(STATS) - For the first time in six years, the FCS season will begin with a national champion other than North Dakota State.
If you knew last year at this time that James Madison would win it all, then you grasp the FCS quite well.
The fast-approaching 2017 season promises to be just as thrilling.
Take our 10-question quiz to see how much you know about the national landscape. The answers follow, so don't scroll to them before it's time.
1. Defending FCS champion James Madison enters the season with the longest winning streak in the nation at 12 games. Which team also won a postseason title in 2016 and has the second-longest winning streak?
2. Sam Houston State quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe, the 2016 STATS FCS Walter Payton Award winner, set the FCS single-season record with 57 touchdown passes. Another returning signal-caller passed for the most yards in a season. Who is he?
3. An FCS program is playing the defending FBS champion for the eighth time in nine seasons. The honor this year falls to which team: The Citadel, Mercer or Delaware State?
4. Perhaps the head coach hiring that drew the most attention in the offseason involved a successful coach moving across his conference to a rival school. Who made the move?
5. Which rivalry game annually draws the biggest crowd in the FCS?
6. North Dakota State's streak of five consecutive FCS championships ended in the national semifinals, but another Missouri Valley Football Conference program reached the title game. Which program?
7. The FCS is played at 124 schools across 37 states and the District of Columbia. What is the most common nickname: Bears, Bulldogs or Tigers?
8. No Big Sky program has appeared in each of the last two FCS playoffs, but how many different teams from the largest FCS conference have earned bids: five, six or seven?
9. A program is leaving the FCS for the FBS level after this season while another one is returning to the FCS from the FBS. Name both programs.
10. Having never rushed for fewer than 1,600 yards in a season, this senior is on pace to set the FCS all-time record for rushing yards. Who is he?
If you're here and haven't answered all 10 questions, then you're here too early.
But if you're ready for the answers to the quiz, here goes:
1. SWAC champion Grambling State won its final 11 games last season, capped by a victory in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl.
2. As a redshirt sophomore, Eastern Washington's Gage Gubrud set the FCS single-season record with 5,160 passing yards in 2016.
3. On Nov. 18, The Citadel, the two-time defending Southern Conference champion, travels upstate to face Clemson, winner of the 2016 College Football Playoff.
4. After leading Richmond to 10 wins and the FCS quarterfinals in his fifth season with the Spiders, coach Danny Rocco moved across CAA Football to take over Delaware's program.
5. The Alabama A&M-Alabama State matchup annually nears 60,000 or more fans for the Magic City Classic at Legion Field in Birmingham.
6. Youngstown State won four FCS playoff games under coach Bo Pelini before falling to James Madison 28-14 in the 2016 championship game in Frisco, Texas.
7. Nine FCS schools share the Bulldogs nickname: Alabama A&M, Bryant, Butler, Drake, Gardner-Webb (Runnin' Bulldogs), Samford, South Carolina State, The Citadel and Yale.
8. Incredibly, seven different Big Sky teams have appeared in the playoffs over the last two seasons: Montana, Portland State and Southern Utah in 2016, and Cal Poly, Eastern Washington, North Dakota and Weber State last year.
9. Big South member Liberty is transitioning to FBS independence next year, when Sun Belt member Idaho drops back to the FCS and the Big Sky.
10. Fordham senior Chase Edmonds enters his senior season with 5,285 career rushing yards. He's on pace to surpass former Georgia Southern running back Adrian Peterson's FCS all-time rushing record of 6,559 yards.
STARTER, BACKUP OR KEEP TRAINING=
So how did you do?
The questions were at a reasonable level. With six or more correct answers, consider yourself a starting player. Five right and you are on the two-deep. Less than half right, well, keep following the FCS.