College football has a devoted following, with some colleges boasting stadiums that fit more than 100,000 fans. Each year, professional football teams throughout the country draft top players, furthering college football's appeal to both student-athletes and those who support this highly popular sport.
College football is the only sport that divides Division I into subcategories known as FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision, previously known as Division I-A) and FCS (Football Championship Subdivision, previously known as Division I-AA). To retain FBS status, schools must meet specific attendance numbers. As a result, larger colleges with bigger budgets are usually home to FBS teams. At the end of the season, the two highest-ranking teams will compete in the BCS National Championship Game. In contrast, FCS teams must win four or five playoff games.
The typical college football season runs from late August to mid-late December. Younger athletes who are still deciding which sport to pursue through middle school and beyond should consider collegiate football's schedule in their decision, as it may conflict with other interests or academic pursuits. Students should also realize that the recruitment process begins very early, in 8th or 9th grade. Do your research, be proactive, and understand the realities of being recruited to play DI football. While Division I grabs much of the nation's attention, DIAA, DII or DIII are also great options.
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