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2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season

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Title: 2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: LSU Tigers football, Mid-American Conference football individual awards, December 2011 in sports, 2011–12 NCAA football bowl games, 2012 Sugar Bowl
Collection: 2011 Ncaa Division I Fbs Football Season
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season

The 2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season, play of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level, began on Thursday, September 1, 2011. The season progressed through the regular season and bowl season, and, not counting all-star games that followed the bowl games, concluded with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game on January 9, 2012 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans in which the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the #1 LSU Tigers 21-0. For the first time since 2007 (and for only the third time in the BCS era), no major team finished the season with an undefeated record.


  • Rule changes 1
  • Conference realignment 2
    • Membership changes 2.1
  • Teams transitioning to FBS 3
  • Records 4
    • Most watched regular season games in 2011 4.1
  • New, expanded, and temporary stadiums 5
    • New stadiums 5.1
    • Expanded stadium 5.2
    • Temporary stadiums 5.3
  • Infractions, investigations, and scandals 6
    • Ohio State 6.1
    • North Carolina 6.2
    • Miami 6.3
    • Penn State 6.4
  • Conference standings 7
  • Conference summaries 8
    • Championship games 8.1
    • Other conference winners 8.2
  • Final BCS rankings 9
  • Bowl games 10
    • Non-BCS games 10.1
    • 2012 Bowl Championship Series schedule 10.2
  • Bowl Challenge Cup standings 11
  • Awards and honors 12
    • Heisman Trophy 12.1
    • Other overall 12.2
    • Offense 12.3
    • Defense 12.4
    • Special teams 12.5
    • Coaches 12.6
    • All-Americans 12.7
  • Coaching changes 13
    • Preseason and in-season 13.1
    • End of season 13.2
  • See also 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16

Rule changes

Several rule changes took effect this season:[1]

  • If a player is penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for actions that occurred during a play ending in a touchdown, but before the goal line was crossed, the touchdown will be nullified and the fifteen-yard penalty enforced from the spot of the foul. This change was made the year after Georgia receiver A.J. Green was called for a personal foul after catching a pass for a touchdown against LSU. The fifteen-yard penalty was assessed on the resulting kickoff, which helped LSU's position for the winning score.[2] In another game, North Dakota State defensive back Josh Gatlin pointed at the crowd at the seven-yard line before scoring a touchdown against South Dakota State. Gatlin received a penalty, but the touchdown was not taken back.[3] A similar proposal that would have nullified touchdowns for taunting or excessive celebration after the score failed to pass the NCAA Football Rules Committee.[4]
  • Due to how the fourth quarter ended in the 2010 Music City Bowl, a 10 second runoff will be implemented (similar to the NFL rule adopted in 1980) when a team commits a foul in the final minute of either half that results in a clock stoppage. The opposing team has the option to:
    • Take the penalty yardage and the 10 second runoff
    • Take the penalty yardage and decline the 10 second runoff
    • Decline both the penalty and the 10 second runoff.

The half or game can end due to the runoff. Teams can take a time-out to stop the clock and avoid the 10 second runoff. The new rule has been informally dubbed the "Dooley Rule", after former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley.[5]

  • Video monitors will be allowed in coaches' booths to allow coaching staffs to determine whether they should challenge a call. The televisions will have access only to the live broadcast feed, with no video recorders. The technology, if made available at a stadium, must be provided to both teams.
  • Players lined up outside the tackle box—more specifically, those lined up more than 7 yards from the center—will now be allowed to block below the waist only if they are blocking straight ahead or toward the nearest sideline.
  • On placekicks, no offensive lineman can now be engaged by more than two defensive players. A violation will be a 5-yard penalty.
  • A three-man wedge is prohibited during kickoffs and punts. The penalty will be a fifteen-yard penalty from the spot of the foul, if non-contact, or from the end of the run, if contact.[6]
  • Players will no longer be required to wear pants that cover the knees.
  • The officials' uniforms were slightly changed. The shirt stripes are wider, they now wear black pants instead of white, and the initial of the official's role (ex. "R" for referee, "U" for umpire) is displayed on the front uniform pocket.

In addition, the NCAA recommends that conferences without a pregame warm-up policy should use a ten-yard, no-player zone between the 45-yard lines beginning 60 minutes before kickoff.[2]

Conference realignment

During the first half of 2010, and especially starting in May of that year, several conferences were widely speculated to be considering expansion, and a number of schools were believed to be seriously considering conference moves. Due to conference notice requirements, no changes announced in 2010 would take effect until at least July 2011.

The first change to be officially announced came on June 10, when the Pacific-10 Conference announced that Colorado had accepted that conference's invitation to join. At the time, it was not yet known whether Colorado would officially join the Pac-10 in 2011 or 2012; in September 2010, it was confirmed for 2011.

The following day saw two schools change conferences:

In the following days, it was widely speculated that the five public schools in the Big 12 South Division (Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State) would leave as a unit for the Pac-10. A&M was also reported to be flirting with the SEC. However, a last-minute deal announced on June 14 saw Texas cast its lot with a truncated Big 12, with the remaining schools also pledging their support for the conference. Rebuffed by the Big 12 schools, the Pac-10 shifted its focus to the Mountain West, extending an invitation to Utah on June 16 to join effective in 2011. Utah accepted the next day. The conference name changed to Pacific-12 once Colorado and Utah officially joined on July 1, 2011.

Two months later, reports surfaced indicating that Brigham Young would leave the Mountain West Conference to become an independent in football, with its other sports rejoining the school's former conference, the WAC. Having already lost Utah to the Pac-10, the Mountain West decided to be proactive and in response the MWC invited WAC members Fresno State, Nevada, and Utah State on August 18 in an attempt to stop BYU's plan to go independent. Utah State declined the MWC offer, but the other two accepted later that day and attempted to join Boise by moving to their new home in the MWC the following year (Nevada will also greatly enhance its rivalry with the UNLV Rebels by joining the MWC). However after threats of legal action by the WAC, the two schools agreed to stay in the WAC through the 2011–12 season in exchange for greatly reduced exit fees. Just as things appeared to be stabilizing, BYU surprised everyone on August 31 by announcing that they would join the West Coast Conference and play as a FBS independent football team, starting in the 2011–12 season.

Realignment activity then shifted to Division I FCS for several weeks, although rumors continued to swirl regarding potential movement in several conferences. The Big East Conference also announced that it had extended an invitation to Villanova, a founding non-football member, to upgrade its football program to FBS level and join in that sport. On November 11, the WAC announced that Texas State, currently a member of the FCS Southland Conference, and UTSA, which planned to launch an FCS program in that conference in 2011, would upgrade their football programs to FBS level, join the WAC in 2012, and become full FBS members in 2013. On November 29, the next domino fell when TCU announced it would join the Big East in 2012. However, less than a year later on October 10, 2011, TCU announced it would not join the Big East and would instead join the Big 12 in 2012.[7] The MWC replaced TCU for football only with Hawaiʻi on December 10; Hawaiʻi's other sports would join the Big West Conference.

On April 20, 2011, UMass announced that it would upgrade to FBS football and become a football-only member of the Mid-American Conference in 2012, with full FBS membership and eligibility for the conference championship coming in 2013.

Realignment continued to be a major story in the 2011 football season. On September 18, the ACC announced that Big East mainstays Pitt and Syracuse were officially accepted as members. At the time, the schools' departure date was uncertain, as Big East bylaws require a 27-month notice period for departing members. The earliest that Pitt and Syracuse could join the ACC, barring other developments, was July 2014.[8] (TCU was not held to the notice period because it had never formally joined the Big East.) On September 26, the Southeastern Conference announced that Texas A&M would become the league's 13th member in July 2012.[9]

On October 14, it was announced that the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA would merge their football operations to form a two-division, 22-team conference. The conferences were hoping that the merger would give them an automatic qualifier to a BCS bowl. The next move came on October 28, when the Big 12 formally accepted another Big East school, West Virginia.[10] This paved the way for Missouri's official acceptance by the SEC on November 6, a move that had been in the works for several weeks.[11] WVU's move led to a legal battle between the school and the Big East, with WVU filing suit to overturn the notice period, and the conference suing in another court to enforce it.[11] In February 2012, the Big East and WVU reached a settlement that allowed WVU to join the Big 12 that July.[12] Several months after the WVU settlement, both Syracuse and Pitt reached settlements with the Big East that allowed them to leave for the ACC in July 2013.

With the upcoming loss of three of its mainstays, the Big East announced on December 7 that five new schools would join its football conference in 2013. Houston, SMU, and UCF will join as all-sports members, while Boise State and San Diego State will join in football only.[13] Both Boise State and San Diego State will rejoin former conferences for non-football sports. Boise State initially planned to join the WAC, while San Diego State planned to rejoin the Big West after a 35-year absence.[14] These developments eventually led the Mountain West and C-USA to announce plans to fully merge, under a new charter, as early as 2013.[15] However, due to complications related to NCAA rules, the conferences abandoned a full merger in favor of a football-only alliance. Later developments in conference realignment, mainly the implosion of the WAC, led Boise State to abandon its plans to place its non-football sports in the WAC, opting instead to rejoin the Big West in 2013 after a 12-year absence.

Membership changes

School Former conference New conference
Colorado Buffaloes[16] Big 12 Pac-12
Boise State Broncos[17] WAC Mountain West
Nebraska Cornhuskers[18] Big 12 Big Ten
Utah Utes[19] Mountain West Pac-12
BYU Cougars Mountain West Independent (WCC in other sports)

Teams transitioning to FBS

Four schools began a two-year transition from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to FBS in July 2011. These schools were technically FCS members in 2011, and will be provisional FBS members in 2012 before becoming full FBS members in 2013.


  • Several significant records were tied or broken on October 22:
    • East Carolina quarterback Dominique Davis set two FBS records for consecutive pass completions in the Pirates' 38–35 win over Navy.[22]
      • Davis completed his first 26 pass attempts, breaking the single-game record of 23 first set in 1998 by Tee Martin of Tennessee against South Carolina and tied in 2004 by Aaron Rodgers of California against USC.
      • Since Davis had also completed his final 10 passes in the Pirates' game the previous week against Memphis, his streak against Navy gave him a total of 36 consecutive completions over two games, breaking the record of 26 set by Rodgers in 2004.
    • Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore led the Broncos to a 37–26 win over Air Force, giving him 45 career wins as a starter. This tied the FBS record of Texas' Colt McCoy (20062009); after a bye week, Moore could (and ultimately did) take sole possession of the record at UNLV on November 5.[23] He finished his career 50-3.
    • In Houston's 63–28 win over Marshall, Cougars quarterback Case Keenum set a new FBS record for career total offense, surpassing the 16,910 yards amassed by Timmy Chang of Hawaiʻi from 2000 to 2004.[24] He also brought his career total of touchdowns accounted for (combined passing, rushing, receiving, and returns) to 150, tying the record set by Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour from 2006 to 2009.
    • Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, already the holder of the record for most career wins in FBS, tied Eddie Robinson of Grambling for the most wins in Division I history, with 408, when the Nittany Lions defeated Northwestern 34–24.[25] Paterno, in what would prove to be his final game coached, would claim the record outright the following week, when Penn State defeated Illinois in a defensive struggle, 10-7.[26]
  • On October 27, Keenum's nine touchdown passes in Houston's 73–34 win over crosstown rival Rice gave him 139 for his college career, surpassing the previous record of 134 by Texas Tech's Graham Harrell from 2005 to 2008.[27] He also took sole possession of the record for most touchdowns accounted for, with 159 (and counting).
  • On October 29, Paterno took sole possession of the record for most career wins by a Division I head coach when Penn State defeated Illinois 10–7.[28] This would prove to be Paterno's final game, as he would be fired less than two weeks later in the midst of a sexual abuse scandal (more details below).
  • On November 5:
    • In Houston's 56–13 pasting of UAB, Keenum broke Chang's record for career passing yards, ending the game with 17,212.[29]
    • Boise State defeated UNLV 48–21, giving Moore his 46th career win as a starter and sole possession of that record.[30]
  • On November 19, Keenum added another major FBS record to his collection, surpassing Harrell's previous record of 1,403 career completions in the first quarter of Houston's 37–7 win over SMU. Keenum ended with 1,427 completions.[31]
  • On November 26, Kentucky defeated Tennessee for the first time since 1984. The Wildcats' 10–7 win ended the longest current losing streak against an annual opponent in FBS at 26.[32]

Most watched regular season games in 2011

Rank Date Matchup Channel Viewers
1 November 5, 8:00 ET #1 LSU vs. #2 Alabama (Game of the Century (2011)) CBS 20.01 Million
2 December 3, 4:00 ET #14 Georgia CBS 12.01 Million
3 November 25, 2:30 ET #3 Arkansas vs. #1 LSU CBS 10.44 Million
4 November 19, 8:00 ET USC vs. #4 Oregon, #5 Oklahoma vs. #22 Baylor Regional ESPN on ABC 9.74 Million
5 September 17, 8:00 ET #1 Oklahoma vs. #5 Florida State ESPN on ABC 9.31 Million
6 November 12, 8:00 ET #7 Oregon vs. #4 Stanford ESPN on ABC 8.73 Million
7 October 29, 8:00 ET #6 Stanford vs. USC Regional ESPN on ABC 8.43 Million
8 November 26, 12:00 ET Ohio State vs. #15 Michigan ESPN on ABC 7.96 Million
9 December 3, 8:15 ET #15 Wisconsin vs. #13 Michigan State FOX 7.77 Million
10 September 3, 8:00 ET #4 LSU vs. #3 Oregon ESPN on ABC 7.75 Million
Special December 10, 2:30 ET Army vs. Navy CBS 5.50 Million[1]

New, expanded, and temporary stadiums

New stadiums

School Name Capacity
Florida Atlantic FAU Stadium 30,000
North Texas Apogee Stadium 30,850

Expanded stadium

  • North Carolina: Renovations on Kenan Memorial Stadium will be completed in time for the start of the season. The renovations, which began last year, enclosed the stadium with what is called "The Blue Zone" and included an additional 1,836 seats (part in the form of private boxes and suites) bringing the total capacity to 61,836.

Temporary stadiums

Infractions, investigations, and scandals

Ohio State


  • Media related to 2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season at Wikimedia Commons

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See also

School Outgoing coach Date announced Reason Replacement
Florida Atlantic Howard Schnellenberger August 11 Retired[65] Carl Pelini[66]
Ole Miss Houston Nutt November 7 Resigned[67] Hugh Freeze[68]
New Mexico George Barlow (interim) November 16 Permanent replacement Bob Davie[69]
Arizona Tim Kish (interim) November 21 Permanent replacement Rich Rodriguez[70]
Akron Rob Ianello November 26 Fired[71] Terry Bowden[72]
Memphis Larry Porter November 27 Fired[73] Justin Fuente[74]
Illinois Ron Zook November 27 Fired[75] Tim Beckman[76]
UAB Neil Callaway November 27 Fired[77] Garrick McGee[78]
Kansas Turner Gill November 27 Fired[79] Charlie Weis[80]
Arizona State Dennis Erickson November 27 Fired[81] Todd Graham[82]
Ohio State Luke Fickell (interim) November 28 Permanent replacement Urban Meyer[83]
UCLA Rick Neuheisel November 28 Fired[84] Jim Mora[85]
Washington State Paul Wulff November 29 Fired [86] Mike Leach[87]
Texas A&M Mike Sherman December 1 Fired[88] Kevin Sumlin[89]
Colorado State Steve Fairchild December 4 Fired[90] Jim McElwain[91]
Fresno State Pat Hill December 4 Fired[92] Tim DeRuyter[93]
Tulane Mark Hutson (interim) December 5 Permanent replacement Curtis Johnson[94]
Arkansas State Hugh Freeze December 5 Hired by Ole Miss[68] Gus Malzahn[95]
Hawaiʻi Greg McMackin December 5 Retired[96] Norm Chow [97]
North Carolina Everett Withers (interim) December 7 Permanent replacement Larry Fedora[98]
Southern Miss Larry Fedora December 7 Hired by North Carolina[98] Ellis Johnson[99]
Toledo Tim Beckman December 9 Hired by Illinois[76] Matt Campbell[100]
Houston Kevin Sumlin December 10 Hired by Texas A&M[89] Tony Levine[101]
Pittsburgh Todd Graham December 14 Hired by Arizona State[82] Paul Chryst[102]
Penn State Tom Bradley (interim) January 5 Permanent replacement Bill O'Brien[103]
Rutgers Greg Schiano January 26 Hired by Tampa Bay Buccaneers[104] Kyle Flood[105]
Arkansas Bobby Petrino April 10 Fired[106] John L. Smith[107]

End of season

School Outgoing coach Date Reason Replacement
Ohio State Jim Tressel May 30 Resigned[36] Luke Fickell (interim)
West Virginia Bill Stewart June 10 Resigned[60] Dana Holgorsen
North Carolina Butch Davis July 27 Fired[39] Everett Withers (interim)[61]
New Mexico Mike Locksley September 25 Fired[62] George Barlow (interim)
Arizona Mike Stoops October 10 Fired[63] Tim Kish (interim)
Tulane Bob Toledo October 18 Resigned[64] Mark Hutson (interim)
Penn State Joe Paterno November 9 Fired[45] Tom Bradley (interim)
. 2010 NCAA Division I FBS end-of-season coaching changesThis is restricted to coaching changes that took place on or after May 1, 2011. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2011, see

Preseason and in-season

Coaching changes




Special teams

Defensive Back


Defensive Line



Tight End

Wide Receiver

Running Back



Other overall

Player School Position 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Robert Griffin III Baylor QB 405 168 136 1,687
Andrew Luck Stanford QB 247 250 166 1,407
Trent Richardson Alabama RB 138 207 150 978
Montee Ball Wisconsin RB 22 83 116 348
Tyrann Mathieu LSU CB 34 63 99 327[59]

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

Heisman Trophy

Awards and honors

Conference Wins Losses Pct.
C-USA 4 1 .800
MAC 4 1 .800
Big 12 6 2 .750
SEC 6 3 .666
Big East 3 2 .600
Division I FBS Independents 1 1 .500
Big 10 4 6 .400
MWC 2 3 .400
Sun Belt 1 2 .333
Pac-12 2 5 .286
ACC 2 6 .250
WAC 0 3 .000

Bowl Challenge Cup standings

Date Game Site Television Teams Affiliations Results
Jan. 2 Rose Bowl presented by Vizio Rose Bowl
Pasadena, CA
5:00 pm
ESPN #10 Wisconsin Badgers (11–2)
#5 Oregon Ducks (11–2)
Big Ten
Wisconsin 38
Oregon 45
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, AZ
8:30 pm
#3 Oklahoma State Cowboys (11–1)
#4 Stanford Cardinal (11–1)
Big 12
Oklahoma State 41 (OT)
Stanford 38
Jan. 3 Allstate Sugar Bowl Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, LA
8:30 pm
#13 Michigan Wolverines (10–2)
#11 Virginia Tech Hokies (11–2)
Big Ten
Michigan 23 (OT)
Virginia Tech 20
Jan. 4 Discover Orange Bowl Sun Life Stadium
Miami Gardens, FL
8:30 pm
#15 Clemson Tigers (10–3)
#23 West Virginia Mountaineers (9–3)
Big East
Clemson 33
West Virginia 70
Jan. 9 Allstate BCS National Championship Game Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, LA
8:30 pm
#1 LSU Tigers (13–0)
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11–1)
Alabama 21

2012 Bowl Championship Series schedule

  1. ^ Navy, which had the primary contract for this slot, was not bowl-eligible. For the 2011 season, the TicketCity Bowl and Military Bowl have contingency contracts with the Big 12 if those games' primary partners are not available. Since the TicketCity Bowl's primary partners (the Big Ten and C-USA) both filled their slots, Navy's Military Bowl slot was passed to the Big 12; however the Big 12 did not have enough teams to fulfill their contract, so Toledo from the MAC was invited.
  2. ^ Army, which had the primary contract for this slot, was not bowl-eligible. The ACC had a contingency contract for the slot, but could only fill it if it produced nine bowl-eligible teams. Miami's self-imposed bowl ban made it impossible for the conference to fill that slot.
Date Game Site Television Teams Affiliations Results
Dec. 17 Gildan New Mexico Bowl University Stadium
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM
2:00 pm
ESPN Wyoming Cowboys (8–4)
Temple Owls (8–4)
Wyoming 15
Temple 37
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Bronco Stadium
Boise State University
Boise, ID
5:30 pm
Ohio Bobcats (9–4)
Utah State Aggies (7–5)
Ohio 24
Utah State 23
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, LA
9:00 pm
San Diego State Aztecs (8–4)
Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (8–4)
Sun Belt
San Diego State 30
Louisiana–Lafayette 32
Dec. 20 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg Tropicana Field
St. Petersburg, FL
8:00 pm
FIU Golden Panthers (8–4)
Marshall Thundering Herd (6–6)
Sun Belt
FIU 10
Marshall 20
Dec. 21 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Snapdragon Stadium
San Diego, CA
8:00 pm
#18 TCU Horned Frogs (10–2)
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8–4)
TCU 31
Louisiana Tech 24
Dec. 22 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas Sam Boyd Stadium
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Whitney, NV
8:00 pm
#7 Boise State Broncos (11–1)
Arizona State Sun Devils (6–6)
Boise State 56
Arizona State 24
Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawaiʻi Bowl Aloha Stadium
Honolulu, HI
8:00 pm
Nevada Wolf Pack (7–5)
#21 Southern Miss Golden Eagles (11–2)
Nevada 17
Southern Miss 24
Dec. 26 Advocare Independence Bowl Independence Stadium
Shreveport, LA
5:00 pm
ESPN2 Missouri Tigers (7–5)
North Carolina Tar Heels (7–5)
Big 12
Missouri 41
North Carolina 24
Dec. 27 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Ford Field
Detroit, MI
4:30 pm
ESPN Purdue Boilermakers (6–6)
Western Michigan Broncos (7–5)
Big Ten
Purdue 37
Western Michigan 32
Belk Bowl Bank of America Stadium
Charlotte, NC
8:00 pm
North Carolina State Wolfpack (7–5)
Louisville Cardinals (7–5)
Big East
North Carolina State 31
Louisville 24
Dec. 28 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman RFK Stadium
Washington, DC
4:30 pm
Air Force Falcons (7–5)
Toledo Rockets (8–4)[n 1]
Air Force 41
Toledo 42
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Snapdragon Stadium
San Diego, CA
8:00 pm
#24 Texas Longhorns (7–5)
California Golden Bears (7–5)
Big 12
Texas 21
California 10
Dec. 29 Champs Sports Bowl Citrus Bowl
Orlando, FL
5:30 pm
Florida State Seminoles (8–4)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8–4)
Florida State 18
Notre Dame 14
Valero Alamo Bowl Alamodome
San Antonio, TX
9:00 pm
#12 Baylor Bears (9–3)
Washington Huskies (7–5)
Big 12
Baylor 67
Washington 56
Dec. 30 Bell Helicopters Armed Forces Bowl Gerald J. Ford Stadium
University Park, TX
12:00 pm
BYU Cougars (9–3)
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8–4)
BYU 24
Tulsa 21
New Era Pinstripe Bowl Yankee Stadium
Bronx, NY
3:20 pm
Iowa State Cyclones (6–6)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8–4)
Big 12
Big East
Iowa State 13
Rutgers 27
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl LP Field
Nashville, TN
6:40 pm
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6–6)
Mississippi State Bulldogs (6–6)
Wake Forest 17
Mississippi State 23
Insight Bowl Sun Devil Stadium
Tempe, AZ
10:00 pm
Iowa Hawkeyes (7–5)
#14 Oklahoma Sooners (9–3)
Big Ten
Big 12
Iowa 14
Oklahoma 31
Dec. 31 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas Reliant Stadium
Houston, TX
12:00 pm
Texas A&M Aggies (6–6)
Northwestern Wildcats (6–6)
Big 12
Big Ten
Texas A&M 33
Northwestern 22
Hyundai Sun Bowl Sun Bowl Stadium
University of Texas El Paso
El Paso, TX
2:00 pm
CBS Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8–4)
Utah Utes (7–5)
Georgia Tech 27
Utah 30 (OT)
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Memphis, TN
3:30 pm
ABC Cincinnati Bearcats (9–3)
Vanderbilt Commodores (6–6)
Big East
Cincinnati 31
Vanderbilt 24
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl AT&T Park
San Francisco, CA
3:30 pm
ESPN Illinois Fighting Illini (6–6)[n 2]
UCLA Bruins (6–7)
Big Ten
Illinois 20
Chick-fil-A Bowl Georgia Dome
Atlanta, GA
7:30 pm
#25 Auburn Tigers (7–5)
Virginia Cavaliers (8–4)
Auburn 43
Virginia 24
Jan. 2 TicketCity Bowl Cotton Bowl
Dallas, TX
12:00 pm
ESPNU #22 Penn State Nittany Lions (9–3)
#19 Houston Cougars (12–1)
Big Ten
Penn State 14
Houston 30
Outback Bowl Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, FL
1:00 pm
ABC #17 Michigan State Spartans (10–3)
#16 Georgia Bulldogs (10–3)
Big Ten
Michigan State 33 (3OT)
Georgia 30
Capital One Bowl Citrus Bowl
Orlando, FL
1:00 pm
ESPN #20 Nebraska Cornhuskers (9–3)
#9 South Carolina Gamecocks (10–2)
Big Ten
Nebraska 13
South Carolina 30 Gator Bowl EverBank Field
Jacksonville, FL
1:00 pm
ESPN2 Ohio State Buckeyes (6–6)
Florida Gators (6–6)
Big Ten
Ohio State 17
Florida 24
Jan. 6 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic Cowboys Stadium
Arlington, TX
8:00 pm
FOX #8 Kansas State Wildcats (10–2)
#6 Arkansas Razorbacks (10–2)
Big 12
Kansas State 16
Arkansas 29
Jan. 7 BBVA Compass Bowl Legion Field
Birmingham, AL
1:00 pm
ESPN SMU Mustangs (7–5)
Pittsburgh Panthers (6–6)
Big East
SMU 28
Pittsburgh 6
Jan. 8 Bowl Ladd Peebles Stadium
Mobile, AL
9:00 pm
Northern Illinois Huskies (10–3)
Arkansas State Red Wolves (10–2)
Sun Belt
Northern Illinois 38
Arkansas State 20

Non-BCS games

Bowl games

BCS School Record Bowl Game
1 LSU 13–0 BCS Championship
2 Alabama 11–1 BCS Championship
3 Oklahoma State 11–1 Fiesta
4 Stanford 11–1 Fiesta
5 Oregon 11–2 Rose
6 Arkansas 10–2 Cotton
7 Boise State 11–1 Las Vegas
8 Kansas State 10–2 Cotton
9 South Carolina 10–2 Capital One
10 Wisconsin 11–2 Rose
11 Virginia Tech 11–2 Sugar
12 Baylor 9–3 Alamo
13 Michigan 10–2 Sugar
14 Oklahoma 9–3 Insight
15 Clemson 10–3 Orange
16 Georgia 10–3 Outback
17 Michigan State 10–3 Outback
18 TCU 10–2 Poinsettia
19 Houston 12–1 TicketCity
20 Nebraska 9–3 Capital One
21 Southern Miss 11–2 Hawai'i
22 Penn State 9–3 TicketCity
23 West Virginia 9–3 Orange
24 Texas 7–5 Holiday
25 Auburn 7–5 Chick-fil-A

Final BCS rankings

Conference Champion Record Offensive Player of the Year Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
Big 12 Oklahoma StateBCS 11–1 (8–1) Robert Griffin III, Baylor[54] A.J. Klein, Iowa State and Frank Alexander, Oklahoma[54] Bill Snyder, Kansas State[54]
Big East West VirginiaBCS
9–3 (5–2)
9–3 (5–2)
7–5 (5–2)
Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati[55] Khaseem Greene, Rutgers and
Derrick Wolfe, Cincinnati[55]
Butch Jones, Cincinnati[55]
MWC TCU 10–2 (7–0) Kellen Moore, Boise State[56] Tank Carder, TCU[56] Dave Christensen, Wyoming[56]
Sun Belt Arkansas State 10–2 (8–0) Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State[57] Brandon Joiner, Arkansas State[57] Hugh Freeze, Arkansas State[57]
WAC Louisiana Tech 8–4 (5–1) Robert Turbin, Utah State[58] Adrien Cole, Louisiana Tech[58] Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech[58]

Other conference winners

Conference Champion Runner-up Score Offensive Player of the Year Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
ACC ClemsonBCS Virginia TechBCS 38–10 David Wilson, Virginia Tech[46] Luke Kuechly, Boston College[47] Mike London, Virginia[48]
Big Ten WisconsinBCS Michigan State 42–39 Montee Ball, Wisconsin[49] Devon Still, Penn State[49] Brady Hoke, Michigan[49]
C-USA Southern Miss Houston 49–28 Case Keenum, Houston (MVP)[50]
Patrick Edwards, Houston[50]
Vinny Curry, Marshall[50] Kevin Sumlin, Houston[50]
MAC Northern Illinois Ohio 23–20 Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois[51] Drew Nowak, Western Michigan[51] Ron English, Eastern Michigan[51]
Pac-12 OregonBCS UCLA 49–31 Andrew Luck, Stanford[52] Mychal Kendricks, California[52] David Shaw, Stanford[52]
SEC LSUBCS Georgia 42–10 Trent Richardson, Alabama[53] Tyrann Mathieu, LSU[53] Les Miles, LSU[53]

Championship games

Conference summaries

2011 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Legends Division
#11 Michigan State x   7 1         11 3  
#12 Michigan %   6 2         11 2  
#24 Nebraska   5 3         9 4  
Iowa   4 4         7 6  
Northwestern   3 5         6 7  
Minnesota   2 6         3 9  
Leaders Division
#10 Wisconsin xy$   6 2         11 3  
Penn State x   6 2         9 4  
Purdue   4 4         7 6  
Ohio State   3 5         6 7  
Illinois   2 6         7 6  
Indiana   0 8         1 11  
Championship: Wisconsin 42, Michigan State 39
  • $ – BCS representative as conference champion
  • % – BCS at-large representative
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
As of January 10, 2012; Rankings from AP Poll

Conference standings

On November 5, former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky was indicted on multiple felony charges of sex abuse against minors. Two other high-ranking Penn State administrators—athletic director Tim Curley and vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz (whose job includes supervision of the university police department)—were charged with perjury in the case.[42] The day after the indictments, the university Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting, at which Curley requested to be placed on administrative leave and Schultz stepped down.[43] Paterno, who had received notice of inappropriate behavior by Sandusky in 2002 and had reported the allegations to university administrators (though not to police), was not charged or implicated in any wrongdoing. On November 9, he announced his retirement effective at the end of the season, stating he was "absolutely devastated by the developments in this case."[44] However, hours later, the Penn State Board of Trustees fired Paterno, effective immediately.[45]

Penn State

On August 16, Yahoo! Sports broke a story in which former Miami Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro, currently imprisoned for running a Ponzi scheme, stated that from 2002 through 2010 he had given massive amounts of improper benefits to Miami players and coaches, mostly in football but also in men's basketball. Shapiro indicated that the benefits included cash, various goods, prostitutes, and even an abortion.[41]


The school initially vacated its 2008 and 2009 seasons, reduced its scholarship allotment by nine over the next three seasons, and self-imposed two years of probation. Although the NCAA praised the university for its investigation, it found several aggravating factors. The NCAA confirmed academic fraud, found that players had received at least $31,000 in impermissible benefits, determined that six players had played while ineligible, and also found evidence of rampant agent involvement in the program. The NCAA added an extra year of probation, and also banned the Tar Heels from the 2012 postseason. John Blake, an assistant who had been forced out with Davis, was found to have received personal loans from agent Gary Wichard that he did not report to UNC, specifically for access to players. He was also cited for not cooperating with investigators. Blake received a three-year show-cause penalty.[40]

The North Carolina Tar Heels, in the midst of an NCAA investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct within the football program, fired head coach Butch Davis on July 27.[39]

North Carolina

Initially, Ohio State offered to vacate its entire 2010 season, return money received from the 2011 Sugar Bowl, impose two years of probation, and use five fewer football scholarships over the next three seasons. However, after the school went before the NCAA, further rules violations emerged. Three players were suspended before the start of the season for receiving $200 from a booster. Then, midway through the season, it was discovered that the same booster had overpaid several players for summer jobs. The NCAA announced its final penalties on December 20. While accepting Ohio State's initial penalties, it imposed extra sanctions. One extra year of both probation and scholarship reductions was added, running through the 2014 season. The Buckeyes will also be banned from a bowl in 2012. Tressel, who joined the staff of the Indianapolis Colts during the 2011 NFL season and has since taken a non-athletic position at his alma mater of the University of Akron, was hit with a five-year show-cause penalty, which effectively bars him from college coaching through the 2016 season. Finally, the school was required to disassociate itself from Pryor for five years.[38]


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