Two Missouri Valley Football Teams Set to Make History
For the first time in FCS history, two teams from the same league (MISSOURI VALLEY FOOTBALL) will play one another in the title game. The FCS began conducting a tournament in 1978 (then called I-AA).
On January 10, 2015 (12-noon CT), #2 North Dakota State and #5 Illinois State 21 will meet in Frisco, Texas to determine the NCAA FCS national champion. The teams did not play each other this year and shared the MVFC title with identical 7-1 league records. Each team's only loss during the regular season came thanks to the University of Northern Iowa Panthers.
The two teams (ISU, NDSU) were declared co-champions and NDSU earned the league’s automatic bid designation to the playoffs by virtue of a better national GPI rating (NDSU-1, ILS-2 in that rating).
Illinois State (13-1) is making its first title game appearance. The Redbirds beat UNI, Eastern Washington and New Hampshire in the playoffs to get there.
North Dakota State (14-1) is making its fourth-straight title game trip. The Bison are the three-time defending national champions and beat South Dakota State, Coastal Carolina and Sam Houston State to reach Frisco this year. NDSU has won 15-consecutive playoff games.
The league also set a record with 11 wins against non-conference top-25 teams (five in the regular season, six in the playoffs).
The MVFC set a record with 9 playoff wins (the league is 9-3 in the playoffs this year, and that includes two games in which it played another league member). The previous record was 8 by CAA Football in 2004, 2008, and 2009). The MVFC is guaranteed a 10th win.
Valley Football teams have defeated the No. 1 tournament seed five times (including New Hampshire this year). Illinois State's win at New Hampshire also marked the 14th win for the league against a No. 1-ranked team.