Click here for a list of football conferences and the associated teams.
College football is not nearly as neat and clean as professional football conferences for the one very obvious reason – there are a whole lot more colleges with football teams than there are cities that can support a professional football team.
With quantity then comes diversity. This leads to many different conferences with many different schools from many different areas of the country. And with this diversity comes competition, squabbles, rivalries, and in-fighting.
You can think of it like denominations of a church or maybe even like a large family. However, there is a difference – they still all play by the same rules. Well, at least the ones we’ll talk about primarily on Flip the Field do, as we will only discuss NCAA Division I-A (commonly referred to as D-1) teams that are part of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). This is the premier football division of college football based on level of play, attendance at games, etc. These are the big teams (Alabama, Notre Dame, USC, etc) that play in the big bowl games (Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Peach Bowl, etc) in the big conferences (SEC, ACC, PAC-12, etc). Ones you’ve probably heard of.
There is another subdivision of Division I called the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). This subdivision only pertains to football for these schools. Outside of football, all schools in Division I play against each other as scheduled.
What’s the difference between D-1, D-2, and D-3? Essentially, size and money. There are specific requirements to be a D-1 school such as the number of team oriented sports offered for both males and females too. Really not that big of a deal or that important when it comes to understanding college football unless your favorite team is a smaller school in a smaller division of play.