|Current season, competition or edition:|
2023 NCAA Division I FCS football season
|No. of teams||130 (128 in 2023)|
The NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division I-AA, is the second-highest level of college football in the United States, after the Football Bowl Subdivision. Sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the FCS level comprises 128 teams in 14 conferences as of the 2023 season. The FCS designation is only tied to football with the non-football sports programs of each school generally competing in NCAA Division I.
From 1906 to 1955, the NCAA had no divisional structure for member schools. Prior to the 1956 college football season, NCAA schools were organized into an upper University Division and lower College Division. In the summer of 1973, the University Division became Division I, but by 1976, there was a need to further separate the major football programs from those that were less competitive, while allowing their other sports to compete at the top level.
Prior to the 1978 season, Division I was split into upper Division I-A and lower Division I-AA. These two divisions were renamed as NCAA Division I FBS and NCAA Division I FCS prior to the 2006 season.
Main article: NCAA Division I Football Championship
The FCS has held a post-season playoff to award an NCAA-sanctioned national championship since its inception in 1978. The size of the playoff bracket has increased from 4 teams in 1978 to 24 teams in the 2020 season. This makes the FCS the highest level of college football with an NCAA-sanctioned national championship.
As of the 2023 football season, there are 13 Division I FCS football conferences: