List of NCAA Division I FBS football programs
This is a list of schools in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States. By definition, all schools in this grouping have varsity football teams. Schools in Division I FBS are distinguished from those in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) by the following:
- FBS programs are allowed to provide scholarship aid to a total of 85 players, and may grant a full scholarship to all 85. FCS schools are limited to financial assistance amounting to a maximum of 63 full scholarships, although some conferences voluntarily place further restrictions on athletic aid. The NCAA classifies FBS football as a "head-count" sport, meaning that each player receiving any athletically-related aid from the school counts fully against the 85-player limit. By contrast, FCS football is classified as an "equivalency" sport, which means that scholarship aid is limited to the equivalent of a specified number of full scholarships. In turn, this means that FCS schools can freely grant partial scholarships, but are also limited to a total of 85 players receiving assistance. Another NCAA rule mandates that any multi-sport athlete who plays football and receives any athletic aid is counted against the football limit, with an exception for players in non-scholarship FCS programs who receive aid in another sport.
- The three service academies that play in Division I FBS — Air Force, Army, and Navy — are theoretically subject to this rule, but are exempt in practice because all students at these schools receive full scholarships from the federal government.
- Division I FBS football is the only NCAA sport without a formal tournament to determine an undisputed national champion. FBS schools instead play in a series of postseason bowl games, culminating in the BCS National Championship Game, which attempts to crown a single national champion. Other organizations, most notably the Associated Press, crown their own champions via polling. The BCS and AP have not always agreed on a single champion. In contrast, Division I FCS football conducts a 24-team single-elimination tournament, the NCAA Division I Football Championship, to determine its undisputed champion. This situation will change following the 2013 season. Starting in 2014, the FBS will begin playing a four-team tournament to determine its national champion, a system that will be in place from the 2014-2025 seasons by contract with ESPN, which will broadcast the games.
Programs moving to FBS
|Appalachian State Mountaineers||Appalachian State University||Boone||North Carolina||Sun Belt||2015|
|Georgia Southern Eagles||Georgia Southern University||Statesboro||Georgia||Sun Belt||2015|
|Charlotte 49ers||University of North Carolina at Charlotte||Charlotte||North Carolina||C-USA||2015|
|Old Dominion Monarchs||Old Dominion University||Norfolk||Virginia||C-USA||2015|
- The states of Alaska, Delaware, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington D.C. do not currently have FBS programs.
- Several schools have different athletic nicknames for men's and women's teams. Usually, this is a matter of preceding the main nickname with "Lady", such as LSU Lady Tigers and Tennessee Lady Vols. The two FBS schools nicknamed Cowboys, Oklahoma State and Wyoming, use Cowgirls for women's teams. However, in some cases, the women's team nickname has a completely different form, as in Hawaii Rainbow Wahine and Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.
- Because this is a list of American football programs, which are traditionally all-male only the men's form is given. Hawaiʻi is a special case, as its men's teams are variously called Warriors, Rainbow Warriors, and Rainbows. Here, the football nickname is used.
- The Pac-12 considers the Pacific Coast Conference or PCC as part of its own history, even though the PCC was established with different charter members and was disbanded due to major crisis and scandal.
- List of NCAA Division I institutions
- List of NCAA Division II institutions
- List of NCAA Division III institutions
- List of NCAA Division I FCS football programs
- List of NCAA Division I non-football programs
- List of NCAA Division II football programs
- List of NCAA Division III football programs
- List of NAIA football programs
- List of community college football programs
- List of NCAA Institutions with club football teams
- List of Division I schools that have never sponsored football
- List of defunct college football teams
- List of undefeated Division I football teams