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The popularity of college football in the United States is undeniably huge. Amid the passionate cheers, intense rivalries, and epic showdowns, terms like FBS often get thrown around. But what exactly does FBS mean in the world of college football? This article aims to provide an in-depth explanation of FBS, its origins, structure, and its profound impact on college football.
What is FBS In Football?
In the landscape of college football, FBS stands for Football Bowl Subdivision. It’s a tier within the NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate athletics in the U.S. The term “FBS” was introduced in 2006 to replace the previously used “Division I-A”.
The other tier of Division I football is the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), which was formerly known as Division I-AA. The primary distinction between FBS and FCS lies in their postseason formats. FBS teams compete in bowl games, while FCS teams battle in a playoff bracket for the national championship.
History and Evolution of FBS
The formation of the Football Bowl Subdivision can be traced back to 1978, as a result of NCAA reorganization. The primary objective was to create a subdivision of Division I schools that met certain criteria, such as minimum stadium capacities and specific scheduling requirements.
Over the years, the FBS has evolved to encompass 133 schools as of 2023, with the addition of teams and changes in conference alignments. This evolution reflects the dynamic nature of college football and its ever-growing popularity.
Structure and Characteristics of FBS
FBS institutions are typically larger universities that have extensive financial resources, with many of them being public state institutions. One characteristic that differentiates FBS schools from others is their ability to offer up to 85 full scholarships for football, which is more than any other level of college football.
FBS football is also divided into conferences, collections of schools that usually share geographic proximity and often have historical rivalries. These conferences organize schedules, negotiate television contracts, and conduct championship games.
Bowl Games and Postseason
The term “bowl” originated from the Rose Bowl Stadium’s design, which resembles a bowl. Bowl games are postseason matchups between teams from different conferences. Traditionally, these games take place from mid-December to early January.
There are numerous bowl games, but the most prominent ones include the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Cotton Bowl. These matchups often feature the highest-ranked teams and provide a thrilling conclusion to the college football season.
The introduction of the College Football Playoff (CFP) system in 2014 added another layer of excitement to FBS postseason football. The CFP is a four-team bracket, with teams selected by a committee. The winners of the two semifinal games advance to the National Championship game, which determines the national champion of FBS football.
The CFP has greatly impacted FBS football, elevating the stakes and providing a clear, decisive pathway to the national championship. This system has heightened the drama and intrigue of the college football postseason.
To conclude, the FBS stands as a testament to the richness of college football’s history and traditions. As the highest level of collegiate football, the FBS encapsulates the grandeur, competitiveness, and thrilling spectacle that millions of fans love about the sport.
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