2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season
The 2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season is a season of college football games in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at its highest level of competition, the Football Bowl Subdivision. The regular season began on August 24, 2019 and is scheduled to end on December 14, 2019. The postseason will conclude on January 13, 2020 with the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. This is the sixth season of the College Football Playoff (CFP) championship system.
|2019 NCAA Division I FBS season|
College football 150th anniversary logo
|Number of teams||130|
|Duration||August 24, 2019 – December 14, 2019|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Clemson Tigers|
|Duration||December 21, 2019 – January 13, 2020|
|AP Poll No. 1||TBD|
|Coaches Poll No. 1||TBD|
|College Football Playoff|
|2020 College Football Playoff National Championship|
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Division I FBS football seasons|
November 6, 2019 will mark the 150th anniversary of what is traditionally considered the first college football game, played between Princeton and Rutgers in 1869. Various sports media, the NCAA, and the CFP will be honoring the 150th anniversary of the sport throughout the season. Because there were no games played during the 1871 season, this is also the 150th season of college football.
- 1 Conference realignment
- 2 Rule changes
- 3 Other headlines
- 4 Updated stadiums
- 5 Upcoming stadiums
- 6 Kickoff games
- 7 Regular season top 10 matchups
- 8 Upsets
- 9 Conference standings
- 10 Bowl selections
- 11 Rankings
- 12 Coaching changes
- 13 Television viewers and ratings
- 14 See also
- 15 Notes
- 16 References
|School||Former conference||New conference|
The following playing rule changes have been approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel for 2019:
- Requiring replay reviews on targeting calls be either confirmed or overturned by reviewing all aspects of the play. If the review cannot confirm that all elements of targeting exist, the targeting call will be overturned.
- Players who commit three or more targeting penalties in the same season will receive a one-game suspension in addition to any ejection penalties.
- Eliminating the two-man wedge on kickoffs, except when the kicking team is in an obvious onside kick formation or if the kick results in a touchback, fair catch, or goes out of bounds in the field of play.
- Starting with the fifth overtime period, each team will line up at the three-yard line to attempt a two point conversion instead of snapping the ball from the 25 yard line. The first game using this new procedure was on October 19, 2019, between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Virginia Tech Hokies which went six overtimes before Virginia Tech won 43-41.
- Adding a two-minute break after the second and fourth overtime period.
- Blindside blocks delivered with forcible contact will draw a 15-yard penalty (personal foul). If elements of targeting exist, the player delivering the block will be subject to ejection (and suspension if it's the third targeting foul in the season) as with any other targeting foul.
- January 31 - The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions banned Missouri's football, baseball and softball teams from competing in the postseason for the 2019 season and placed the athletics department on three years of probation as a result of academic fraud. The penalties were handed down after a two-year investigation into alleged academic fraud at the SEC institution, after an internal investigation conducted by the University of Missouri. The football, baseball and softball programs will have a 5 percent reduction in scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year. They also will have a seven-week ban on unofficial visits, a 12.5 percent reduction in official visits and evaluation days, and a seven-week ban on recruiting communications and off-campus recruiting evaluation days. The NCAA also fined Missouri $5,000, plus 1 percent of each of its budgets in football, baseball and softball. Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk issued a statement saying the school will file an appeal. The punishments come from former Missouri tutor Yolanda Kumar alleging in November 2016 that she improperly assisted 42 student-athletes after she was groomed by her superiors to commit what she called "academic dishonesty." Kumar alleged that she completed online courses and took final exams for Missouri men's basketball and football players. The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions found that Kumar violated NCAA ethical conduct, academic misconduct and academic extra benefits rules when she completed academic work for 12 student-athletes. The NCAA did not find evidence that her colleagues directed her to complete the athletes' work, the NCAA said in its report. Kumar was given a 10-year show-cause order, in which any NCAA member attempting to hire her must restrict her from any athletic-related duties.
- February 8 - Ohio State University Athletic Director Gene Smith announced that he is stepping down from the CFP selection committee in order to focus on helping head coach Ryan Day. He will be replaced by Iowa athletic director Gary Barta.
- February 12 - Ole Miss Athletic Director Ross Bjork announced that Ole Miss will vacate 33 victories from their football program between the seasons of 2010 and 2016 due to fielding ineligible players. The Rebels will vacate four wins from 2010, two from 2011, seven from 2012, seven from 2013, eight from 2014 and five from 2016, to include a victory over Alabama in 2014. The vacated wins stem from an investigation into the Ole Miss football program involving academic, booster and recruiting misconduct, and a lack of institutional control. Mississippi had already served a two-year postseason ban in 2017 and 2018 and was given three years of probation, through 2020, as well as scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions in sanctions handed down more than a year ago.
- March 9 - U.S. District Judge Claudia Ann Wilken ruled against the NCAA in an antitrust lawsuit, saying football and basketball players should be permitted to receive more compensation from schools but only if the benefits are tied to education. Her ruling said the NCAA cannot "limit compensation or benefits related to education." The claim was originally brought forward by West Virginia football player Shawne Alston, and later merged with other lawsuits, including one brought forward by Clemson player Martin Jenkins. Judge Wilken had previously ruled against the NCAA in the O'Bannon v. NCAA lawsuit brought against the NCAA by former UCLA player Ed O'Bannon.
- May 13 - The Orange Bowl was rescheduled for December 30, 2019, after initially being scheduled on New Year's Day, 2020. The adjustment was made to allow the 2019 Orange Bowl to maintain its status as a prime-time event. Had it remained on New Year's Day, it would have been scheduled to play in the afternoon, rather than at night. It is not a College Football Playoff Semifinal game this season.
- June 4 - The Big Ten and SEC announced changes to its bowl tie-ins for the 2020 season through 2025. The two conferences joined the Belk Bowl and Las Vegas Bowl in alternating years; the Big Ten will play the Las Vegas Bowl in odd-numbered years, and the SEC in even-numbered years, both against a Pac-12 opponent. This move acts to heighten the profile of the game, as it plans to move to Allegiant Stadium (future home of the NFL's Oakland Raiders) in 2020. The conference not playing the Las Vegas bowl will play an ACC opponent at the Belk Bowl. The Big Ten will also gain a tie-in for the Cheez-It Bowl. In return, the Big Ten will drop the Gator Bowl and Holiday Bowl.
- June 27 - The Big East Conference, following a vote of approval by the presidents of the conference's current members, announced that the University of Connecticut will be joining the Big East in academic year 2020−21. Thus, the 2019 season will be UConn's last in the American Athletic Conference. UConn had not yet determined which conference their football team will play in, as the AAC will not allow UConn to remain as a football-only member and the Big East does not currently sponsor football. UConn was a charter member of the original Big East when it formed in 1979. The original conference split along football lines in 2013, with three football-sponsoring schools departing for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the seven schools without FBS football leaving to form a new Big East Conference, and the remaining FBS schools joining with several new members to reorganize the original Big East corporate entity as The American. All three members of the current Big East that sponsor football play that sport in FCS conferences.
- July 26 – Multiple media reports indicated that UConn and The American had reached a buyout agreement that cemented July 2020 as UConn's exit date. The fee was reportedly $17 million. UConn also announced that its football team would become an FBS independent.
- August 19 & 20 – Arkansas State announced that head coach Blake Anderson had taken a leave of absence while his wife Wendy was dealing with a second bout with breast cancer. The following day, the coach posted on Twitter that his wife had died. During Anderson's bereavement leave, Red Wolves defensive coordinator David Duggan would serve as interim head coach. Anderson would return to the sidelines for the Red Wolves' September 7 game at UNLV.
- September 30 – California governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act into law, which upon taking effect in 2023 will prohibit public colleges and universities in the state from punishing their athletes for earning endorsement income. The bill places the state in direct conflict with the NCAA's current business model, which prohibits college athletes from receiving such income. At the time the bill was signed, several other states were proposing similar laws.
- October 19 — Illinois upset Wisconsin 24-23 on a last-second field goal. The 30 1/2 point underdog's win was the biggest upset in Big Ten football since Northwestern's win over Minnesota in 1982 as a 32 point underdog. This was Illinois's first win over a ranked opponent since defeating Arizona State in 2011. Also in this game, Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor became the 4th player in FBS football history to reach 5,000 career rushing yards during his junior season (including bowl games), joining former Georgia running back Herschel Walker, former Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne, and former Oregon running back LaMichael James. Taylor reached this milestone in 736 career rushes, less than the previous quickest to this milestone (James in 755 career rushes).
- Iowa is rebuilding the north end zone of Kinnick Stadium. The $89.9 million upgrade will feature the addition of box seating, outdoor club seating, and a new scoreboard. The entire project is nearing completion and is expected to be finished in time for the Hawkeyes' 2019 home opener.
- Liberty is expanding the Arthur L. Williams Football Operations Center at Williams Stadium; additions to the east and west sides of the building will bring the center to about 75,000 square feet. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the 2020 season.
- Missouri is rebuilding the south end zone of Faurot Field. The $98 million upgrade will feature new suites, club seats and a 750-person membership only field-level club, with reconstruction expected to be completed in time for the 2019 season.
- Old Dominion is currently rebuilding the east and west grandstands of Ballard Stadium. The $24.8 million upgrade began with demolition of the old grandstands immediately after the Monarchs' last 2018 home game, with reconstruction expected to be completed in time for ODU's 2019 home opener.
- Syracuse began a $118 million, two-phase renovation of the Carrier Dome during the summer of 2019. The centerpiece of the first phase, planned to be completed in time for the 2020 football season, will see the Dome's inflatable roof replaced by a new fixed, semi-translucent roof. Other improvements in this phase include a new scoreboard that can be moved to optimal positions for football or basketball, Wi-Fi improvements, new sound and lighting systems, and accessibility upgrades. The second phase, to be completed in 2022, will see the installation of air conditioning, new concessions space, and further accessibility upgrades.
- Coastal Carolina has completed the expansion of Brooks Stadium, adding an Upper Deck and Suites to the west grandstands. This expansion brings the seating capacity to 20,000.
- The 2019 season will be the last for South Alabama at its current home of Ladd–Peebles Stadium. The school began construction of the new on-campus Hancock Whitney Stadium in 2018, and plans to open the 25,000-seat facility in time for the 2020 season.
- The Birmingham–Jefferson Civic Center Authority began construction on UAB's new home of Protective Stadium on the grounds of the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex on July 25, 2019. The new venue, seating 55,000, is planned to open in 2021.
- The 2019 season is expected to be the last for UNLV at its current off-campus home of Sam Boyd Stadium. For 2020 and beyond, the Rebels will move to the new Allegiant Stadium, also off-campus but much closer to the school, alongside the stadium's primary tenant, the relocated Las Vegas Raiders of the NFL.
The regular season began with two games on Saturday, August 24:
- Camping World Kickoff (Camping World Stadium, Orlando): No. 8 Florida defeated Miami (FL), 24–20
- Hawaii defeated Arizona, 45–38
The majority of FBS teams opened the season on Labor Day weekend. Three neutral-site "kickoff" games were held.
- Belk College Kickoff Game (Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte): North Carolina defeated South Carolina, 24–20
- Advocare Classic (AT&T Stadium, Arlington): No. 16 Auburn defeated No. 11 Oregon, 27–21
- Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta): No. 2 Alabama defeated Duke, 42–3
An additional "kickoff game" was held in week 3, on Friday, September 13.
Regular season top 10 matchupsEdit
Rankings reflect the AP Poll. Rankings for Week 11 and beyond will list College Football Playoff Rankings first and AP Poll second. Teams that fail to be a top 10 team for one poll or the other will be noted.
- Week 2
- Week 4
- Week 6
- Week 7
- Week 9
- No. 2 LSU vs. No. 9 Auburn, (Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Through eight weeks of the college football season, there have been several times that an unranked opponent defeated a ranked opponent. Undoubtedly, two of the biggest upsets of the season occurred in weeks seven and eight.
#3 Georgia (-20.5) falls to South Carolina in 2/OT
On October 12, #3 Georgia (5-0, 2-0) played a home conference game against South Carolina (2-3, 1-2). The Bulldogs, who had won five straight against the Gamecocks were favored by 20.5 points. Though Georgia out gained South Carolina by more than 170 yards, they had four turnovers, to South Carolina's zero. Tied at 17, the game went to two overtimes where South Carolina converted on a 24-yard field goal and Georgia was unable to score.
#6 Wisconsin (-30.5) defeated by Illinois on last second field goal
On October 19, #6 Wisconsin (6-0) was heavily favored, by 30.5 points, against conference rivals Illinois (2-4, 0-2). The game was played at Illinois' stadium in Champaign, Illinois. Wisconsin lead the entire game until a last second field goal was made by Illinois to give them a 24-23 win. Wisconsin turned over the ball on their last two drives which allowed Illinois to score twice in the last six minutes of the game.The Badgers had previously defeated the Fighting Illini in nine straight match ups. 
|Week||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|Wk 2||California||20||#14 Washington||19|
|Wk 3||Arizona State||10||#18 Michigan State||7|
|Wk 4||USC||30||#10 Utah||23|
|UCLA||67||#19 Washington State||63|
|Colorado||34||#24 Arizona State||31|
|Wk 5||Arizona State||24||#15 California||17|
|Oklahoma State||26||#24 Kansas State||13|
|Wk 6||Cincinnati||27||#18 UCF||24|
|Texas Tech||45||#21 Oklahoma State||35|
|Wk 7||Miami (FL)||17||#20 Virginia||9|
|South Carolina||20||#3 Georgia||17|
|Louisville||62||#19 Wake Forest||59|
|Wk 8||Illinois||24||#6 Wisconsin||23|
|BYU||28||#14 Boise State||25|
- ACC (2): Clemson, Wake Forest
- American (3): Cincinnati, Memphis, SMU
- Big Ten (4): Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin
- Big 12 (2): Baylor, Oklahoma
- C-USA (2): Louisiana Tech, UAB
- Independent (0):
- MAC (0):
- Mountain West (2): Boise State, San Diego State
- Pac-12 (2): Oregon, Utah
- SEC (5): Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU
- Sun Belt (1): Appalachian State
An asterisk (*) indicates the team did not receive a bowl bid.
Number of bowl berths available: 78
Number of bowl-eligible teams: 23
- American (0):
- ACC (0):
- Big Ten (0):
- Big 12 (0):
- C-USA (1): Rice
- Independent (1): New Mexico State
- MAC (1): Akron
- Mountain West (0):
- Pac-12 (0):
- SEC (1): Missouri **
- Sun Belt (0):
Number of bowl-ineligible teams: 4
** Missouri is ineligible for a bowl game due to NCAA sanctions.
Preseason and in-seasonEdit
This is restricted to coaching changes taking place on or after May 1, 2019. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2019, see 2018 NCAA Division I FBS end-of-season coaching changes.
|Rutgers||Chris Ash||September 29, 2019||Fired||Nunzio Campanile (Interim)|
Television viewers and ratingsEdit
Most watched regular season gamesEdit
|Rank||Date||Matchup||Network||Viewers (millions)||TV Rating||Significance|
|1||September 21, 8:00 ET||#7 Notre Dame||17||#3 Georgia||23||CBS||9.29||5.4||College GameDay|
|2||September 7, 7:30 ET||#6 LSU||45||#9 Texas||38||ABC||8.63||5.0||College GameDay|
|3||October 12, 12:00 ET||#6 Oklahoma||34||#11 Texas||27||FOX||7.25||4.5||Red River Showdown|
|4||August 31, 7:30 ET||#11 Oregon||21||#16 Auburn||27||ABC||6.86||4.0||Advocare Classic / College GameDay|
|5||October 5, 7:30 ET||#25 Michigan State||10||#4 Ohio State||34||6.68||3.9|
|6||October 19, 7:30 ET||#16 Michigan||21||#7 Penn State||28||6.66||4.0||College GameDay|
|7||September 7, 3:30 ET||#12 Texas A&M||10||#1 Clemson||24||6.46||4.0|
|8||October 12, 8:00 ET||#7 Florida||28||#5 LSU||42||ESPN||6.45||3.6||Rivalry / College GameDay|
|9||October 5, 3:30 ET||#7 Auburn||13||#10 Florida||24||CBS||6.43||3.9||Rivalry / College GameDay|
|10||September 28, 7:30 ET||#5 Ohio State||48||Nebraska||7||ABC||6.14||3.5||College GameDay|
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- "NCAA penalizes Missouri football, baseball and softball for academic fraud". ESPN.com. February 1, 2019.
- "Ohio State's Gene Smith stepping down from College Football Playoff committee". ESPN.com. February 8, 2019.
- "Ole Miss football forced to vacate 33 wins over six seasons for NCAA violations". ESPN.com. February 12, 2019.
- "Judge rules against NCAA in antitrust lawsuit". ESPN.com. March 9, 2019.
- "Orange Bowl changed from Jan. 1 to Dec. 30". ESPN.com. May 13, 2019.
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- Ryan, Shannon (October 19, 2019). "Illinois stuns No. 6 Wisconsin 24-23 with a field goal as time expires: 'I thought I woke up from a dream'". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
- Rittenberg, Adam (October 19, 2019). "Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor becomes 3rd in FBS to 5,000 rushing yards as junior". espn.com. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
- "Kinnick House Near Completion City Looks To Add Regulations". KWWL.com. September 20, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
- "Football Operations Center to see upgrade after 2018 season". liberty.edu. May 4, 2018. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
- "Mizzou Starts Construction On South End Zone Project". KOMU.com. March 18, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- "Old Dominion Begins Demolition Of Foreman Field". WTKR.com. November 19, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "SU Announces Carrier Dome Renovations". Carthage, NY: WWNY-TV. May 15, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- Carlsson, Chris (May 14, 2018). "Syracuse's $118 million Carrier Dome renovations to include new roof, air conditioning". The Post-Standard. Syracuse, NY. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- Blondin, Alan (August 8, 2019). "Expansion of Brooks Stadium is complete. What the new capacity and features mean for CCU". The Sun News. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
- Stephenson, Creg (January 15, 2019). "South Alabama, Hancock Whitney Bank agree to 10-year football stadium naming rights deal". al.com. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Beahm, Anna (July 25, 2019). "Crews dig in at new Birmingham stadium site". al.com. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
- Johnson, Roy S. (April 11, 2019). "Protective Life gets naming rights for Birmingham's new stadium". al.com. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- "South Carolina vs. Georgia - Game Summary - October 12, 2019 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
- "Wisconsin vs. Illinois - Play-By-Play - October 19, 2019 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
- "College Football TV Ratings". SportsMediaWatch.com. Retrieved 12 September 2019.