Maverick Maniac's Musings

October 31, 2009

The Unofficial D2 Football Championship

Filed under: College Sports,D2,Football — Jon Green @ 2:19 am

Well, I stumbled upon a site this week called, the Unofficial Football World Championships.  Its basic premise is to treat the title “World Champion” as a title-belt… every game you’re defending it and if you lose, the team that beat you takes the belt and becomes “World Champion”.  You can read about it more here.

So I thought it’d be fun to see how things would go with doing this in D2 Football!  Now because D2 Football ends in a playoff every year, generally speaking the Championship will end the year with the team winning the National Title, but sometimes a team could pull off an upset during the year, take the belt, and miss the playoffs (especially since ONLY 6 teams in each region get in!).

Well to do this correctly you have to pick a starting point… I have no idea what the first “D2” football game was, UNO played back in the 20’s I think, but they played all kinds of teams… so I decided to start with the Southern Mississippi football team of 1958.  They went undefeated and were voted #1 by the UPI (The first ever NCAA College Division (The precursor to D2) Final Ranking Champion!).  So I decided to award the belt to them for winning that, and start from there.  Now it’s very very hard to sort through all these old schedules and figure out what teams should count as D2.  Memphis played a few “D2” teams in 1959, but I think they were not technically a “D2” school,  so Southern Mississippi’s loss to them doesn’t count as a title bout.  Because of all these challenges it’s really hard to say if I got the path right.  Just so much trying to figure out what counts that I don’t really have the time to do right now…

So doing my best to interpret everything and figure it out, I have tracked the belt in 1959 from Southern Mississippi to Louisiana Tech, who ended 1959 with the belt.  In 1960 Louisiana Tech lost the title to Arkansas State, who lost it to Montana State.  Montana State lost it to begin 1961 to North Dakota, who held the title until late in the year when they lost it to Northern Iowa, who lost it to South Dakota State.  I found that South Dakota State in early 1962 lost it to Arkansas State! Arkansas State became the first team to hold the belt twice. That’s how far I’ve tracked it from back then.

At this point North Dakota and Southern Mississippi each have 5 points (You get 1 point for taking the belt, and 1 point each time you successfully defend it).  South Dakota became the first team to have 2 chances to take the title in 1 year, losing to North Dakota and Northern Iowa in title bouts.  South Dakota State later got the same 2nd chance vs. Northern Iowa, but they won their game.

So fast forward to now.  I imagine with Grand Valley State’s 40 game winning streak they ended up with the belt at some point… it’s possible that for their 2 undefeated national championship seasons the belt ended the year with teams missing the playoffs, but I’ll bet my money that it didn’t both times.

So working from the assumption that Grand Valley State had the belt going into their 2007 Semifinal game vs. Northwest Missouri State, I’ve tracked it from there.  Northwest of course lost it to Valdosta State in the title game that year.

In 2008 Valdosta State held it for half the year before losing it to Delta State.  Delta State held it the rest of the regular season before it was traded 3 straight weeks in the playoffs (North Alabama over Delta State, Northwest Missouri State over North Alabama, and Minnesota-Duluth over Northwest Missouri State).  West Alabama got 2 shots at the title in 3 weeks when they lost to Valdosta State the week before Delta State took it and lost to Delta State the week after Delta State took it.  It’s possible this is the closest 2 chances have come, however it’s also possible a team lost a title bout to end a regular season and rematched in the first round of the playoffs… only time will tell.

This year the Championship started in the NSIC, but in week 2 Central Washington went and snatched it with a 13-10 win over Minnesota-Duluth.  Central Washington still has the title, having successfully defended it 6 times already.  The next challenger will be Dixie St on Saturday in St. George, Utah.  The chances of them taking the title are slim, they lost 37-6 to Central Washington earlier in the year (the GNAC has 4 teams and they all play each other twice), however if they did (or Western Oregon takes it next week) the title would not be in the playoffs this year!  So the title bout is set between 9-0 Central Washington and 4-5 Dixie St.  St. George, Utah, I hope you’re ready for the title fight!

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