The dawn of a new millennium saw the constant flow of teams leaving and entering the I-AA level, a common theme for the decade.
2000 FCS Over FBS Victories (16)
- Appalachian State @ Wake Forest, 20-16
- Sam Houston State @ Louisiana, 21-14
- Montana @ Idaho, 45-38
- Portland State @ Hawaii, 45-20
- Western Illinois @ Ball State, 24-14
- Stephen F. Austin @ Louisiana Tech, 34-31
- Youngstown State @ Kent State, 26-20
- Northeastern @ Connecticut, 35-27
- Northwestern State @ Louisiana, 23-21
- Richmond @ Arkansas State, 30-27
- Texas State @ Louisiana-Monroe, 27-7
- South Florida @ Connecticut, 21-13
- Jacksonville State @ Louisiana, 28-14
- Rhode Island @ Connecticut, 26-21
- Idaho State @ Utah State, 27-24
- Wofford @ Louisiana-Monroe, 24-6
Georgia Southern (13-2 Overall, 7-1 Southern Conference) repeated the same thing they did in the 1989 and 1990 seasons: they ended the previous decade and started the new one with an I-AA title. The Eagles won their second straight and sixth overall I-AA Championship by defeating Montana (13-2 Overall, 8-0 Big Sky Conference) 27-25.
There were no conference changes in effect for the 2000 I-AA season.
Connecticut left the Atlantic 10 Conference for I-A independent status. South Florida also began its transition from I-AA to I-A in the 2000 season and was classified as an I-AA independent. Georgetown left the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) to become an I-AA independent. Saint John’s (NY), which left the MAAC the previous season, moved from I-AA independent status into the Northeast Conference.
Moving up to I-AA independent status was Gardner-Webb from the Division II South Atlantic Conference. The NCAA Handbook kept UConn as an I-AA team through the 2001 season despite including them as an upset victim in 2000. We do not have the Huskies as I-AA in 2000 or 2001.
The NCAA does not have Gardner-Webb listed as I-AA until they became fully eligible in 2002. The Bulldogs have the 2000 season as their first year as part of the transition into I-AA and we count them as I-AA.
Furthermore, Morris Brown and Savannah State are not listed as the NCAA Handbook shows them starting as I-AA in 2001 and 2002, respectively. The 2000 season was the first year of a transition with a mixed schedule of I-AA and Division II teams for both Morris Brown and Savannah State. We included both teams, but in terms of I-A vs. I-AA games, it did not matter during the transition as they did not face any I-A teams.
The I-AA playoff format remained the same for the sixth straight season but would change in 2001. The NCAA seeded all 16 teams in the playoffs and they also kept campus sites through the semifinals. The National Championship was played on December 16 at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the fourth year in a row.
1999 Season ———————————————————————————————————————————————————- 2001 Season