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2006 NCAA Division I-A football season

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Title: 2006 NCAA Division I-A football season  
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Subject: ESPN on ABC, Wayzata High School, Rich Brooks, Randy Shannon, Jim Grobe, John Bunting (American football), 2005 NCAA Division I-A football season, Darren McFadden, LSU Tigers football, Wuerffel Trophy
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2006 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season, or the college football season, began on August 31, 2006 and, aside from all-star exhibition games that followed, concluded with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game on January 8, 2007 in Glendale, Arizona, where the No. 2 Florida Gators defeated the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes 41–14 to win the 2007 BCS National Championship.[1]

Preseason rankings

Many publications release their predictions of the number one team prior to the beginning of the season. Following is a list of some publications' No. 1 pick.

Rules changes for 2006

There are several rules that have changed for the 2006 season.[9] Following are some highlights:

  • The NCAA ruled that teams could schedule twelve regular-season games (up from eleven) beginning in the 2006 season. (NCAA teams in Alaska and Hawaii, and their home opponents, are allowed to schedule an extra game over and above this limit.)
  • Instant replay is now officially sanctioned and standardized. All plays are reviewed by the replay officials as the play occurs. They may call down to the on-field officials to stop play if they need extra time to make a review. Each coach may also make one challenge per game. In the case of a coach's challenge, the coach must have at least one time-out remaining. If the challenge is upheld the coach gets the time-out back but the challenge is spent. If the challenge is rejected, both the challenge and the time-out are spent.
  • Players may only wear clear eyeshields. Previously, both tinted and orange were also allowed.
  • The kicking tee has been lowered from two inches tall to only one inch.
  • Halftime lasts twenty minutes. Previously, it was only fifteen minutes.
  • On a kickoff, the game clock starts when the ball is kicked rather than when the receiving team touches it.
    • This rule change has resulted in controversy, highlighted by the matchup between Wisconsin and Penn State on November 4, 2006, in which Wisconsin deliberately went off-sides on two consecutive kickoffs to run extra time off the clock at the close of the first half.[10]
  • On a change of possession, the clock starts when the referee marks the ball ready for play, instead of on the snap.
  • The referee may no longer stop the game due to excessive crowd noise.
  • When a live-ball penalty such as an illegal formation occurs on a kick, the receiving team may choose either to add the penalty yardage to the end of the return or require the kick to be attempted again with the spot moved back. Previously, only the latter option was available.
  • If a team scores at the end of the game, they will not kick the extra point unless it would affect the outcome of the game.

Key matchups

Date Visitor Home Source Significance
August 31 Northwestern
Miami (Ohio)
Feldman[11] This matchup was more significant sentimentally than competitively. This was Northwestern's first game after the unexpected death of head coach Randy Walker, who was also the winningest head coach in Miami history.
September 2 California
Feldman[11] After a shocking 5–6 season last year, Volunteers coach Phillip Fulmer sought to assure the Knoxville faithful that it was only an aberration. Cal sought to validate its highest preseason ranking in a half-century. Tennessee wins easily.
September 9 Ohio State
Feldman[11] TSN[12] Ohio State and Texas were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in several polls entering this game. Ohio State goes into Texas and wins with ease, ending the 21-game winning streak the Longhorns had entering the game. The Buckeyes would hold onto the No. 1 ranking the rest of the season.
September 9 Penn State
Notre Dame
Feldman[11] Coming into the game, Notre Dame was ranked in the top 5 in several polls with several votes for first place and Penn State was ranked in the top 20. What was expected to be one of the season's toughest tests for Notre Dame turned into an easy win for the Irish.
September 16 Miami (FL)
Feldman[11] This was the first real test for Louisville since the season-ending injury to Michael Bush in their opener against Kentucky. The Cardinals got the signature win that coach Bobby Petrino was looking for, but it could have been a Pyrrhic victory; they lost another Heisman hopeful, quarterback Brian Brohm, to a dislocated thumb on his throwing hand. He would return four weeks later against Cincinnati with the Cardinals still unbeaten.
September 16 Nebraska
Southern California
Feldman[11] No. 19 Nebraska visited No. 4 Southern California with a chance for Nebraska to prove it has returned, and for the Trojans to show that it could win without Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. The Men of Troy limit the Huskers to 68 yards on the ground and 211 total yards, and win comfortably.
September 16 Texas Tech
Feldman[11] No. 24 Texas Tech vs. No. 20 TCU: The Battle for Texas—2 of the 3 best teams in Texas play. The Horned Frogs defense keeps Tech's normally explosive offense out of the end zone for only the second time in Mike Leach's seven years as head coach in Lubbock. The Frogs extend their winning streak, the longest in Division I FBS, to 13 games, and put themselves in pole position to be this season's "BCS buster". (However, the Frogs would lose the next two weeks to BYU and Utah.)
September 16 Oklahoma
Feldman[11] After No. 18 Oregon ties the game at 20 early in the fourth quarter, No. 15 Oklahoma takes a 33–20 lead into the final two minutes. In a wild finish, the Ducks score a touchdown with 1:12 remaining, make a dubious recovery of an onside kick, score a second touchdown, take the lead on the ensuing conversion, and block a Sooners field goal attempt on the game's final play to secure a stunning win at home.
September 16 LSU
TSN[12] No. 6 LSU vs. No. 3 Auburn: In a game that had the potential to decide the SEC West (but ultimately did not), the defenses dominate in the lowest-scoring game at Auburn since 1973. Auburn holds on thanks to a saving tackle near the goal line on the game's final play. LSU had the ball five times in Auburn territory in the second half and failed to score.
September 16 Michigan
Notre Dame
Feldman[11] TSN[12] In this traditional contest between the two teams, the Wolverines entered No. 11 and Notre Dame #2. The Irish had another chance to prove they deserve the No. 1 spot. However, the contest essentially ended Notre Dame's national championship dreams, with the Irish giving up more points at home than they have since 1960.
September 16 Iowa State
Feldman[11] No. 16 Iowa defeats Iowa State in the battle of Iowa.
September 23 Notre Dame
Michigan State
Feldman[13] Forty years after an infamous 10–10 tie between the two schools, the Irish and Spartans produce another game for the ages. The Spartans take a 37–21 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Irish pull off a furious fourth-quarter comeback to keep their BCS bowl hopes alive. Brady Quinn passes for five TDs, with two each to Rhema McKnight and Jeff Samardzija.
September 28 BYU
Feldman[14] While number 17 ranked TCU was favored to become the Mountain West Conference champion, BYU ended TCU's 13-game winning streak. BYU finished the season with its own 10-game winning streak to secure the MWC championship with an undefeated 8–0 conference record.
October 21 Georgia Tech
AP[15] With a surprisingly easy win, Clemson put itself in pole position for a trip to Jacksonville and the ACC Championship Game in December—but the Tigers' next game, a 24–7 loss to Virginia Tech, left them needing considerable help to make the ACC title game.
October 28 Florida
TSN[12] In a key SEC East game, the Florida vs. Georgia Football Classic, the Gators kept their hopes of a BCS trip alive with a hard-fought win.
November 2 West Virginia
Feldman[16] Louisville wins the battle of Big East unbeatens. The two teams combine for over 1,000 yards of offense, but the difference is in turnovers: three for West Virginia, one of which was returned for a TD, to one for Louisville. The Cardinals earned the inside track to the Big East crown and a good chance to make the BCS Championship Game if they were to finish unbeaten.
November 4 LSU
Feldman[16] A last-second TD by LSU not only wins the game, but ends Tennessee's national title hopes, and, combined with Florida's win over Vanderbilt on the same day, puts the Gators in the SEC title game.
November 9 Louisville
Forde[17] In the second battle between Big East unbeatens in two weeks, Louisville's dreams of a spot in the BCS Championship Game go down the drain after a second half in which they gain a total of 53 yards. Rutgers, which played in the first college football game in 1869, wins on a 28-yard field goal by Jeremy Ito with 13 seconds left.
November 11 Georgia
TSN[12] In the 110th installment of the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, the Bulldogs bounce back emphatically from the previous week's stunning loss to Kentucky. Three interceptions by Tra Battle, one of them returned for a TD, and big plays by the offense not only sink Auburn's national title hopes, but leave the Tigers' hopes of reaching the SEC title game hanging by the slimmest of threads.
November 11 South Carolina
Feldman[16] In the return of Steve Spurrier to the sidelines of "The Swamp" as a visitor, Florida gained revenge for the upset from last season knocking them from their No. 12 ranking, the first South Carolina victory over Florida in decades—but only after blocking a last-second Gamecocks field goal attempt that would have won the game.
November 11 Tennessee
Forde[17] Led by 181 yards rushing, two TDs on the ground, and a TD pass by Darren McFadden, the Hogs take a huge step toward a spot in the SEC title game.
November 11 Oregon
Southern California
Feldman[16] Thanks to a string of upsets in the BCS top 10 during the week, the Men of Troy, who had seemingly been all but knocked out of the national championship race by Oregon State on October 28, re-enter the title race with an easy win.
November 18 Michigan
Ohio State
For the second time this year, the Buckeyes were playing in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. The Buckeyes not only won the Big Ten championship, but will be virtually assured of the No. 1 BCS ranking and be invited to the National Championship Game. The Wolverines, because the game was close, could also be invited to a rematch for the BCS Championship; otherwise they are likely to play in the Rose Bowl. The death of Bo Schembechler the day before the game added a somber note to the rivalry game. The game resulted in Jim Tressel's fifth win in six games against Lloyd Carr's Michigan teams.
November 18 California
Southern California
Before Oregon State's upset of the Trojans, California was the only Pac-10 team to beat Southern California in the past three seasons. After Arizona's upset of the Golden Bears on November 11, the dynamics changed. The Men of Troy overcame an early 9–6 deficit and ran away in the second half.
November 18 Auburn
Feldman[16] Auburn won their fifth straight Iron Bowl game, remaining unbeaten in Tucsaloosa through the series' history.
November 18 Washington
Washington State
Feldman[16] Washington started the season 4–1, but then lost their next six games, including a loss to previously winless Stanford at home. Washington State had been ranked in the AP top 25 earlier in the season, and was looking to take an unprecedented third straight Apple Cup victory from the Huskies. Playing in Pullman, Washington nonetheless managed to pull off the upset, and with it took away Wazzu's chances of going to a bowl game.
November 24 Texas A&M
Feldman[16] After Texas' hopes of defending their national title ended in a loss at Kansas State on November 11, this game was for bragging rights in the state rivalry. The Longhorns, who entered at No. 11 in the AP poll, were stunned by the Aggies at home, and their hopes for a spot in the Big 12 championship game disappeared when Oklahoma State failed to upset Oklahoma.
November 25 Notre Dame
Southern California
Southern California moved one step closer to a date against Ohio State by routing the Fighting Irish, who gambled three times on fourth down in the first half and did not succeed.
November 25 Florida
Florida State
Feldman[16] The Seminoles made a game of it in this state rivalry, but the Gators kept their slim (at that time) BCS Title Game hopes alive.
November 25 Boise State
Forde[17] Boise State completed a 12–0 regular season, becoming the second team outside the BCS conferences to play in a BCS game, the only team this season to go undefeated.
December 2 Southern California
Mell[18] The crosstown rivals' meeting ended with the Bruins ending their seven-year losing streak against the Trojans, knocking them from the BCS Title Game and winning the Victory Bell.
December 2 Rutgers
West Virginia
Feldman[16] A triple overtime thriller ends Rutgers' BCS hopes in their Cinderella season thus sending Louisville to the BCS as the Big East Champion.
* The name of the winning team is in bold face.


Conference championship games

Other conference champions

Bowl Championship Series

For the ninth year, the Bowl Championship Series selected the No. 1 and No. 2 teams to play in the championship game on January 8. The year 2006 marked a change for the BCS, as the added National Championship Game began as a separate entity, played after the other bowls. Rotating between the four sites, just like the old format of the National Championship, the first BCS Championship game was played in Tempe, Arizona, the week after the Fiesta Bowl had been played there, and was telecast on FOX.

BCS Rankings Progress

Ohio State was ranked No. 1 in all of the BCS-component polls (AP, Coaches', USA Today) in the preseason and the 14 polls taken in the regular season. When the BCS rankings began on October 15, Ohio State was No. 1 on all 8 rankings released during the season.

OCT 15 Ohio State USC Oregon State 33, USC 31
OCT 22 Ohio State Michigan Ohio St 44, Minnesota 0
OCT 29 Ohio State Michigan Ohio St 17, Illinois 10
NOV 5 Ohio State Michigan Ohio St 54, Northwestern 10
NOV 12 Ohio State Michigan Ohio St 42, Michigan 39
NOV 19 Ohio State Michigan Ohio St 42, Michigan 39
NOV 26 Ohio State USC UCLA 13, USC 9
DEC 3 Ohio State Florida Florida 38, Arkansas 28


BCS Bowls

Rankings based on AP rankings going into bowl games

Bowl Game Date Playing as Visitor Playing as Home Score
BCS National Championship Game January 8 #2 Florida #1 Ohio State 41 – 14
Sugar Bowl January 3 #11 Notre Dame #4 LSU 14 – 41
Orange Bowl January 2 #5 Louisville #15 Wake Forest 24 – 13
Fiesta Bowl January 1 #9 Boise State #7 Oklahoma 43 – 42 (OT)
Rose Bowl January 1 #8 Southern California #3 Michigan 32 – 18

January Bowl Games

Bowl Game Day Playing as Visitor Playing as Home Score
GMAC Bowl 7th Ohio Southern Mississippi 7 – 28
International Bowl 6th Western Michigan Cincinnati 24 – 27
1st #10 Auburn No. 22 Nebraska 17 – 14
Capital One Bowl 1st #12 Arkansas #6 Wisconsin 14 – 17
1st Georgia Tech #13 West Virginia 35 – 38
Outback Bowl 1st #17 Tennessee Penn State 10 – 20

December Bowl Games

Bowl Game Day Playing as Visitor Playing as Home Score
31st Miami Nevada 21 – 20
Chick-fil-A Bowl 30th Georgia #14 Virginia Tech 31 – 24
Alamo Bowl 30th #18 Texas Iowa 26 – 24
Meineke Car Care Bowl 30th Navy #23 Boston College 24 – 25
Champs Sports Bowl 29th Purdue Maryland 7 – 24
Insight Bowl 29th Texas Tech Minnesota 44 – 41
Liberty Bowl 29th Houston South Carolina 36 – 44
Sun Bowl 29th #24 Oregon State Missouri 39 – 38
Music City Bowl 29th Clemson Kentucky 20 – 28
Holiday Bowl 28th #21 Texas A&M #20 California 10 – 45
Texas Bowl 28th #16 Rutgers Kansas State 37 – 10
Independence Bowl 28th Oklahoma State Alabama 34 – 31
Emerald Bowl 27th Florida State UCLA 44 – 27
26th Middle Tennessee Central Michigan 14 – 31
Hawaiʻi Bowl 24th Arizona State Hawaiʻi 24 – 41
Armed Forces Bowl 23rd Tulsa Utah 13 – 25
New Mexico Bowl 23rd New Mexico San José State 12 – 20 Bowl 23rd South Florida East Carolina 24 – 7
New Orleans Bowl 22nd Rice Troy 17 – 41
Las Vegas Bowl 21st #19 BYU Oregon 38 – 8
Poinsettia Bowl 19th Northern Illinois #25 TCU 7 – 37

Bowl Challenge Cup Standings

Conference Wins Losses Pct.
Big East Conference 5 0 1.000
Mountain West Conference 3 1 .750
Western Athletic Conference 3 1 .750
Southeastern Conference 6 3 .667
Atlantic Coast Conference 4 4 .500
Pacific-10 Conference 3 3 .500
Sun Belt Conference 1 1 .500
Big 12 Conference 3 5 .375
Big Ten Conference 2 5 .286
Mid-American Conference 1 3 .250
Conference USA 1 4 .200
Independents 0 2 .000

Heisman Trophy voting

The Heisman Trophy is given to the year's most outstanding player

Other major award winners

Coaching changes following the season

School Former Coach Interim New Coach
Air Force Fisher DeBerry[26] Troy Calhoun[27]
Alabama Mike Shula[28] Joe Kines[28] Nick Saban[29]
Army Bobby Ross[30] Stan Brock[30]
Arizona State Dirk Koetter[31] Dennis Erickson[32]
Boston College Tom O'Brien[33] Frank Spaziani Jeff Jagodzinski[34]
Central Michigan Brian Kelly[35] Jeff Quinn[36] Butch Jones[37]
Cincinnati Mark Dantonio[38] Brian Kelly[35]
Florida International Don Strock[39] Mario Cristobal[40]
Idaho Dennis Erickson[41] Robb Akey[42]
Iowa State Dan McCarney[43] Gene Chizik[44]
Louisiana Tech Jack Bicknell III[45] Derek Dooley[46]
Louisville Bobby Petrino[47] Steve Kragthorpe[48]
Miami (FL) Larry Coker[49] Randy Shannon[50]
Michigan State John L. Smith[51] Mark Dantonio[38]
Minnesota Glen Mason[52] Tim Brewster[53]
North Carolina John Bunting[54] Butch Davis[55]
NC State Chuck Amato[56] Tom O'Brien[33]
North Texas Darrell Dickey[57] Todd Dodge[58]
Rice Todd Graham[59] David Bailiff[60]
Stanford Walt Harris[61] Jim Harbaugh[62]
Tulane Chris Scelfo[63] Bob Toledo[64]
Tulsa Steve Kragthorpe[48] Todd Graham[59]
UAB Watson Brown[65] Neil Callaway[66]

See also

Notes and references

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