FCS football won’t have a championship in 2020.
As part of their directives earlier this week, the NCAA Board of Governors established a standard saying that at least 50% of schools in a division must participate in a sport for a championship to take place. With the Big Sky Conference saying they won’t play this fall, the threshold has been crossed.
Big Sky makes this official and says it "fully supports the NCAA shifting the FCS championship to the spring."— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) August 7, 2020
More than 50% of FCS teams have officially cancelled fall season, which takes the division below the threshold needed to hold a championship event. https://t.co/HfBOKHrp4J
FCS Championship will be canceled if over 50% of the 127 playoff eligible teams don’t play (64)— College Football Rankings ™ (@CFBRanking) August 7, 2020
Big Sky (13)
That is 68 teams https://t.co/erRak0BK2M
The calculation above doesn’t include teams in the Ivy League, which also won’t play but doesn’t participate in the FCS Championship. And it looks like the schools above won’t be the only ones.
Schools can still technically play this fall if they can find opponents for now, but they won’t have a championship to play for, and they wouldn’t be able to participate in any potential spring season that might arise.
After the NCAA Board of Governors decision, this seemed like the most likely path forward. It’s also possible there are some FBS leagues that choose not to play football as well, although they are governed separately and the NCAA decisions above do not apply to bowl-eligible football.