Does the NCAA host any football championships? The NCAA administers three football championships: the Division I Football Championship for teams in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, the Division II Football Championship and the Division III Football Championship.
How do the championships work?
Football Championship Subdivision — The Division I Football Championship features a 20-team playoff. The top teams in 10 conferences automatically qualify, while the other 10 teams are selected at-large by the Division I Football Championship Committee. From 1997 through 2010, the championship game was played in Chattanooga, Tenn., before moving to Frisco, Texas, in 2011.
Division II — The Division II Football Championship consists of a 24-team playoff field. All teams are selected by the Division II Football Committee. The game is played annually at Braly Municipal Stadium near the campus of the University of North Alabama in Florence, Ala.
Division III — The Division III Football Championship features 25 conference automatic qualifiers and seven additional teams selected by the Division III Football Committee. The championship game has been played at Salem Stadium in Salem, Va., since 1993.
What’s the difference between the FBS and FCS? Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools play in bowl games and are allowed 85 scholarship players. Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools compete for an NCAA championship through a playoff format and are limited to 63 scholarship players.
If the FCS can hold a playoff, why can’t the FBS? The overwhelming majority of presidents at FBS schools have consistently said they don’t want a playoff. They cite academic challenges, a need to support the traditional bowl systems and the importance of each regular season game under the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) formula. The BCS was created independently of the NCAA in 1998 with the goal of matching the nation’s top two teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision in a bowl game.
National champion and championship game attendance:
2011 - FCS North Dakota State • 20,586; Division II Pittsburg State • 7,276; Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater • 3,784
2010 - FCS Eastern Washington • 13,027; Division II Minnesota Duluth • 4,027; Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater • 4,598
2009 - FCS Villanova • 20,066; Division II Northwest Missouri • 6,211; Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater • 3,468
2008 - FCS Richmond • 17,823; Division II Minnesota Duluth • 5,401; Division III Mount Union • 5,344