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Recent FCS-to-FBS programs thriving in 2020

Appalachian State (FBS member since 2014), Georgia Southern (2014), Coastal Carolina (2017) and Liberty (2018) have made four of the last six moves. They have a combined 27-3 record this season.

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Coastal Carolina Chanticleers running back CJ Marable (1) runs past Kansas Jayhawks linebacker Dru Prox (40) and linebacker Denzel Feaster (18) Sept. 12, 2020 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kan. Jay Biggerstaff / USA TODAY Sports
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(STATS) -- It's fashionable on the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision level for people to think schools that move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision will head in the opposite direction into an abyss of anonymity.

It may not be entirely true - everybody seems to know UMass is an awful FBS program.

The point is, success at the higher level for schools such as Boise State and Marshall are the exception, and most schools that move up from the lower half of Division I college football tend to have struggles, even though the money and exposure are often higher than in the FCS.

Consistent winning isn't guaranteed. Big Sky member Idaho personifies the difficult move, having made 11 FCS playoffs appearances from 1982 to 1995 only to rise to the FBS in '96 and proceed to go 86-174 (.331) over 22 seasons until it dropped back to the FCS in 2018.

Eleven programs have risen from the FCS to the FBS in the last decade, and UMass -- a mere 19-79 (.194) since its move in 2012 -- has company with the likes of South Alabama (37-70) and Texas State (31-75).

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Still, some of the most recent programs to make the move are building momentum. In fact, the 2020 season can't be told without them.

Appalachian State (FBS member since 2014), Georgia Southern (2014), Coastal Carolina (2017) and Liberty (2018) have made four of the last six moves. They have a combined 27-3 record this season.

Liberty (8-0), an FBS independent, beat FCS member Western Carolina 55-14 on Saturday to continue the best start in program history. The Flames and Sun Belt member Coastal Carolina (7-0) are two of six FBS teams to be undefeated with at least seven wins.

App State rallied past Georgia State 17-13 to improve to 6-1. The Mountaineers, who were the first program to win three straight FCS national titles, own a 67-18 (.788) record on the FBS level, having won the last two Sun Belt titles as well as five straight bowl games.

Georgia Southern won six FCS national titles and is an impressive 48-35 (.579) since its move to the FBS level, including 6-2 this season following a 40-38 Sun Belt win over Texas State on Saturday.

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