2011-12 NCAA Football Bowl Games
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2011%E2%80%9312 NCAA Football Bowl Games
2011-12 NCAA football bowl games
Regular seasonSeptember 1, 2011 - December 10, 2011
Number of bowls35
All-star games5
Bowl gamesDecember 17, 2011 - January 9, 2012 (team-competitive)
National Championship2012 BCS National Championship
Location of ChampionshipMercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, Louisiana
ChampionsAlabama Crimson Tide
Bowl Challenge Cup winner(tie) C-USA and MAC
Bowl record by conference
Conference Bowls Record Final AP Poll
Big Ten 10 4-6 (0.400) 4
SEC 9 6-3 (0.667) 5
ACC 8 2-6 (0.250) 3
Big 12 8 6-2 (0.750) 4
Pac-12 7 2-5 (0.286) 3
Big East 5 3-2 (0.600) 2
Conference USA 5 4-1 (0.800) 2
MAC 5 4-1 (0.800) 0
Mountain West 5 2-3 (0.400) 2
Sun Belt 3 1-2 (0.333) 0
WAC 3 0-3 (0.000) 0
Independents 2 1-1 (0.500) 0

The 2011-12 NCAA football bowl games were 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.

The total of 35 team-competitive bowls was unchanged from the previous year. While bowl games had been the purview of only the very best teams for nearly a century, this was the sixth consecutive year that teams with non-winning seasons participated in bowl games. To fill the 70 available team-competitive bowl slots, a total of 14 teams (20% of all participants) with non-winning seasons participated in bowl games—13 had a .500 (6-6) season and, for the first time ever, a team with a sub-.500 (6-7) season was invited to a bowl game.

Selection of the teams

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


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

Fiesta Bowl controversy

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

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

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.


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

Date Bowl Location Television Teams Affiliations Results
Dec. 17 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
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 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 Poinsettia Bowl SDCCU 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 Hawaii 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 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 RFK Stadium
Washington, DC
4:30 pm
Air Force Falcons (7-5)
Toledo Rockets (8-4)[n 1]
Air Force 41
Toledo 42
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
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 Armed Forces Bowl Gerald J. Ford Stadium
University Park, TX
BYU Cougars (9-3)
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-4)
BYU 24
Tulsa 21
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
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
Texas A&M Aggies (6-6)
Northwestern Wildcats (6-6)
Big 12
Big Ten
Texas A&M 33
Northwestern 22
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
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
Georgia 30 (3OT)
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 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 GoDaddy.com Bowl Ladd-Peebles Stadium
Mobile, AL
9:00 pm
NIU Huskies (10-3)
Arkansas State Red Wolves (10-2)
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

Date Game Site Television Teams Affiliations Results
Jan. 2 Rose Bowl Rose Bowl
Pasadena, CA
5:00 pm
ESPN #10 Wisconsin Badgers (11-2)
#5 Oregon Ducks (11-2)
Big Ten
Wisconsin 38
Oregon 45
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
Stanford 38 (OT)
Jan. 3 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
Virginia Tech 20 (OT)
Jan. 4 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 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

Post-BCS all-star games

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 Stripes 24
Stars 21
Jan. 21 2012 East-West Shrine Game Tropicana Field
St. Petersburg, FL
4:00 pm
NFL Network East Team vs.
West Team
West 20
East 17
NFLPA Collegiate Bowl The Home Depot Center
Carson, CA
6:00 pm
NBC Sports Network American vs. National National 20
American 14
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.


  1. ^ Miller, Ted (November 29, 2011). "Losing Record? UCLA Still Wants a Bowl". ESPN. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ Yoon, Peter (November 30, 2011). "NCAA Approves UCLA Bowl Waiver". ESPN LA. Retrieved 2011.
  3. ^ "Fiesta Bowl fires CEO John Junker", AP, March 29, 2011
  4. ^ BCS confident it could cut ties with Fiesta Bowl if deemed necessary
  5. ^ Wetzel, Dan, "BCS conducts shallow probe as party rages on", Yahoo! Sports, retrieved on 31 March 2011.
  6. ^ "2011-12 Bowl Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-20. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading

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