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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | August 13, 2019

When does the DII football season start?

Valdosta State wins Division II Football Championship

The 2019 DII football season is creeping closer. The bulk of the season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 5, with 2018 national runners-up Ferris State amongst a slew of DII football opening night games.

2018 RECAP: Valdosta State defeats Ferris State 49-47 | 11 numbers from record-setting game

Elizabeth City — who travels to FCS Hampton on August 31 — and Morehouse — which opens in the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Classic against FCS Alabama A&M —  get the season underway the weekend of August 31, but the majority of the DII football slate begins the weekend of Sept. 5.

Though there are some action-packed games Thursday night, the Saturday, Sept. 7 slate, including reigning national champion Valdosta State, gets the 11-week grind of the DII football rolling. That’s when 28 teams begin their quest to find a slot in the 2019 DII football championship playoff bracket. 

This season’s tournament begins with first-round action on Nov. 23. Four rounds will follow each week before culminating in the national championship game on Dec. 21 at McKinney Independent School District Stadium in McKinney, Texas — the second-straight season the title game returns to McKinney.

DII FOOTBALL HEADS TO TEXAS: McKinney ISD to be host until 2021

Nine of the 28 DII football championship tournament teams commence the 2019 season on Thursday night, including an opening night matchup between Ouachita Baptist and Harding, two 2018 playoff teams. Here are some of the bigger matchups from the Thursday night slate.

Thursday, Sept. 5 (all times ET):

DII FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: How the DII tournament works

The Saturday slate is highlighted by a DII football first: an international game. Texas A&M-Commerce will host Selección Nuevo León, one of the top football programs from Mexico. Also, Tarleton — a DII football championship quarterfinalist a year ago — hits the road in an FCS matchup against Stephen F. Austin, as does MSU Texas who faces Northwestern State, Central Washington who travels to Idaho, and Virginia Union who faces Hampton.

Here's when the teams we expected to be in the hunt for the preseason top 25 play on Saturday.

Saturday, Sept. 7 (all times ET):

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