2014 NCAA Division I FBS football season
|2014 NCAA Division I FBS season|
|Number of teams||125 full members, 3 transitional|
|Duration||August 27 – December 13|
|Preseason AP #1||Florida State Seminoles|
|Duration||December 20, 2014 – January 12, 2015 (excluding all-star games)|
(including national championship game)
|AP Poll #1||Ohio State Buckeyes|
|Coaches' Poll #1||Ohio State Buckeyes|
|Heisman Trophy||Marcus Mariota, Oregon|
|College Football Playoff|
|2015 College Football Playoff National Championship|
|Winner||Ohio State Buckeyes|
|Division I FBS football seasons|
The 2014 NCAA Division I FBS football season, play of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level, began on August 27, 2014, with the regular season ending on December 13, 2014, and, not including all-star games, concluded on January 12, 2015.
Old Dominion made the move from FCS to FBS this season. This was the last season for UAB football, who dropped their program at the conclusion of the 2014 season due to financial reasons.
The 2014 season marked a major change to the post-season with the introduction of the College Football Playoff, replacing the Bowl Championship Series to determine a national champion of Division I FBS football through a four-team post-season tournament, with its participants decided by a selection committee rather than an aggregate of polls and statistics.
The 2015 Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl served as the semi-final games. In the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship game played on January 12, 2015 at AT&T Stadium, Ohio State beat Oregon to claim the first ever College Football Playoff championship title. Following the game, Ohio State was named the #1 team on the AP Poll and Coaches' Poll for the season, making the Buckeyes consensus national champions among the major polls.
- Rule changes 1
Conference realignment 2
- Membership changes 2.1
- Other headlines 3
- Updated stadiums 4
Television viewers and ratings 5
- Most watched regular season games 5.1
- Kickoff games 5.2
- Conference championship games 5.3
- College Football Playoff 5.4
- Conference standings 6
- Conference champions 7
Bowl Games and the College Football Playoff 8
- Conference performance in bowl games 8.1
- Final CFP rankings 9
Awards and honors 10
- Heisman Trophy 10.1
- Other overall 10.2
- Special overall 10.3
- Offense 10.4
- Defense 10.5
- Special teams 10.6
- Assistants 10.7.1
- All-Americans 10.8
- Coaching changes 11
- See also 12
- References 13
- External links 14
The following rule changes have been made by the NCAA Football Rules Committee for the 2014 season:
- Modifying the "targeting" rule enacted for the 2013 season whereby if a targeting ejection is overturned on review, the 15 yard penalty will be overturned as well, unless the foul was committed in conjunction with another foul (such as an above-the-shoulders hit on a quarterback not deemed as targeting, a roughing the passer penalty would still apply).
- Allowing all conferences the option to experiment with eight-man officiating crews. The Big 12 Conference experimented with eight-man officiating crews during the 2013 season. The eighth official is referred to as the "Center Judge", positioned opposite the Referee in the offensive backfield, and wears a "C" on the shirt. In 2014, the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 10 Conference, Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference, and the American Athletic Conference used eight-official crews. The Southeastern Conference experimented with eight officials in selected games in the 2014 season. The Pacific-12 Conference made no plans to implement eight-official crews. The eight-man crews were used in bowl games (including the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship) if one of the conferences (Big 12, Big 10, ACC, MW, or American) provided a crew for a particular game.
- Modifying the 15-yard "Roughing the Passer" penalty to include hits (including lunging and/or rolling) at or below the knees from defenders that are not fouled/blocked into the quarterback, not engaged in tackling the quarterback, or are rushing unabated to the quarterback (similar to the NFL's "Tom Brady" Rule adopted in the 2009 NFL Season).
A rule meant to slow down the "hurry-up offense" by preventing teams from snapping the ball within the first ten seconds of the 40-second play clock to allow for defensive substitutions, or be penalized five yards for delay of game (except within the final 2:00 of each half or when the play clock is set to 25 seconds) was tabled by the Rules Committee and not voted on.
- The NCAA announces its Academic Progress Rate (APR) sanctions for the 2014–15 school year. Two FBS teams, Idaho and UNLV, are among the 36 programs in 11 sports declared ineligible for postseason play due to failure to meet the required APR benchmark.
- Boise State announces that it has received a waiver from the NCAA allowing the school to immediately provide assistance to incoming freshman recruit Antoine Turner, a defensive end originally from New Orleans who had been homeless due to financial and family issues.
- UNLV announced that the school would be eligible for post season after the upcoming season, they stated that the NCAA had accepted an updated Academic Progress Rate score submitted by the university.
- The NCAA restores Penn State's postseason eligibility effective immediately, and full complement of 85 scholarships effective with the 2015 season. This means Penn State can qualify for a bowl game for the 2014 season. Penn State was originally banned from postseason play from 2012–2015 because of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.
- Four teams ranked in the top six of the AP Poll, and five of the top eight, lose this week. It is the first time since Week 11 of the 1990 season that four of the top six lose, and the first time ever that five of the top eight teams lose. The week's upsets began on Thursday, when #2 Oregon lost 31–24 at home to Arizona. Saturday saw #3 Alabama lose 23–17 at #11 Ole Miss, #4 Oklahoma lose 37–33 at #25 TCU, #6 Texas A&M lose 48–31 at #12 Mississippi State, and #8 UCLA lose 30–28 at home to Utah.
- Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday seta a new FBS record for single-game passing yards, throwing for 734 yards in a 60–59 loss to Cal. This breaks the previous record of 716, set in 1990 by Houston's David Klingler, and is five short of the all-divisions NCAA record of 739 set by Sam Durley of Division III Eureka in 2012. In the same game, Cal's Jared Goff throws for 527 yards, giving the two teams an FBS-record 1,261 passing yards in the game.
- The release of the fifth AP Poll of the season sees Mississippi State, previously tied for #3 with cross-state rival Ole Miss, leapfrog Florida State to reach #1 for the first time in school history. This followed a 38–23 home win over #2 Auburn, the Bulldogs' third straight over a team then ranked in the top 10. Most significantly, the Bulldogs became the first team in the history of the AP Poll to go from unranked to #1 in 5 weeks, surpassing the previous record of 6 weeks set by Ohio State in 1954.
- Marshall's Rakeem Cato throws for four touchdowns in the Thundering Herd's 45–13 win at FIU, giving him a TD pass in 39 consecutive games. This breaks a tie for the FBS record with Russell Wilson, who threw for TDs in 38 consecutive games while at NC State and Wisconsin. Cato went on to finish the season and his Marshall career in the Boca Raton Bowl with a streak of 46 games, tying the all-divisions NCAA record of Central Washington's Mike Reilly.
- November 16
- November 22
- November 29
- Police in 
- UAB announces that it will drop football at the end of the season. The Blazers, under first-year head coach Bill Clark, became bowl-eligible for only the second time in program history with a win on November 29 over Southern Miss. UAB becomes the first FBS-level program to fold since Pacific dropped football after the 1995 season.
- December 5
- Sporting News reports that the Big 12 Conference had been planning to expand beyond its current 10 teams even before being left out of the inaugural College Football Playoff. Specifically, conference officials have met with officials from the University of Cincinnati, although the story said, "That is not an indication membership will be offered to the Bearcats in the immediate future."
Three FBS schools opened new stadiums in the 2014 season:
- Baylor opened McLane Stadium, returning home games to its campus for the first time since 1935. The stadium opened with 42,000 permanent seats plus 3,000 standing-room places, and is designed for future expansion to 55,000. The first game was a high school contest on August 29; Baylor's first game was a 45–0 win over SMU on August 31.
- Houston opened TDECU Stadium, a 40,000-seat venue, designed to be easily expandable to 60,000, and built on the site of the school's former Robertson Stadium. The opening game was a 27–7 loss to UTSA on August 29.
The three schools that moved from FCS to FBS this season use existing on-campus stadiums:
- Appalachian State plays at Kidd Brewer Stadium, home to the Mountaineers since 1962 and affectionately known to the school's fans as "The Rock". It has an official capacity of 24,050, but has frequently hosted significantly larger crowds, with the record being 31,531.
- Paulson Stadium, home to the Eagles since 1984. The stadium was expanded to 24,300 for GSU's move to FBS.
- Old Dominion plays at Foreman Field. The 20,118-seat stadium first opened in 1936 for the football program of what was then known as the Norfolk Division of The College of William & Mary. After football was dropped after the 1941 season, the stadium was used for other football games (notably the former Oyster Bowl), plus other ODU sports, until the school reinstated football in 2009.
These FBS schools are expanding or opening renovated portions of their existing stadiums:
- LSU opened a new south end-zone upper deck expansion of Tiger Stadium that added approximately 60 "Tiger Den" suites, 3,000 club seats and 1,500 general public seats and brought the total capacity to approximately 102,321, making it the seventh-largest college football stadium in the country.
- Ohio State added 2,500 seats to the south stands of Ohio Stadium. These seats, built over the entrance tunnels, raised the official capacity of the stadium to 104,851, making it the third-largest stadium in the country and the fifth-largest stadium in the world.
- Texas A&M opened Phase 1 of a major three-year renovation of Kyle Field, which includes re-construction of the east side first deck, and construction of the south end zone, which in turn includes seating, media interview areas, 12th Man Productions and related gameday support, a commissary and recruiting area.
- Mississippi State opened a new north end-zone expansion of Davis Wade Stadium which took stadium capacity from 55,000 to over 61,000. The renovation created new concessions and restrooms, plus a new west side concourse.
- Missouri opened a new east side expansion of Faurot Field. An upper bowl was completed for the east side of the stadium, providing 5,200 general admission seats and 800 club seats.
- Louisiana-Lafayette enclosed the south side of Cajun Field. The stadium upgrade added 5,900 seats increasing the capacity from 31,000 to 36,900.
- Purdue removed the majority of their south end-zone bleachers at Ross-Ade Stadium and replaced it with a patio area. This stadium upgrade lowered the stadium capacity from 62,500 to 57,236.
- The Rose Bowl opened the final phase of its multi-year renovation project, which included the removal of seats on the east and west sidelines to restore the original oval shape of the seating bowl. Also included in the project were additional new restrooms, new entry gate structures, and additional new concession stands. The historic hedges surrounding the field were restored to create a new "Rose Garden Walkway". An iconic plaza opened outside of Gate A in front of the south main entrance to the stadium, featuring a large logo of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
One other FBS program, Eastern Michigan, installed a gray FieldTurf playing surface at Rynearson Stadium. The stadium is only the second FBS venue with a non-traditional field color, after Albertsons Stadium at Boise State, and the sixth college stadium overall with this feature.
Television viewers and ratings
Most watched regular season games
- Excludes Conference Championships and Kickoff Games
|1||November 29, 7:45 ET||#15 Auburn||44||#1 Alabama||55||ESPN||13.53 Million||7.4||Iron Bowl|
|2||October 18, 8:00 ET||#5 Notre Dame||27||#1 Florida State||31||ABC||13.25 Million||7.9|
|3||November 15, 3:30 ET||#1 Mississippi State||20||#5 Alabama||25||CBS||10.27 Million||6.4||Rivalry|
|4||November 8, 8:00 ET||#5 Alabama||20||#16 LSU||13||9.11 Million||5.3||Rivalry|
|5||November 15, 8:00 ET||#2 Florida State||30||Miami (FL)||26||ABC||8.74 Million||5.3||Rivalry|
|6||November 29, 12:00 ET||Michigan||28||#6 Ohio State||42||8.23 Million||4.9||The Game|
|7||September 20, 3:30 ET||Florida||21||#3 Alabama||42||CBS||7.95 Million||5.1|
|8||September 20, 8:00 ET||#22 Clemson||17||#1 Florida State||23||ABC||7.34 Million||4.5|
|9||November 8, 3:30 ET||Texas A&M||41||#3 Auburn||38||CBS||7.21 Million||4.4|
|10||November 8, 8:00 ET||#14 Ohio State||49||#8 Michigan State||37||ABC||6.83 Million||3.9|
|1||August 30, 3:30 ET||#2 Alabama||33||West Virginia||23||Regional ABC||6.4 Million||4||Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game||Atlanta, GA|
|2||August 30, 8:00 ET||Oklahoma State||31||#1 Florida State||37||ABC||6.03 Million||2.4||Cowboys Classic||AT&T Stadium, Arlginton, TX|
|3||August 30, 9:00 ET||#13 LSU||28||#14 Wisconsin||24||ESPN||4.68 Million||2.8||Texas Kickoff||Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX|
|4||August 28, 8:00 ET||Boise State||13||#18 Ole Miss||35||ESPN||2.42 Million||1.5||Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game||Atlanta, GA|
Conference championship games
|1||December 6, 4:00 ET||#1 Alabama||42||#16 Missouri||13||CBS||12.8 Million||7.8||SEC||Atlanta, GA|
|2||December 6, 8:00 ET||#4 Florida State||37||#11 Georgia Tech||35||ABC||10.1 Million||6.2||ACC||Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC|
|3||December 6, 8:00 ET||#13 Wisconsin||0||#5 Ohio State||59||FOX||6.13 Million||3.5||Big Ten||Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN|
|4||December 5, 9:00 ET||#7 Arizona||13||#2 Oregon||51||FOX||6.00 Million||3.7||Pac-12||Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA|
|5||December 6, 10:00 ET||Fresno State||14||#22 Boise State||28||CBS||1.53 Million||1.0||MW||Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID|
|6||December 6, 12:00 ET||Louisiana Tech||23||Marshall||26||ESPN2||725K||0.5||C-USA||Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, WV|
|7||December 5, 7:00 ET||Bowling Green||17||Northern Illinois||51||ESPN2||692K||0.5||MAC||Ford Field, Detroit, MI|
College Football PlayoffNote: All games aired on ESPN
|Rose Bowl||January 1, 2015||5:00 ET||#3 Florida State||20||#2 Oregon||59||28.2 Million||14.8|
|Sugar Bowl||January 1, 2015||8:00 ET||#4 Ohio State||42||#1 Alabama||35||28.3 Million||15.2|
|National Championship||January 12, 2015||8:30 ET||#4 Ohio State||42||#2 Oregon||20||33.4 Million*||18.2|
- Does not include viewers from ESPN Megacast which also included channels ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Classic, and ESPN Deportes. 34.1 Million viewers for all channels combined.
|Conference||Champion(s)||Runner-up||Game score||Offensive Player of the Year||Defensive Player of the Year||Coach of the Year|
|N/A||N/A||Shane Carden, QB, East Carolina||
Jacoby Glenn, CB, UCF &
Tank Jakes, LB, Memphis
|Justin Fuente, Memphis|
|ACC||Florida State (Atlantic)||Georgia Tech (Coastal)||37–35||
James Conner, RB,
(Player of the Year)
Vic Beasley, DE,
|N/A||N/A||Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU||Paul Dawson, LB, TCU||Gary Patterson, TCU|
|Big Ten||Ohio State (East)||Wisconsin (West)||59–0||
Melvin Gordon, RB,
Joey Bosa, DE,
(coaches and media)
|C-USA||Marshall (East)||Louisiana Tech (West)||26–23||
Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky (MVP)
Rakeem Cato, QB, Marshall (Offensive POY)
|Neville Hewitt, LB, Marshall||Doc Holliday, Marshall|
|MAC||Northern Illinois (West)||Bowling Green (East)||51–17||
Jarvion Franklin, RB,
Quinten Rollins, DB,
P. J. Fleck,
|MW||Boise State (Mountain)||Fresno State (West)||28–14||
Garrett Grayson, QB,
Zach Vigil, LB,
|Pac-12||Oregon (North)||Arizona (South)||51–13||
Marcus Mariota, QB,
Scooby Wright III, LB,
|SEC||Alabama (Western)||Missouri (Eastern)||42–13||
Amari Cooper, WR,
Alabama (AP, Coaches)
Shane Ray, DE,
Missouri (AP, Coaches)
Mississippi State (AP)
|Sun Belt||Georgia Southern||N/A||N/A||
Elijah McGuire, RB,
David Mayo, LB,
Bowl Games and the College Football Playoff
Starting with the 2014–15 postseason, six College Football Playoff (CFP) bowl games will host two semifinal playoff games on a rotating basis. For this season, the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will host the semifinal games, with the winners advancing to the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
|Semifinals||2015 Championship Game|
|January 1 – Sugar Bowl|
|January 12 – National Championship|
|January 1 – Rose Bowl|
Conference performance in bowl games
Final CFP rankings
|3||Florida State||13–0||Rose Bowl|
|4||Ohio State||13–1||Sugar Bowl|
|7||Mississippi State||10–2||Orange Bowl|
|8||Michigan State||11–2||Cotton Bowl|
|9||Ole Miss||9–3||Peach Bowl|
|11||Kansas State||9–3||Alamo Bowl|
|12||Georgia Tech||10–3||Orange Bowl|
|15||Arizona State||9–3||Sun Bowl|
|17||Clemson||9–3||Russell Athletic Bowl|
|20||Boise State||11–2||Fiesta Bowl|
|22||Utah||8–4||Las Vegas Bowl|
|23||LSU||8–4||Music City Bowl|
Awards and honors
The Heisman Trophy is given to the year's most outstanding player.
|J.T. Barrett||Ohio State||QB||0||19||40||78|
|Jameis Winston||Florida State||QB||4||10||19||51|
|Dak Prescott||Mississippi State||QB||2||4||28||42|
|Scooby Wright III||Arizona||LB||0||4||13||21|
- Archie Griffin Award (MVP): Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
- AP Player of the Year: Marcus Mariota, Oregon
- Chic Harley Award (Player of the Year): Marcus Mariota, Oregon
- Maxwell Award (top player): Marcus Mariota, Oregon
- SN Player of the Year: Marcus Mariota, Oregon
- Walter Camp Award (top player): Marcus Mariota, Oregon
- Burlsworth Trophy (top player who began as walk-on): Justin Hardy, East Carolina
- Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player): Shaq Thompson, Washington
- Campbell Trophy ("academic Heisman"): David Helton, Duke
- Wuerffel Trophy (humanitarian-athlete): Deterrian Shackelford, Ole Miss
- Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Marcus Mariota, Oregon
- Johnny Unitas Award (senior/4th year quarterback): Marcus Mariota, Oregon
- Kellen Moore Award (quarterback): Trevone Boykin, TCU
- Manning Award (quarterback): Marcus Mariota, Oregon
- Sammy Baugh Trophy (passing quarterback): Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
- Doak Walker Award (running back): Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
- Jim Brown Trophy (running back): Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
- Dave Rimington Trophy (center): Reese Dismukes, Auburn
- Outland Trophy (interior lineman): Brandon Scherff, Iowa
- Jim Parker Trophy (offensive lineman): Reese Dismukes, Auburn
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defensive player): Scooby Wright III, Arizona
- Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player): Scooby Wright III, Arizona
- Lott Trophy (defensive impact): Eric Kendricks, UCLA
- Bill Willis Award (defensive lineman):
- Dick Butkus Award (linebacker): Eric Kendricks, UCLA
- Jack Lambert Trophy (linebacker): Scooby Wright III, Arizona
- Rotary Lombardi Award (defensive lineman/linebacker): Scooby Wright III, Arizona
- Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end): Nate Orchard, Utah
- Lou Groza Award (placekicker): Brad Craddock, Maryland
- Vlade Award (placekicker):
- Ray Guy Award (punter): Tom Hackett, Utah
- Jet Award (return specialist): Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
- AFCA Coach of the Year: Gary Patterson, TCU
- AP Coach of the Year: Gary Patterson, TCU
- Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award: Gary Patterson, TCU
- Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award: Nick Saban, Alabama
- Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year: Gary Patterson, TCU
- Maxwell Coach of the Year: Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
- Paul "Bear" Bryant Award: Gary Patterson, TCU
- Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award:
- SN Coach of the Year: Gary Patterson, TCU
- The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award: Gary Patterson, TCU
- Woody Hayes Trophy: Gary Patterson, TCU
- Walter Camp Coach of the Year: Gary Patterson, TCU
This is restricted to coaching changes taking place on or after May 1, 2014. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2014, see 2013 NCAA Division I FBS end-of-season coaching changes.
|Buffalo||Jeff Quinn||October 12, 2014||Fired||Alex Wood (interim)|
|Buffalo||Alex Wood (interim)||November 30, 2014||Replaced ||Lance Leipold (permanent)|
|Central Michigan||Dan Enos||January 22, 2015||Hired as offensive coordinator by Arkansas||John Bonamego|
|Colorado State||Jim McElwain||December 4, 2014||Hired by Florida||Dave Baldwin (interim)|
|Colorado State||Dave Baldwin (interim)||December 22, 2014||Replaced||Mike Bobo (permanent)|
|Florida||Will Muschamp||November 16, 2014||Resigned ||D. J. Durkin (interim – bowl game)|
|Florida||D. J. Durkin (interim)||December 4, 2014||Replaced||Jim McElwain (permanent)|
|Houston||Tony Levine||December 8, 2014||Fired||David Gibbs (interim)|
|Houston||David Gibbs (interim)||December 16, 2014||Replaced||Tom Herman (permanent)|
|Kansas||Charlie Weis||September 28, 2014||Fired ||Clint Bowen (Interim)|
|Kansas||Clint Bowen (interim)||December 5, 2014||Replaced ||David Beaty (permanent)|
|Michigan||Brady Hoke||December 2, 2014||Fired||Jim Harbaugh|
|Nebraska||Bo Pelini||November 30, 2014||Fired ||Barney Cotton (interim)|
|Nebraska||Barney Cotton (interim)||December 4, 2014||Replaced||Mike Riley (permanent)|
|Pittsburgh||Paul Chryst||December 17, 2014||Hired by Wisconsin||Joe Rudolph (interim)|
|Pittsburgh||Joe Rudolph (interim)||December 23, 2014||Replaced||Pat Narduzzi (permanent)|
|Oregon State||Mike Riley||December 4, 2014||Hired by Nebraska||Gary Andersen|
|SMU||June Jones||September 8, 2014||Resigned ||Tom Mason (interim)|
|SMU||Tom Mason (interim)||November 30, 2014||Replaced ||Chad Morris (permanent)|
|Troy||Larry Blakeney||October 5, 2014||Retired ||Neal Brown|
|Tulsa||Bill Blankenship||December 1, 2014||Fired ||Philip Montgomery|
|UAB||Bill Clark||December 2, 2014||School dropped football||None|
|UNLV||Bobby Hauck||November 28, 2014||Resigned ||Tony Sanchez|
|Wisconsin||Gary Andersen||December 10, 2014||Hired by Oregon State||Barry Alvarez (interim – bowl game)|
|Wisconsin||Barry Alvarez (interim)||December 17, 2014||for bowl game||Paul Chryst (permanent)|
- Wolken, Dan (April 25, 2013). "Questions and Answers for the College Football Playoff", USA Today. Retrieved June 10, 2014.