|2012 NCAA Division I FCS season|
|Duration||August – November|
|Payton Award||Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion|
|Buchanan Award||Caleb Schreibeis, Montana State|
|Duration||November 24 – December 15|
|Championship date||January 5, 2013|
|Championship site||FC Dallas Stadium, Frisco, TX|
|Champion||North Dakota State|
|NCAA Division I FCS football seasons|
The 2012 NCAA Division I FCS football season, part of college football in the United States, was organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. The season began on August 30, 2012, and concluded with the 2013 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game on January 5, 2013, at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
Several teams changed conferences from the 2011 season. Texas State of the Southland Conference (but technically played as an independent in 2011), Massachusetts of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and independents South Alabama and UTSA are transitioning to the Football Bowl Subdivision and were transitional FBS members in 2012; all four will were to become full FBS members in 2013.
The Great West Conference dropped football after all of its five football members in the 2011 season joined other conferences. Cal Poly, North Dakota, Southern Utah and UC Davis all joined the Big Sky Conference. South Dakota joined the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
In their third year as a program, Georgia State, already a full member of the CAA, joined the football conference after two years as an independent. However, this was the Panthers' only season as a CAA football member, as the school has announced that it would begin an FBS transition in 2012 in advance of its July 2013 move to the Sun Belt Conference.
There were no teams playing as independents in 2012.
|School||2011 Conference||2012 Conference|
|Cal Poly||Great West||Big Sky|
|North Dakota||Great West||Big Sky|
|South Alabama||Independent||Sun Belt (FBS)|
|South Dakota||Great West||MVFC|
|Southern Utah||Great West||Big Sky|
|Texas State||Independent||WAC (FBS)|
|UC Davis||Great West||Big Sky|
|Conference||Champion||Runner-up||Score||Offensive Player of the Year||Defensive Player of the Year||Coach of the Year|
|SWAC||Arkansas–Pine Bluff||Jackson State||24–21||Rico Richardson (WR, Jackson State)||Brandon Thurmond (DT, Arkansas–Pine Bluff)|
Note: Records are regular-season only, and do not include playoff games.
|Conference||Champion||Record||Offensive Player of the Year||Defensive Player of the Year||Coach of the Year|
|Big Sky|| Eastern Washington |
|DeNarius McGhee (Montana State)||Jody Owens (Montana State)|| Beau Baldwin (Eastern Washington)|
Tim Walsh (Cal Poly)
|Big South|| Coastal Carolina |
|Miguel Maysonet (Stony Brook)||Quinn Backus (Coastal Carolina)||Joe Moglia (Coastal Carolina)|
|CAA|| New Hampshire |
|Taylor Heinicke (Old Dominion)||Stephon Robertson (James Madison)||Andy Talley (Villanova)|
|MVFC||North Dakota State||10–1 (7–1)||Matt Brown (Illinois State)||Marcus Williams (North Dakota State)||Craig Bohl (North Dakota State)|
|NEC|| Wagner |
|OVC||Eastern Illinois||7–4 (6–1)|
|Pioneer|| Butler |
|Southern|| Georgia Southern |
|8–3 (6–2)||Eric Breitenstein (Wofford)||Jeremy Kimbrough (Appalachian State)|
Davis Tull (Chattanooga)
|Southland|| Central Arkansas |
Sam Houston State
|Wynrick Smothers (Central Arkansas)||Darnell Taylor (Sam Houston State)||Clint Conque (Central Arkansas)|
December 7 and December 8
December 14 and December 15
| National Championship Game |
|South Dakota State||3|
|Eastern Illinois||10||1||North Dakota State*||28|
|South Dakota State*||58||1||North Dakota State*||14|
|1||North Dakota State*||23|
|Coastal Carolina||24||4||Old Dominion*||63|
|1||North Dakota State*||39|
|Sam Houston State||13|
|Sam Houston State||45|
|Stony Brook*||20||3||Montana State*||16|
|Sam Houston State||34|
|Sam Houston State*||18|
* Home team † Overtime
This is restricted to coaching changes that took place on or after May 1, 2012. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2012, see 2011 NCAA Division I FCS end-of-season coaching changes.
|Southern||Stump Mitchell||September 17||Fired||Dawson Odums (interim)|
|Davidson||Tripp Merritt||November 5||Fired||Brett Hayford (interim)|
|Florida A&M||Joe Taylor||November 7||Retired||Earl Holmes (interim)|
|School||Outgoing coach||Date announced||Reason||Replacement|
|Georgia State||Bill Curry||August 15||Retired||Trent Miles|
|Campbell||Dale Steele||November 5||Fired||Mike Minter|
|Northwestern State||Bradley Dale Peveto||November 19||Fired||Jay Thomas|
|Western Illinois||Mark Hendrickson||November 19||Fired||Bob Nielson|
|Morehead State||Matt Ballard||November 20||Fired||Rob Tenyer|
|Indiana State||Trent Miles||November 30||Hired by Georgia State||Mike Sanford|
|Jacksonville State||Jack Crowe||November 30||Fired||Bill Clark|
|UC Davis||Bob Biggs||December 1||Retired||Ron Gould|
|Appalachian State||Jerry Moore||December 2||Retired||Scott Satterfield|
|Cornell||Kent Austin||December 17||Hired by Hamilton Tiger-Cats||David Archer|
|San Diego||Ron Caragher||December 17||Hired by San Jose State||Dale Lindsey|
|Davidson||Brett Hayford||December 21||Permanent replacement||Paul Nichols|
|Charleston Southern||Jay Mills||January 3||Retired||Jamey Chadwell|
|Delaware||K. C. Keeler||January 7||Fired||Dave Brock|
|Gardner–Webb||Ron Dickerson, Jr.||January 17||Resigned||Carroll McCray|
|Savannah State||Steve Davenport||April 17||Fired||Earnest Wilson III|
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