2005 was the final season of the two subdivisions being referred to as I-A and I-AA. Starting with the 2006 season, the NCAA renamed them to Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship (FCS), respectively.
There were only two changes at the I-AA level for the 2005 season.
2005 FCS Over FBS Victories (2)
- Northwestern State @ Louisiana-Monroe, 27-23
- UC Davis @ Stanford, 20-17
The 2005 I-AA National Championship saw a matchup of first-time participants with Appalachian State (12-3 Overall, 6-1 Southern Conference) winning the game 21-16 over Northern Iowa (11-4 Overall, 5-2 Gateway Conference).
The Atlantic 10 Conference split their 12 teams into two divisions – North and South.
Only one team changed conferences with Southeastern Louisiana joining the Southland Conference. Florida A&M retreated from their I-A transition attempt back into the MEAC.
The NCAA did not have North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State, and UC Davis as fully eligible for the 2005 season. Northern Colorado and UC Davis would become fully eligible starting in 2007 while NDSU and SDSU were eligible in the 2008 season. Thus, they were not counted as official teams but we do list them since they were all in their transition to I-AA.
The NCAA also had Florida Atlantic leaving the I-AA after the 2004 season, but still had Florida International as I-AA for the 2005 season despite both teams being part of the I-A/FBS Sun Belt Conference. We do not include either team as I-AA for 2005.
The I-AA playoff format remained the same for the fifth consecutive season with the seeding of only the top four teams and the use of campus sites through the semifinals. The National Championship was played on December 16 at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the ninth season in a row.