2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season
|2006 NCAA Division I FBS season|
Final score of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, which was immediately recognized as an "instant classic"
|Number of teams||119|
|Duration||August 31 – December 2|
|Preseason AP #1||Ohio State Buckeyes|
|Duration||December 19, 2006 –
January 8, 2007
|Bowl games||37 (32 team-competitive and 5 all-star)|
|Heisman Trophy||Troy Smith, Ohio State QB|
|Bowl Championship Series|
|2007 BCS Championship Game|
|Site||University of Phoenix Stadium,
|Division I FBS football seasons|
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. The Boise State Broncos were the year's only undefeated team in either level of Division I football after defeating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
- 1 Preseason rankings
- 2 Rules changes
- 3 Key matchups
- 4 Conference standings
- 5 Conference championship games
- 6 BCS Rankings Progress
- 7 Bowls
- 8 Heisman Trophy voting
- 9 Other major award winners
- 10 Coaching changes following the season
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes and references
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.
There are several rules that have changed for the 2006 season. 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.
- 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.
|Feldman||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.|
|Feldman||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 TSN||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
|Feldman||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||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.|
|Feldman||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||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.)|
|Feldman||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.|
|TSN||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.|
|Feldman TSN||In this traditional contest between the two teams, the Wolverines entered No. 11 and Notre Dame No. 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||No. 16 Iowa defeats Iowa State in the battle of Iowa.|
|September 23||Notre Dame
|Feldman||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.|
|Feldman||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||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.|
|TSN||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||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.|
|Feldman||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.|
|Forde||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 after an initial miss from 33 yards out is erased by an offsides penalty against Louisville.|
|TSN||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||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.|
|Forde||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.|
|Feldman||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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Feldman||Auburn won their fifth straight Iron Bowl game, remaining unbeaten in Tucsaloosa through the series' history.|
|Feldman||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||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 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.|
|Feldman||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||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||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.|
|Feldman||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
- Mid-American Conference—November 30 at Ford Field in Detroit
- Conference USA—December 1 at Robertson Stadium in Houston
- ACC—December 2 at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida
- Big 12 – December 2 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
- SEC—December 2 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta
Other conference champions
- Big East: Louisville
- Big Ten: Ohio State
- Mountain West: Brigham Young
- Pac-10: Southern California, California
- The Trojans clinched the Pac-10 BCS bid, but shared the conference title with Cal.
- Sun Belt: Troy, Middle Tennessee.
- Troy won the New Orleans Bowl bid by defeating the Blue Raiders in their game.
- WAC: Boise State
- The Broncos became the second team in the history of the BCS to come from a non-BCS conference, and the second such team to win their bowl game, doing so in epic fashion.
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|
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|
|Cotton Bowl||1st||#10 Auburn||#22 Nebraska||17 – 14|
|Capital One Bowl||1st||#12 Arkansas||#6 Wisconsin||14 – 17|
|Gator Bowl||1st||Georgia Tech||#13 West Virginia||35 – 38|
|Outback Bowl||1st||#17 Tennessee||Penn State||10 – 20|
December bowl games
Bowl Challenge Cup standings
|Big East Conference||5||0||1.000|
|Mountain West Conference||3||1||.750|
|Western Athletic Conference||3||1||.750|
|Atlantic Coast Conference||4||4||.500|
|Sun Belt Conference||1||1||.500|
|Big 12 Conference||3||5||.375|
|Big Ten Conference||2||5||.286|
Heisman Trophy voting
The Heisman Trophy is given to the year's most outstanding player
- Winner: Troy Smith, Sr. Ohio State QB (2,540 pts)
- 2. Darren McFadden, So. Arkansas RB (878 pts)
- 3. Brady Quinn, Sr. Notre Dame QB (782 pts)
- 4. Steve Slaton So. West Virginia RB (214 pts)
- 5. Mike Hart, Jr. Michigan RB (210 pts)
Other major award winners
- Walter Camp Award (top player): Troy Smith, Ohio State
- Maxwell Award (top player): Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
- Associated Press College Football Player of the Year Award: Troy Smith, Ohio State
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defensive player): James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
- Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player): Paul Posluszny, Penn State
- Dave Rimington Trophy (center): Dan Mozes, West Virginia
- Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Troy Smith, Ohio State
- Dick Butkus Award (linebacker): Patrick Willis, Ole Miss
- Doak Walker Award (running back): Darren McFadden, Arkansas
- Draddy Trophy ("academic Heisman"): Brian Leonard, Rutgers
- Fred Biletnikoff Award (wide receiver): Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech
- Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back): Aaron Ross, Texas
- John Mackey Award (tight end): Matt Spaeth, Minnesota
- Johnny Unitas Award (Sr. quarterback): Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
- Lombardi Award (top lineman): LaMarr Woodley, Michigan
- Lott Trophy (defensive impact): Daymeion Hughes, California
- Lou Groza Award (placekicker): Art Carmody, Louisville
- Manning Award (quarterback): JaMarcus Russell, LSU
- Mosi Tatupu Award (special teams): A. J. Trapasso, Ohio State
- Outland Trophy (interior lineman): Joe Thomas, Wisconsin
- Ray Guy Award (punter): Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor
- Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end): LaMarr Woodley, Michigan
- The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award: Greg Schiano, Rutgers
- Associated Press Coach of the Year: Jim Grobe, Wake Forest
- Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (head coach): Chris Petersen, Boise State
- Walter Camp Coach of the Year (head coach): Greg Schiano, Rutgers
- Broyles Award (assistant coach): Bud Foster, Virginia Tech
Coaching changes following the season
- Florida International University – University of Miami brawl
- 2006 NCAA Division I FCS football season
- 2006 NAIA Football Championship Series
Notes and references
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- Unlike other Division I FBS conferences, C-USA holds its championship game at a campus site, specifically the home field of the team with the best overall conference record.
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