2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season

Last updated
2011 NCAA Division I FBS season
Alabama on offense against LSU 11-5-2011.jpg
Number of teams120
DurationSeptember 1 – December 10
Preseason AP No. 1 Oklahoma
Post-season
DurationDecember 17, 2011 – January 9, 2012
Bowl games 35
Heisman Trophy Robert Griffin III (quarterback, Baylor)
Bowl Championship Series
2012 BCS Championship Game
Site Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, Louisiana
Champion(s) Alabama
NCAA Division I FBS football seasons
  2010
2012  

The 2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season was the highest level of college football competition in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Contents

The regular season began on September 1, 2011 and ended on December 10, 2011. The postseason concluded on January 9, 2012 with the BCS National Championship Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the No. 1 LSU Tigers 21–0. For the first time since 2007, and for only the third time in the Bowl Championship Series era, no team from an automatic-qualifying BCS conference finished the season with an undefeated record.

Rule changes

Several rule changes took effect this season: [1]

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

Membership changes

Five FBS schools switched conferences prior to the 2011 season. Each of these moves had been formally announced in 2010.

SchoolFormer conferenceNew conference
Boise State [7] WAC Mountain West
BYU Mountain West FBS independent (WCC in other sports)
Colorado [8] Big 12 Pac-12
Nebraska [9] Big 12 Big Ten
Utah [10] Mountain West Pac-12

On April 20, 2011, UMass announced that it would upgrade its football program to the FBS level and become a football-only member of the Mid-American Conference beginning in 2012. Full FBS membership and eligibility for the conference championship and bowl games would follow in 2013.

On September 18, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced that Big East Conference mainstays Pittsburgh and Syracuse had been officially accepted as the conference's 13th and 14th members. At the time, the two 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. [11]

On September 26, the Southeastern Conference announced that Texas A&M would leave the Big 12 Conference and become the league's 13th member in July 2012. [12] Missouri also announced plans to depart the Big 12 to join the SEC on November 6, bringing SEC conference membership to 14 schools. [13]

Facing the imminent loss of four members, the Big 12 announced the addition of TCU from the Mountain West Conference on October 10. [14] In order to join the Big 12, TCU had to renege on an agreement it had made less than year earlier to join the Big East. [15]

On October 14, the Mountain West and Conference USA announced their intention to merge their football operations and form a two-division, 22-team conference in hopes of earning an automatic qualifier to a BCS bowl. [16] The agreement was abandoned in 2012 after both conferences added new members.

The next change came on October 28, when the Big 12 formally accepted West Virginia from the Big East. [17] This move led to a legal battle in which West Virginia filed suit against the Big East to overturn the standard 27-month notice period, and the Big East suing in another court to have the requirement enforced. [13] In February 2012, the two parties reached a settlement that allowed West Virginia to join the Big 12 that July. [18] Several months later, both Pittsburgh and Syracuse reached their own settlements with the Big East that allowed them to leave for the ACC in July 2013.

Changes in membership reduced the number of teams in the Big 12 from twelve to ten for the 2011 season and beyond, forcing the conference to drop its annual football championship game to comply with NCAA rules.

In response to the departures of three mainstay members and TCU, the Big East announced on December 7 that five schools would join the conference for football in 2013: Houston, SMU, and UCF would join as full members in all sports, while Boise State and San Diego State would leave the Mountain West and become football-only members. [19] Boise State's other sports would return to the Western Athletic Conference, while San Diego State's would rejoin the Big West after a 35-year absence. [20] Later developments in conference realignment, namely the demise of both the Big East and WAC's football competitions following the 2012 season, prompted both schools to abandon these plans and remain the Mountain West.

New and updated stadiums

New stadiums

SchoolNameCapacity
Florida Atlantic FAU Stadium 30,000
North Texas Apogee Stadium 30,850

Expanded stadium

Temporary stadiums

Infractions, investigations, and scandals

Ohio State

Five Ohio State players were alleged to have improperly traded dozens of items to the owner of a tattoo parlor in exchange for tattoos, cash, and, in one case, a sport-utility vehicle. The players, along with head coach Jim Tressel, were suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. Tressel was under investigation for lying to the university and investigators regarding his knowledge of the incident. [23] The program was also under investigation by the NCAA, the school having going before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in August 2011, with findings and decisions following shortly thereafter. [24] The scandal led to the resignation of Tressel on May 30. [25] On June 8, starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor, one of the five suspended players, announced that he would forgo his final year of college eligibility. [26]

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 self-imposed penalties, it levied additional sanctions. One extra year of probation and scholarship reductions was added, running through the 2014 season. The Buckeyes will also be banned from postseason play 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. [27]

North Carolina

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. [28]

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. [29]

Miami

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. [30]

Penn State

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. [31] 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. [32] 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." [33] However, hours later, the Penn State Board of Trustees fired Paterno, effective immediately. [34]

Conference standings

2011 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Atlantic Division
No. 22 Clemson x$ 62    104 
Wake Forest  53    67 
No. 23 Florida State  53    94 
NC State  44    85 
Boston College  35    48 
Maryland  17    210 
Coastal Division
No. 21 Virginia Tech x% 71    113 
Virginia  53    85 
Georgia Tech  53    85 
Miami  35    66 
North Carolina  35    76 
Duke  17    39 
Championship: Clemson 38, Virginia Tech 10
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
  • % BCS at-large representative
  • x Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
2011 Big 12 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 3 Oklahoma State $ 81    121 
No. 15 Kansas State  72    103 
No. 13 Baylor  63    103 
No. 16 Oklahoma  63    103 
Missouri  54    85 
Texas  45    85 
Texas A&M  45    76 
Iowa State  36    67 
Texas Tech  27    57 
Kansas  09    210 
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2011 Big East Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 17 West Virginia $+ 52    103 
No. 25 Cincinnati + 52    103 
Louisville + 52    76 
Rutgers  43    94 
Pittsburgh  43    67 
Connecticut  34    57 
South Florida  16    57 
Syracuse  16    57 
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
  • + Conference co-champions
As of January 11, 2012; Rankings from AP Poll
2011 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Legends Division
No. 11 Michigan State x 71    113 
No. 12 Michigan  % 62    112 
No. 24 Nebraska  53    94 
Iowa  44    76 
Northwestern  35    67 
Minnesota  26    39 
Leaders Division
No. 10 Wisconsin xy$ 62    113 
Penn State x 62    94 
Purdue  44    76 
Ohio State  35    67 
Illinois  26    76 
Indiana  08    111 
Championship: Wisconsin 42, Michigan State 39
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
  • % BCS at-large representative
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll
2011 Conference USA football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
East Division
No. 20 Southern Miss x$ 62    122 
Marshall  53    76 
East Carolina  44    57 
UAB  35    39 
UCF  35    57 
Memphis  17    210 
West Division
No. 18 Houston x 80    131 
Tulsa  71    85 
SMU  53    85 
Rice  35    48 
UTEP  26    57 
Tulane  17    211 
Championship: Southern Miss 49, Houston 28
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
As of January 10, 2012; Rankings from AP Poll
2011 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
East Division
Ohio xy 62    104 
Temple  53    94 
Kent State  44    57 
Bowling Green  35    57 
Miami  35    48 
Buffalo  26    39 
Akron  08    111 
West Division
Northern Illinois xy$ 71    113 
Toledo x 71    94 
Western Michigan  53    76 
Ball State  44    66 
Eastern Michigan  44    66 
Central Michigan  26    39 
Championship: NIU 23, Ohio 20
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
2011 Mountain West Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 14 TCU $ 70    112 
No. 8 Boise State  61    121 
Wyoming  52    85 
San Diego State  43    85 
Air Force  34    76 
Colorado State  16    39 
UNLV  16    210 
New Mexico  16    111 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2011 Pac-12 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
North Division
No. 4 Oregon xy$ 81    122 
No. 7 Stanford x% 81    112 
Washington  54    76 
California  45    76 
Oregon State  36    39 
Washington State  27    48 
South Division
No. 6 USC 72    102 
UCLA xy 54    68 
Utah  45    85 
Arizona State  45    67 
Arizona  27    48 
Colorado  27    310 
Championship: Oregon 49, UCLA 31
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
  • % BCS at-large representative
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
  • † – USC ineligible for championship and post-season due to NCAA sanctions
Rankings from AP Poll
2011 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Eastern Division
No. 19 Georgia x 71    104 
No. 9 South Carolina  62    112 
Florida  35    76 
Vanderbilt  26    67 
Kentucky  26    57 
Tennessee  17    57 
Western Division
No. 2 LSU x$ 80    131 
No. 1 Alabama  %# 71    121 
No. 5 Arkansas  62    112 
Auburn  44    85 
Mississippi State  26    76 
Ole Miss* 08    010 
Championship: LSU 42, Georgia 10
  • # BCS National Champion
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
  • % BCS at-large representative
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • * Ole Miss vacated all wins due to NCAA violations.
Rankings from AP Poll
2011 Sun Belt Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Arkansas State $ 80    103 
WKU  71    75 
FIU  53    85 
North Texas  44    57 
Louisiana–Monroe  35    48 
Troy  26    39 
Louisiana–Lafayette * 12    14 
Middle Tennessee  17    210 
Florida Atlantic  08    111 
  • $ Conference champion
  • * – Louisiana–Lafayette vacated 8 wins including 5 in conference.
2011 Western Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Louisiana Tech $ 61    85 
Nevada  52    76 
Utah State  52    76 
Hawaii  34    67 
San Jose State  34    57 
Fresno State  34    49 
New Mexico State  25    49 
Idaho  16    210 
  • $ Conference champion
2011 NCAA Division I FBS independents football records
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
BYU        103 
Notre Dame        85 
Navy        57 
Army        39 
Rankings from AP Poll

Conference summaries

Rankings reflect the Week 14 AP Poll before the games were played.

Conference championship games

ConferenceChampionRunner-UpScoreOffensive Player of the YearDefensive Player of the YearCoach of the Year
ACC No. 21 Clemson No. 5 Virginia Tech 38–10 David Wilson, Virginia Tech [35] Luke Kuechly, Boston College [36] Mike London, Virginia [37]
Big Ten No. 15 Wisconsin No. 11 Michigan State 42–39 Montee Ball, Wisconsin [38] Devon Still, Penn State [38] Brady Hoke, Michigan [38]
C-USA No. 24 Southern Miss No. 7 Houston 49–28 Case Keenum, Houston (MVP) [39]
Patrick Edwards, Houston [39]
Vinny Curry, Marshall [39] Kevin Sumlin, Houston [39]
MAC Northern Illinois Ohio 23–20 Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois [40] Drew Nowak, Western Michigan [40] Ron English, Eastern Michigan [40]
Pac-12 No. 8 Oregon UCLA 49–31 Andrew Luck, Stanford [41] Mychal Kendricks, California [41] David Shaw, Stanford [41]
SEC No. 1 LSU No. 12 Georgia 42–10 Trent Richardson, Alabama [42] Tyrann Mathieu, LSU [42] Les Miles, LSU [42]

Other conference champions

ConferenceChampionRecordOffensive Player of the YearDefensive Player of the YearCoach of the Year
Big 12No. 3 Oklahoma State 11–1 (8–1) Robert Griffin III, Baylor [43] A.J. Klein, Iowa State & Frank Alexander, Oklahoma [43] Bill Snyder, Kansas State [43]
Big East Cincinnati
Louisville

#22 West Virginia

9–3 (5–2)

7–5 (5–2)

9–3 (5–2)

Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati [44] Khaseem Greene, Rutgers &
Derrick Wolfe, Cincinnati [44]
Butch Jones, Cincinnati [44]
MWCNo. 18 TCU 10–2 (7–0) Kellen Moore, Boise State [45] Tank Carder, TCU [45] Dave Christensen, Wyoming [45]
Sun Belt Arkansas State 10–2 (8–0)Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State [46] Brandon Joiner, Arkansas State [46] Hugh Freeze, Arkansas State [46]
WAC Louisiana Tech 8–4 (5–1) Robert Turbin, Utah State [47] Adrien Cole, Louisiana Tech [47] Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech [47]

    Final BCS rankings

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

    Bowl games

    2012 Bowl Championship Series

    DateGameSiteTelevisionTeamsAffiliationsWinner
    Jan. 2 Rose Bowl presented by Vizio Rose Bowl
    Pasadena, CA
    5:00 pm
    ESPN No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers (11–2)
    No. 5 Oregon Ducks (11–2)
    Big Ten
    Pac-12
    Oregon 45–38
    Tostitos Fiesta Bowl University of Phoenix Stadium
    Glendale, AZ
    8:30 pm
    No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys (11–1)
    No. 4 Stanford Cardinal (11–1)
    Big 12
    Pac-12
    Oklahoma State 41–38 (OT)
    Jan. 3 Allstate Sugar Bowl Mercedes-Benz Superdome
    New Orleans, LA
    8:30 pm
    No. 13 Michigan Wolverines (10–2)
    No. 11 Virginia Tech Hokies (11–2)
    Big Ten
    ACC
    Michigan 23–20 (OT)
    Jan. 4 Discover Orange Bowl Sun Life Stadium
    Miami Gardens, FL
    8:30 pm
    No. 15 Clemson Tigers (10–3)
    No. 23 West Virginia Mountaineers (9–3)
    ACC
    Big East
    West Virginia 70–33
    Jan. 9 Allstate BCS National Championship Game Mercedes-Benz Superdome
    New Orleans, LA
    8:30 pm
    No. 1 LSU Tigers (13–0)
    No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11–1)
    SEC
    SEC
    Alabama 21–0

    Other bowl games

    DateGameSiteTelevisionTeamsAffiliationsResults
    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)
    MWC
    MAC
    Temple 37–15
    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Bronco Stadium
    Boise State University
    Boise, ID
    5:30 pm
    Ohio Bobcats (9–4)
    Utah State Aggies (7–5)
    MAC
    WAC
    Ohio 24–23
    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)
    MWC
    Sun Belt
    Louisiana–Lafayette 32–30
    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
    C-USA
    Marshall 20–10
    Dec. 21 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Snapdragon Stadium
    San Diego, CA
    8:00 pm
    No. 18 TCU Horned Frogs (10–2)
    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8–4)
    MWC
    WAC
    TCU 31–24
    Dec. 22 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas Sam Boyd Stadium
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Whitney, NV
    8:00 pm
    No. 7 Boise State Broncos (11–1)
    Arizona State Sun Devils (6–6)
    MWC
    Pac-12
    Boise State 56–24
    Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawaiʻi Bowl Aloha Stadium
    Honolulu, HI
    8:00 pm
    Nevada Wolf Pack (7–5)
    No. 21 Southern Miss Golden Eagles (11–2)
    WAC
    C-USA
    Southern Miss 24–17
    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
    ACC
    Missouri 41–24
    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
    MAC
    Purdue 37–32
    Belk Bowl Bank of America Stadium
    Charlotte, NC
    8:00 pm
    North Carolina State Wolfpack (7–5)
    Louisville Cardinals (7–5)
    ACC
    Big East
    NC State 31–24
    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]
    MWC
    MAC
    Toledo 42–41
    Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Snapdragon Stadium
    San Diego, CA
    8:00 pm
    No. 24 Texas Longhorns (7–5)
    California Golden Bears (7–5)
    Big 12
    Pac-12
    Texas 21–10
    Dec. 29 Champs Sports Bowl Citrus Bowl
    Orlando, FL
    5:30 pm
    Florida State Seminoles (8–4)
    Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8–4)
    ACC
    Independent
    Florida State 18–14
    Valero Alamo Bowl Alamodome
    San Antonio, TX
    9:00 pm
    No. 12 Baylor Bears (9–3)
    Washington Huskies (7–5)
    Big 12
    Pac-12
    Baylor 67–56
    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)
    Independent
    C-USA
    BYU 24–21
    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
    Rutgers 27–13
    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl LP Field
    Nashville, TN
    6:40 pm
    Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6–6)
    Mississippi State Bulldogs (6–6)
    ACC
    SEC
    Mississippi State 23–17
    Insight Bowl Sun Devil Stadium
    Tempe, AZ
    10:00 pm
    Iowa Hawkeyes (7–5)
    No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners (9–3)
    Big Ten
    Big 12
    Oklahoma 31–14
    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 33–22
    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)
    ACC
    Pac-12
    Utah 30–27 (OT)
    AutoZone Liberty Bowl Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
    Memphis, TN
    3:30 pm
    ABC Cincinnati Bearcats (9–3)
    Vanderbilt Commodores (6–6)
    Big East
    SEC
    Cincinnati 31–24
    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
    Pac-12
    Illinois 20–14
    Chick-fil-A Bowl Georgia Dome
    Atlanta, GA
    7:30 pm
    No. 25 Auburn Tigers (7–5)
    Virginia Cavaliers (8–4)
    SEC
    ACC
    Auburn 43–24
    Jan. 2 TicketCity Bowl Cotton Bowl
    Dallas, TX
    12:00 pm
    ESPNU No. 22 Penn State Nittany Lions (9–3)
    No. 19 Houston Cougars (12–1)
    Big Ten
    C-USA
    Houston 30–14
    Outback Bowl Raymond James Stadium
    Tampa, FL
    1:00 pm
    ABCNo. 17 Michigan State Spartans (10–3)
    No. 16 Georgia Bulldogs (10–3)
    Big Ten
    SEC
    Michigan State 33–30 (3OT)
    Capital One Bowl Citrus Bowl
    Orlando, FL
    1:00 pm
    ESPNNo. 20 Nebraska Cornhuskers (9–3)
    No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks (10–2)
    Big Ten
    SEC
    South Carolina 30–13
    TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl EverBank Field
    Jacksonville, FL
    1:00 pm
    ESPN2 Ohio State Buckeyes (6–6)
    Florida Gators (6–6)
    Big Ten
    SEC
    Florida 24–17
    Jan. 6 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic Cowboys Stadium
    Arlington, TX
    8:00 pm
    FOX No. 8 Kansas State Wildcats (10–2)
    No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks (10–2)
    Big 12
    SEC
    Arkansas 29–16
    Jan. 7 BBVA Compass Bowl Legion Field
    Birmingham, AL
    1:00 pm
    ESPN SMU Mustangs (7–5)
    Pittsburgh Panthers (6–6)
    C-USA
    Big East
    SMU 28–6
    Jan. 8 GoDaddy.com Bowl Ladd–Peebles Stadium
    Mobile, AL
    9:00 pm
    Northern Illinois Huskies (10–3)
    Arkansas State Red Wolves (10–2)
    MAC
    Sun Belt
    Northern Illinois 38–20
    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.

    Bowl Challenge Cup standings

    ConferenceWinsLossesPct.
    C-USA41.800
    MAC41.800
    Big 1262.750
    SEC63.666
    Big East32.600
    Division I FBS Independents11.500
    Big Ten46.400
    MWC23.400
    Sun Belt12.333
    Pac-1225.286
    ACC26.250
    WAC03.000

    Awards and honors

    Heisman Trophy

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

    PlayerSchoolPosition1st2nd3rdTotal
    Robert Griffin III Baylor QB4051681361,687
    Andrew Luck Stanford QB2472501661,407
    Trent Richardson Alabama RB138207150978
    Montee Ball Wisconsin RB2283116348
    Tyrann Mathieu LSU CB346399327 [48]

    Other major awards

    Offense

    Quarterback

    Running Back

    Wide Receiver

    Tight End

    Lineman

    Defense

    Defensive Line

    Linebacker

    Defensive Back

    Special teams

    Coaches

    Assistant

    All-Americans

    Records

    Coaching changes

    Preseason and in-season

    This is restricted to coaching changes that took place on or after May 1, 2011. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2011, see 2010 NCAA Division I FBS end-of-season coaching changes.

    SchoolOutgoing coachDateReasonReplacement
    Ohio State Jim Tressel May 30Resigned [25] Luke Fickell (interim)
    West Virginia Bill Stewart June 10Resigned [60] Dana Holgorsen
    North Carolina Butch Davis July 27Fired [28] Everett Withers (interim) [61]
    New Mexico Mike Locksley September 25Fired [62] George Barlow (interim)
    Arizona Mike Stoops October 10Fired [63] Tim Kish (interim)
    Tulane Bob Toledo October 18Resigned [64] Mark Hutson (interim)
    Penn State Joe Paterno November 9Fired [34] Tom Bradley (interim)

    End of season

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

    TV ratings

    Most watched regular season games in 2011

    RankDateMatchupChannelViewers
    1November 5, 8:00 ET No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama (Game of the Century (2011)) CBS 20.01 Million
    2December 3, 4:00 ET No. 1 LSU vs. No. 14 Georgia CBS 12.01 Million
    3November 25, 2:30 ET No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 1 LSU CBS 10.44 Million
    4November 19, 8:00 ET USC vs. No. 4 Oregon, No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 22 Baylor Regional ESPN on ABC 9.74 Million
    5September 17, 8:00 ET No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 5 Florida State ESPN on ABC 9.31 Million
    6November 12, 8:00 ET No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 4 Stanford ESPN on ABC 8.73 Million
    7October 29, 8:00 ET No. 5 Clemson vs. Georgia Tech, No. 6 Stanford vs. USC Regional ESPN on ABC 8.43 Million
    8November 26, 12:00 ET Ohio State vs. No. 15 Michigan ESPN on ABC 7.96 Million
    9December 3, 8:15 ET No. 15 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 Michigan State FOX 7.77 Million
    10September 3, 8:00 ET No. 4 LSU vs. No. 3 Oregon ESPN on ABC 7.75 Million
    Special December 10, 2:30 ET Army vs. Navy CBS 5.50 Million

    See also

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