From a historical perspective, it was an interesting weekend for the four newest members of the FBS.
It wasn’t Texas St., but Houston who looked like they were transitioning to the FBS. In a shocker the Bobcats upset the Cougars 30-13. Going back to 1987, it’s the second greatest margin of victory by a FBS team making their debut. The greatest FBS debut occurred in 1989, when Louisiana Tech defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 40-14.
Texas-San Antonio defeated fellow newcomer South Alabama 33-31. The Roadrunners won the game on a 51-yard field goal by Sean Ianno with only :16 seconds left.
Noteworthy: Texas St. and Texas-San Antonio are the first teams since 1989 (Louisiana Tech), to win a FBS debut.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts won’t be celebrating their 37-0 loss to Connecticut or the dubious history it made. The Minuteman became the first team since Alabama-Birmingham in 1996, to be shutout in their FBS debut.
Check out the complete list of FBS debuts going back to 1987.
List of FBS Debuts Going Back to 1987
Note: The line between a FBS and FCS team is kind of skewed. 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.
Some of the teams listed below opened their inaugural seasons vs. FCS opponents. Only games vs. FBS opponents were considered FBS debut games.
Columns can be sorted by clicking on the titles in the header.
|Season||Team||Rk||Opponent||Result||Margin||Final W-L-T||W Pct|
|1987||Akron (OH)||at||Western Michigan||L 24-19||-5||4-7-0||0.364|
|1989||Louisiana Tech||at||Louisiana-Lafayette||W 40-14||26||5-4-1||0.550|
|1992||Arkansas St.||at||Toledo (OH)||L 49-0||-49||2-9-0||0.182|
|1995||North Texas||at||Missouri||L 28-7||-21||2-9-0||0.182|
|1996||Alabama-Birmingham||at||16||Auburn (AL)||L 29-0||-29||5-6-0||0.455|
|1996||Boise St. (ID)||vs.||Central Michigan||L 42-21||-21||2-10-0||0.167|
|1996||Central Florida||at||South Carolina||L 33-14||-19||5-6-0||0.455|
|1997||Marshall (WV)||at||West Virginia||L 42-31||-11||10-3-0||0.769|
|1999||Buffalo (NY)||vs.||Akron (OH)||L 17-10||-7||0-11-0||0.000|
|1999||Middle Tennessee St.||at||Mississippi St.||L 40-7||-33||3-8-0||0.273|
|2000||Connecticut||at||Eastern Michigan||L 32-25||-7||3-8-0||0.273|
|2000||South Florida||at||Kentucky||L 27-9||-18||7-4-0||0.636|
|2001||Troy (AL)||at||4||Nebraska||L 42-14||-28||7-4-0||0.636|
|2005||Florida Atlantic||at||Kansas||L 30-19||-11||2-9-0||0.182|
|2005||Florida International||at||Kansas St.||L 35-21||-14||5-6-0||0.455|
|2007||Western Kentucky||at||6||Florida||L 49-3||-46||7-5-0||0.583|
|2012||South Alabama||vs.||Texas-San Antonio||L 33-31||-2||?||?|
|2012||Texas St.||at||Houston||W 30-13||17||?||?|
|2012||Texas-San Antonio||at||South Alabama||W 33-31||2||?||?|
- Going back to 1987, teams making their FBS debut are 3-20 (.130 W Pct).
- South Alabama’s two-point loss to Texas-San Antonio ties Idaho for the second smallest margin of defeat in a FBS debut. In 1996, Idaho loss their FBS debut to Wyoming 40-38.