FCS – how it works

Posted on December 12, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sports Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

FCS Playoffs – ever wonder how they do it?

Well, we did too….

December 10, 2016

compiled by Prez Ro
follow back at @PrezRo365

With all of the conversation about the “so-called” money bowls and how they can’t afford nor have time to expand to a full-fledged playoff… Well, there is a Division I football division that does just that….


Building Men & Women via Athletics

FCS — or Division I-AA, which is what us older people like me will call it until the day we die — has been running a championship tournament for its football teams for years. This year, in fact, is the 35th anniversary of the tournament, which is now called the NCAA Division I Football Championship.

The single-elimination FCS playoff includes 24 teams. Ten of them are auto-bids as winners of 10 of the FCS’ 13 conferences.

NOTE: The Ivy League, SWAC, and MEAC don’t take playoff auto-bids.

The field shrinks from 24 to 16 after the first round, and then it’s pretty simple: whoever wins four games in a row wins the national championship. The tournament field is selected by a NCAA appointed committee made up of athletic directors from select FCS schools that represent each region of the country.

The rest of the 12 teams in the field are unseeded, and teams are usually matched up based on regional proximity, with hosting rights granted based on bidding and projected gate receipts, as well as record, conference affiliation and strength of schedule. If two unseeded teams meet in subsequent rounds of the playoff tournament, the team that presents the highest monetary bid to the NCAA is awarded hosting rights.

One interesting scenario is the higher-ranked teams host a home-field game until the finals. WHAT??? And the playoff runs through Jan. 7, when it ends at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.


The eight FCS automatic playoff bids are awarded to the conference champion of the following conferences:

-Big Sky Conference
-Colonial Conference
-Mid East Athletic Conference
-Missouri Valley Conference (formerly the Gateway Conference)
-Ohio Valley Conference
-Patriot League
-Southern Conference
-Southland Conference


To see the LIVE bracket, click an icon below:


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Mediocrity Bowl Games

Posted on December 19, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Do Too Many Bowl Games Reward Mediocrity

December 18. 2012


Over the last few years the critics of the football bowl games have consistently harped on two issues: 1) the inherent unfairness of both access to the bowl games and the revenue share that favors BCS conferences; and 2) the amount of money being left on the table by not having a BCS playoff system. Both of these criticisms are justifiable and may very well carry the day in moving toward a playoff because of antitrust concerns and the need to maximize revenue. However, there is another argument that needs to be considered and that is the simple fact that at least 21 bowl games involve football teams that have mediocre records, which begs the question of why average teams are being rewarded with postseason play?

Of the 70 teams playing in the 35 bowl games only 28 of those teams had won 9 or more games prior to their bowl appearance. Winning 75% of your games (9-3) seems to be a reasonable standard to meet in order to justify a postseason appearance based on having a successful season. This standard suggests that only 14 bowl games deserve to be played. Therefore, based on this season’s records, 21 of the bowl games are simply rewarding mediocre football teams with a postseason trip. Sophisticated fans understand this fact, which helps explain both poor ticket sales and attendance for many bowl games, and poor television ratings as well. Believe it or not this year 14 schools will play in a bowl game after finishing 6-6;  and, remember in many cases one of those wins came against an FCS school.

In a pattern reminiscent of recent years many schools around the country are having trouble selling out their ticket requirements. This dilemma results in universities having to pay six or seven figures for the privilege of sending the football team to a bowl game that is poorly attended and poorly viewed on television.

A recent Bloomberg.com article had an insightful quote: “Bowls have become network-owned, commercial enterprises, in some cases, pitting average teams in money-losing bowls for the benefit of a few,” said Charles E. Young,  president emeritus at the University of Florida and a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. “I think the losses are higher than anyone knows.”

Over time the historic relationships with the established and largely commercially successful bowl games have given rise to economic endeavors by visitor and convention bureaus to attract economic activity and the need of networks to find sports content for programming purposes. These twin factors have taken a previously limited number of successful bowl games and attempted to stretch the concept to the position we find ourselves in now. When you add compensation packages for coaches, athletic directors and commissioners that reward bowl appearances you have created the type of conflict of interest that may lead to bad decision making.

The weight of the current bowl product in the marketplace is starting to foment change. As the case for change builds over time, universities should not forget that as educational institutions they should be teaching lessons about demanding excellence and not accepting or rewarding mediocrity from their students, student-athletes and teams. A good place to start would be to rid post season football of undeserving teams because it is sending the wrong message, and people are starting to notice.

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