At the Division 1 level, you’ll find the best football programs in the country. Division 1 football teams are classified in one of two subdivisions: FBS and FCS. The most elite teams are found in the FBS subdivision. These schools are allowed to give out 85 full-ride scholarships, and usually attract five-star and four-star recruits at the top of their game. However, FCS football teams are extremely competitive in their own right, with their fair share of five-star and four-star athletes, as well. FCS football teams can give out a maximum of 63 scholarships and can split up their scholarship money however they want. Learn the secrets of football recruiting.
Division 1 football teams are characterized by their rigorous schedules, and football is almost full-time job on top of the student-athlete’s academics. There’s a lot of hype around D1 football, with TV coverage of bowl games reaching households across the country. However, student-athletes who play on these teams have to be prepared to put in a lot of work and potentially not see playing time until junior or senior year—or not at all. If an athlete has the talent and love of the game, D1 FBS or FCS good be a good fit for you. Learn about D1, D2, D3 and NAIA football colleges.
How many Division 1 football teams are there?
There are 125 Division 1 FCS football teams and 129 FBS football teams. FCS, or the Football Championship Subdivision, comprises 14 conferences: the Big Sky, Big South, CAA, Independent, Ivy, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Pioneer, Southern, Southland and SWAC conferences. FCS football teams compete in a 24-team playoff for the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship. Find the latest college football recruiting news here.
FBS, or the Football Bowl Subdivision, consists of 11 different conferences: the ACC, American, Big 12, Big Ten, C-USA, Independent, MAC, Mountain West, PAC-12, SEC and Sun Belt conferences. FBS football teams compete in a four-team tournament culminating in the National Championship Game to determine the national champion. Everything you need to know about Notre Dame football recruiting.
Division 1 football rankings
With 250+ four-year institutions offering college football, researching what program is right for a student-athlete can be time-consuming and stressful. To reduce the stress and help student-athletes more easily research prospective schools, NCSA has developed Power Rankings that analyze data such as cost, academics, size and location, to rank the top D1 football schools.
- Stanford University
- University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA)
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of Florida
- University of Michigan
- Princeton University
- Duke University
- University of California
- Georgia Tech
- University of Virginia
Review our full list of Division 1 football teams
In this comprehensive list of Division football teams, families can look for college football teams by state, conference, city and more. Use this information to familiarize yourself with the wealth of schools available.