|2009 NCAA Division I FBS season|
Alabama v. Tennessee
|Number of teams||120|
|Duration||September 3 – December 12|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Florida|
|Duration||December 19, 2009 – |
January 7, 2010
|Heisman Trophy||Mark Ingram Jr. (running back, Alabama)|
|Bowl Championship Series|
|2010 BCS Championship Game|
|Site||Rose Bowl Stadium|
|NCAA Division I FBS football seasons|
The regular season began on September 3, 2009 and ended on December 12, 2009. The postseason concluded on January 7, 2010 with the BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena, California, where the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Texas Longhorns by the score of 37–21.
For the first time in the history of the Heisman Trophy, the annual award for the most outstanding player in college football, two previous Heisman winners played in the same season—2008 winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and 2007 winner Tim Tebow of Florida. For the first time since 1946, the top three vote-getters from the previous season all returned: Bradford, Colt McCoy of Texas, and Tebow, in that order.
The NCAA football rules committee proposed several rule changes for 2009. The rule changes include the following:
- If the home team wears colored jerseys, the visiting team may also wear colored jerseys so long as the two teams have agreed to do so. This rule comes as a result of the traditional USC-UCLA game where both teams wore their home uniforms. Previously, the visiting team would be charged a first-half timeout for illegal equipment.
- If the punter carries the ball outside of the tackle box, he is no longer protected under the roughing the kicker penalty.
- Deliberately grabbing the chin strap is now included as part of the face mask penalty.
- The edge of the tackle box is defined as being five yards to the left and right of the snapper, rather than two parallel lines from the position of the offensive tackles.
- Periods will not be extended for plays that result in loss of down (i.e. illegal forward pass).
- If a defensive player is injured, the play clock will be reset to 40 seconds. The play clock will be reset to 25 seconds for an injury to an offensive player.
Western Kentucky joined the Sun Belt Conference after playing the 2008 as an FBS independent, completing their two-year transition from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The number of full FBS members increased to 120.
|School||Former conference||New conference|
|Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||FBS independent||Sun Belt|
New and updated stadiums
- Akron opened InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field against Morgan State on September 12, winning 41–0.
- Minnesota christened their new TCF Bank Stadium with a win, defeating Air Force 20–13 on September 12.
- Missouri expanded the capacity of Faurot Field from 68,349 to 71,004.
- Indiana expanded the capacity of Memorial Stadium from 49,225 to 52,929 with the horseshoeing of the North End Zone.
Rankings reflect the Week 14 AP Poll before the conference championship games were played.
For the first time since 1983, every conference in Division I FBS, even those that did not contest a championship game, had an undisputed champion.
* In July 2011, the NCAA released its findings from a two-year investigation into allegations that a Georgia Tech player received $321 in clothing from a runner for an agent. While no conclusive evidence was brought against the player, actions taken by the Georgia Tech athletic department were perceived as an attempt to hinder the NCAA investigation into this offense. The NCAA determined that the player should have been declared ineligible for the final three games of the 2009 season. As punishment for an accused "lack of cooperation" and hindering the investigation, Georgia Tech was required to vacate the ACC Championship Game win, along with other penalties. Consequently, there is currently no official 2009 ACC football champion.
Bowl Challenge Cup standings
|Division I FBS Independents *||1||0||0||1.000|
|Sun Belt *||1||1||0||.500|
* Does not meet minimum game requirement of three teams needed for a conference to be eligible. (In any case, "Independent" is not a conference, rather, it is the lack of one.)
Awards and honors
Heisman Trophy voting
The Heisman Trophy is given to the year's most outstanding player
Other award winners
- Walter Camp Award (top player): Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
- Maxwell Award (top player): Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
- AP Player of the Year: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defensive player): Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
- Campbell Trophy (academic award, formerly the Draddy Trophy): Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
- Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player): Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
- Dave Rimington Trophy (center): Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
- Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
- Dick Butkus Award (linebacker): Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
- Doak Walker Award (running back): Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
- Fred Biletnikoff Award (wide receiver): Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
- Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back): Eric Berry, CB, Tennessee
- John Mackey Award (tight end): Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
- Johnny Unitas Award (Sr. quarterback): Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
- Lombardi Award (top lineman): Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
- Lott Trophy (defensive impact): Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
- Lou Groza Award (placekicker): Kai Forbath, K, UCLA
- Manning Award (quarterback): Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
- Outland Trophy (interior lineman): Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
- Ray Guy Award (punter): Drew Butler, P, Georgia
- Sammy Baugh Trophy (quarterback, specifically passer): Case Keenum, QB, Houston
- Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end): Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
- Wuerffel Trophy (humanitarian-athlete): Tim Hiller, QB, Western Michigan
- The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award: Brian Kelly, Cincinnati
- AP Coach of the Year: Gary Patterson, TCU
- Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (head coach): Chris Petersen, Boise State
- Walter Camp Coach of the Year (head coach): Gary Patterson, TCU
- Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award: Nick Saban, Alabama
- Broyles Award (assistant coach): Kirby Smart, Alabama
- The Iowa Hawkeyes became the first NCAA Division I FBS team to block two field goals on consecutive plays in their season-opening win over Northern Iowa.
- Brandon West of Western Michigan set the NCAA Division I FBS records for career all-purpose yards and career kick return yards. On November 14, West broke the record of 7,573 all-purpose yards set by DeAngelo Williams of Memphis. Against Michigan State on November 7, West broke the record of 2,945 return yards set by Jessie Henderson of SMU. West finished the season setting the records at 3,118 kick return yards and 7,764 total yards.
- Russell Wilson of North Carolina State set a new Division I record for most passes attempted without an interception, breaking the previous record of 325 set by André Woodson of Kentucky from 2006–07. Wilson broke the record in the third quarter of the Pack's 45–14 win over Gardner–Webb on September 19. The streak ended at 379 on October 3 against Wake Forest. Wilson's last interception had been in the third quarter of the Wolfpack's game against Clemson on September 13, 2008.
- Texas' Colt McCoy picked up his 43rd career win as a starting quarterback, breaking the previous FBS record of 42 by Georgia's David Greene, with a 51–20 win over Kansas on November 21. The record was extended to 45 with wins over Texas A&M in the regular-season finale and Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship Game. However, his streak ended at the BCS Championship when he was injured early in the first quarter, and the Longhorns lost 37-21.
- C. J. Spiller of Clemson set a new record for career kickoff return touchdowns on the opening kickoff of the Tigers' game against archrival South Carolina on November 28. His seventh career TD return broke the previous record held by Anthony Davis of USC and Ashlan Davis of Tulsa.
- Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour set a new FBS record for most combined career touchdowns passing, rushing, and receiving in the MAC Championship Game against Ohio. His two TD passes in the game gave him a career total of 148, surpassing the previous record of 147 held by Colt Brennan of Hawaiʻi and Graham Harrell of Texas Tech. In the GMAC Bowl, he passed for a TD and ran for another, ending his career with a total of 150 TDs.
- On December 12, 2009 against rival Army, Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs ran for his 24th rushing touchdown on the season, giving him the single-season record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
- On December 30, 2009 in the Humanitarian Bowl against Idaho, Bowling Green wide receiver Freddie Barnes broke the single-season record for receptions, accumulating 155 total receptions on the year.
- All November and December dates are in 2009; all January dates are in 2010.
- Incoming coaches who were the designated replacement for their predecessors are in bold italics.
|End of season|
|School||Outgoing coach||Date of departure||Reason||Replacement||Date of replacement|
|Akron||J. D. Brookhart||November 28||Fired||Rob Ianello|
|Buffalo||Turner Gill||December 12||Hired by Kansas||Jeff Quinn||December 21 (effective January 2)|
|Central Michigan||Butch Jones||December 16||Hired by Cincinnati||Dan Enos|
|Cincinnati||Brian Kelly||December 10||Hired by Notre Dame||Butch Jones||December 16 (effective January 2)|
|East Carolina||Skip Holtz||January 14||Hired by South Florida||Ruffin McNeil||January 21|
|Florida State||Bobby Bowden||December 1
(effective January 2)
|Retired||Jimbo Fisher||December 1|
(effective January 2)
|Kansas||Mark Mangino||December 3||Resigned||Turner Gill||December 12|
|Kentucky||Rich Brooks||January 4||Retired||Joker Phillips||January 4|
|Louisiana-Monroe||Charlie Weatherbie||November 30||Fired||Todd Berry||December 16|
|Louisiana Tech||Derek Dooley||January 15||Hired by Tennessee||Sonny Dykes||January 20|
|Louisville||Steve Kragthorpe||November 28||Fired||Charlie Strong||December 9|
|Marshall||Mark Snyder||November 29||Resigned||Doc Holliday||December 17 (effective December 27)|
|Memphis||Tommy West||November 9
(effective November 27)
|Fired||Larry Porter||November 29|
|Notre Dame||Charlie Weis||November 30||Fired||Brian Kelly||December 10|
|San Jose State||Dick Tomey||November 17
(effective December 5)
|Retired||Mike MacIntyre||December 17|
|South Florida||Jim Leavitt||January 8||Fired||Skip Holtz||January 14|
|Tennessee||Lane Kiffin||January 12||Hired by USC||Derek Dooley||January 15|
|Texas Tech||Mike Leach||December 30||Fired||Tommy Tuberville||January 10|
|UNLV||Mike Sanford||November 17
(effective November 28)
|USC||Pete Carroll||January 9||Hired by Seattle Seahawks||Lane Kiffin||January 12|
|Virginia||Al Groh||November 29||Fired||Mike London||December 7|
|Western Kentucky||David Elson||November 9
(effective December 3)
|Fired||Willie Taggart||November 29|
(effective December 3)
On December 26, Florida head coach Urban Meyer announced his resignation due to health concerns, effective after the Gators' Sugar Bowl appearance. However, Meyer had a change of heart and announced the following day that he would instead take an indefinite leave of absence, and expected to be back coaching by the start of the 2010 season. Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio took over Meyer's duties in his absence. Meyer returned from his self-imposed leave in time for Florida's 2010 spring practice.
Ten most watched regular season games in 2009
- 1. December 5 – 2009 SEC Championship – CBS – 1 Florida vs 2 Alabama – 17.969 million viewers
- 2. December 5 – 2009 Big 12 Championship – ESPN on ABC – 3 Texas vs 22 Nebraska – 12.693 million viewers
- 3. September 12 – ESPN – 3 USC vs 8 Ohio State – 10.586 million viewers
- 4. October 10 – CBS – 4 LSU vs 1 Florida – 10.496 million viewers
- 5. October 17 – Red River Rivalry – ESPN on ABC – 20 Oklahoma vs 3 Texas – 8.713 million Viewers
- 6. September 7 – ESPN – Miami vs 18 Florida State – 8.406 million viewers
- 7. September 12 – ESPN on ABC – 18 Notre Dame vs Michigan – 8.391 million viewers
- 8. November 27 – Iron Bowl – CBS – 2 Alabama vs Auburn – 8.124 million viewers
- 9. October 3 – ESPN on ABC Regional – 8 Oklahoma vs 17 Miami & California vs 7 USC – 7.834 million viewers
- 10. November 28 – CBS – Florida State vs 1 Florida – 7.491 million viewers
Notes and references
- With the addition of Western Kentucky University as a full Division I FBS member in 2009, the total number of teams went from 119 to 120.
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- Kristin L. Musall. "NCAA Football Rules Committee proposed changes (PDF)" (PDF). NCAA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
- Rogers Redding, Secretary-Rules Editor, NCAA Football Rules Committee – NCAA Football 2009-10 Rules and Interpretations. THE NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION May 2009
- Mizzou Football Guide 09 (PDF), p. 5
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- Doug Marrone in Syracuse Friday; will be named head coach
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- "Memphis Football Coach Tommy West Relieved Of Duties" (Press release). University of Memphis Athletic Department. 2009-11-09. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
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- "WKU Head Football Coach David Elson Will Not Be Retained Following 2009 Season" (Press release). Western Kentucky University Department of Athletics. 2009-11-09. Archived from the original on 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
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- Media related to 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season at Wikimedia Commons