1984 saw the formation of the short-lived Gulf Star Conference with most members later joining the Southland Conference.
1984 FCS Over FBS Victories (21)
- Louisiana @ Chattanooga, 9-7
- Ball State @ Massachusetts, 26-10
- Murray State @ Louisville, 26-23
- Texas State @ Wichita State, 38-31
- Eastern Michigan @ Youngstown State, 31-7
- Furman @ North Carolina State, 34-30
- Louisiana-Monroe @ Louisiana, 7-6
- Eastern Michigan @ Marshall, 24-17
- Youngstown State @ Cincinnati, 27-23
- New Mexico State @ Drake, 35-28
- Oregon State@ Oregon State, 41-14
- Ball State @ Indiana State, 34-6
- Indiana State @ Louisville, 44-21
- Texas-Arlington @ Wichita State, 17-15
- Delaware @ Temple, 34-19
- West Texas A&M @ New Mexico State, 21-13
- Northwestern State @ Southern Miss, 22-0
- Louisiana @ McNeese, 30-17
- Tennessee State @ Louisville, 24-15
- Illinois State @ Wichita State, 17-0
- Montana State @ Fresno State, 35-31
There were no ties between I-A and I-AA teams in the 1984 season.
The Montana State Bobcats (12-2 Overall, 6-1 Big Sky Conference) won their first I-AA/FCS National Championship by defeating Louisiana Tech (10-5 Overall, 5-1 Southland Conference) 19-6.
The only conference change was the addition of the Gulf Star Conference, which combined teams from the I-AA independent ranks and Division II.
The seasons of 1982 through 1985 presented a bizarre scenario in the Missouri Valley Conference. Some teams were classified as I-A (Tulsa and Wichita State) while others were classified as I-AA (Drake, Illinois State, Indiana State, Southern Illinois, and West Texas A&M). We decided to stay true to the classifications at the time with those considered I-AA showing up on the list for 1984.
Eastern Washington moved from Division II independent status to I-AA independent status officially per the NCAA. Florida A&M left the MEAC to become an I-AA independent. Morgan State moved up from Division II independent to join the MEAC. Georgia Southern rejoined the I-AA as an independent after two seasons with a club squad.
Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, and Texas State (then Southwest Texas State) all left the Division II Lone Star Conference to join the newly formed Gulf Star Conference. Joining them from the I-AA independent status were Nicholls, Northwestern State, and Southeastern Louisiana.
The NCAA was still missing the Akron Zips from their records.
The 1984 season kept the same format of the previous two seasons: 12 teams made the Playoffs, the top four seeds received a first-round bye, and campus sites were used through the semifinals. Tennessee State was the top-ranked team and 11-0 going into the playoffs but were banned from the postseason due to fielding ineligible players.
For the second season in a row, and for the final time to date, the National Championship was played at Hagood Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina on December 15.