2013 saw a dozen teams move in, out, or within the FCS subdivision.
2013 FCS Over FBS Victories (15)
- Southern Utah @ South Alabama, 22-21
- Towson @ Connecticut, 33-18
- North Dakota State @ Kansas State, 24-21
- Samford @ Georgia State, 31-21
- Eastern Illinois @ San Diego State, 40-19
- Eastern Washington @ Oregon State, 49-46
- McNeese @ South Florida, 53-21
- Northern Iowa @ Iowa State, 28-20
- Chattanooga @ Georgia State, 42-14
- Maine @ Massachusetts, 24-14
- Nicholls @ Western Michigan, 27-23
- Bethune-Cookman @ Florida International, 34-13
- Fordham @ Temple, 30-29
- Jacksonville State @ Georgia State, 32-26 (1 OT)
- Georgia Southern @ Florida, 26-20
North Dakota State (15-0 Overall, 8-0 Missouri Valley Football Conference) won their third straight title with a convincing 35-7 win over Towson (13-3 Overall, 6-2 Colonial Athletic Association). It was Towson’s first, and thus far their only, appearance in the FCS National Championship game.
There were no formal conference changes for the 2013 season, but there were FCS independents after the absence of such teams in 2012.
Two teams left the FCS to join the FBS ranks. Georgia State left the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) to become a member of the Sun Belt Conference. Old Dominion started their transition from FCS to FBS as they moved from the CAA to FCS independent.
Two new programs began in 2013 with Charlotte and Houston Baptist. Both of them were FCS independents for the season. Mercer and Stetson restarted their programs and joined the Pioneer Football League.
Two Division II teams from the Lone Star Conference – Abilene Christian and Incarnate World – started their transition to the FCS as independent teams.
Two teams moved into the Colonial Athletic Association. Stony Brook came over from the Big South while Albany moved from the Northeast Conference. Monmouth left the NEC to become an FCS independent.
The two Division II transitioners were not considered fully FCS eligible until 2017 by the NCAA. We consider them as FCS for the 2013 through 2016 seasons since they were in a transition to a higher level.
Appalachian State and Georgia Southern both accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt in March 2013. Both were members of the Southern Conference for the 2013 season but were ineligible for the conference title and FCS Playoffs. However, they both played a full conference schedule. Like Massachusetts and Texas State in 2011 and Georgia State in 2012, we consider both teams FCS for the 2013 season.
Old Dominion played a mixed schedule of FBS (5) and FCS (6) teams in their first season of transition. As we have done in the past of mixed schedule transition teams, we consider them as an FBS team just as we did with Florida A&M in 2014 as a similar example.
The 2013 season saw a new FCS Playoff format as the field expanded from 20 to 24 teams. That meant 8 teams would receive a first-round bye and all 8 of those teams were seeded, an increase from five. Once again campus sites were used through the semifinal round. Frisco, Texas was the site of the FCS National Championship for the fourth consecutive season. The title game was held on January 4, 2014.