For nearly 30 years Division II teams had a final destination of Florence, Alabama on their list of goals at the beginning of the season because that's where the Division II national championship had been.
Earlier today the NCAA announced that Florence would no longer be home of the national title game, and that it would be moving to Kansas City, Missouri for the foreseeable future (2014-2017 to be exact).
"It was always our goal to showcase the student-athletes and provide them with a true championship environment and provide them with life-long memories." Shoals National Championship Committee Chairman Mitch Dobbs told Al.com.
"As a committee and as a community, we could never have accomplished this goal without the tireless support of The University of North Alabama, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, all of our city and county governments across the Shoals, local businesses and most importantly the thousands of volunteers that have worked so hard for the past 28 years. Grady Liles had a vision and the vision became a reality that was far greater than anything we or the NCAA could have ever expected."
A lot of the history behind where D-II football stands today is because of ties to the Florence area, including the naming of the Harlon Hill Trophy after a North Alabama star player, and Florence also serves as the location of the Division II Hall of Fame.
So on December 21st, Florence will host the national title game for the 28th and final time. Maybe it's because it's all still new, or maybe it's the history and nostalgia, but Kansas City doesn't have quite the ring to it that Florence does.