|NCAA||Division I FBS|
|Sports fielded||1 (men's: 1; women's: 0)|
|Region|| Eastern United States|
Midwest United States
NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision independent schools are four-year institutions whose football programs are not part of an NCAA-affiliated conference. This means that FBS independents are not required to schedule each other for competition like conference schools do. There are many fewer independent schools than in years past; many independent schools join, or attempt to join, established conferences, usually in order to gain a share of television revenue and access to bowl games that agree to take teams from certain conferences, and in order to help deal with otherwise potentially difficult challenges in scheduling opponents to play throughout the season.
All Division I FBS independents are eligible for a Bowl Championship Series bowl provided they meet eligibility requirements. Notre Dame receives an automatic bid by finishing in the top eight of the final BCS ranking. Notre Dame also has other bowl agreements as part of its affiliation with the Big East Conference, and Navy and Army have agreements with the Military Bowl (formerly the EagleBank Bowl).
The ranks of football independents increased by one starting with the 2011 season with the announcement that BYU would leave the Mountain West Conference to become a football independent starting with that season. BYU has an agreement with the Armed Forces Bowl for 2011. The ranks increased by two in 2013 with New Mexico State and Idaho. The ranks of football independents are slated to decrease by one in 2015 with the announcement that Navy will join the Big East Conference as a football only member.
Reasons for independenceEdit
In recent years, most independent FBS schools have joined a conference for two primary reasons: A guaranteed share of television and bowl revenues, and ease of scheduling. The four remaining independent FBS schools have unique circumstances that circumvent their need for conference affiliation.
Notre Dame is one of the most prominent programs in the country. Because of its national popularity built over several decades, Notre Dame is the only individual school to have its own national television contract, and is the only independent program to be part of the Bowl Championship Series coalition and its guaranteed payout. These factors help make Notre Dame one of the most financially valuable football programs in the country, thus negating the need for Notre Dame to secure revenue by joining a conference.
Previously, Notre Dame had easily filled its annual schedule without needing conference games to do so. It has longstanding rivalries with many different programs around the country, including annual rivalry games with USC, Michigan, Michigan State, Navy, Boston College, and Purdue as well as Pitt. All Notre Dame home games and most away games are on national television, so other teams have a large financial incentive to schedule the university. If Notre Dame were to join a conference, it would likely have to eliminate or reduce the frequency of several rivalries. Nonetheless, for all sports except football and hockey Notre Dame will join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2015, and will as part of this agreement play five of its football games against ACC members.
Two of the remaining independent programs are two of the service academies, Army and Navy. Whereas television and bowl appearances are important sources of revenue and advertising for most other universities and their football games, the United States federal government fully funds essential scholastic operations of the service academies (athletics are funded by non-profit associations), effectively rendering such income superfluous.
Both service academies have annual games guaranteed with each other and with Air Force. Navy has an annual rivalry game with Notre Dame and Army has a semi-regular rivalry with Notre Dame. Television rights for the longstanding Army–Navy Game, which is the last regular season game in the NCAA, serve as a significant revenue source for the programs. The academies also use their football programs to recruit for their services; without a conference schedule, the service academies are able to more easily schedule games around the country.
However, Navy will join the Big East for college football in 2015, citing that it wanted to maintain competitiveness, had concerns about scheduling and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to make more money.
During the conference realignment that saw the university choose football independence in August 2010, some saw it as a potential future "Notre Dame of the West". Both are prominent faith-based schools; Notre Dame is arguably the best-known Catholic university in the U.S., while BYU is the flagship university of the LDS Church. The 1984 team's national championship is the most recent by a university that is not a current member of the BCS coalition. BYU was getting less than $2 million a year through its contract with The MTN, the TV network of the Mountain West Conference. BYU has its own cable channel, but had a very restrictive contract which did not allow BYU to broadcast its own football games. The new contract with ESPN will pay BYU an estimated $800,000 to $1.2 million per Home game, and allow for greater freedom with its own channel.
- United States Military Academy, or Army Black Knights (left Conference USA after the 2004 season; member of Patriot League for all other sports sponsored by that league)
- United States Naval Academy, or Navy Midshipmen (member of Patriot League for all other sports sponsored by that league)
- University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish (member of Big East Conference for all other sports sponsored by that league)
- Brigham Young University Cougars (member of West Coast Conference for all other sports sponsored by that league, except men's soccer)
|BYU||LaVell Edwards Stadium||63,725|
|Navy||Navy – Marine Corps Memorial Stadium||34,000|
|Notre Dame||Notre Dame Stadium||80,975|
University Ranking by Annual Research DollarsEdit
- University of Notre Dame $97.1 million
- Brigham Young University - Provo - $25.6 million
- Army - US Military Academy - $10.1 million
- Navy - US Naval Academy - $8.8 million
Future FBS independent schoolsEdit
Due to the Western Athletic Conference discontinuing sponsorship of football after the 2012-13 season, New Mexico State University Aggies and the University of Idaho Vandals will become FBS independents beginning in the 2013-14 season.
Old Dominion University Monarchs are transitioning from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision, and will be an FBS independent for one season (2014–15) before joining Conference USA in 2015. During the 2014-15 season, Old Dominion University will not be eligible to go to a post-season bowl.
The following is a complete list of teams which have been Division I-A (FBS) Independents since the formation of Division I-A in 1978.
|Years||Team||Previous Conference||Conference Joined||Current Conference|
|1978–1979||Air Force||Division I Independent||Western Athletic Conference (1980-1998)||Mountain West Conference (1999–present)|
|1987–1991||Akron||Ohio Valley Conference||Mid-American Conference (1992–present)|
|1996–1998||Alabama-Birmingham||Division I-AA Independent||Conference USA (1999–present)|
|1992||Arkansas State||Division I-AA Independent||Big West Conference (1993–1995)|
|1996–1998||Big West Conference (1993–1995)||Big West Conference (1999–2000)||Sun Belt Conference (2001–present)|
|1978–1997||Army||Division I Independent||Conference USA (1998–2004)|
|2005–present||Conference USA (1998–2004)|
|1978–1990||Boston College||Division I Independent||Big East Conference (1991–2004)||Atlantic Coast Conference (2005–present)|
|2011–present||BYU||Mountain West Conference (1999–2010)|
|1992||Cal State Fullerton||Big West Conference||Dropped football|
|1996–2001||Central Florida||Division I-AA Independent||Mid-American Conference (2002–2004)||Conference USA (2005–present)|
|1978–1995||Cincinnati||Division I Independent||Conference USA (1996–2004)||Big East Conference (2005–present)|
|1978–1981||Colgate||Division I Independent||Division I-AA Independent (1982–1985)||Patriot League (1986–present)|
|2000–2003||Connecticut||Atlantic 10 Conference[N 1]||Big East Conference (2004–present)[N 2]|
|1978–1996||East Carolina||Division I Independent||Conference USA (1997–present)|
|1978–1991||Florida State||Division I Independent||Atlantic Coast Conference (1992–present)|
|1978||Georgia Tech||Division I Independent||Atlantic Coast Conference (1979–present)|
|1978||Hawaiʻi||Division I Independent||Western Athletic Conference (1979–2011)||Mountain West Conference (2012–Present)|
|1978–1981||Holy Cross||Division I Independent||Division I-AA Independent (1982–1985)||Patriot League (1986–present)|
|1978–1980||Illinois State||Division I Independent||Missouri Valley Conference (1981–1984)||Missouri Valley Football Conference (1985–present)[N 3]|
|1978–1981||Indiana State||Division I Independent||Division I-AA Independent (1982–1985)||Missouri Valley Football Conference (1986–present)[N 3]|
|1991||Long Beach State||Big West Conference||Dropped football|
|1989–1992||Louisiana Tech||Division I-AA Independent||Big West Conference (1993–1995)|
|1996–2000||Big West Conference (1993–1995)||Western Athletic Conference (2001–present)|
|1982–1992||Louisiana-Lafayette||Southland Conference||Big West Conference (1993–1995)|
|1996–2000||Big West Conference (1993–1995)||Sun Belt Conference (2001–present)|
|1996–2000||Louisiana-Monroe||Southland Conference||Sun Belt Conference (2001–present)|
|1978–1995||Louisville||Division I Independent||Conference USA (1996–2004)||Big East Conference (2005–present)|
|1978–1995||Memphis||Division I Independent||Conference USA (1996–present)|
|1978–1990||Miami (FL)||Division I Independent||Big East Conference (1991–2003)||Atlantic Coast Conference (2004–present)|
|1999–2000||Middle Tennessee||Ohio Valley Conference||Sun Belt Conference (2001–present)|
|1978–present||Navy||Division I Independent|
|1978–1982||North Texas||Division I Independent||Southland Conference (1983–1994)|
|1995||Southland Conference (1983–1994)||Big West Conference (1996–2000)||Sun Belt Conference (2001–present)|
|1987–1992||Northern Illinois||Mid-American Conference||Big West Conference (1993–1995)|
|1996||Big West Conference (1993–1995)||Mid-American Conference (1997–present)|
|1978–present||Notre Dame||Division I Independent|
|1978–1992||Penn State||Division I Independent||Big Ten Conference (1993–present)|
|1978–1990||Pittsburgh||Division I Independent||Big East Conference (1991–present)|
|1978–1981||Richmond||Division I Independent||Division I-AA Independent (1982–1983)||Colonial Athletic Association (1984–present)[N 4]|
|1978–1990||Rutgers||Division I Independent||Big East Conference (1991–present)|
|1978–1991||South Carolina||Division I Independent||Southeastern Conference (1992–present)|
|2001–2002||South Florida||Division I-AA Independent||Conference USA (2003–2004)||Big East Conference (2005–present)|
|1978–1995||Southern Mississippi||Division I Independent||Conference USA (1996–present)|
|1978–1990||Syracuse||Division I Independent||Big East Conference (1991–present)|
|1978–1990||Temple||Division I Independent||Big East Conference (1991–2004)|
|2005–2006||Big East Conference (1991–2004)||Mid-American Conference (2007–2011)||Big East Conference (2012–present)|
|1978–1980||Tennessee State||Division I Independent||Division I-AA Independent (1981–1987)||Ohio Valley Conference (1988–present)|
|2002–2003||Troy||Division I-AA Independent||Sun Belt Conference (2004–present)|
|1978–1995||Tulane||Division I Independent||Conference USA (1996–present)|
|1986–1995||Tulsa||Missouri Valley Conference||Western Athletic Conference (1996–2004)||Conference USA (2005–present)|
|1978–1981||UNLV||Division II Independent||Big West Conference (1982–1995)||Mountain West Conference (1999–present)|
|2001–2002||Utah State||Big West Conference||Sun Belt Conference (2003–2004)||Western Athletic Conference (2005–present)|
|1978–1980||Villanova||Division I Independent||Dropped Football||Colonial Athletic Association (1985–present)[N 4]|
|1978–1990||Virginia Tech||Division I Independent||Big East Conference (1991–2003)||Atlantic Coast Conference (2004–present)|
|1978–1990||West Virginia||Division I Independent||Big East Conference (1991–2011)||Big 12 Conference (2012–present)|
|2008||WKU||Gateway Football Conference||Sun Belt Conference (2009–present)|
|1986||Wichita State||Missouri Valley Conference||Dropped football|
|1978–1981||William & Mary||Division I Independent||Division I-AA Independent (1982–1992)||Colonial Athletic Association (1993–present)[N 4]|
- ↑ Tenorio, Paul. "Bowl Game Brings Football Back to RFK". The Washington Post. September 11, 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2008.
- ↑ Katz, Andy (August 31, 2010). "BYU leaving MWC for 2011–12 season". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=5517305. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- ↑ 
- ↑ http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/eye-on-college-football/20165368/new-mexico-state-makes-it-official-will-go-independent-in-2013-
- ↑ Sandomir, Richard (1991-08-25). "COLLEGE FOOTBALL; Notre Dame Scored a $38 Million Touchdown on Its TV Deal". New York Times (nytimes.com). http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE0D91038F936A1575BC0A967958260. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- ↑ "NBC and Notre Dame Extend Football Agreement Through 2010". und.cstv.com. 2003-12-18. http://und.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/121803aaa.html. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- ↑ Gage, Jack (2006-12-22). "The most valuable college football teams". Forbes. newsinfo.nd.edu. http://newsinfo.nd.edu/content.cfm?topicid=20864. Retrieved 2008-04-06.[dead link]
- ↑ "Notre Dame Football Program Ranked Most Valuable In College Football". Forbes.com. und.cstv.com. 2006-11-20. http://und.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/112007aag.html. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- ↑ Katz, Andy (August 18, 2010). "Sources: BYU mulling Notre Dame path". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5472642. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- ↑ Harmon, Dick (August 24, 2010). "BYU's broadcast issues boiling over". Deseret News. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700059600/BYUs-broadcast-issues-boiling-over.html?pg=1. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
- ↑ "BYU signs long-term deals with ESPN, Notre Dame". sltrib.com/cougars. September 3, 2010. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/50203188-88/byu-holmoe-conference-espn.html.csp. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- ↑ Hinton, Matt (August 20, 2012). "RIP WAC: Disintegrating league confirms 2012 football season will be its last". CBSSports.com. http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/eye-on-college-football/19837168. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- College football national championships in NCAA Division I FBS
- NCAA Division I basketball independent schools
- NCAA Division I FCS independent schools
- NCAA Division I independent schools (ice hockey)
- NCAA Division II independent schools
- NCAA Division III independent schools
- NAIA independent schools
| This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at NCAA Division I FBS independent schools.|
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with American Football Database, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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