There were only a handful of changes in 2016 for the second straight season.

2016 FCS Over FBS Victories (10)

  1. Albany @ Buffalo, 22-16
  2. Eastern Washington @ Washington State, 45-42
  3. Northern Iowa @ Iowa State, 25-20
  4. Richmond @ Virginia, 37-20
  5. Eastern Illinois @ Miami (OH), 21-17
  6. Illinois State @ Northwestern, 9-7
  7. North Carolina A&T @ Kent State, 39-36 (4 OT)
  8. North Dakota State @ Iowa, 23-21
  9. Central Arkansas @ Arkansas State, 28-23
  10. Western Illinois @ Northern Illinois, 28-23

National Champion

James Madison (14-1 Overall, 8-0 Colonial Athletic Association) ended North Dakota State’s stranglehold on the FCS National Championship (temporarily) by defeating the Bison in Fargo in the semifinals. The Dukes then ascended to the throne by dispatching Youngstown State (12-4 Overall, 6-2 Missouri Valley Football Conference) 28-14 in the title game. It was the second FCS title for JMU after their win in 2004. Youngstown State made their seventh overall appearance and their first since 1999.

Conference Changes

There were no conference changes in effect for the 2016 season at the FCS level.

Team Changes

East Tennessee State went from FCS independent to the Southern Conference in their second season after bringing back their program. Coastal Carolina went from the Big South Conference to FCS independent in advance of their move to the FBS. The Chanticleers played a full FCS schedule but were not eligible for the 2016 FCS Playoffs.

Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word 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.

Playoff Notes

The 2016 FCS Playoffs kept the same format for the fourth straight season with a field of 24 teams. In addition, the 8 seeded teams all received a first-round bye and campus sites were used through the semifinal round. Frisco, Texas was the site of the FCS National Championship for the seventh straight season. The title game was held on January 7, 2017.

2015 Season ———————————————————————————————————————— 2017 Season