What does FBS Stand for in College Football ? What does the term FBS stand for in college football?

What does fbs stand for in college football ? The divisions in college football can get confusing. What exactly do people mean when they throw out terms like FBS and FCS? The world of college football is a magical place. Saturday’s in fall are full of highlights and the unexpected. You never know what you’re going to get.

At the same time, CFB can be complicated. Rules are different and the structure is not always particularly clear.

What does FBS stand for in college football?

FBS is an acronym for Football Bowl Subdivision. It refers to the top half of Division I college football. The lower half is known as FCS, or Football Championship Subdivision.

FBS programs are the most competitive in the sport, numbering 130 schools. Those teams are separated into conferences with a few independents thrown in. They have the highest requirements for membership, including attendance, but also have the most scholarship allocations to work with and make the most money.

Aside from those differences, the most distinct way to tell the FBS from the FCS is bowl games. FBS follows the traditional model of holding postseason bowls while the FCS has utilized an end-of-season tournament to determine a champion. Hence, the title of “bowl subdivision” versus “championship subdivision.”

The college football landscape is confusing, certainly much more complicated than its professional counterpart, the NFL. So, when you hear terms like “FBS” and “FCS” thrown around while watching college football, it’s easy to get confused. Here’s a brief explanation of what exactly “FBS” and “FCS” mean in College Football.

FBS stands for “Football Bowl Subdivision”. The reason it’s called a subdivision is because both FBS and FCS are technically Division 1 football – but, “FBS” is the more competitive level. The primary difference between FBS and FCS Football is how the championship is played.

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FBS Football has bowl games (hence, “Bowl Subdivision”). In the current version of this format, 2 of the New Years Six Bowls (rotating) are semifinal games between the top 4 college football teams, and then the two winners of those championship games go on to play the championship game, run by ESPN.

FCS stands for “Football Championship Subdivision”. In FCS Football, the top 24 FCS Subdivision teams play in a bracket style tournament for the NCAA Championship trophy.

Fun fact – this is the highest level college football championship awarded by the NCAA itself. The ESPN College Football Championship Game is what is almost always used to designate the NCAA champion, but there are technically other championship selectors that could make multiple different teams count as National Champions.

For an example of this, see UCF in 2017, in which they were awarded National Champions by the Colley Matrix, even though Alabama won the National Championship game – most everyone refers to Alabama as the champions that year, but UCF technically has a rightful claim.

Another significant difference between the two subdivision is that FBS teams can award 85 football scholarships while FCS teams can only award 63. This contributes to FBS college football teams having an elevated standard of play, but the main driver between the increased competitive level of these schools is that the best conferences in the country form the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The subdivision split traces its roots to 1978, when Division 1 football was split into two subdivisions, 1-A and 1-AA. The main driver of this split was that the smaller D1 schools couldn’t keep up with the largely developed football programs of the largest D1 schools. This is similar to “mid majors” vs Power Conference basketball teams in College Basketball. In 2006, these two subdivisions were given the FBS and FCS names they hold today.

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Though FBS is technically the higher level of play, FCS football is spectacular to watch. The large tournament system for the championship is extremely exciting and may even reflect the future state of the FBS playoff. Here at CFB Select, we love college football of all kinds – bookmark our site and follow us at @CFBSelect on Twitter if you do too!

what does fbs stand for in college football

What Does FBS Stand For?

Keeping up with college football means keeping up with a lot of abbreviations. Before the CFP (College Football Playoff) there was BCS (Bowl Championship Series), and each come under the umbrella of the NCAA. Then there’s the array of conferences from the ACC to the AAC and the MAC to the MEAC.

But perhaps the most common distinction you’ll see in college football is the FBS and the FCS.

The abbreviations are simple: Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision. And the slight difference in names tells a lot about the differences between them.

College football is somewhat rare in that the sport is split into multiple divisions. From 1978 to 2006, the FBS was known as Division I-A, but the new name reflects that the division is best known for its dozens of postseason bowls. During the 2019-20 season, the FBS held 40 bowls (including the CFP National Championship), while the FCS had just the Celebration Bowl, held between the champions of the MEAC and SWAC, two HBCU conferences.

The FCS was known as Division I-AA until 2006, and it is well known for having a 24-team postseason tournament. The champions of the Big Sky, Big South, CAA, MVFC, Northeast, OVC, Patriots, Pioneer, Southern, and Southland Conferences earn automatic playoff bids, and the top eight seeds receive first-round byes. With a championship tournament instead of bowls, that’s the origin of the division’s name.

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There are several other key differences between FBS and FCS, mostly relating to size. Not only is FBS a higher level of competition, but FBS teams are apportioned 85 scholarships compared to 63 for its smaller brethren. FBS schools must also sponsor 16 sports, compared to just 14 for FCS schools.

Entering the 2020 season, the FBS is made up of 130 schools across 10 conferences and including independents. This number is somewhat due to the fact that plenty of FCS programs have joined the FBS in recent years.

Just since the FCS got its new name, Florida Atlantic (2006), FIU (2006), Western Kentucky (2009), UTSA (2012), UMass (2012), Texas State (2012), South Alabama (2012), Georgia State (2013), Old Dominion (2014), Georgia Southern (2014), Appalachian State (2014), Charlotte (2015), Coastal Carolina (2017), and Liberty (2018) have moved up. Likewise, some schools have recently made the move from Division II to FCS, putting its membership at 127 schools across 13 conferences and including those with independent status.

what does fbs stand for in college football

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