College Football Division Explained

With the entire College Football scene divided in to different divisions and subdivision, a major chunk of the community especially new fans are left confused as to which team is playing in which conference. So, to put an end to this confusion once and for all, we have for you a detailed breakdown of the College Football Division and its many different conferences.

NCAA Football

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit, student athletic association. It overlooks and regulates student athletes from over 1,200 North American institutions and conferences which are divided into a total of three divisions, Division I, Division II and Division III.

The NCAA Division I is the highest level of intercollege athletics authorized by the NCAA. However, it is further divided into the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). However, since the FBS features the best of the best, and has the most following in today’s world, we are only going to be covering this division today.

NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)

Founded in 1978, the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (Previously known as Division I-A) features the best student talent the country has to offer, making it the most competitive subdivision of the NCAA Football Division. Not only that, it is also the highest level of college football in the United States.

The FBS is divided into 11 different conferences, each with its own roster of teams. These teams when combined, total a number of 130. From here, the best players go on to play in the NFL which is the professional league of the United States. The endgame to be precise.

Now that we have cleared what the NCAA is and what different division it features, lets now talk about the different conferences and teams that are present inside the FBS. So, without further ado, let’s begin. We have quite a lot of teams to cover.

The American Athletic Conference (AAC)



The AAC is an American college athletic conference which features a total of 12 universities that compete in the FBS. These universities located primarily in the Northeastern, Midwestern, and southern regions of the United States, including Temple University. So for all those wondering what division is Temple University, East Carolina University and The USF are in. All three of them are in the AAC of the FBS division.

The complete list of the AAC’s teams are as follows:

  • Cincinnati Bearcats
  • East Carolina Pirates
  • South Florida Bulls
  • Temple Owls
  • UCF Knights
  • UConn Huskies
  • Houston Cougars
  • Memphis Tigers
  • Navy Midshipmen
  • SMU Mustangs
  • Tulane Green Wave
  • Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

The ACC is a conference which competes in the FBS and features a total of 14 different universities that are located the north to south east range of the United States. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets can be found in this division, along with the Boston College Eagles. So, if you are wondering what division the Boston College Eagles plays in, your answer is the ACC.

The complete list of the ACC’s teams are as follows:

  1. Boston College Eagles
  2. Clemson Tigers
  3. Florida State Seminoles
  4. Louisville Cardinals
  5. NC State Wolfpack
  6. Syracuse Orange
  7. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
  8. Duke Blue Devils
  9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
  10. Miami Hurricanes
  11. North Carolina Tar Heels
  12. Pittsburgh Panthers
  13. Virginia Cavaliers
  14. Virginia Tech Hokies

The Big 12 Conference

The Big 12 is another one of the FBS conferences in the NCAA Football Division I. It includes 10 of the very best football colleges the country has to offer which are located in the South Atlantic, West North Central and West South Central regions. The TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas Tech Red Raiders are among the teams in this division.

The complete list of the Big 12’s teams are as follows:

  • Baylor Bears
  • Iowa State Cyclones
  • Kansas Jayhawks
  • Kansas State Wildcats
  • Oklahoma Sooners
  • Oklahoma State Cowboys
  • TCU Horned Frogs
  • Texas Longhorns
  • Texas Tech Red Raiders
  • West Virginia Mountaineers

The Big Ten Conference (B1G)

Ranging from the Midwest to the North East, The Big Ten is one of the most known conferences of the FBS. It features a total of 14 different college teams, including the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Ohio State University, which are two of the best teams of this football division. Furthermore, for those wondering what division is Penn State is? It’s in the B1G.

The complete list of the B1G’s teams are as follows:

  1. Indiana Hoosiers
  2. Maryland Terrapins
  3. Michigan State Spartans
  4. Michigan Wolverines
  5. Ohio State Buckeyes
  6. Penn State Nittany Lions
  7. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  8. Illinois Fighting Illini
  9. Iowa Hawkeyes
  10. Minnesota Golden Gophers
  11. Nebraska Cornhuskers
  12. Northwestern Wildcats
  13. Purdue Boilermakers
  14. Wisconsin Badgers

Here are recent Power Ranking of Big 10 Conference.

ncaa big 10 power rankings 2019

Conference USA (CUSA)

The Conference USA or CUSA in short, is an intercollege athletic conference which includes a 14 teams from the Southern United States regions. The conference was founded back in 1995, however, its football division kicked off in 1996. The Marshall University and the UTSA are among the best in the football division.

The complete list of the CUSA’s teams are as follows:

  • Charlotte 49ers
  • Florida Atlantic Owls
  • Florida International Panthers
  • Marshall Thundering Herd
  • Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
  • Old Dominion Monarchs
  • Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
  • Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
  • North Texas Mean Green
  • Rice Owls
  • Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
  • UAB Blazers
  • UTEP Miners

FBS Independents

FBS Independents are schools whose football programs are not part of an NCAA-affiliated conferences. Last year, there were a few more schools, but in 2019, the numbers have come down to a total of six schools, including Notre Dame which is part of this football division.

The complete list of the FBS Independents’ teams are as follows:

  • Army Black Knights
  • BYU Cougars
  • Liberty Flames
  • New Mexico State Aggies
  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • UMass Minutemen

Mid-American Conference (MAC)

The Mid-American Conference, or MAC is an NCAA Division I college athletic football conference. It features a total of 12 members from the Great Lakes region which stretches from Western New York to Illinois. The Kent State Golden Flashes and the Western Michigan Broncos are some of the teams present in this division.

The complete list of the MAC’s teams are as follows:

  • Akron Zips
  • Bowling Green Falcons
  • Buffalo Bulls
  • Kent State Golden Flashes
  • Miami (OH) RedHawks
  • Ohio Bobcats
  • Ball State Cardinals
  • Central Michigan Chippewas
  • Eastern Michigan Eagles
  • Northern Illinois Huskies
  • Toledo Rockets
  • Western Michigan Broncos

Mountain West Conference (MW)

The Mountain West Conference (MW) is a NCAA Football Division I conference which was established back in 1999. It features a total of 12 college football teams from the Western United States region. This divisions includes the Fresno State Bulldogs and the UNLV Rebels, among others.

The complete list of the MW’s teams are as follows:

  • Air Force Falcons
  • Boise State Broncos
  • Colorado State Rams
  • New Mexico Lobos
  • Utah State Aggies
  • Wyoming Cowboys
  • Fresno State Bulldogs
  • Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors
  • Nevada Wolf Pack
  • San Diego State Aztecs
  • San Jose State Spartans
  • UNLV Rebels

Pac-12 Conference

Previously known as the Pacific Coast Conference, the Pac-12 is a NCAA Division I Football conference which operates in the Western United States Region. Currently, it features a total of 12 teams, including the California Golden Bears and the UCLA Bruins.

The complete list of the Pac-12’s teams are as follows:

  • California Golden Bears
  • Oregon Ducks
  • Oregon State Beavers
  • Stanford Cardinal
  • Washington Huskies
  • Washington State Cougars
  • Arizona State Sun Devils
  • Arizona Wildcats
  • Colorado Buffaloes
  • UCLA Bruins
  • USC Trojans
  • Utah Utes

Southeastern Conference (SEC)

The SEC is a one of the collegiate athletic conferences which is affiliated with NCAA Division I FBS. Being founded in 1932, it is one of the oldest operating conferences in the United States. As a result of this, it features a total of 14 teams from some of the very best public universities of eleven states. The SEC division includes the Georgia Bulldogs and the South Carolina Gamecocks.

The complete list of the SEC’s teams are as follows:

  • Florida Gators
  • Georgia Bulldogs
  • Kentucky Wildcats
  • Missouri Tigers
  • South Carolina Gamecocks
  • Tennessee Volunteers
  • Vanderbilt Commodores
  • Alabama Crimson Tide
  • Arkansas Razorbacks
  • Auburn Tigers
  • LSU Tigers
  • Mississippi State Bulldogs
  • Ole Miss Rebels
  • Texas A&M Aggies

Sun Belt Conference

Since its formation back in 1976, the Sun Belt conference is one of the eleven on-going NCAA Division I FBS Conferences operating in the United States. Like the name, this conference features a total of 10 college teams from the Sun Belt region which includes states found in the bottom half of the country. The Troy Trojans are one of the more popular teams from this football division.

The complete list of the Sun Belt’s teams are as follows:

  • Appalachian State Mountaineers
  • Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
  • Georgia Southern Eagles
  • Georgia State Panthers
  • Troy Trojans
  • Arkansas State Red Wolves
  • Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
  • South Alabama Jaguars
  • Texas State Bobcats
  • UL Monroe Warhawks
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