2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

2015 NCAA Division I FBS season
Number of teams 127 full members + 1 transitional
Duration September 3, 2015 – December 12, 2015
Preseason AP No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes
Post-season
Duration December 19, 2015 – January 11, 2016
Bowl games 41
(including national championship game)
AP Poll No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Coaches Poll No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Heisman Trophy Derrick Henry, Alabama
College Football Playoff
2016 College Football Playoff National Championship
Site University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, Arizona
Winner Alabama Crimson Tide
Division I FBS football seasons
← 2014
2016 →

The 2015 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) in 2015. The regular season began on September 3, 2015 and ended on December 12, 2015. The postseason concluded on January 11, 2016 with Alabama defeating Clemson in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. This was the second season of the College Football Playoff (CFP) championship system.

Rule changes[edit]

The following rule changes have been made by the NCAA Football Rules Committee for the 2015 season:[1]

  • Making eight-man officiating crews (including the Center Judge) standard in FBS. Various FBS conferences experimented with eight-man crews in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct (15 yards) penalties will be called on players who pull or yank opponents off piles (ex. fumbles).
  • A 10-second runoff and resetting of the play clock to 40 seconds will occur if a defensive player's helmet comes off within the final minute of either half. Previously the play clock was set to 25 seconds and no runoff occurred.
  • The five-yard penalty for a first offense sideline warning has been deleted, modifying a 2008 rule change. The second offense will be penalized five yards, followed by 15 yards (unsportsmanlike conduct) starting with the third offense.
  • Officials will require players with illegal equipment (such as, but not limited to, "crop-top" jerseys that expose the back pads (popularized by Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott) and writing on eye block) to leave the field for one play to correct it. A time-out may be taken to correct the equipment and avoid the player having to sit out the one play.
  • Instant replay can be used to review if the kicking team blocked the receiving team before an onside kick has gone 10 yards.
  • Teams must have 22 minutes for pre-game warmups, which can be shortened by mutual agreement of both teams.
  • The play clock will be reset to 40 seconds if the play clock reaches 25 seconds before the ball is ready for play. Previously it was reset if the play clock ran to 20 seconds before the ball was ready for play.
  • Non-standard/overbuilt facemasks are prohibited.

A proposed rule to change the ineligible downfield rule from three yards to one yard past the line of scrimmage was tabled and not voted on, however it will be a point of emphasis for the season.

The use of advanced technology in games (such as wireless communication from one player on offense and defense to the bench, allow use of tablets by coaches for non-medical reasons, helmet cameras for players, etc.) is being studied by a committee for possible future implementation.

Conference realignment[edit]

Membership changes[edit]

School Former conference New conference
Charlotte FCS independent Conference USA
Navy FBS independent The American
UAB Conference USA Terminated football program (reinstated in 2017)

Other headlines[edit]

  • June 1 – UAB, which had dropped football after the 2014 season, announced that it would reinstate it as early as 2016–17.[2]
  • July 21 – UAB announced that it had pushed back the return of football to the 2017 season.[3]
  • September 1 – The Sun Belt Conference announced that Coastal Carolina would become a full member of the conference on July 1, 2016. The Coastal Carolina football team, at the time of the announcement a member of the FCS Big South Conference along with the rest of the athletic program, began a transition to FBS after the 2015 season, joined Sun Belt football in 2017, and will become fully bowl-eligible in 2018.[4]
  • January 13, 2016 – The NCAA Division I council approved a rule that, from the 2016 season forward, allows FBS conferences to stage championship games regardless of their current membership numbers. The new rule, as originally proposed by the Big 12 Conference and amended by the Big Ten Conference, stipulates that a conference with fewer than 12 members can stage a championship game under either of the following circumstances:[5]
    • The game involves two division winners, with each division having played a round-robin schedule.
    • The game involves the top two teams in the conference standings after a full round-robin conference schedule.

Upsets[edit]

Jacksonville State at Auburn game[edit]

On September 12, Auburn avoided a defeat that would have ranked with the biggest upsets in college football history with an overtime touchdown run to a 27–20 win over FCS foe Jacksonville State. Auburn had to score a touchdown in the final minute of regulation just to tie the game and then had to convert another touchdown in Auburn's first possession in overtime to win.[6] No FCS team has defeated a ranked FBS team since August 31, 2013, when Eastern Washington beat Oregon State 49–46. An Auburn loss would have compared with Michigan's loss to Appalachian State on September 3, 2007.[6] Jacksonville State, 41-point underdogs entering Saturday's game, nearly became just the second FCS team to defeat an AP Top 10 FBS opponent.[7]

Upsets involving officiating[edit]

Miami vs. Duke[edit]

On October 31, Miami beat Duke 30–27 with a final eight lateral kickoff return for a touchdown. However, the Atlantic Coast Conference acknowledged the next day the kickoff return touchdown should not have counted as officials made four major errors during the play. The ACC determined that a Miami player's knee was down before releasing one of the eight laterals that allowed the play to happen, which was apparent both on video and in still pictures that were being circulated on social media late Saturday night. The ACC acknowledged that this call should have been overturned. "If called, this would have ended the game", the ACC said. The ACC also said that the officials should have called an illegal block during the return at Miami's 16-yard line, which would have given the Hurricanes an untimed down at their own 8-yard line. The league said the flag for a block in the back that was picked up — initially negating Miami's touchdown before officials conferred — was called correctly but that the referee didn’t properly communicate why the decision was made.[8][9]

Nebraska vs. Michigan State[edit]

Michigan State lost 39–38 to Nebraska on November 7. Nebraska ran a 91-yard drive in 38 seconds, capped by Tommy Armstrong Jr.'s 30-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Reilly, leaving 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Before the catch, Reilly went out of bounds on his route, rendering him as an ineligible receiver. The officials determined that MSU cornerback Jermaine Edmondson had forced him out of bounds. However, replay footage showed Reilly had gone out of bounds on his own accord. Replay officials then reviewed the play to determine if Edmondson had forced Reilly out, though such a call is typically not review-able. The ruling on the field stood, solidifying Nebraska's game-winning touchdown. After the game Bill Carollo, the Big Ten's coordinator of officials, said in a statement via ESPN: "They can't review whether it was a force out/contact on the play. They can only review if there was clear evidence of no contact and he (Reilly) re-established himself in the field of play. If he goes out of bounds on his own with no contact, it's an illegal touch. Therefore, the call stood."[10]

Updated stadiums[edit]

No FBS programs opened new stadiums for the 2015 season. However, one school played its first season in FBS, and several other programs expanded or renovated their stadiums:

  • Charlotte, playing its first season in FBS, debuted at the on-campus Jerry Richardson Stadium. The stadium opened for the 49ers' first season in 2013 with a capacity of 15,314, but was designed for quick expansion to as much as 40,000.
  • Kentucky debuted a major renovation to Commonwealth Stadium. A$110 million project reduced the capacity from 67,530 to 61,000, and added a new recruiting plaza in the east end zone surrounded by a new student section, more than 20 new luxury boxes and 2,000 new club seats, new home-team facilities, a revamped exterior, and improved concourses.[11]
  • UCF took out about 2,000 seats from the east side of Bright House Networks Stadium, replacing them with a new club seating section with a capacity of about 1,000 that includes a beach area.[12]
  • Auburn debuted the largest video board in college football in Jordan–Hare Stadium. The video board measures 190 feet by 57. The project was expected to cost $13.9 million.
  • Duke featured a newly renovated Wallace Wade Stadium. The renovations included removal of the track and lowering of the field by several feet; more seating capacity near field level along both sidelines and the north end zone; the replacement of bleachers on the west side of the stadium with Duke blue seats; new brick facades around much of the field; a brand-new, much larger video board and new speakers; a refresh of the concourse area around the top of the bowl, with new sidewalks and brick separating the concourse from the seating area; and new concession booths, restrooms, and concourse lighting along with a new elevator tower. Construction on a new press box, luxury boxes, and attached seats was ongoing throughout the season, and was expected to be complete in time for the 2016 season. These marked the first major upgrades to Wallace Wade Stadium in over 70 years.
  • Kansas State debuted the Vanier Football Complex in the north end zone of Bill Snyder Family Stadium. This feature includes new seating, a video board, offices, locker rooms and strength training facilities. kstatesports.com
  • Cincinnati debuted renovations to Nippert Stadium that increased the capacity to 40,000 and added premium seating, a new press box, a new pavilion, additional restrooms, upgraded concessions and improved concourses.
  • Ole Miss announced plans to renovate Vaught–Hemingway Stadium during the 2015 season and the 2015–16 offseason. The project was intended to bring the stadium's ultimate capacity to 64,038. The stadium was to be turned into a complete bowl, adding club level seating, restrooms, concessions, etc. The renovation was planned for completion by the start of the 2016–17 season. This renovation was part of the Forward Together campaign, which also gave the Rebels a new basketball arena, The Pavilion at Ole Miss, right next to the football stadium.
  • Texas A&M completed renovations to the west side and facade of Kyle Field, reducing the capacity from the previous season. The project cost over $450 million.

Conference standings[edit]

2015 American Athletic Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
Temple x   7 1         10 4  
South Florida   6 2         8 5  
Cincinnati   4 4         7 6  
Connecticut   4 4         6 7  
East Carolina   3 5         5 7  
UCF   0 8         0 12  
West Division
No. 8 Houston xy$   7 1         13 1  
No. 18 Navy x   7 1         11 2  
Memphis   5 3         9 4  
Tulsa   3 5         6 7  
Tulane   1 7         3 9  
SMU   1 7         2 10  
Championship: Houston 24, Temple 13
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
As of December 31, 2015; Rankings from AP Poll
2015 ACC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Atlantic Division
No. 2 Clemson x$^   8 0         14 1  
No. 14 Florida State   6 2         10 3  
Louisville   5 3         8 5  
NC State   3 5         7 6  
Syracuse   2 6         4 8  
Wake Forest   1 7         3 9  
Boston College   0 8         3 9  
Coastal Division
No. 15 North Carolina x   8 0         11 3  
Pittsburgh   6 2         8 5  
Miami   5 3         8 5  
Duke   4 4         8 5  
Virginia Tech   4 4         7 6  
Virginia   3 5         4 8  
Georgia Tech   1 7         3 9  
Championship: Clemson 45, North Carolina 37
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
As of January 12, 2016; Rankings from AP Poll
2015 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
No. 6 Michigan State xy$^   7 1         12 2  
No. 4 Ohio State x   7 1         12 1  
No. 12 Michigan   6 2         10 3  
Penn State   4 4         7 6  
Indiana   2 6         6 7  
Rutgers   1 7         4 8  
Maryland   1 7         3 9  
West Division
No. 9 Iowa xy   8 0         12 2  
No. 23 Northwestern   6 2         10 3  
No. 21 Wisconsin   6 2         10 3  
Nebraska   3 5         6 7  
Minnesota   2 6         6 7  
Illinois   2 6         5 7  
Purdue   1 7         2 10  
Championship: Michigan State 16, Iowa 13
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll
2015 Big 12 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 5 Oklahoma $^   8 1         11 2  
No. 20 Oklahoma State   7 2         10 3  
No. 7 TCU   7 2         11 2  
No. 13 Baylor   6 3         10 3  
West Virginia   4 5         8 5  
Texas Tech   4 5         7 6  
Texas   4 5         5 7  
Kansas State   3 6         6 7  
Iowa State   2 7         3 9  
Kansas   0 9         0 12  
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2015 Conference USA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
No. 24 WKU x$   8 0         12 2  
Middle Tennessee   6 2         7 6  
Marshall   6 2         10 3  
FIU   3 5         5 7  
Old Dominion   3 5         5 7  
Florida Atlantic   3 5         3 9  
Charlotte   0 8         2 10  
West Division
Southern Miss x   7 1         9 5  
Louisiana Tech   6 2         9 4  
UTSA   3 5         3 9  
UTEP   3 5         5 7  
Rice   3 5         5 7  
North Texas   1 7         1 11  
Championship: WKU 45, Southern Miss 28
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
As of January 12, 2015; Rankings from AP Poll
2015 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
Bowling Green x$   7 1         10 4  
Ohio   5 3         8 5  
Akron   5 3         8 5  
Buffalo   3 5         5 7  
Kent State   2 6         3 9  
Miami   2 6         3 9  
UMass   2 6         3 9  
West Division
Northern Illinois xy   6 2         8 6  
Western Michigan x   6 2         8 5  
Toledo x   6 2         10 2  
Central Michigan x   6 2         7 6  
Ball State   2 6         3 9  
Eastern Michigan   0 8         1 11  
Championship: Bowling Green 34, Northern Illinois 14
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
As of December 26, 2015; Rankings from AP Poll
2015 Mountain West football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Mountain Division
Air Force x   6 2         8 6  
New Mexico   5 3         7 6  
Utah State   5 3         6 7  
Boise State   5 3         9 4  
Colorado State   5 3         7 6  
Wyoming   2 6         2 10  
West Division
San Diego State x$   8 0         11 3  
Nevada   4 4         7 6  
San Jose State   4 4         6 7  
Fresno State   2 6         3 9  
UNLV   2 6         3 9  
Hawaii   0 8         3 10  
Championship: San Diego State 27, Air Force 24
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
2015 Pac-12 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
North Division
No. 3 Stanford x$   8 1         12 2  
No. 19 Oregon   7 2         9 4  
Washington State   6 3         9 4  
California   4 5         8 5  
Washington   4 5         7 6  
Oregon State   0 9         2 10  
South Division
USC xy   6 3         8 6  
No. 17 Utah x   6 3         10 3  
UCLA   5 4         8 5  
Arizona State   4 5         6 7  
Arizona   3 6         7 6  
Colorado   1 8         4 9  
Championship: Stanford 41, USC 22
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll
2015 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
No. 25 Florida x   7 1         10 4  
No. 22 Tennessee   5 3         9 4  
Georgia   5 3         10 3  
Vanderbilt   2 6         4 8  
Kentucky   2 6         5 7  
Missouri   1 7         5 7  
South Carolina   1 7         3 9  
West Division
No. 1 Alabama x$#^   7 1         14 1  
No. 10 Ole Miss   6 2         10 3  
Arkansas   5 3         8 5  
No. 16 LSU   5 3         9 3  
Texas A&M   4 4         8 5  
Mississippi State   4 4         9 4  
Auburn   2 6         7 6  
Championship: Alabama 29, Florida 15
  • # – College Football Playoff champion
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
2015 Sun Belt football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Arkansas State $   8 0         9 4  
Appalachian State   7 1         11 2  
Georgia Southern   6 2         9 4  
Georgia State   5 3         6 7  
South Alabama   3 5         5 7  
Idaho   3 5         4 8  
Troy   3 5         4 8  
Louisiana–Lafayette   3 5         4 8  
New Mexico State   3 5         3 9  
Texas State   2 6         3 9  
Louisiana–Monroe   1 7         2 11  
  • $ – Conference champion
As of December 23, 2015; Rankings from AP Poll
2015 Division I FBS independents football records
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 11 Notre Dame               10 3  
BYU               9 4  
Army               2 10  
Rankings from AP Poll

Conference summaries[edit]

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

Power 5 Conferences[edit]

Conference Champion Runner-up Score Offensive Player of the Year Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
ACC #1 Clemson CFP #10 North Carolina 45–37 Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson Jeremy Cash, S, Duke Dabo Swinney, Clemson
Big 12 #3 Oklahoma CFP #14 Oklahoma State N/A Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State &
Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
Big Ten #5 Michigan State CFP #4 Iowa 16–13 Ezekiel Elliott, RB, #8 Ohio State Carl Nassib, DE, Penn St Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Pac-12 #7 Stanford #20 USC 41–22 Christian McCaffrey, RB,
Stanford
DeForest Buckner, DE,
Oregon
Mike Leach,
Washington State
and
David Shaw
Stanford
SEC #2 Alabama CFP #18 Florida 29–15 Derrick Henry, RB,
Alabama
Reggie Ragland, LB,
Alabama
Jim McElwain,
Florida

Group of Five Conferences[edit]

Conference Champion Runner-up Score Offensive Player of the Year Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
AAC #17 Houston #20 Temple 24–13 Keenan Reynolds, QB,
Navy
Tyler Matakevich, LB,
#20 Temple
Ken Niumatalolo, Navy
and
Tom Herman, #17 Houston
C-USA WKU Southern Miss 45–28 Brandon Doughty, QB, WKU (MVP)
Nick Mullens, QB, Southern Miss (Offensive POY)
Evan McKelvey, LB,
Marshall
Todd Monken, Southern Miss
MAC Bowling Green Northern Illinois 34–14 Matt Johnson, QB,
Bowling Green
Jatavis Brown, LB,
Akron
Matt Campbell,
Toledo
MW San Diego State Air Force 27–24 Donnel Pumphrey, RB,
San Diego State
Demontae Kazee, CB,
San Diego State
Rocky Long,
San Diego State
Sun Belt Arkansas State N/A N/A Nick Arbuckle, QB,
Georgia State (MVP)
Larry Rose III, RB,
New Mexico State (Offensive POY)
Ronald Blair, DE,
Appalachian State
Trent Miles,
Georgia State

CFP College Football Playoff participant

Bowl eligibility[edit]

Bowl eligible teams[edit]

  • American Athletic Conference (8): Memphis, Houston, Temple, Navy, South Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Tulsa
  • Atlantic Coast Conference (9): Clemson, Florida State, Duke, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Miami (FL), North Carolina State, Louisville, Virginia Tech
  • Big 12 Conference (7): Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Kansas State
  • Big Ten Conference (8): Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Penn State, Northwestern, Wisconsin
  • Conference USA (5): Western Kentucky, Marshall, Louisiana Tech, Southern Mississippi, Middle Tennessee State
  • Independents (2): Notre Dame, BYU
  • Mid-American Conference (7): Toledo, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Ohio, Central Michigan, Akron
  • Mountain West Conference (7): Boise State, San Diego State, Air Force, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah State, Colorado State
  • Pac-12 Conference (10): Stanford, Utah, UCLA, Washington State, USC, Oregon, Arizona, California, Arizona State, Washington
  • Southeastern Conference (10): LSU, Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn
  • Sun Belt Conference (4): Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Appalachian State, Arkansas State

Total: 77

Bowl ineligible teams[edit]

  • American Athletic Conference (4): Central Florida, East Carolina, SMU, Tulane
  • Atlantic Coast Conference (5): Boston College, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Virginia
  • Big 12 Conference (3): Iowa State, Kansas, Texas
  • Big Ten Conference (6): Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota*, Nebraska*, Purdue, Rutgers
  • Conference USA (8): Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, UTEP, Rice, Old Dominion
  • Independents (1): Army
  • Mid-American Conference (6): Buffalo, Miami (OH), Eastern Michigan, Massachusetts, Ball State, Kent State
  • Mountain West Conference (5): Wyoming, Hawaii, Fresno State, UNLV, San José State*
  • Pac-12 Conference (2): Oregon State, Colorado
  • Southeastern Conference (4): South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Kentucky
  • Sun Belt Conference (7): Louisiana-Lafayette, New Mexico State, Louisiana-Monroe, Idaho, South Alabama, Troy, Texas State

Note: Teams with Asterisk(*) qualified for bowls based on Academic Progress Rate, despite not having a bowl eligible record [13]

Total: 51

Postseason[edit]

Since the 2014–15 postseason, six College Football Playoff (CFP) bowl games have hosted two semi-final playoff games on a rotating basis. For this season, the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl Classic will host the semi-final games, with the winners advancing to the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.


Semifinals 2016 Championship Game
December 31 – Orange Bowl
  1   Clemson 37  
  4   Oklahoma 17   January 11 – National Championship
 
      1   Clemson 40
December 31 – Cotton Bowl     2   Alabama 45
 
  2   Alabama 38
  3   Michigan State 0  


Conference performance in bowl games[edit]

Conference Total games Wins Losses Pct.
SEC 11 9 2 .818
ACC 9 4 5 .444
Big Ten 10 5 5 .500
Pac-12 10 6 4 .600
Big 12 7 3 4 .429
MW 8 4 4 .500
The American 8 2 6 .250
C-USA 5 3 2 .600
MAC 7 3 4 .429
Independents 2 0 2 .000
Sun Belt 4 2 2 .500

Rankings[edit]

Final CFP rankings[edit]

CFP School Record Bowl Game
1
Clemson Tigers
13–0
Orange Bowl
2
Alabama Crimson Tide
12–1
Cotton Bowl
3
Michigan State Spartans
12–1
Cotton Bowl
4
Oklahoma Sooners
11–1
Orange Bowl
5
Iowa Hawkeyes
12–1
Rose Bowl
6
Stanford Cardinal
11–2
Rose Bowl
7
Ohio State Buckeyes
11–1
Fiesta Bowl
8
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
10–2
Fiesta Bowl
9
Florida State Seminoles
10–2
Peach Bowl
10
North Carolina Tar Heels
11–2
Russell Athletic Bowl
11
TCU Horned Frogs
10–2
Alamo Bowl
12
Ole Miss Rebels
9–3
Sugar Bowl
13
Northwestern Wildcats
10–2
Outback Bowl
14
Michigan Wolverines
9–3
Citrus Bowl
15
Oregon Ducks
9–3
Alamo Bowl
16
Oklahoma State Cowboys
10–2
Sugar Bowl
17
Baylor Bears
9–3
Russell Athletic Bowl
18
Houston Cougars
12–1
Peach Bowl
19
Florida Gators
10–3
Citrus Bowl
20
LSU Tigers
8–3
Texas Bowl
21
Navy Midshipmen
10–2
Military Bowl
22
Utah Utes
9–3
Las Vegas Bowl
23
Tennessee Volunteers
8–4
Outback Bowl
24
Temple Owls
10–2
Boca Raton Bowl
25
USC Trojans
8–5
Holiday Bowl

Final rankings[edit]

Rank Associated Press Coaches' Poll
1 Alabama (14–1) (61) Alabama (14–1) (56)
2 Clemson (14–1) Clemson (14–1)
3 Stanford (12–2) Stanford (12–2)
4 Ohio State (12–1) Ohio State (12–1)
5 Oklahoma (11–2) Oklahoma (11–2)
6 Michigan State (12–2) Michigan State (12–2)
7 TCU (11–2) TCU (11–2)
8 Houston (13–1) Houston (13–1)
9 Iowa (12–2) Ole Miss (10–3)
10 Ole Miss (10–3) Iowa (12–2)
11 Notre Dame (10–3) Michigan (10–3)
12 Michigan (10–3) Notre Dame (10–3)
13 Baylor (10–3) Baylor (10–3)
14 Florida State (10–3) Florida State (10–3)
15 North Carolina (11–3) North Carolina (11–3)
16 LSU (9–3) Utah (10–3)
17 Utah (10–3) LSU (9–3)
18 Navy (11–2) Navy (11–2)
19 Oregon (9–4) Oklahoma State (10–3)
20 Oklahoma State (10–3) Oregon (9–4)
21 Wisconsin (10–3) Wisconsin (10–3)
22 Tennessee (9–4) Northwestern (10–3)
23 Northwestern (10–3) Tennessee (9–4)
24 Western Kentucky (12–2) Georgia (10–3)
25 Florida (10–4) Florida (10–4)

Awards and honors[edit]

Heisman Trophy[edit]

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

Player School Position 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Derrick Henry Alabama RB 378 277 144 1832
Christian McCaffrey Stanford RB 290 246 177 1539
Deshaun Watson Clemson QB 148 240 241 1165

Other overall[edit]

Special overall[edit]

Offense[edit]

Quarterback

Running back

Wide receiver

Tight end

Lineman

Defense[edit]

Defensive line

Defensive back

Special teams[edit]

Other positional awards[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Assistants[edit]

All-Americans[edit]

Coaching changes[edit]

This is restricted to coaching changes taking place on or after May 1, 2015. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2015, see 2014 NCAA Division I FBS end-of-season coaching changes.

School Outgoing coach Date Reason Replacement
Ball State Pete Lembo December 22, 2015 Took job as special teams coordinator at Maryland Mike Neu
Bowling Green Dino Babers December 5, 2015 Left for Syracuse Mike Jinks
BYU Bronco Mendenhall December 4, 2015 Left for Virginia Kalani Sitake
East Carolina Ruffin McNeill December 4, 2015 Fired Scottie Montgomery
Georgia Mark Richt November 29, 2015 Fired[16] Kirby Smart
Georgia Southern Willie Fritz December 11, 2015 Left for Tulane[17] Dell McGee (interim)
Georgia Southern Dell McGee (interim) December 20, 2015 Permanent replacement[18] Tyson Summers
Hawaii Norm Chow November 1, 2015 Fired[19] Chris Naeole
Hawaii Chris Naeole November 27, 2015 Permanent replacement Nick Rolovich
Illinois Tim Beckman August 28, 2015 Fired[20] Bill Cubit
Illinois Bill Cubit March 5, 2016 Fired[21] Lovie Smith
Iowa State Paul Rhoads November 22, 2015 Fired after the season[22] Matt Campbell
Louisiana–Monroe Todd Berry November 14, 2015 Fired[23] John Mumford (interim)
Louisiana–Monroe John Mumford (interim) December 14, 2015 Permanent replacement Matt Viator
Maryland Randy Edsall October 11, 2015 Fired[24] Mike Locksley (interim)
Maryland Mike Locksley (interim) December 2, 2015 Permanent replacement[25] D. J. Durkin
Memphis Justin Fuente November 28, 2015 Left for Virginia Tech[26] Mike Norvell
Miami Al Golden October 25, 2015 Fired[27] Larry Scott (interim)
Miami Larry Scott (interim) December 2, 2015 Permanent replacement[28] Mark Richt
Minnesota Jerry Kill October 28, 2015 Retired (health)[29] Tracy Claeys
Missouri Gary Pinkel November 13, 2015 Resigned after the season (health)[30] Barry Odom
North Texas Dan McCarney October 10, 2015 Fired[31] Mike Canales (interim)
North Texas Mike Canales (interim) December 5, 2015 Permanent replacement[32] Seth Littrell
Rutgers Kyle Flood November 29, 2015 Fired[33] Chris Ash
Southern Mississippi Todd Monken January 24, 2016 Left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as offensive coordinator Jay Hopson
South Carolina Steve Spurrier October 12, 2015 Retired[34] Shawn Elliott (interim)
South Carolina Shawn Elliott (interim) December 6, 2015 Permanent replacement[35] Will Muschamp
Syracuse Scott Shafer November 23, 2015 Fired after the season[36] Dino Babers
Texas State Dennis Franchione December 22, 2015 Retired Everett Withers
Toledo Matt Campbell November 29, 2015 Left for Iowa State[37] Jason Candle
Tulane Curtis Johnson November 28, 2015 Fired[38] Willie Fritz
UCF George O'Leary October 25, 2015 Resigned/retired[39] Danny Barrett (interim)
UCF Danny Barrett (interim) December 1, 2015 Permanent replacement Scott Frost
USC Steve Sarkisian October 12, 2015 Fired[40] Clay Helton
UTSA Larry Coker January 5, 2016 Resigned Frank Wilson
Virginia Mike London November 29, 2015 Resigned[41] Bronco Mendenhall
Virginia Tech Frank Beamer November 1, 2015 Retired after the season[42] Justin Fuente

Television viewers and ratings[edit]

Most watched regular season games[edit]

  • Excludes Conference Championships
Rank Date Matchup Channel Viewers TV Rating [1] Significance
1 November 7, 8:00 ET #2 LSU 16 #4 Alabama 30 CBS 11.06 Million 6.4 Rivalry
2 November 21, 3:30 ET #9 Michigan State 17 #3 Ohio State 14 ABC 11.05 Million 6.6
3 November 28, 12:00 ET #8 Ohio State 42 #10 Michigan 13 10.83 Million 6.4 The Game
4 September 7, 8:00 ET #1 Ohio State 42 Virginia Tech 24 ESPN 10.59 Million 6.0
5 November 28, 3:30 ET #2 Alabama 29 Auburn 13 CBS 9.29 Million 5.3 Iron Bowl
6 September 5, 8:00 ET #20 Wisconsin 17 #3 Alabama 35 ABC 7.97 Million 4.3 Advocare Classic
7 September 12, 8:00 ET #7 Oregon 28 #5 Michigan State 31 7.90 Million 4.8
8 October 3, 8:00 ET #6 Notre Dame 22 #12 Clemson 24 7.65 Million 4.5
9 September 19, 9:00 ET #15 Ole Miss 43 #2 Alabama 37 ESPN 7.61 Million 4.6
10 November 7, 3:30 ET #16 Florida State 13 #1 Clemson 23 ABC 7.56 Million 4.7

Conference championship games[edit]

Rank Date Matchup Channel Viewers TV Rating Conference Location
1 December 5, 4:00 ET #18 Florida 15 #2 Alabama 29 CBS 12.8 Million 7.8 SEC Georgia Dome, Atlanta
2 December 5, 8:19 ET #5 Michigan State 16 #4 Iowa 13 FOX 9.8 Million 5.7 Big Ten Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
3 December 5, 8:00 ET #1 Clemson 45 #10 North Carolina 37 ABC 7.9 Million 4.1 ACC Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
4 December 5, 7:45 ET #20 USC 22 #7 Stanford 41 ESPN 2.6 Million 1.6 Pac-12 Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
5 December 5, 12:00 ET #22 Temple 13 #19 Houston 24 ABC 2.5 Million 1.8 AAC TDECU Stadium, Houston
6 December 4, 7:27 ET Bowling Green 34 Northern Illinois 14 ESPN2 1.0 Million 0.7 MAC Ford Field, Detroit
7 December 5, 12:00 ET Southern Miss 28 Western Kentucky 45 ESPN2 488K N/A C-USA Houchens Industries-L. T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, Kentucky
8 December 5, 10:00 ET Air Force 24 San Diego State 27 ESPN2 363K N/A MWC Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

College Football Playoff[edit]

Note: All games aired on ESPN

Game Date Matchup Viewers TV Rating
Orange Bowl December 31, 2015 4:00 ET #4 Oklahoma 17 #1 Clemson 37 15.64 Million 9.1
Cotton Bowl December 31, 2015 8:00 ET #3 Michigan State 0 #2 Alabama 38 18.55 Million 9.6
National Championship January 11, 2016 8:30 ET #2 Alabama 45 #1 Clemson 40 26.18 Million* 15.0
  • ESPN Megacast

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ncaa.org (February 11, 2015). "Football Rules Committee Exploring Future Technological Advances". ncaa.org. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ Scarborough, Alex (June 1, 2015). "UAB reinstates football for 2016". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 
  3. ^ "UAB to reinstate football for 2017 season". ESPN.com. July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Coastal Carolina to Join Sun Belt Conference" (Press release). Sun Belt Conference. September 1, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015. 
  5. ^ "College football: FBS conferences with fewer than 12 members now able to hold championship game" (Press release). NCAA. January 13, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Jacksonville State vs. Auburn - Game Recap - September 12, 2015 - ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  7. ^ "Auburn escapes with 27-20 OT win over Jax St". 
  8. ^ "Miami sprints past No. 18 Duke with 8-lateral play in final seconds". 
  9. ^ "ACC suspends officials from Miami-Duke game; TD should not have counted". 
  10. ^ "Nebraska stuns MSU 39-38 on controversial touchdown". 
  11. ^ "The New CWS: Vision". Kentucky Wildcats. Archived from the original on January 9, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  12. ^ Rovell, Darren (January 26, 2015). "Football, with touch of beach, at UCF". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  13. ^ Johnson, Greg. "NCAA Football: Council approves process to allow 5–7 teams into bowl games". ncaa.com. NCAA. Retrieved December 6, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Peter Mortell wins first Holder of the Year award – ESPN Video". 
  15. ^ "SVP salutes Minnesota's holder – ESPN Video". 
  16. ^ "Mark Richt fired by Georgia, per source". ESPN.com. November 29, 2015. Retrieved November 29, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Tulane names Georgia Southern's Willie Fritz as its new football coach, ESPN reports". ESPN.com. December 11, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Tyson Summers reaches verbal agreement with Georgia Southern". ESPN.com. December 20, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Norm Chow relieved of duties at Hawaii". USA Today. November 1, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  20. ^ Bennett, Brian (August 28, 2015). "Illinois fires Tim Beckman one week before season amid external review". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 28, 2015. 
  21. ^ "CUBIT DISMISSED AS U OF I FOOTBALL COACH". fightinillini.com. March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2016. 
  22. ^ Rittenberg, Adam. "Iowa State fires coach Paul Rhoads". ESPN.go.com. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Todd Berry dismissed in sixth season at Louisiana-Monroe". ESPN.go.com. November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Randy Edsall fired by Maryland". ESPN.com. October 11, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Source: D.J. Durkin to coach Maryland Terrapins". ESPN.com. December 2, 2015. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Source: Virginia Tech to hire Memphis' Justin Fuente as coach". ESPN.com. November 28, 2015. Retrieved November 29, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Golden Relieved of his Duties Effective Immediately". hurricanesports.com. NeuLion. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Sources: Mark Richt to be named new Hurricanes coach". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Minnesota coach Jerry Kill retires, citing health". ESPN.com. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Gary Pinkel to Resign Following 2015 Season Due to Health Issues". Missouri. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Dan McCarney dismissed at North Texas". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  32. ^ "North Texas tabs UNC's Seth Littrell as new coach". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Rutgers fires Kyle Flood, AD Julie Hermann". ESPN.com. November 29, 2015. Retrieved November 29, 2015. 
  34. ^ Evans, Thayer (October 12, 2015). "South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier to retire". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Auburn DC Will Muschamp to become South Carolina coach". ESPN.com. December 6, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Scott Shafer fired: What they're saying about the change for Syracuse football". syracuse.com. November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Toledo's Matt Campbell to become Cyclones' next coach, sources say". ESPN.com. November 29, 2015. Retrieved November 29, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Tulane fires coach Curtis Johnson". ESPN.com. November 28, 2015. Retrieved November 29, 2015. 
  39. ^ Green, Shannon; Bianchi, Mike (October 25, 2015). "UCF football coach George O'Leary is retiring". Orlando Sentinel. 
  40. ^ "Steve Sarkisian fired by USC". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Mike London resigns as football coach at Virginia". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 29, 2015. 
  42. ^ Kalland, Robby (November 1, 2015). "Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer to retire at end of season". CBSSports.com. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 

External links[edit]