|2008 NCAA Division I FBS season|
|Number of teams||119 + 1 transitional|
|Duration||August 28 – December 6|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Georgia|
|Duration||December 20, 2008 – January 31, 2009|
|Heisman Trophy||Sam Bradford (quarterback, Oklahoma)|
|Bowl Championship Series|
|2009 BCS Championship Game|
Miami Gardens, Florida
|NCAA Division I FBS football seasons|
The regular season began on August 28, 2008 and ended on December 6, 2008. The postseason concluded on January 8, 2009 with the BCS National Championship Game in Miami Gardens, Florida, which featured the top two teams ranked by the Bowl Championship Series (BCS): the #2 Florida Gators and #1 Oklahoma Sooners. Florida defeated Oklahoma by a score of 24–14 to win their second BCS title in three years and third overall national championship in school history. The Utah Utes were selected national champions by Anderson & Hester after beating the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, finishing the season as the nation's only undefeated team.
- Teams have 40 seconds from the time a ball is declared dead to snap the ball. The 25 second play clock will still be used for administrative stoppages and penalties.
- The 15 second play clock after a TV timeout (adopted in the 2007 season) is repealed and returned to 25 seconds.
- Outside of the final two minutes of each half, if a runner goes out of bounds, the game clock restarts after the ball is spotted.
- The penalty for kicking the ball out of bounds on the kickoff is increased, placing the ball at the 40-yard line, similar to the NFL.
- Reinforcing that contact that leads with the crown of the helmet to another player (targeting) is a foul, penalized 15 yards.
- All face-mask penalties result in a 15-yard penalty. Incidental contact with the face mask is no longer penalized.
- Sideline warnings are now penalized five yards for the first two occurrences, and 15 yards (unsportsmanlike conduct) for the third and subsequent violations. Previously the officials gave teams two warnings before a five-yard penalty was called.
- All horse-collar tackles are now subject to a 15-yard penalty.
- If a coach challenges a play, and he wins the challenge, then he is given a second challenge to use later in the game, but each coach has a maximum of two challenges per game even if both are decided in his favor.
Conference and program changes
Western Kentucky upgraded from Division I FCS and played the 2008 season as a transitional Division I FBS member.
|School||2007 Conference||2008 Conference|
|Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||FCS Independent||FBS Independent|
Most-watched regular season games
|1||December 6, 4:00 ET||#2 Florida vs. #1 Alabama||CBS, SEC Championship||15.061 Million|
|2||November 1, 8:00 ET||#1 Texas vs. #7 Texas Tech||ESPN on ABC||12.204 Million|
|3||September 13, 8:00 ET||#5 Ohio State vs. #1 USC||ESPN on ABC||11.800 Million|
|4||November 22, 8:00 ET||#2 Texas Tech vs. #5 Oklahoma||ESPN on ABC||10.742 Million|
|5||October 25, 8:00 ET||#3 Penn State vs. #9 Ohio State||ESPN on ABC||10.367 Million|
|6||November 29, 8:00 ET||#3 Oklahoma vs. #12 Oklahoma State||ESPN on ABC||9.525 Million|
|7||December 6, 8:00 ET||#20 Missouri vs. #2 Oklahoma||ESPN on ABC, Big 12 Championship||8.762 Million|
|8||November 8, 8:00 ET||#9 Oklahoma State vs. #2 Texas Tech, #21 California vs #7 USC||Regional ESPN on ABC||8.483 Million|
|9||November 8, 3:30 ET||#1 Alabama vs. #16 LSU||CBS||8.137 Million|
|10||October 11, 12:00 ET||#5 Texas vs. #1 Oklahoma||ESPN on ABC||7.726 Million|
Conference championship games
Rankings reflect the Week 14 AP Poll before the games were played.
|December 6||ACC||Virginia Tech||#18 Boston College||30–12||Raymond James Stadium
|December 6||Big 12||#4 Oklahoma||#19 Missouri||62–21||Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City, Missouri
|December 6||Conference USA||East Carolina||Tulsa||27–24||Skelly Field at H. A. Chapman Stadium
|December 5||MAC||Buffalo||#12 Ball State||42–24||Ford Field
|December 6||SEC||#2 Florida||#1 Alabama||31–20||Georgia Dome
Other conference champions
Rankings are from the Week 15 AP Poll.
|Big East||#12 Cincinnati|
|Big Ten||#6 Penn State
#10 Ohio State
|Mountain West||#7 Utah|
|WAC||#9 Boise State|
Winners are listed in boldface.
Bowl Championship Series
After the completion of the regular season and conference championship games, seven teams had secured BCS berths: ACC champion Virginia Tech, Big East champion Cincinnati, Big Ten champion Penn State, Big 12 champion Oklahoma, Pac-10 champion USC, SEC champion Florida, and Mountain West champion Utah, who qualified as the highest-ranked BCS non-AQ conference champion. With Oklahoma and Florida being selected to play in the championship, Texas and Alabama assumed their conference's berths in the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls, respectively. The remaining at-large berth was awarded to Ohio State, who were selected despite being ranked #10 by the BCS, behind #9 Boise State. #7 Texas Tech did not receive an at-large bid because the Big 12 had already been awarded the maximum of two BCS selections per conference.
|Rose Bowl Game presented by citi (Pasadena, CA)||January 1||#5 USC||#8 Penn State||38–24||ABC|
|FedEx Orange Bowl (Miami Gardens, FL)||January 1||#12 Cincinnati||#19 Virginia Tech||7–20||FOX|
|Allstate Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA)||January 2||#6 Utah||#4 Alabama||31–17||FOX|
|Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ)||January 5||#10 Ohio State||#3 Texas||21–24||FOX|
|FedEx BCS National Championship Game
(Miami Gardens, FL)
|January 8||#2 Florida||#1 Oklahoma||24–14||FOX|
Other bowl games
Bowl Challenge Cup standings
|Sun Belt *||1||1||.500|
* Does not meet minimum game requirement of three teams needed for a conference to be eligible.
Awards and honors
Heisman Trophy voting
The Heisman Trophy is given to the year's most outstanding player.
- Winner: Sam Bradford, So., Oklahoma QB (1,726 pts)
- 2. Colt McCoy, Jr., Texas QB (1,604 pts)
- 3. Tim Tebow, Jr., Florida QB (1,575 pts)
- 4. Graham Harrell Sr., Texas Tech QB (213 pts)
- 5. Michael Crabtree, So., Texas Tech WR (116 pts)
Other major award winners
|Walter Camp Award||Colt McCoy, Texas|
|Griffin Award||Colt McCoy, Texas|
|Maxwell Award||Tim Tebow, Florida|
|The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award||Nick Saban, Alabama|
|Associated Press Coach of the Year||Nick Saban, Alabama|
|Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (head coach)||Kyle Whittingham, Utah|
|Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award||Nick Saban, Alabama|
|Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year||Nick Saban, Alabama|
|Walter Camp Coach of the Year (head coach)||Nick Saban, Alabama|
|Broyles Award (assistant coach)||Kevin Wilson, Oklahoma|
|Dave Rimington Trophy (Center)||A. Q. Shipley, Penn State|
|Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback)||Sam Bradford, Oklahoma|
|Doak Walker Award (Running Back)||Shonn Greene, Iowa|
|Fred Biletnikoff Award (Wide Receiver)||Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech|
|John Mackey Award (Tight End)||Chase Coffman, Missouri|
|Johnny Unitas Award (Sr. Quarterback)||Graham Harrell, Texas Tech|
|Manning Award (quarterback)||Tim Tebow, Florida|
|Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defensive Player)||Brian Orakpo, Texas|
|Chuck Bednarik Award (Defensive Player)||Rey Maualuga, USC|
|Dick Butkus Award (Linebacker)||Aaron Curry, Wake Forest|
|Lott Trophy (defensive impact)||James Laurinaitis, Ohio State|
|Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive Back)||Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State|
|Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end)||Brian Orakpo, Texas|
|Outland Trophy (interior lineman)||Andre Smith, Alabama|
|Lombardi Award (Top Lineman)||Brian Orakpo, Texas|
|Ray Guy Award (punter)||Matt Fodge, Oklahoma State|
|Lou Groza Award (placekicker)||Graham Gano, Florida State|
|Draddy Trophy ("Academic Heisman")||Alex Mack, California|
|Wuerffel Trophy (humanitarian-athlete)||Tim Tebow, Florida|
- 2008 Consensus All-America Team
|Kicker||Louie Sakoda||5'9"||175||Sr.||San Jose, California||Utah|
|Punter||Kevin Huber||6'1"||214||Sr.||Cincinnati, Ohio||Cincinnati|
|RS||Brandon James||5'7"||186||Jr.||St. Augustine, Florida||Florida|
|RS||Jeremy Maclin||6'0"||198||Jr.||Kirkwood, Missouri||Missouri|
- Team scoring most points: Oklahoma, 716
|School||2008 coach||2007 coach|
|Arkansas||Bobby Petrino||Houston Nutt|
|Baylor||Art Briles||Guy Morriss|
|Georgia Tech||Paul Johnson||Chan Gailey|
|Hawaiʻi||Greg McMackin||June Jones|
|Houston||Kevin Sumlin||Art Briles|
|Michigan||Rich Rodriguez||Lloyd Carr|
|Mississippi||Houston Nutt||Ed Orgeron|
|Navy||Ken Niumatalolo||Paul Johnson|
|Nebraska||Bo Pelini||Bill Callahan|
|Northern Illinois||Jerry Kill||Joe Novak|
|SMU||June Jones||Phil Bennett|
|Southern Mississippi||Larry Fedora||Jeff Bower|
|Texas A&M||Mike Sherman||Dennis Franchione|
|UCLA||Rick Neuheisel||Karl Dorrell|
|Washington State||Paul Wulff||Bill Doba|
|School||Interim Coach||Former Coach|
|Clemson||Dabo Swinney||Tommy Bowden|
End of season
|End of season|
|Army||Stan Brock||Fired||Rich Ellerson|
|Auburn||Tommy Tuberville||Resigned||Gene Chizik|
|Ball State||Brady Hoke||Hired as head coach at San Diego State||Stan Parrish|
|Boston College||Jeff Jagodzinski||Fired||Frank Spaziani|
|Bowling Green||Gregg Brandon||Fired||Dave Clawson|
|Eastern Michigan||Jeff Genyk||Fired||Ron English|
|Iowa State||Gene Chizik||Hired as head coach at Auburn||Paul Rhoads|
|Kansas State||Ron Prince||Fired||Bill Snyder|
|Miami (OH)||Shane Montgomery||Resigned||Mike Haywood|
|Mississippi State||Sylvester Croom||Resigned||Dan Mullen|
|New Mexico||Rocky Long||Resigned||Mike Locksley|
|New Mexico State||Hal Mumme||Fired||DeWayne Walker|
|Oregon||Mike Bellotti||Resigned to become Oregon athletic director||Chip Kelly|
|Purdue||Joe Tiller||Retired||Danny Hope|
|San Diego State||Chuck Long||Fired||Brady Hoke|
|Syracuse||Greg Robinson||Fired||Doug Marrone|
|Tennessee||Phillip Fulmer||Fired||Lane Kiffin|
|Toledo||Tom Amstutz||Resigned||Tim Beckman|
|Utah State||Brent Guy||Fired||Gary Andersen|
|Washington||Tyrone Willingham||Fired||Steve Sarkisian|
|Wyoming||Joe Glenn||Fired||Dave Christensen|
|Rank||Associated Press||USA TODAY/AFCA*|
|7||Texas Christian||Texas Christian|
|8||Penn State||Penn State|
|11||Boise State||Ohio State|
|12||Texas Tech||Texas Tech|
|18||Oregon State||Oklahoma State|
|21||Florida State||Brigham Young|
|22||Georgia Tech||Georgia Tech|
|23||West Virginia||Florida State|
|24||Michigan State||Michigan State|
* - The AFCA requires that their voters make the winner of the BCS Championship at the number one position in the final poll.
≠ - Kyle Whittingham, head coach of Utah, broke the AFCA requirement and voted his team number one on his ballot.
- 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football rankings
- 2008 Big 12 Conference South Division 3-way tie controversy
Notes and references
- Western Kentucky University was in a two-year process of transition to FBS status in 2008 (completed in 2009), and, therefore, some sources list the total for 2008 as 119.
- "Future BCS Schedules". BCSFootball.org. Fox Sports. Archived from the original on 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
- "Football Bowl Subdivision Records" (PDF). ncaa.org. Retrieved 28 Aug 2018.
- "NCAA Football Rules Committee Proposes Rules to Enhance Student-Athlete Safety and Encourage Consistent Pace of Play" (Press release). Archived from the original on December 23, 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
- "More new timing rules among NCAA proposal". Retrieved 23 December 2008.
- "NCAA Football Season Review". Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- "Penn State Rose Bowl Bound". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2008-11-23.[dead link]
- "Virginia Tech takes down BC,headed down to Orange Bowl again". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- http://www.uwbadgers.com/sport_news/fb/headlines/story.html?sportid=111&storyid=16009[dead link]
- "PittsburghPanthers.com - University of Pittsburgh Official Athletic Site - Football". cstv.com. Archived from the original on 2009-03-09. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- "KU headed to Insight Bowl". KUsports.com. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- Gophers, Jayhawks to meet in Insight Bowl Archived December 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- UA's Saban Named Home Depot Coach of the Year Archived 2009-02-13 at the Wayback Machine
- "Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year". Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- "ALABAMA'S SABAN WINS 2008 EDDIE ROBINSON AWARD". Retrieved 7 January 2009.
- UF's Tim Tebow is 2008 Wuerffel Trophy Winner Archived December 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Iowa State's Chizik to Take Over at Auburn Archived December 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "San Diego State to hire Ball State's Hoke, source says". ESPN.com. 2008-12-15. Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- "English to be announced as EMU coach". ESPN.com. 2008-12-15. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- Source: Rhoads to be named new ISU football coach[dead link]
- "Ron Prince Will Not Return for 2009" (Press release). Kansas State University Athletic Department. 2008-11-05. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- "Bill Snyder Named Head Football Coach" (Press release). Kansas State University Athletic Department. 2008-11-24. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- "Mike Locksley - New Mexico's 29th Head Football Coach" Archived January 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. - Lobos Football. - (c/o CBS Interactive). - December 9, 2008.
- "Kelly succeeds Bellotti as Ducks coach". ESPN.com. Associated Press. 2009-03-13. Archived from the original on 17 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
- "Plenty Of Reasons For Hope" (Press release). Purdue University Athletics Department. 2008-01-11. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- "Doug Marrone in Syracuse Friday; will be named head coach". 9wsyr.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- Kiffin introduced as Vol's 21st coach » Abilene Reporter-News Archived December 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "Sources: USC coordinator gets Washington job". ESPN.com. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- MU’s Christensen accepts Wyoming job Archived December 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine