FCS to FBS Transition Trends: How Will Jacksonville State Perform In First Bowl Game?

FCS to FBS Transition Trends: How Will Jacksonville State Perform In First Bowl Game?
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Besides the powerhouses of Alabama and Auburn going into yet another bowl season, the Yellowhammer State could see another team receive a post-season berth, its first-ever. With Jacksonville State having a phenomenal 8-4 (6-2 Conference USA) overall season, the team has an opportunity to take an open bowl game spot in their first year of the FBS when bowl bids are delivered on Sunday, Dec. 3. 
The Gamecocks are in the second season of its transition from a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team to a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). During the two-year transition period, teams are not able to participate in postseason play, with minimal exceptions. For that reason, Conference USA did not accept them to play in their title game (New Mexico State will face Liberty for that honor on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. ET). 
With an impressive eight-win season, the school is in a position to play in a bowl game since not enough FBS teams finished the season with at least a minimum of six victories. 
Before the two teams joined the FBS this year (Sam Houston State was the other), there have been 11 new teams to transition from FCS to FBS since 2010. Nine of those 11 teams have played in a bowl game. BetAlabama.com, thinking with our Alabama sports betting mindset, found the statistics (per College Football Reference) of those nine teams in their first bowl game after the transition. 

FCS To FBS Teams In First Bowl Game (Since 2010)

Although Alabama sports betting apps are not yet available, states, like you see below, can be a useful tool for bettors. Here is what we found out: 

Bowl Record 4-5
Average Points For 27.0 Points
Average Points Against 27.0 Points
Combined Point Differential 0 Points
Average Yards For 392 yards
Average Yards Against 353 yards
Average Turnovers 1.6 turnovers
Average Penalties 5.8 penalties

It's Waiting Time For The GameCocks

The combined bowl record of the schools currently stands at 4-5, with three of the wins (Appalachian State, Old Dominion, Liberty) decided by seven points or less. The lone exception, a 58-27 Georgia Southern victory over Bowling Green in the 2015 GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.  

Five of the losses came from Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, South Alabama, and Texas-San Antonio. Massachusetts and Texas State, who were both bowl-eligible, did not receive a bowl invitation. 
The Gamecocks, who have won three of their last five games, dropped a 20-17 road contest to New Mexico State on Nov. 25 to end their regular season. 
Now they sit and wait. 



Lou Monaco is a contributing reporter for BetAlabama.com. Lou had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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