2020 FCS Season

The 2020 season was like no other as the COVID pandemic forced the mass cancellations of games in the fall. Ultimately, the season was moved to spring with a truncated schedule across the FCS.

2020 FCS Over FBS Victories (2)

  1. Jacksonville State @ Florida International, 19-10
  2. Tarleton State @ New Mexico State, 43-17

Playoff Bracket, Notes, and National Champion

The 2020 FCS Playoffs were played in the spring of 2021 from April 24 through May 16. The Playoffs were reduced from the normal size of 24 down to 16 teams with only 4 seeded teams. Campus sites were used for the first round, quarterfinals, and semifinals while the National Championship Game was played in Frisco, Texas on Sunday, May 16, 2021. It was the 11th straight season the FCS Championship Game was held in Frisco.

The home team is listed on the bottom of each matchup in the bracket below while an asterisk (*) denotes the number of overtime periods played if a game went to overtime. Sam Houston State (10-0 Overall, 6-0 Southland Conference) won its first FCS National Title with a 23-21 win over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (8-2 Overall, 5-1 Missouri Valley Football Conference). SHSU had lost its previous two title game appearances in 2011 and 2012.

Conference Changes

There were no conference changes in effect for the 2020 season. However, the Ivy League did not participate in the spring season.

Team Changes

There were numerous changes for the 2020 season even before the pandemic caused schedule changes. Jacksonville disbanded its program after the 2019 season and left the PFL. North Dakota completed its move from the Big Sky to the MVFC in time for the 2020 season. The Fighting Hawks were considered an FCS Independent for the 2018 and 2019 seasons but played a full Big Sky schedule during those seasons.

The Big South was the scene of two changes. The first was Presbyterian leaving to become an FCS Independent for the 2020 season as they will join the PFL in 2021. The other move was Robert Morris joining the conference as an associate football member from the Northeast Conference as the Colonials moved all other sports to the Horizon League.

Finally, two new programs joined the FCS from Division II as Dixie State left the RMAC and Tarleton State left the Lone Star Conference. Both teams were classified as FCS Independents for the 2020 season and will complete a 4-year transition process before becoming full Division I members in 2024.

TeamOld ConferenceNew Conference
JacksonvillePioneer Football League (FCS)Dropped Football
North DakotaFCS IndependentMVFC (FCS)
PresbyterianBig South (FCS)FCS Independent
Robert MorrisNortheast Conference (FCS)Big South (FCS)
Tarleton StateLone Star (Division II)FCS Independent
Utah Tech
(Dixie State)
Lone Star (Division II)FCS Independent

2019 Season ———————————————————————————————————————————————————– 2021 Season