NAIA Football Postseason Expanding to 20 Teams

Sources have confirmed to the NAIA Council of Presidents recently approved a change to the NAIA Championship Series, expanding the postseason field from 16 teams to 20 teams. The change was recommended by the National Administrative Council (NAC) in consultation with the Conference Commissioners Association (CCA). A task force of the NAC reviewed and proposed the change to the COP.

As of now it is projected that teams seeded from #13 to #20 will play the first week of the NAIA Championship Series with teams seeded #1 through #12 drawing a bye. The NAIA Championship Series would still be played out over the same timeline, eliminating the previous bye week between the semifinal week and championship game. The move would change the championship game from being played on its traditional third Saturday in December to the following Monday.

The dates for the 2023 championship would be as follows:

Nov 18: Opening Round, Four Games for #13 through #20

Nov 25: Second Round, Eight Games for #1 through #12 and winners of the opening round.

Dec. 2: Quarterfinal Round

Dec 9: Semifinal Round

Dec 18: Championship Game in Durham, N.C.

This would be the first change to the NAIA Championship Series structure since 1996 when the NAIA moved from two football playing divisions to one which began in 1997.

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