KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the final field and the pairings for the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) on Sunday. The 16-team event will kick-off on Saturday, Nov. 17 at eight campus host sites across the country.

The full field features 11 automatic qualifiers and five at-large berths. In order to qualify for an automatic bid, teams must win their conference regular season title and be ranked in the Top 20 in the final NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 poll. At-large berths were given to the next highest ranked teams that did not earn an automatic bid.

The 63rd NAIA Football National Championship will take place in Daytona Beach, Fla., at Daytona Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 15. The city of Daytona Beach will host the championship for the fifth-straight season.

2018 NAIA Football Championship Series – First Round Schedule

Saturday, November 17 | Campus Sites

Game 1 – Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (8-3) at Morningside (Iowa) (11-0)

Game 2 – St. Xavier (Ill.) (8-3) at Marian (Ind.) (10-0)

Game 3 – Baker (Kan.) (8-2) at Bethel (Tenn.) (10-0)

Game 4 – Concordia (Mich.) (9-2) at Reinhardt (Ga.) (9-1)

Game 5 – Dickinson State (N.D.) (8-2) at Northwestern (Iowa) (9-1)

Game 6 – Langston (Okla.) (9-1) at Kansas Wesleyan (11-0)

Game 7 – Cumberlands (Ky.) (10-1) at Benedictine (Kan.) (10-1)

Game 8 – Grand View (Iowa) (8-2) at Saint Francis (Ind.) (8-2)

2018 NAIA Football Championship Qualifiers (Alphabetical Listing)

Team Method of Qualification Record Appearances FCS Record
Baker (Kan.) Heart of America Athletic Conference South Division Champion 8-2 17th 16-16
Benedictine (Kan.) Heart of America Athletic Conference North Division Champion 10-1 14th 4-13
Bethel (Tenn.) Mid South Conference Bluegrass Division Champion 10-0 5th 3-4
Concordia (Mich.) At-Large No. 5 9-2 2nd 0-1
Cumberlands (Ky.) At-Large No. 4 10-1 8th 5-7
Dickinson State (N.D.) North Star Athletic Conference Champion 8-2 19th 6-18
Grand View (Iowa) At-Large No. 3 8-2 7th 6-5
Kansas Wesleyan Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Champion 11-0 4th 0-3
Langston (Okla.) Sooner Athletic Conference Champion 9-1 8th 2-7
Marian (Ind.) Mid States Football Association Mideast Division Champion 10-0 7th 15-4
Morningside (Iowa) Great Plains Athletic Conference Champion 11-0 15th 19-14
Northwestern (Iowa) At-Large No. 1 9-1 20th 21-17
Reinhardt (Ga.) Mid South Conference Appalachian Division Champion 9-1 4th 5-3
Rocky Mountain (Mont.) Frontier Conference Champion 8-3 4th 1-3
Saint Francis (Ind.) At-Large No. 2 8-2 18th 31-15
Saint Xavier (Ill.) Mid States Football Association Midwest Division Champion 8-3 12th 16-10

Courtesy: NAIA


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