2011–12 NCAA football bowl games

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The 2011–12 NCAA football bowl games was a series of college football bowl games. They concluded the 2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season, and included 35 team-competitive games and five all-star games. The games began on December 17, 2011 and, aside from the all-star games, concluded with the 2012 BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans, that was played on January 9, 2012.

Selection of the teams[edit]

In the previous year's bowl cycle, the NCAA scrapped a bylaw which mandated that a school with a non-losing record of 6–6 in regular season play were not eligible unless conferences could not fill out available bowl positions with teams with a winning record of seven (or more) wins. The new rule was stretched further in this 2011-12 bowl season when a team with a losing record, the 6-7 UCLA Bruins, were invited to a bowl game. The Bruins, the Pac-12 South Division winners, finished 6-6 but the USC Trojans (10–2), winners of the division, were barred from postseason play because of the University of Southern California athletics scandal of the mid-2000s, and the resulting two-year ban. The conference and the school applied for a waiver, which the NCAA accepted, based on their bowl eligibility after the sixth win, but having to play in an unmerited conference championship game.[1]

This interpretation of policy ultimately led to Western Kentucky, with a 7-5 winning record, or Ball State, with a 6-6 non-losing record, going uninvited.

Bowl eligibility[edit]

Eligible[edit]

Number of bowl berths available: 70
Number of teams assured of bowl eligibility: 71 (72, with 6–7 UCLA becoming bowl-eligible per NCAA waiver)

Western Kentucky (7–5) and Ball State (6–6) were not extended invitations to bowl games.

Teams unable to become bowl-eligible[edit]

Fiesta Bowl controversy[edit]

In March 2011, because of illegal campaign contributions to politicians friendly to the Fiesta Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors fired bowl CEO John Junker.[3] The scandal threatened the Fiesta Bowl's status as a BCS game for the 2011-12 season, as the BCS said it might replace the bowl in its lineup if officials could not convince them it should remain.[4][5] In May 2011, the BCS fined the Fiesta Bowl organization US $1 million without removing their BCS spot.

New bowl sponsors[edit]

Meineke has transferred their sponsorship from the game in Charlotte to the Houston-based game previously known as the Texas Bowl, and was renamed the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. Belk Department Stores assumes the title sponsorship for the North Carolina contest, renaming that game the Belk Bowl. The Idaho Potato Commission takes over as the title sponsor for the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho and has been renamed the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, while Montreal-based Gildan, a maker of T-shirts, underwear and socks, will begin sponsorship of the previously unsponsored New Mexico Bowl this season. All of the bowl games will have a presenting or title sponsor.

Moratorium on new bowl games[edit]

The NCAA has placed a three-year moratorium, starting with the 2011-12 bowl season, on any new bowl games. This follows the addition of two new games (Pinstripe Bowl, TicketCity Bowl) for the 2010-11 bowl season, bringing the total number of bowl games to 35. The expansion to 70 teams required to fill these 35 bowl games has challenged the ability to actually find enough teams with winning (7-5 or better) records to fill bowl slots. Teams with non-winning (6-6) and losing (6-7) records have participated in bowl games since the expansion to 35 games. By the 2012-13 bowl season, with multiple teams ineligible due to sanctions, the NCAA was forced to anticipate a need to allow teams with even worse (5-7) losing records to fill bowl selection slots in 2012-13.

Schedule[edit]

The official schedule was released June 17, 2011.[6] Though it is traditionally the date for many bowl games to be played, none will be held on January 1, due to that date being on a Sunday and conflict with the National Football League's slate of Sunday games.[7]

Subsequently, the Fiesta Bowl moved from January 5 to January 2, in its traditional spot following the Rose Bowl, after the 2011 NFL lockout was settled. The Monday evening spot was held open for a possible Monday Night Football game.[8]

NOTE: All times are US EST (UTC −5).

Non-BCS games[edit]

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)
MWC
MAC
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)
MAC
WAC
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)
MWC
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
C-USA
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)
MWC
WAC
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)
MWC
Pac-12
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)
WAC
C-USA
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
ACC
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
MAC
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)
ACC
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]
MWC
MAC
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
Pac-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)
ACC
Independent
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
Pac-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)
Independent
C-USA
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)
ACC
SEC
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)
ACC
Pac-12
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
SEC
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
Pac-12
Illinois 20
UCLA 14
Chick-fil-A Bowl Georgia Dome
Atlanta, GA
7:30 pm
#25 Auburn Tigers (7–5)
Virginia Cavaliers (8–4)
SEC
ACC
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
C-USA
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
SEC
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
SEC
Nebraska 13
South Carolina 30
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl EverBank Field
Jacksonville, FL
1:00 pm
ESPN2 Ohio State Buckeyes (6–6)
Florida Gators (6–6)
Big Ten
SEC
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
SEC
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)
C-USA
Big East
SMU 28
Pittsburgh 6
Jan. 8 GoDaddy.com Bowl Ladd Peebles Stadium
Mobile, AL
9:00 pm
NIU Huskies (10–3)
Arkansas State Red Wolves (10–2)
MAC
Sun Belt
NIU 38
Arkansas State 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.

2012 Bowl Championship Series schedule[edit]

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
Pac-12
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
Pac-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
ACC
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)
ACC
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)
SEC
SEC
LSU 0
Alabama 21

Post-BCS all-star games[edit]

Date Game Site Television Participants Results
Jan. 16 Casino del Sol College All-Star Game Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium
Tucson, AZ
6:00 pm
Fox Sports Arizona and Fox College Sports Stars vs. Stripes Stars 21
Stripes 24
Jan. 21 2012 East–West Shrine Game Tropicana Field
St. Petersburg, FL
4:00 pm
NFL Network East Team vs.
West Team
East 17
West 24
AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl The Home Depot Center
Carson, CA
6:00 pm
NBC Sports Network American vs. National American 14
National 20
The Battle of Florida FAU Stadium
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL
8:00 PM
Fox College Sports North Florida vs.
South Florida
North Florida 51
South Florida 3
Jan. 28 2012 Senior Bowl Ladd Peebles Stadium
Mobile, AL
4:00 pm
NFL Network North Team vs.
South Team
North 23
South 13

Note: The NFLPA Texas vs The Nation game was not played in 2012, and the NFLPA instead sponsored the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

Notes[edit]