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10 Notable Differences Between FBS and FCS College Football in 2021

Filed in Education by on April 23, 2021

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Difference Between FBS and FCS: Football Championship Division and Football Bowl Subdivision are popular names in the college football arena.

10 Notable Differences Between FBS and FCS | College Football

Each division can vary with each state or country but are all devoted to making college football more interesting and exciting. This article highlights the differences between the FCS and FBC.

In the college football arena, one should be familiar with the various conferences or game divisions. Each division can vary per state or per country, but above all else, this simply makes football more exciting.


FBS and FCS are two new terms that surfaced several years ago. These terms were originally named according to the different college levels.

These levels pertain to how well the institution is equipped and funded. If it is well funded, with lots of sports scholarships offered, then most likely it will be classified as Division I. The lower the number of the division, the less funded the school is expected to be.

FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) is very different from FCS. FBS, also known initially as Division I-A, conducts a sort of ‘bowl’ for their postseason games.

Its games are less organized in nature. Conversely, for FCS (Football Championship Subdivision), this division concentrates on a sort of playoffs that will eventually end with a grand championship game finale.

There are usually 16 teams that battle it out through the process of single elimination. FCS is also usually referred to as Division I-AA, its former name.

The two divisions also differ in terms of authority. Although both are within the scope of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), the FCS has the I-AA Committee for Playoff Selection. They determine the ranking of the teams who are able to play in the playoff series.

In the case of the FBS, their authority falls under an independent body ‘ the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), whose authority is above that of the NCAA.

Lastly, in the aspect of scholarships, FBS colleges usually give 85 scholarships to 85 different and qualified players. FBS almost always rewards these players with full scholarships, as opposed to FCS which leans more toward giving away only partial scholarships.

They are given the choice as to how many partial scholarships they can give in a year’s time. Moreover, FCS can also give full scholarships but are limited to only 63.

Notable Distinctions Between FBS and FCS

1. FBS is also known by its former name, Division I-A, whereas, FCS is known by its previous name, Divison I-AA.

2. FBS conducts bowl-style postseason games, whereas the FCS stages a playoff series that makes use of a single-elimination process.

3. The FBS is also governed by a separate body, apart from the NCAA, which is known as the BCS.

4. Although not mandated by the regulating authorities, FBS can give full scholarships to more players compared to FCS.

5. Mandated by the NCAA, FBS has to give full scholarships to 85 players, 22 more than the FCS is allowed to allocate.

6. The FBS postseason is governed by a separate body, apart from and sanctioned by the NCAA, which is known as the BCS.

7. FBS schools can hire one more assistant coach than FCS schools.

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