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NCAA Division 3 Football Playoff 2023 Brackets Are Out. Here's What To Know

NCAA Division 3 Football Playoff 2023 Brackets Are Out. Here's What To Know

The NCAA Division III Football 2023 Playoff brackets are out. Here's what to know and the D3 Football Playoff Schedule.

Nov 13, 2023 by Joe Harrington

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No. 11 Susquehanna (Pa.), the 2023 Landmark Conference Champion will play Grove City (10-0) of the President's Athletic Conference in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs after the playoff brackets were revealed on Nov. 12. 

The River Hawks went 10-0 this season and 6-0 in conference. They beat Lycoming College on Nov. 11 in the Stagg Hat Game to finish undefeated, 49-10.

Susquehanna's first-round game at home is scheduled for 12 p.m. on Nov. 18. 

The 50th NCAA Division III Football Playoff is made of 32 teams and 28 of the 32 earned an automatic bid as conference champions. The remaining five teams were at-large selections.

North Central won the 2022 NCAA Division III Football Championship. The Cardinals have played in three straight title games and won two of them. North Central will host Belhaven in the first round. 

NCAA Division 3 Football Playoff Bracket

Here is the bracket. 

How To Watch The NCAA Division 3 Football Playoff

All Division III playoff games will stream on Hudl. 

After the quarterfinals, the playoff games will be available on the ESPN Networks with the semifinals streaming live on ESPN+. 

The NCAA Division II Football National Championship Game will be on ESPN. 

How Many Teams Make The NCAA Division III Football Playoffs?

Division III plays its football postseason—officially called the NCAA Division III Football Championship – in a 32-team, single-elimination tournament, a number of teams that has remained the same since 2005. 

All qualified teams are competing to move on and advance far enough for the right to play in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, the division’s national title game, held every December (with the exception of 2020’s pandemic-canceled game) since 1973, the first season of the NCAA’s current three-division system. 

-Brian Napier

Which Teams Qualify For The NCAA Division 3 Football Playoffs?

There are very specific requirements to earn a bid to the Division III playoffs, and if you don’t earn an automatic bid… well, you might just be out of luck. 

Of the 32 bids awarded, 28 are automatically given out to conference winners, up from 27, as the Landmark Conference (mostly featuring schools in eastern Pennsylvania) will begin sponsoring football this season. 

The other four bids – down from five because of the Landmark’s new auto-bid—to be handed out this season are at-large bids, with the amount available to different teams fitting different criteria (more on that later in this piece) having the potential to vary year by year. 

Winning your league, therefore is more important in Division III than any other level of football in the NCAA, as it’s truly the only surefire way to ensure you’ll be playing postseason football.

-Brian Napier

When Is The NCAA Division 3 Football Playoff Second Round?

The second round begins on Nov. 25. 

When Is The NCAA Division 3 Football Playoff Quarterfinals?

The quarterfinals begin Dec. 2. 

When Is The NCAA Division 3 Football Playoff Semifinals?

The semifinals begin on Dec. 9. 

NCAA Division 3 Football Rankings For Week 11

  1. North Central (Ill.) 
  2. Mount Union (Ohio) 
  3. Wartburg (Iowa)  
  4. Linfield (Ore.)  
  5. Trinity (Tex.)   
  6. Wisconsin-Whitewater    
  7. Wisconsin-La Crosse     
  8. Johns Hopkins (Md.)    
  9. Randolph-Macon (Va.)    
  10. Aurora (Ill.)    
  11. Susquehanna (Pa.)   
  12. Wheaton (Ill.)     
  13. Alma (Mich.)    
  14. Ithaca (N.Y.)   
  15. Wisconsin-River Falls 
  16. Cortland (N.Y.)    
  17. Endicott (Mass.)    
  18. Hardin-Simmons (Tex.)     
  19. Grove City (Pa.)    
  20. St. John’s (Minn.)     
  21. Muhlenberg (Pa.)   
  22. DePauw (Ind.)    
  23. John Carroll (Ohio)    
  24. Berry (Ga.)   
  25. Delaware Valley (Pa.)  

NCAA Division 3 Football National Champions. 

Here is every NCAA Division III Football Champion

*Year, champion, coach, score, runner-up, site

  • 2022    North Central (IL)    Brad Spencer    28-21    Mount Union    Annapolis, Maryland
  • 2021    Mary Hardin-Baylor    Pete Fredenburg    57-24    North Central    Canton, Ohio
  • 2020    Canceled due to Covid-19    --    --    --    --
  • 2019    North Central (IL)    Jeff Thorne    41-14    Wisconsin-Whitewater    Shenandoah, Texas
  • 2018    Mary Hardin-Baylor    Pete Fredenburg    24-16    Mount Union    Shenandoah, Texas
  • 2017    Mount Union    Vince Kehres    12-0    Mary Hardin-Baylor    Salem, Va.
  • 2016    Mary Hardin-Baylor    Pete Fredenburg    10-7    Wisconsin-Oshkosh    Salem, Va.
  • 2015    Mount Union    Vince Kehres    49-35    St. Thomas (Minn.)    Salem, Va.
  • 2014    Wisconsin-Whitewater    Lance Leipold    43-34    Mount Union    Salem, Va.
  • 2013    Wisconsin-Whitewater    Lance Leipold    52-14    Mount Union    Salem, Va.
  • 2012    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    28-10    St. Thomas (Minn.)    Salem, Va.
  • 2011    Wisconsin-Whitewater    Lance Leipold    13-10    Mount Union    Salem, Va.
  • 2010    Wisconsin-Whitewater    Lance Leipold    31-21    Mount Union    Salem, Va.
  • 2009    Wisconsin-Whitewater    Lance Leipold    38-28    Mount Union    Salem, Va.
  • 2008    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    31-26    Wisconsin-Whitewater    Salem, Va.
  • 2007    Wisconsin-Whitewater    Lance Leipold    31-21    Mount Union    Salem, Va.
  • 2006    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    35-16    Wisconsin-Whitewater    Salem, Va.
  • 2005    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    35-28    Wisconsin-Whitewater    Salem, Va.
  • 2004    Linfield    Jay Locey    28-21    Mary Hardin-Baylor    Salem, Va.
  • 2003    St. John's (Minn.)    John Gagliardi    24-6    Mount Union    Salem, Va.
  • 2002    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    48-7    Trinity (Texas)    Salem, Va.
  • 2001    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    30-27    Bridgewater (Va.)    Salem, Va.
  • 2000    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    10-7    St. John's (Minn.)    Salem, Va.
  • 1999    Pacific Lutheran    Frosty Westering    42-13    Rowan    Salem, Va.
  • 1998    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    44-24    Rowan    Salem, Va.
  • 1997    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    61-12    Lycoming    Salem, Va.
  • 1996    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    56-24    Rowan    Salem, Va.
  • 1995    Wisconsin-La Crosse    Roger Harring    36-7    Rowan    Salem, Va.
  • 1994    Albion    Pete Schmidt    38-15    Washington & Jefferson    Salem, Va.
  • 1993    Mount Union    Larry Kehres    34-24    Rowan    Salem, Va.
  • 1992    Wisconsin-La Crosse    Roger Harring    16-12    Washington & Jefferson    Bradenton, Fla.
  • 1991    Ithaca    Jim Butterfield    34-20    Dayton    Bradenton, Fla.
  • 1990    Allegheny    Ken O'Keefe    21-14    Lycoming    Bradenton, Fla.
  • 1989    Dayton    Mike Kelly    17-7    Union (N.Y.)    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1988    Ithaca    Jim Butterfield    39-24    Central (Iowa)    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1987    Wagner    Walkt Hameline    19-3    Dayton    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1986    Augustana (Ill.)    Bob Reade    31-3    Salisbury    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1985    Augustana (Ill.)    Bob Reade    20-7    Ithaca    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1984    Augustana (Ill.)    Bob Reade    21-12    Central (Iowa)    Kings Island, Ohio
  • 1983    Augustana (Ill.)    Bob Reade    21-17    Union (N.Y.)    Kings Island, Ohio
  • 1982    West Georgia    Bobby Pate    14-0    Augustana (N.Y.)    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1981    Widener    Bill Manlove    24-10    Dayton    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1980    Dayton    Rick Carter    63-0    Ithaca    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1979    Ithaca    Jim Buttersfield    14-10    Wittenberg    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1978    Baldwin-Wallace    Lee Tressel    24-10    Wittenberg    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1977    Widener    Bill Manlove    39-36    Wabash    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1976    St.John's (Minn.)    John Gagliardi    31-28    Towson    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1975    Wittenberg    Dave Maurer    28-0    Ithaca    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1974    Central (Iowa)    Ron Schipper    10-8    Ithaca    Phenix City, Ala.
  • 1973    Wittenberg    Dave Maurer    41-0    Juniata    Phenix City, Ala.

When Is The NCAA Division III Football  Champions Game? Also Known As The Stagg Bowl

The Stagg Bowl is in Salem, Virginia, at Salem Stadium this season on Dec. 15. The Stagg Bowl will move to Canton, Ohio, in 2024. 

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