old Dominion NCAA Division II independent
Finlandia Michigan Upper Midwest
Iowa Wesleyan Upper Midwest North Star (NAIA)
Keystone Returning program, last competed 1947 ECFC
Louisiana College American Southwest Sooner (NAIA)
Macalester Midwest Minnesota
Maine Maritime North Atlantic Suspended program
Occidental Southern California Dropped program
St. Norbert[a] Midwest NACC
St. Scholastica Upper Midwest Minnesota
St. Thomas (MN) Minnesota Pioneer (NCAA Division I FCS)
Wesley New Jersey College acquired by Delaware State
  1. ^ Already moved in 2020–21 but did not play during the spring 2020–21 season.

Conference standings

2021 American Rivers Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 6 Central (IA) $^   8 0     12 1  
Coe   6 2     8 2  
Wartburg   6 2     7 3  
Dubuque   5 3     6 4  
Buena Vista   4 4     5 5  
Loras   4 4     4 6  
Nebraska Wesleyan   2 6     4 6  
Simpson   1 7     1 9  
Luther   0 8     0 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 American Southwest Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 1 Mary Hardin–Baylor $^   9 0     15 0  
No. 10 Hardin–Simmons   8 1     9 1  
Belhaven   6 3     7 3  
Howard Payne   6 3     7 3  
East Texas Baptist   4 5     5 5  
Southwestern (TX)   4 5     4 6  
Texas Lutheran   3 6     3 7  
McMurry   2 7     2 7  
Sul Ross   2 7     2 7  
Austin   1 8     1 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Centennial Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 7 Muhlenberg +^   8 1     11 2  
No. 13 Johns Hopkins +^   8 1     10 2  
Susquehanna   7 2     9 2  
Ursinus   6 3     7 4  
Franklin & Marshall   5 4     6 5  
Dickinson   4 5     4 6  
Moravian   3 6     3 7  
McDaniel   2 7     2 8  
Gettysburg   1 8     1 9  
Juniata   1 8     1 9  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 2 North Central (IL) $^   9 0     13 1  
No. 9 Wheaton (IL) ^   8 1     10 2  
Washington University   7 2     7 4  
Carroll (WI)   5 4     6 4  
Augustana (IL)   4 5     5 5  
Carthage   3 6     3 7  
Illinois Wesleyan   3 6     3 7  
Millikin   3 6     3 7  
North Park   2 7     2 8  
Elmhurst   1 8     1 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Commonwealth Coast Football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Endicott $^   5 1     8 3  
Western New England   5 1     7 4  
Salve Regina   4 2     8 2  
Husson   4 2     7 3  
New England   2 4     4 5  
Curry   1 5     3 6  
Nichols   0 6     2 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
2021 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Anna Maria $^   5 1     7 3  
Alfred State   5 1     6 5  
Castleton   4 2     6 4  
Gallaudet   3 3     5 3  
SUNY Maritime   3 3     3 6  
Dean   1 5     2 8  
Keystone   0 6     0 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
2021 Empire 8 Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 16 Cortland $   6 0     11 1  
Brockport   4 2     8 3  
Alfred   4 2     5 5  
Utica   3 3     6 4  
St. John Fisher   2 4     4 6  
Hartwick   1 5     2 7  
Morrisville State   0 5     2 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Rose–Hulman $^   7 0     8 3  
Mount St. Joseph   5 2     6 4  
Franklin (IN)   4 3     6 4  
Hanover   4 3     5 5  
Bluffton   3 4     4 6  
Manchester   3 4     3 7  
Anderson (IN)   1 6     1 9  
Defiance   1 6     1 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
2021 Liberty League football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 14 RPI $^   5 1     11 2  
No. 24 Ithaca   5 1     8 2  
Hobart   4 2     9 2  
Union (NY)   4 2     8 2  
St. Lawrence   2 4     5 5  
Rochester (NY)   1 5     3 7  
Buffalo State   0 6     0 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Framingham State $^   8 0     8 3  
UMass Dartmouth   6 2     9 2  
Bridgewater State   6 2     6 4  
Plymouth State   5 3     5 5  
Western Connecticut   4 4     5 5  
Massachusetts Maritime   3 5     4 6  
Worcester State   3 5     3 7  
Westfield State   1 7     1 9  
Fitchburg State   0 8     0 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
2021 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 25 Albion +^   5 1     9 2  
Hope +   5 1     8 2  
Trine   4 2     6 4  
Olivet   3 3     7 3  
Adrian   3 3     5 5  
Alma   1 5     5 5  
Kalamazoo   0 6     1 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Middle Atlantic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 11 Delaware Valley $^   8 0     11 1  
Lycoming   6 2     8 3  
FDU Florham   5 3     7 4  
Widener   5 3     7 4  
Stevenson   5 3     5 6  
Wilkes   5 3     6 4  
Lebanon Valley   4 4     5 5  
King's (PA)   3 5     5 5  
Misericordia   2 6     3 6  
Albright   1 7     2 8  
Alvernia   0 8     0 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Midwest Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 23 Lake Forest $^   9 0     10 1  
Monmouth (IL)   8 1     8 2  
Chicago   7 2     8 2  
Ripon   5 3     6 3  
Illinois College   5 4     5 5  
Cornell (IA)   4 5     4 6  
Knox   3 6     3 6  
Grinnell   2 7     2 8  
Lawrence   1 7     2 7  
Beloit   0 9     0 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Div     Conf Overall
Team   W   L         W   L     W   L  
Northwoods Division
No. 8 Saint John's (MN) x$^   4 0     8 0     11 1  
Gustavus Adolphus   3 1     6 2     8 2  
St. Olaf   2 2     4 4     5 5  
Carleton   1 3     5 3     7 3  
St. Scholastica   0 4     0 8     0 8  
Skyline Division
No. 18 Bethel (MN) x^   4 0     6 2     8 3  
Concordia–Moorhead   3 1     3 5     4 6  
Augsburg   2 2     4 4     4 6  
Macalester   1 3     2 6     3 7  
Hamline   0 4     2 6     4 6  
Championship: Saint John's (MN) 29, Bethel (MN) 28
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
As of November 17, 2021; Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 New England Small College Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Williams $   9 0     9 0  
Trinity (CT)   8 1     8 1  
Wesleyan   6 3     6 3  
Amherst   5 4     5 4  
Colby   4 5     4 5  
Tufts   4 5     4 5  
Bates   3 6     3 6  
Middlebury   3 6     3 6  
Hamilton   2 7     2 7  
Bowdoin   1 8     1 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
2021 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Springfield (MA) $^   6 0     7 4  
Merchant Marine   5 1     9 1  
Catholic University   4 2     6 4  
MIT   3 3     5 4  
WPI   2 4     3 7  
Norwich   1 5     2 8  
Coast Guard   0 6     2 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
2021 New Jersey Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 17 Salisbury $^   6 0     8 2  
Kean   4 2     4 5  
Christopher Newport   3 3     5 5  
William Paterson   2 4     4 6  
TCNJ   2 4     3 6  
Montclair State   2 4     3 7  
Rowan   2 4     2 7  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 North Coast Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
DePauw $^   8 1     9 3  
Ohio Wesleyan   7 2     8 2  
Wittenberg   7 2     7 3  
Wabash   6 3     7 3  
Denison   6 3     6 4  
Wooster   5 4     6 4  
Kenyon   3 6     4 7  
Allegheny   2 7     3 7  
Oberlin   1 8     1 9  
Hiram   0 9     1 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
2021 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Aurora $^   8 0     8 3  
Benedictine (IL)   7 1     8 2  
Lakeland   6 2     8 2  
Concordia (WI)   4 4     6 4  
St. Norbert   4 4     6 6  
Wisconsin Lutheran   3 5     3 7  
Eureka   2 6     2 8  
Concordia (IL)   1 7     3 7  
Rockford   1 7     2 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
2021 Northwest Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 5 Linfield $^   7 0     11 1  
George Fox   6 1     6 3  
Pacific (OR)   5 2     6 3  
Whitworth   4 3     7 3  
Pacific Lutheran   3 4     4 5  
Lewis & Clark   2 5     3 6  
Puget Sound   1 6     1 9  
Willamette   0 7     1 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Ohio Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 4 Mount Union $^   9 0     13 1  
Baldwin Wallace   7 2     8 2  
Heidelberg   7 2     8 2  
John Carroll   7 2     7 3  
Muskingum   4 5     5 5  
Marietta   4 5     4 6  
Ohio Northern   3 6     4 6  
Wilmington (OH)   2 7     2 8  
Capital   1 8     2 8  
Otterbein   1 8     1 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Old Dominion Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Washington and Lee $^   5 1     8 3  
No. 20 Randolph–Macon   5 1     9 1  
Hampden–Sydney   4 2     5 5  
Shenandoah   3 3     7 4  
Ferrum   3 3     6 4  
Bridgewater   1 5     4 6  
Guilford   0 6     1 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Presidents' Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Carnegie Mellon +^   8 1     8 2  
Westminster (PA) +   8 1     8 3  
Washington & Jefferson   7 2     8 3  
Grove City   6 3     8 3  
Case Western Reserve   5 4     6 4  
Saint Vincent   4 5     5 5  
Geneva   4 5     4 6  
Waynesburg   2 7     2 8  
Bethany (WV)   1 8     1 9  
Thiel   0 9     0 10  
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
2021 Southern Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 15 Trinity (TX) $^   7 0     9 1  
No. 19 Birmingham–Southern ^   6 1     10 2  
Centre   5 2     8 2  
Berry   4 3     6 4  
Rhodes   2 5     3 7  
Hendrix   2 5     3 7  
Millsaps   2 5     2 8  
Sewanee   0 7     0 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 21 Redlands $^   6 0     8 2  
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps   4 2     7 3  
Chapman   4 2     7 3  
Cal Lutheran   3 3     5 3  
Pomona-Pitzer   2 4     4 5  
La Verne   2 4     3 6  
Whittier   0 6     0 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2021 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Greenville $^   6 0     8 3  
Martin Luther   5 1     5 4  
Minnesota–Morris   4 2     5 5  
Northwestern (MN)   2 3     2 7  
Westminster (MO)   2 4     3 5  
Crown   1 4     1 8  
Finlandia   0 6     0 9  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
2021 USA South Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Huntingdon $^   8 0     8 3  
Methodist   7 1     7 2  
Brevard   6 2     6 4  
Averett   4 4     5 5  
Maryville (TN)   4 4     4 6  
North Carolina Wesleyan   4 4     4 6  
LaGrange   2 6     2 8  
Southern Virginia   1 7     2 8  
Greensboro   0 8     0 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
2021 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 3 Wisconsin–Whitewater $^   7 0     13 1  
No. 12 Wisconsin–La Crosse ^   6 1     9 2  
No. 22 Wisconsin–River Falls   5 2     9 2  
Wisconsin–Oshkosh   4 3     6 3  
Wisconsin–Platteville   3 4     4 6  
Wisconsin–Stout   2 5     5 5  
Wisconsin–Eau Claire   1 6     3 7  
Wisconsin–Stevens Point   0 7     2 8  
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division III playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll

Postseason

Qualification

See also: List of NCAA Division III Football Championship appearances by team

Automatic bids (27)

Conference Team Appearance Last
American Southwest Conference Mary Hardin-Baylor 17th 2019
American Rivers Conference Central (IA) 22nd 2019
Centennial Conference Muhlenberg 10th 2019
College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin North Central (IL) 13th 2019
Commonwealth Coast Football Endicott 3rd 2013
Eastern Collegiate Football Conference Anna Maria 1st
Empire 8 SUNY Cortland 10th 2015
Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Rose–Hulman 2nd 2016
Liberty League RPI 7th 2018
Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Framingham State 6th 2019
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Albion 12th 2015
Middle Atlantic Conference Delaware Valley 10th 2019
Midwest Conference Lake Forest 2nd 2002
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Saint John's (MN) 27th 2019
New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Springfield 7th 2017
New Jersey Athletic Conference Salisbury 12th 2019
North Coast Athletic Conference DePauw 3rd 2010
Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Aurora 6th 2019
Northwest Conference Linfield 16th 2019
Ohio Athletic Conference Mount Union 32nd 2019
Old Dominion Athletic Conference Washington and Lee 6th 2017
Presidents' Athletic Conference Carnegie Mellon 7th 2006
Southern Athletic Association Trinity (TX) 13th 2011
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Redlands 10th 2019
Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Greenville 1st
USA South Athletic Conference Huntingdon 6th 2019
Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Wisconsin–Whitewater 18th 2019

At-large bids (5)

Team Conference Appearance Last
Bethel (MN) Royals MIAC 10th 2018
Birmingham-Southern SAA 1st
Johns Hopkins Centennial 11th 2018
Wheaton (IL) CCIW 12th 2019
Wisconsin–La Crosse WIAC 12th 2006

Bracket

First round
November 20
Second round
November 27
Quarterfinals
December 4
Semifinals
December 11
Championship
Stagg Bowl
December 17
Canton, Ohio
               
* Saint John's (MN) 41
Lake Forest 14
* Saint John's (MN) 28
Linfield 31
* Linfield 44
Redlands 10
Linfield 24
Mary Hardin–Baylor 49
* Mary Hardin–Baylor 13
Trinity (TX) 3
* Mary Hardin–Baylor 42
Birmingham–Southern 7
* Birmingham–Southern 24
Huntingdon 14
Mary Hardin–Baylor 24
Wisconsin–Whitewater 7
* Wisconsin–Whitewater 69
Greenville 7
* Wisconsin–Whitewater 45
DePauw 0
* DePauw 26
Rose–Hulman 21
Wisconsin–Whitewater 51
Central (IA) 21
* Central (IA) 61
Bethel (MN) 35
* Central (IA) 30
Wheaton (IL) 28
* Wheaton (IL) 63
Aurora 31
Mary Hardin–Baylor 57
North Central (IL) 24
* North Central (IL) w/o
Carnegie Mellon [a]
* North Central (IL) 34
Wisconsin–La Crosse 20
* Albion 23
Wisconsin–La Crosse 58
North Central (IL) 55
RPI 6
* Cortland 26
Springfield (MA) 21
* Cortland 14
RPI 21
* Endicott 14
RPI 20
North Central (IL) 26
Mount Union 13
* Mount Union 52
Washington and Lee 0
* Mount Union 45
Johns Hopkins 35
* Salisbury 20
Johns Hopkins 45
Mount Union 35
Muhlenberg 29
* Delaware Valley 62
Anna Maria 10
* Delaware Valley 0
Muhlenberg 14
* Muhlenberg 45
Framingham State 0

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The day before the game was scheduled to be played, Carnegie Mellon announced that it would withdraw from the tournament due to a number of positive COVID-19 tests among members of the team.[1]

References

  1. ^ "Carnegie Mellon's NCAA First Round Football Game at North Central Declared No Contest". Carnegie Mellon University Athletics. November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 20, 2021.