|2011 NCAA Division I FCS season|
|Duration||September – November|
|Payton Award||Bo Levi Mitchell, Eastern Washington|
|Buchanan Award||Matt Evans, New Hampshire|
|Duration||November 26 – December 17|
|Championship date||January 7, 2012|
|Championship site||Pizza Hut Park, Frisco, TX|
|Champion||North Dakota State|
|NCAA Division I FCS football seasons|
The 2011 NCAA Division I FCS football season, part of college football in the United States, was organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. The season began on September 1, 2011, and concluded with the 2012 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game on January 7, 2012, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. North Dakota State won their first FCS championship, defeating Sam Houston State by a final score of 17–6.
New FCS program
- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), which played its first football season in school history, was technically a new FCS program. However, UTSA announced before the 2011 season that it was transitioning to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The Roadrunners played one season as an FCS independent, and under NCAA rules for transitioning programs were ineligible for the FCS playoffs. They will then join the Western Athletic Conference in 2012, but will be ineligible for FBS bowl games. UTSA will become a full FBS member upon completion of the transition in 2013. The Roadrunners, coached by former Miami head coach Larry Coker, play at the Alamodome in downtown San Antonio.
Teams transitioning to FBS
In addition to UTSA, three other schools began transitions to the FBS. They are subject to the same restrictions as UTSA regarding postseason eligibility until 2013.
- The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass), currently a member of the non-football Atlantic 10 Conference and a football-only member of the Colonial Athletic Association, will move for football only to the Mid-American Conference effective in 2012.
- The University of South Alabama, after two years as an unclassified NCAA program, played its first complete NCAA season. The Jaguars, already full members of the Sun Belt Conference, will eventually join that conference for football as well.
- Texas State University–San Marcos (Texas State), a Southland Conference member, will join the WAC along with UTSA in 2012. As a result, they were classified as an FCS Independent in 2011 despite playing a full seven-game Southland Conference schedule.
FCS team wins over FBS teams
- September 3:
- September 17:
- September 24:
Automatic berths for conference champions
- Big Sky Conference – Montana
- Big South Conference – Stony Brook
- Colonial Athletic Association – Towson
- Missouri Valley Football Conference – North Dakota State
- Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – Norfolk State
- Northeast Conference – Albany
- Ohio Valley Conference – Tennessee Tech
- Patriot League – Lehigh
- Southern Conference – Georgia Southern
- Southland Conference – Sam Houston State
At large qualifiers
- Big Sky Conference – Montana State
- Colonial Athletic Association – James Madison, Maine, New Hampshire, Old Dominion
- Missouri Valley Football Conference – Northern Iowa
- Ohio Valley Conference – Eastern Kentucky
- Southern Conference – Appalachian State, Wofford
- Southland Conference – Central Arkansas
NCAA FCS Playoff bracket
December 9 and December 10
December 16 and December 17
|National Championship Game|
|Albany||28||1||Sam Houston State*||34|
|Stony Brook*||31||1||Sam Houston State*||49|
|1||Sam Houston State*||31|
|1||Sam Houston State||6|
|2||North Dakota State||17|
|James Madison||20||2||North Dakota State*||26|
|Eastern Kentucky*||17||2||North Dakota State*||24|
|2||North Dakota State*||35|
|Norfolk State||18||3||Georgia Southern*||55|
|Old Dominion*||35||3||Georgia Southern*||35|
* Host institution
SWAC Championship Game
|Date||Location||Venue||West Div. Champion||East Div. Champion||Result|
|December 10||Birmingham, Alabama||Legion Field||Grambling State||Alabama A&M||GSU 16 – AAMU 15|
- "UMass Announces Elevation to FBS Football and Invitation from MAC" (Press release). UMass Athletics. April 20, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-03-26. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- Benson, Reggie (December 10, 2011). "Bulldogs come up short again against Tigers". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved December 10, 2011.