1980 I-AA Season

1980 saw roughly the same amount of changes as in 1979 as teams were moving up from the Division II level.

1980 I-AA (FCS) Over I-A (FBS) Victories (25)

  1. Boise State @ Utah, 28-7
  2. Northwestern State @ Texas-Arlington, 38-31
  3. Tennessee Tech @ Western Carolina, 26-10
  4. Delaware @ Temple, 28-7
  5. Villanova @ Massachusetts, 24-12
  6. Murray State @ Louisville, 13-9
  7. East Tennessee State @ SE Louisiana, 7-3
  8. Lehigh @ Penn, 35-6
  9. Bucknell @ Brown, 28-20
  10. New Hampshire @ Dartmouth, 24-7
  11. Northwestern State @ McNeese, 13-10
  12. SE Louisiana @ Illinois State, 28-21
  13. Colgate @ Connecticut, 24-21
  14. Eastern Michigan @ Akron, 21-10
  15. Cal State Fullerton @ Boise State, 26-11
  16. Connecticut @ Holy Cross, 18-17
  17. East Tennessee State @ Eastern Kentucky, 25-6
  18. Penn @ Lafayette, 3-0
  19. Delaware @ William & Mary, 7-3
  20. SE Louisiana @ Louisiana-Monroe, 55-30
  21. VMI @ Boston University, 38-22
  22. Cornell @ Bucknell, 33-16
  23. Villanova @ Delaware, 17-7
  24. Massachusetts @ Holy Cross, 17-13
  25. Eastern Kentucky @ East Carolina, 28-16

There were two ties between I-A and I-AA teams in 1980, both involving Lehigh:

  1. Lehigh @ Colgate, 17-17
  2. Army @ Lehigh, 24-24

Playoff Bracket, Notes, and National Champion

The third season of Division I-AA playoffs followed the same format as the previous two seasons. Lehigh was chosen as the East team, Grambling State was chosen as the South team, Boise State was the West team, and the at-large selection was Eastern Kentucky. The National Championship game was played at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, California on December 20. The 1980 contest was called the Camellia Bowl and was the last iteration of the bowl. (Not to be confused with the current FBS Camellia Bowl, which is held in Montgomery, Alabama, and is not related to the previous bowl games of the same name).

The home team is listed on the bottom of each matchup in the bracket below while an asterisk (*) denotes the number of overtime periods played if a game went to overtime. The Boise State Broncos (10-3 Overall, 6-1 in the Big Sky Conference) defeated Eastern Kentucky (10-3 Overall, 5-2 Ohio Valley Conference) 31-29 in the title game.

Conference Changes

No additional conference changes occurred in 1980.

Team Changes

Four teams moved up from the Division II level. Delaware, Nicholls, and Southeastern Louisiana all moved up from Division II independent to I-AA independent status while Akron joined the Ohio Valley Conference from the Division II Association of Mid-Continent and Universities.

James Madison went from Division III independent status to I-AA independent. Maryland Eastern Shore, previously in the MEAC, dropped its program. Note that the NCAA never considered them as part of I-AA. The NCAA Handbook is completely missing Akron as part of I-AA for the 1980 through 1986 seasons. Morgan State went from the MEAC to Division II Independent status while North Carolina Central also left the MEAC for the CIAA in Division II.

TeamOld ConferenceNew Conference
AkronMid-Continent (Division II)Ohio Valley (I-AA)
DelawareDivision II IndependentI-AA Independent
James MadisonDivision III IndependentI-AA Independent
Maryland Eastern ShoreMEAC (I-AA)Dropped Football
Morgan StateMEAC (I-AA)Division II Independent
NichollsDivision II IndependentI-AA Independent
North Carolina CentralMEAC (I-AA)CIAA (Division II)
Southeastern LouisianaDivision II IndependentI-AA Independent

1979 Season ———————————————————————————————————————————————————- 1981 Season