The 2017 NCAA Division III football season was the portion of the 2017 college football season organized by the NCAA at the Division III level in the United States. Under Division III rules, teams were eligible to begin play on August 31, 2017.[1] The season ended with the NCAA Division III Football Championship, also known as the Stagg Bowl, on December 15, 2017 at Salem Football Stadium in Salem, Virginia. Mount Union earned their 13th national title, defeating defending national champions Mary Hardin–Baylor.

Conference changes and new programsEdit

The 2017 season saw several significant changes to the landscape of Division III football:

  • The New England Football Conference, a football-only league that had operated since 1965, became the football league of the all-sports Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), operating as Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football). The football league remains a separate entity from the overall conference.[2]
  • The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference began sponsoring football.
  • The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, which had sponsored football since its creation in 1962 as the College Athletic Conference, ended sponsorship of football at the end of the 2016 season. The league had lost most of its membership when seven schools left in 2012 to form the Southern Athletic Association.
  • The New England Small College Athletic Conference eliminated its members' annual pre-season scrimmages in favor of a 9th regular season game and ensuring all conference members play one another each season.[3] Conference members remain ineligible for postseason tournament play.
  • The Empire 8 and Liberty League announced on July 5 the creation of the New York State Bowl Game, which will feature the top two teams from each conference who failed to make the DIII tournament. It will be held immediately for the 2017 season, on November 18th.[4]
School 2016 conference 2017 conference
Alfred State Independent ECFC[5]
Austin SCAC SAA[6]
Becker ECFC CCC Football[7]
Brevard SAC (D-II) USA South[8]
Catholic ODAC NEWMAC[9]
Chicago SAA & UAA MWC[10]
Coast Guard NEFC NEWMAC[11]
Curry NEFC CCC Football[2]
Endicott NEFC CCC Football[2]
Maine Maritime NEFC NEWMAC[11]
Merchant Marine Liberty League NEWMAC[11]
Nichols NEFC CCC Football[2]
Norwich ECFC NEWMAC[11]
Salve Regina NEFC CCC Football[2]
Springfield Liberty League NEWMAC[11]
Southwestern SCAC ASC[12]
Texas Lutheran SCAC ASC[12]
Trinity (TX) SCAC SAA[6]
Washington (MO) SAA & UAA UAA only[13]
Western New England NEFC CCC Football[2]
WPI Liberty League NEWMAC[11]

A full list of Division III teams can be viewed on the D3football website.[14]


Overseas exhibition gamesEdit

Because Division III football teams do not award scholarships, they are permitted by NCAA rules to occasionally travel outside the United States to tour and play exhibition matches. Several teams took off-season trips in late spring 2017 and played primarily non-college club teams, with the exception of Illinois Wesleyan, who played a Japanese college team.[15] All of the games were won by the Division III schools, which are displayed in bold.

Date Location NCAA DIII Team Hosting Team Score
May 20, 2017 Milngavie, Scotland, UK CMS East Kilbride Pirates
(BAFA Premier)
May 21, 2017 Ferrara, Italy Southwestern Ferrara Aquile
May 21, 2017 Shanghai, China Puget Sound Shanghai Titans
May 27, 2017 Barcelona, Spain John Carroll Senior Spanish League All-Stars
May 27, 2017 Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK Centre Belfast Trojans
June 3, 2017 Landsberg, Germany Rose-Hulman Landsberg X-Press
(Regionalliga South)
June 4, 2017 Tokyo, Japan Illinois Wesleyan Waseda


Playoff bracketEdit

Template:32TeamBracketHome team    † Overtime    Winner

Bowl gamesEdit

Date Bowl Location Home team Away team Score
Nov. 17, 2017 ECAC Chapman Bowl Delaware Stadium
Newark, DE
Merchant Marine Buffalo State 35–20
Nov. 18, 2017 Centennial-MAC Bowl Series Shadek Stadium
Lancaster, PA
Franklin & Marshall Widener 21–7
Centennial-MAC Bowl Series Shirk Stadium
Reading, PA
Albright Susquehanna 28–9
ECAC Bushnell Bowl Delaware Stadium
Newark, DE
Muhlenberg Carnegie Mellon 36–6
ECAC Whitelaw Bowl Delaware Stadium
Newark, DE
Salisbury Ithaca 27–17
New England Bowl Series Bowditch Field
Framingham, MA
Framingham State Curry 48–14
New England Bowl Series Alumni Stadium
Worcester, MA
WPI SUNY Maritime 17–3
New York Bowl Frank Bailey Field
Schenectady, NY
Union (NY) SUNY Cortland 35–28
Nov. 19, 2017 ECAC Lynah Bowl Delaware Stadium
Newark, DE
Stevenson Alfred 29–16

See alsoEdit


  1. "Bylaw 17.10.3: First Contest". 2016–2017 NCAA Division III Manual. NCAA. p. 145. Retrieved January 27, 2017. "A member institution shall not play its first contest (game) against outside competition in football before the Thursday preceding the weekend that is 11 weeks before the first round of the Division III Football Championship."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Commonwealth Coast Conference To Administer Football Championship Beginning in 2017-18" (Press release). Commonwealth Coast Conference. October 5, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  3. "NESCAC Football Moves to Full Round-Robin Schedule" (Press release). NESCAC. April 28, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "ECFC Adds Alfred State, Dean for 2017 Season" (Press release). Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. January 27, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Austin College, Trinity University Will Affiliate With SAA Football In 2017" (Press release). Southern Athletic Association. November 18, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  7. "CCC Football to Add Becker College as Associate Member in 2017; CCC Football to Have Seven Members by 2018" (Press release). Commonwealth Coast Conference. November 19, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  8. "Brevard College Set to Join USA South" (Press release). USA South Athletic Conference. December 9, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  9. "NEWMAC Adds Eighth Football Member Catholic University" (Press release). New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference. September 29, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  10. "UChicago football set to join Midwest Conference as affiliate member in 2017" (Press release). Athletics & Recreation, The University of Chicago. May 11, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 "NEWMAC to Sponsor Football Beginning in 2017" (Press release). New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference. April 8, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Southwestern And Texas Lutheran Join The ASC As Football Affiliate Members" (Press release). American Southwest Conference. December 3, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  13. "Washington University in St. Louis to join CCIW as associate member for football in 2018" (Press release). College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. June 12, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  14. "Division III Team Pages", Retrieved January 27, 2017.
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