Appalachian State and Georgia Southern were the FBS’s new kids on the block this season, but they held their own by posting winning seasons.
Georgia Southern even won the Sun Belt Conference title with a perfect 8-0 record in conference games. They are the first team since Marshall (1997) to win a conference championship in their debut FBS season.
Debut FBS Seasons (Since 1987)
Note: The line between a FBS and FCS team is distorted. Transitional FBS members were sometimes considered part of the FBS or FCS depending on the media source. In my eyes a team was first a member of the FBS when they played the majority of their games vs. FBS opponents and/or the majority of the mainstream media mentioned them as a FBS team.
|Season||School||FBS Debut||W Pct.||Conf.||Prev. Season||W Pct.|
|1996||Boise St. (ID)||2-10||0.167||Big West||7-4||0.636|
|1999||Middle Tennessee St.||3-8||0.273||Ind.||5-5||0.500|
|2005||Florida Atlantic||2-9||0.182||Sun Belt||9-3||0.750|
|2005||Florida International||5-6||0.455||Sun Belt||3-7||0.300|
|2012||South Alabama||2-11||0.154||Sun Belt||6-4||0.600|
|2013||Georgia St.||0-12||0.000||Sun Belt||1-10||0.091|
|2013||Old Dominion (VA)||8-4||0.667||Ind.||11-2||0.846|
|2014||Appalachian St. (NC)||7-5||0.583||Sun Belt||4-8||0.333|
|2014||Georgia Southern||9-3||0.750||Sun Belt||7-4||0.636|
- Appalachian St. (4-8 to 7-5) is only the second team – 2012 Texas-San Antonio (4-6 to 8-4) the other – since ’87 to go from a losing season to a winning season in their FBS debut.
- Florida Atlantic holds the record for the worst FBS debut. FAU went from a 9-3 record to a 2-9 mark in 2005.
- Since 2005, six schools (out of the 11) have made their FBS debuts in the Sun Belt Conference.