Photo by Photos by Grant
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Complete Schedule) The quarterfinal pairings of the 2013 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) have been set, the national office announced on Sunday. Defending national runner-up Morningside (Iowa), Cumberlands (Ky.), Missouri Valley and Saint Francis (Ind.) all appeared in the quarterfinals last season. Top-ranked Cumberlands is the only repeat host.
Since 2000, the home teams in the FCS quarterfinals are 39-12 overall, with home teams going 4-0 last season.
Cumberlands (11-0) and Saint Francis (9-2) face off for the second time in FCS history with the Cougars claiming victory in the 2008 quarterfinals, 31-20, in Fort Wayne, Ind. Saint Francis owns six quarterfinal victories, while Cumberlands is searching for its first. The Patriots have played teams from the Mid-States Football Association in all three quarterfinal appearances – Saint Francis (2008, 2013) and Saint Xavier (Ill.) (2012).
Grand View (11-0) – the only newcomer to the quarterfinals – hosts the only road team to win the first round, when the Vikings welcome Tabor (Kan.) to Williams Stadium on Saturday. The Vikings are playing in their second all-time FCS and, prior to their win against Ottawa (Kan.), were winless in the event. Tabor (10-2), who is the second-straight Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent for Grand View, is making its second all-time appearance in the quarterfinals – first coming in 2005. The Bluejays lost their previous trip 48-13 at former-member Sioux Falls (S.D.).
Six-time national champion Carroll (Mont.) is making its 13th quarterfinal appearance since 2000. The Fighting Saints host Missouri Valley (9-2) next Saturday in Helena, Mont., in the two sides first-ever meeting in the FCS. Missouri Valley, who is 3-3 all-time in the quarterfinals, returns to the round of eight for the second-straight season. Last season, the Vikings knocked off Bethel (Tenn.), 10-7, to advance to their first semifinals since 2007. Carroll owns an 11-1 record in the quarterfinals, dating back to 2000.
Morningside (10-1) is appearing in the quarterfinals for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons, while Baker (Kan.) qualified for the round for the first time since 1993 – seventh overall. The Mustangs won the two sides’ only previous playoff meeting with a 65-27 victory in the 2008 first round. Baker, who is hosting its first quarterfinal game since 1993, is 5-1 all-time in the quarterfinals, while Morningside is 2-5.
For the sixth-consecutive season, the Rome-Floyd County Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the 58th annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship on Dec. 21 at Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga. The event will kick off at 4:30 p.m. EST.
2013 NAIA Football Championship Series Quarterfinal Pairings
Game 1: Saint Francs (Ind.) (9-2) at Cumberlands (Ky.) (11-0), TBA
Game 2: Tabor (Kan.) (10-2) at Grand View (Iowa) (11-0), TBA
Game 3: Missouri Valley (9-2) at Carroll (Mont.) (11-1), TBA
Game 4: Morningside (Iowa) (10-1) at Baker (Kan.) (11-1), TBA
2013 NAIA Football Championship Series Quick Facts
- Carroll (Mont.), the only remaining team with a national championship, leads this year’s quarterfinalists with 12 previous trips since 2000. The Fighting Saints are 11-1 in those appearances with their only loss coming in 2006 against Saint Xavier (Ill.), 14-7. Saint Francis (Ind.) is second with 11 previous trips, while Morningside (Iowa) is third with seven.
- Cumberlands (Ky.), Saint Francis, Missouri Valley and Morningside return to the FCS quarterfinals for the second-straight season. Last year, Missouri Valley and Morningside both advanced to the semifinals.
- Carroll extended its qualifier-best FCS first round winning streak to 13-straight with its win against Georgetown. The two teams had split their previous four FCS meetings.
- Eight of this year’s qualifiers have made at least 10 FCS appearances (including this year): Carroll (21), Georgetown (Ky.) (19), Northwestern (Iowa) (17), Saint Francis (Ind.) (14), Baker (Kan.) (13), Benedictine (Kan.) (12), Missouri Valley (11) and Morningside (Iowa) (10).
- There were nine repeat programs from the 2012 FCS First Round – Baker, Cumberlands (Ky.), Georgetown, Missouri Valley, Morningside, Northwestern, Ottawa (Kan.), Saint Francis and St. Ambrose (Iowa)
- There were two new teams appearing in their first-ever Football Championship Series: Faulkner (Ala.) and Sterling (Kan.). Both squads lost their first round contest. Last year, there were no newcomers.
- Defending national champion Marian (Ind.) is the first team to miss the playoffs the year following its national crown since former-member Findlay (Ohio) – 1997 national champion with a 14-7 win over former-member Willamette (Ore.) – in 1998.
- St. Ambrose’s 13 appearances are the most among the field for a team that has never appeared in the title game. The Fighting Bees lost in the first round for the second-consecutive season.
- Morningside holds the longest active streak of postseason appearances with 10.
- Baker, Carroll, Georgetown, Northwestern and Saint Francis are this year’s qualifiers with at least 10 wins all-time in the Football Championship Series.
- The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) and Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) land the most squads in the 16-team field. The HAAC is represented by Baker, Benedictine and Missouri Valley. Qualifying out of the KCAC are Ottawa, Sterling and Tabor (Kan.).
- Two teams entered the FCS with an undefeated record, Cumberlands and Grand View, which ties the 2011 FCS as the lowest amount of unbeaten teams since 2002.