Liberty completes FBS reclassification process
Earlier this week, Liberty Athletics received notification that the NCAA Division I Strategic Vision and Planning Committee has approved a submitted annual report and updated strategic plan, agreeing Liberty has completed its two-year FBS Reclassification process.
“We appreciate the endorsement from the NCAA Strategic Vision and Planning Committee and Board of Directors to become the 130th member of the Football Bowl Subdivision,” said Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. “President Falwell’s vision, leadership and commitment has afforded the Liberty football program the resources and infrastructure to succeed at the highest level of college football.”
Liberty Athletics has been on a historic journey since Feb. 16, 2017, the date the NCAA approved Liberty’s waiver request to begin the two-year FBS reclassification process.
Liberty Athletics has spent the last two-plus years meeting all the necessary requirements for the FBS reclassification process, including playing its final season at the FCS level during the 2017 season and competing as an FBS independent program during the 2018 season.
The Flames inaugural season at the FBS level was a success with Liberty posting a 6-6 record in 2018 to become the ninth team in NCAA history to win six or more games during its first FBS season.
With the two-year reclassification process now complete, Liberty will begin its first season under head coach Hugh Freeze as the 130th fully certified FBS program in the country.
The Flames will kick off this new era for the football program when they host ACC foe and nationally ranked Syracuse on Aug. 31, the first-ever Power 5 opponent to visit Williams Stadium.
Syracuse is one of many Power 5 programs on Liberty’s future football schedules. The Flames will face Syracuse, Rutgers, BYU and Virginia in 2019, while also squaring off against Arkansas, Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest in the coming years.
Liberty Athletics has announced a completed 12-game football schedule through the 2022 season and has future matchups locked in all the way through the 2031 season.
As part of becoming the 130th FBS program in the country, Liberty is now fully eligible for all postseason bowl games.
The Flames entered into the college football bowl talks last year when Liberty announced a two-year secondary bowl agreement with the Cure Bowl. Liberty’s agreement with the Cure Bowl is for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The Cure Bowl features a matchup between teams from the American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt Conference. However, in years in which either conference does not have enough deserving teams, defined as meeting the six qualifying win threshold, other FBS teams, including Liberty, may be substituted before consideration would be given to five-win teams.
The 2019 Cure Bowl will be played at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Fla. on Dec. 21 and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.