KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The quarterfinal pairings of the 2012 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) have been announced by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics on Sunday. Defending national champion Saint Xavier (Ill.), Marian (Ind.) and Saint Francis (Ind.) all appeared in the quarterfinals last season. The Knights are the only repeat host.
Since 2000, the home teams in the FCS quarterfinals are 35-12 overall, with hosts going 3-1 last year. Saint Xavier, who defeated MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) en route to a program-first national crown, was the lone road team to win last season.
Surprise quarterfinalist Bethel (Tenn.) (9-3) is heading into its second-straight road playoff game against an unbeaten team when the Wildcats travel to Missouri Valley (11-0). Both clubs are playing in their first quarterfinal since 2007 and have never met previously in the playoffs. Missouri Valley is 2-3 all-time in the quarterfinals, while Bethel is winless in two attempts.
Morningside (Iowa) (11-0) are appearing in the quarterfinals for the seventh time in the last nine seasons and are hosting for the first time since 2008. The Mustangs will welcome Southern Oregon (9-2) in the two sides first-ever meeting. The Raiders are 0-3 in quarterfinal games with two of those losses coming against NAIA perennial powerhouse Carroll (Mont.). Morningside is 1-5 in all-time in the quarterfinals.
Saint Xavier (10-1) and Cumberlands (Ky.) (10-1) face off for the second time in FCS history with the Cougars claiming victory in the 2010 first round contest, 66-19. Since that game, the Cougars have won five of their last six playoff games. Saint Xavier owns a 4-1 quarterfinal record and Cumberlands is 0-1.
A pair of Mid-States Football Association Mideast foes play in the final of the four quarterfinal games as Marian (9-1) welcomes Saint Francis (9-2). The Cougars boast a qualifier-best six quarterfinal victories, while Marian is 1-1 in two trips. Saint Francis owns a 4-2 advantage in the two side's all-time series, however Marian has won the last two including a 45-38 decision on Oct. 13. Marian and Saint Francis have never met in the FCS.
The Rome-Floyd County Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the 57th annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football Championship on Dec. 13. For the fifth-consecutive season, the game will kick-off at Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga. The event will be televised live on CBS Sports Television with kickoff scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST.
2012 NAIA Football Championship Series Quarterfinal Pairings (All times local)
Game 1: Bethel (Tenn.) (9-3) at Missouri Valley (11-0), 1 p.m. CST
Game 2: Southern Oregon (9-2) at Morningside (Iowa) (11-0), 12 p.m. CST
Game 3: Cumberlands (Ky.) (10-1) at Saint Xavier (Ill.) (10-1), 1 p.m. CST
Game 4: Saint Francis (Ind.) (9-2) at Marian (Ind.) (9-1), 1 p.m. EST
2012 NAIA Football Championship Series Quick Facts
• Saint Francis (Ind.) leads this year's quarterfinalist with 10 previous trips. Morningside (Iowa) are next with six appearances.
• Saint Francis (6-4) and Saint Xavier (4-1) are the only quarterfinalists with winning records in the round.
• Missouri Valley and Morningside head into the quarterfinals with the NAIA's longest active win streak with 11-straight victories.
• There are three repeat quarterfinalists from 2011: Marian (Ind.), Saint Xavier and Saint Francis.
• Morningside boasts the longest active streak of postseason appearances with nine. The Mustangs have appeared in quarterfinals in seven of the last nine years.
• A combined 524 points were scored in the eight first round games, which is the highest first round total since the NAIA went to one division in 1997.
• Defending national champion Saint Xavier is the only team remaining with a national title.
• Bethel's (Tenn.) 45-44 first round victory over Georgetown (Ky.) marks the first time the top-ranked team in the final regular-season NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll has fallen in the first round of the FCS, dating back to 1999.
• Saint Francis extended its 2012 FCS qualifier-best first round win streak to 11 games with a 22-17 win over Baker (Kan.). The Cougars last first round loss came in 2001 against Campbellsville (Ky.), 42-21.
• Six-time NAIA national champion and FCS regular Carroll (Mont.) failed to make the field of 16 for the first time since the 1999 season. The Fighting Saints had appeared in eight of the last 10 title games. Dickinson State (N.D.), who has 15 playoff appearances, is the squad with the second-most appearances to miss the cut this season.
• There were no playoff newcomers in the field this year. William Penn (Iowa) has the fewest appearances amongst the group with one prior to this season. The Statesmen remain winless in two trips after the loss to Saint Xavier in the first round.
• St. Ambrose's (Iowa) 12 appearances are the most amongst the field for a team that has never appeared in the title game. The Fighting Bees, who lost to Southern Oregon in the first round, have never advanced past the quarterfinals.
• The Mid-States Football Association Mideast Division (MSFAE) last the most squads in the 16-team field. The MSAFE is represented by Saint Xavier, Marian and Saint Francis. All three squads won their first round contests.
• Two unbeaten teams remain in the FCS - Missouri Valley (11-0) and Morningside (11-0).
2012 NAIA Football Championship Series - Single Game Highs (through first round games)
• Points - 56, Missouri Valley (vs. Ottawa (Kan.))
• First Downs - 32, Saint Xavier (Ill.) (vs. William Penn (Iowa))
• Rushing Yards - 428, Cumberlands (Ky.) (vs. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.))
• Passing Yards - 522, Marian (Ind.) (vs. Northwestern (Iowa))
• Completions - 29, Three Teams Tied
• Total Offense - 547, Southern Oregon (vs. St. Ambrose (Iowa))
• Turnovers - 6, Georgetown (Ky.) (vs. Bethel (Tenn.))
• Penalties - 12, Marian (Ind.) (vs. Northwestern (Iowa))
• Rushing Yards - 192, Manny Barragan, Southern Oregon (vs. St. Ambrose (Iowa))
• Rushing TDs - 4, Terrance Cobb, Cumberlands (Ky.) (vs. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.))/LaNorris Dukes, Missouri Valley (vs. Ottawa (Kan.))
• Passing Yards - 473, Adam Wiese, Marian (Ind.) (vs. Northwestern (Iowa))
• Passing TDs - 4, Adam Wiese, Marian (Ind.) (vs. Northwestern (Iowa))
• Receiving Yards - 157, Sam O'Donnell, St. Ambrose (Iowa) (vs. Southern Oregon)
• Receiving TDs - 2, Two tied
• Total Offense - 493, Adam Wiese, Marian (Ind.) (493 passing / 20 rush) (vs. Northwestern (Iowa))
• All Purpose Yards - 239, Manny Barragan, Southern Oregon (vs. St. Ambrose (Iowa))
• Tackles - 20, Joe Camacho, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (vs. Cumberlands (Ky.))