FCS Kickoff

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FCS Kickoff
Stadium Cramton Bowl (2017–present)
Location Montgomery, Alabama
Previous stadiums Campus sites (2014–2016)
Operated 2014–present
Sponsors
Guardian Credit Union (2017–)
2018 matchup
North Carolina A&T 20, Jacksonville State 17

The FCS Kickoff is an annual college football game played on the Saturday before the opening weekend of the college football season. The game showcases teams from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision; for its first three editions, it rotated to various campus sites, but the 2017 edition was the first to be played at a neutral site, specifically the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama. The game is televised nationally by ESPN.

History

In February 2013, ESPN announced that the 2014 college football season would begin at its earliest point in 11 years with the creation of the "FCS Kickoff", an annual game which would showcase two top-level teams from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. ESPN stated that during meetings with FCS conference commissioners there was an interest in creating a "tentpole type" event around FCS football[1] and to showcase the quality and depth of FCS football to a national audience.[2]

The 2017 edition marked several changes for the event. First, ESPN took ownership of the event through its ESPN Events division. The event was moved to a neutral site (the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama); received a name sponsorship by Guardian Credit Union, a small Montgomery-based credit union; was co-branded as the Montgomery Kickoff Classic; and also took on Alabama FCS member Jacksonville State University as a partner for at least the 2017 and 2018 editions. As such, JSU would participate in both editions of the event.[3][4]

Game results

Date Winning team Losing team Venue Attendance
August 23, 2014 No. 1 Eastern Washington Eagles 56 No. 17 Sam Houston State Bearkats 35 Roos Field (Cheney, WA) 10,310[5]
August 29, 2015 No. 13 Montana Grizzlies 38 No. 1 North Dakota State Bison 35 Washington–Grizzly Stadium (Missoula, MT) 26,472[6]
August 27, 2016 No. 1 North Dakota State Bison 24 No. 7 Charleston Southern Buccaneers 17 Fargodome (Fargo, ND) 18,881[7]
August 26, 2017 No. 6 Jacksonville State Gamecocks 27 No. 12 Chattanooga Mocs 13 Cramton Bowl (Montgomery, AL) 12,952[8]
August 25, 2018 No. 14 North Carolina A&T Aggies 20 No. 6 Jacksonville State Gamecocks 17 13,500[9]

Rankings are from the STATS FCS Poll.

Records

By team

Rank Team Apps Record Win % PF PA
1 Eastern Washington 1 1–0 1.000 56 35
Montana 1 1–0 1.000 38 35
North Carolina A&T 1 1–0 1.000 20 17
3 Jacksonville State 2 1–1 .500 44 33
North Dakota State 2 1–1 .500 59 55
4 Charleston Southern 1 0–1 .000 17 24
Chattanooga 1 0–1 .000 13 27
Sam Houston State 1 0–1 .000 35 56

By conference

Rank Conference Apps Record Win % PF PA
1 Big Sky 2 2–0 1.000 94 70
MEAC 1 1–0 1.000 20 17
2 MVFC 2 1–1 .500 59 55
Ohio Valley 2 1–1 .500 44 33
3 Big South 1 0–1 .000 17 24
Southland 1 0–1 .000 35 56
Southern 1 0–1 .000 13 27

References

  1. ^ "ESPN to give college football season an early start in 2014". usatoday.com. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  2. ^ "College football season to kick off with FCS battle between Sam Houston State and Eastern Washington on August 23". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  3. ^ Rankin, Duane; Stevens, Matthew (October 12, 2016). "ESPN announces Montgomery Kickoff Classic for 2017". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "Guardian Credit Union Joins FCS Kickoff as Title Sponsor" (Press release). ESPN. March 21, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  5. ^ "Sam Houston State Bearkats vs. Eastern Washington Eagles Box Score". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  6. ^ "North Dakota State Bison vs. Montana Grizzlies Box Score". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  7. ^ "Charleston Southern Buccaneers vs. North Dakota State Bison Box Score". ESPN.com. August 27, 2016. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  8. ^ "Chattanooga Mocs vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks Box Score". ESPN.com. August 26, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "North Carolina A&T Aggiees vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks Box Score". ESPN.com. August 25, 2018. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
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