|2011 Mid-American Conference football season|
|League||NCAA Division I FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision)|
|Duration||September 1, 2011|
through January, 2012
|Number of teams||13|
|TV partner(s)||ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, Big Ten Network|
|West champions||NIU, Toledo|
|MAC Championship Game|
|Finals MVP||Nathan Palmer (NIU)|
|2011 Mid-American Conference football standings|
|Northern Illinois xy$||7||–||1||11||–||3|
|Championship: NIU 23, Ohio 20|
The 2011 Mid-American Conference football season is the 66th season for the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The season began on Thursday, September 1, with four games: Bowling Green played at Idaho, Central Michigan hosted South Carolina State, Temple hosted #14 (FCS) Villanova, and Toledo hosted #10 (FCS) New Hampshire. The conference's other nine teams began their respective 2011 seasons of NCAA Division I FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) competition on Saturday, September 3. The first in-conference game was September 10, with Temple hosting Akron.
The 2011 MAC Preseason poll results were announced at the Football Media Preview in Detroit on July 26. In the East Division, Miami was picked as champion, while Toledo was picked to win the West Division and the MAC Championship Game.
- Miami - 97 points; 4 first-place votes
- Ohio - 96 points; 8 first-place votes
- Temple - 88 points; 4 first-place votes
- Kent State - 57 points
- Bowling Green - 48 points
- Buffalo - 37 points
- Akron - 25 points
- Toledo - 83 points; 8 first-place votes
- NIU - 81 points; 5 first-place votes
- Western Michigan - 76 points; 2 first-place votes
- Central Michigan - 55 points; 1 first-place vote
- Ball State - 27 points
- Eastern Michigan - 24 points
Three votes were not cast for any team.
- Toledo - 5 votes
- NIU - 3 votes
- Miami - 3 votes
- Ohio - 1 vote
- Western Michigan - 1 vote
Pre-season coaching changes
On November 21, the day after Kent State's seventh loss of the season assured them of a losing record, Doug Martin announced that he would resign at the end of the season. On December 20, Kent State athletic director Joel Nielsen introduced former Ohio State receivers coach Darrell Hazell as the new head coach for the Golden Flashes. Hazell was the first Ohio State assistant coach to leave for a head coaching job in six years; the last was Mark Snyder, who was hired by Marshall in 2004.
On November 23, three days after Ball State concluded its season with a 4-8 record, Ball State athletic director Tom Collins announced the firing of Stan Parrish, saying, "As we evaluated the on-field performance and the football program in its entirety, we decided it was time for a change in direction in the leadership of the program". On December 19, Collins announced that he had hired Pete Lembo, formerly the head coach at Elon.
On December 5, NIU head coach Jerry Kill accepted the position of head coach for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. His announcement came less than two weeks before the Huskies were scheduled to play in the Humanitarian Bowl. Leaving the team in the manner he did (many teammates learned about his new job via Twitter instead of from Kill himself[unreliable source?]) dealt an emotional blow to the members of the team; star quarterback Chandler Harnish saying about Kill's departure, "I have a horrible taste in my mouth". Additionally, besides the emotional impact, USA Today noted "The timing of the announcement further hurts the program due to Kill most likely taking the bulk of his staff to Minnesota." On December 9, linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz was announced as the interim head coach for the Huskies bowl game, and on December 13, the university hired Wisconsin Badgers defensive coordinator Dave Doeren as the head coach, to begin after the Humanitarian Bowl.
On December 12, ESPN reported that Al Golden was offered and accepted the head coaching job at the University of Miami. Prior to the 2010 season, provisions requiring bowls to pick teams with seven or more wins if available before picking six-win teams were eliminated from NCAA bylaws, and Temple was the first team go uninvited under the rule change, despite going 8–4 including a win over eventual Big East BCS representative Connecticut. On December 22, a rumor was quickly confirmed that Florida offensive coordinator, and former Florida interim head coach (winter of 2009-2010), Steve Addazio would be the new Temple coach.
On December 16, ESPN reported that Michael Haywood, who had been named the 2010 Mid-American Conference Football Coach of the Year days before, had accepted the head football coaching position at the University of Pittsburgh. Haywood was arrested in South Bend, Indiana on December 31, 2010 on felony domestic violence charges arising from a custody dispute, and was fired by Pittsburgh hours after being released on bond the next morning. Defensive backs coach Lance Guidry will coach Miami University in the 2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl. On December 31, 2010, Miami University hired Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell as its head coach.
- "MAC Announces 2011 Football Preseason Poll". Mid-American Conference. 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- Doug Martin To Step Down Following Friday's Game With Ohio, Kent State University, 2010-11-21, archived from the original on 13 December 2010, retrieved 2010-12-20,
Kent State University head football coach Doug Martin announced today that he is resigning following the Golden Flashes' game this Friday (Nov. 26) with Ohio in Dix Stadium. Martin informed Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen of his decision Sunday afternoon.
- Kent State hires Darrell Hazell, ESPN, 2010-12-20, retrieved 2010-12-21
- Tressel statement on Hazell's departure, 2010-12-20, retrieved 2010-12-21,
Amazingly, Hazell is the first Tressel assistant to leave Ohio State for a head-coaching position since defensive coordinator Mark Snyder left for Marshall after the 2004 season.
- Stan Parrish out at Ball State, ESPN, 2010-11-24, retrieved 2010-12-20
- Adelson, Andrea (2010-12-19), Pete Lembo hired as Ball State coach, ESPN, retrieved 2010-12-20
- "Northern Illinois - Team Notes". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
- "Tom Matukewicz named NIU football interim head coach". Northern Illinois University. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
- Feldman, Bruce (2010-12-12), Source: Al Golden accepts offer to coach at Miami making $1,500,000 per year., ESPN
- "Bylaw 18.7.2 Postseason Football Championship and Postseason Bowl Licensing." (PDF), 2010–11 NCAA Division I Manual, National Collegiate Athletic Association, pp. 316–17 Note that there is no provision in this rule that gives any preference to teams with seven or more wins over 6–6 teams.
- Kern, Mike (2010-12-22), "Sources: Temple to hire Addazio", Philadelphia Inquirer, retrieved 2010-12-23,
Temple University is expected to hire Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio as its next head football coach, sources close to the situation told the Daily News today.
- "Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio to be hired as Temple football coach", Orlando Sentinel, 2010-12-22, retrieved 2010-12-23,
Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will be the next head coach at Temple, a University of Florida official confirmed...The Philadelphia Daily News first reported that Addazio would accept the position Wednesday afternoon after several papers in Pennsylvania had been reporting that he was a candidate for the opening left when Al Golden accepted the Miami job on Dec. 12.
- Conrad, Pete (2010-12-01), Haywood named MAC Coach of the Year, Dayton Daily News, archived from the original on 2011-07-26
- Associated Press (2010-12-16), Pittsburgh hires Mike Haywood, ESPN
- Pitt fires Mike Haywood, ESPN.com, 2011-01-01, retrieved 2011-01-01
- "RedHawks' defensive backs coach will lead team in GoDaddy.com Bowl". Hamilton Journal-News. 2010-12-16. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
- "Michigan State's Don Treadwell named head football coach at Miami-Ohio", MLive.com, 2010-12-31, retrieved 2011-01-03,
Treadwell confirmed to reporters at the Capital One Bowl he has been named the next football coach at Miami-Ohio.