2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season
|2017 NCAA Division I FBS season|
|Number of teams||129 + 1 transitional|
|Duration||August 26, 2017 – December 9, 2017|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Alabama Crimson Tide|
|Duration||December 16, 2017 – January 8, 2018|
|AP Poll No. 1||TBD|
|Coaches Poll No. 1||TBD|
|College Football Playoff|
|2018 College Football Playoff National Championship|
|NCAA Division I FBS football seasons|
The 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season is the highest level of college football competition in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 2017. The regular season began on August 26, 2017 and is scheduled to end on December 9, 2017. The postseason will conclude on January 8, 2018 with the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship in Atlanta. This is the fourth season of the College Football Playoff championship system.
The following rule changes were recommended by the NCAA Football Rules Committee for the 2017 season:
- Prohibiting defensive players running toward the line of scrimmage from leaping or hurdling any offensive lineman on field goal or PAT attempts (15 yards). Previously defensive players were allowed to leap or hurdle offensive linemen as long as they do not land on another player. The NFL also adopted this rule for the 2017 season.
- Requiring players to wear knee pads and pants that cover the knees. Previously this was only a recommendation.
- Include the nameplate on the back of the jersey in the definition of a "horse-collar tackle".
The committee left the current targeting rules unchanged for the 2017 season, despite discussions to modify the rule to eject a player for targeting only if the call is confirmed, not if the call stands due to lack of "indisputable video evidence" to overturn the ruling on the field.
Points of emphasis this season include speeding up games by:
- Promptly starting the second half when the halftime clock reaches 0:00.
- Penalizing coaches for coming on the field to argue a call (15 yards, unsportsmanlike conduct).
- Starting the game clock immediately upon spotting the ball after a ball carrier goes out of bounds (outside of the last 2:00 of each half).
- The NCAA Division I Council approved a suite of rule changes affecting the recruiting process. The most significant of these are:
- Effective with the 2017–18 school year, a national early signing period for high school players will be introduced, at a time in December to be announced later.
- The current limit of 25 new scholarships (or financial aid agreements) per academic year will become an absolute limit (with only narrowly defined exceptions). This has been seen by media as ending the phenomenon of oversigning.
- FBS programs may no longer conduct so-called "satellite camps"—i.e., camps or clinics that feature active FBS coaches or football staff members held at locations distant from the school's campus. Effective immediately, FBS coaches may only work at camps for a total of 10 days in June and July, and can only attend camps if they are located on their school's campus, or at an off-campus facility where their program regularly practices or plays home games. Schools are allowed to honor contracts for satellite camps that were signed before January 18, 2017.
- The Collegiate Commissioners Association, which controls the letter of intent program, approved the recruiting changes approved last month by the Division I Council. The early signing period for high schoolers is fixed as the first three days of the midyear signing period for junior college players; in 2017, this window will fall on December 20–22.
|School||Former conference||New conference|
|Coastal Carolina Chanticleers||FCS independent||Sun Belt|
|UAB Blazers||No team||C-USA|
Coastal Carolina is in the second year of its FBS transition. It is counted as an FBS opponent for scheduling purposes but will not become a full bowl-eligible member until the 2018 season.
The UAB football team returned after a two-year absence. The program was shut down by school administrators following the 2014 season but was reinstated less than a year later. UAB resumed its place as a full, football-sponsoring member of Conference USA.
Idaho and New Mexico State are playing their final seasons as football members of the Sun Belt Conference. Idaho is also playing its last season at the FBS level; following the decision of the Sun Belt to not extend its football membership agreements with the two schools after their expirations in 2017, Idaho announced that it would downgrade to FCS and add football to its standing membership in the Big Sky Conference. New Mexico State will tentatively revert to FBS Independent status for 2018 and beyond.
Two schools opened new stadiums for the 2017 season:
- Colorado State opened Sonny Lubick Field at Colorado State Stadium. The on-campus facility, with a capacity of 41,201, replaces the off-campus Hughes Stadium, which had been home to the Rams since 1968.
- Georgia State moved from the Georgia Dome, set to be demolished during the 2017 season, to Georgia State Stadium. This is the third incarnation of a stadium that opened in 1996 as the Centennial Olympic Stadium, built for the 1996 Summer Olympics. The stadium was planned from the beginning to be retrofitted into a baseball park for the Atlanta Braves, and opened in that form as Turner Field in 1997. After the Braves vacated Turner Field following their 2016 season to move into SunTrust Park, Georgia State bought Turner Field and adjacent property for a major campus expansion project. In its football form, the stadium initially seats 23,000 with possible future expansion to 33,000.
Several other schools plan to debut major improvements to their existing venues for 2017:
- Arizona State is continuing a four-phase renovation of Sun Devil Stadium. The third phase, slated for completion in time for the 2017 season, includes the addition of a new video board above the north end zone.
- Coastal Carolina will make its FBS debut in an expanded Brooks Stadium. The expansion project began immediately after the 2015 season, a few months after Coastal announced it would join the Sun Belt Conference in 2016 for non-football sports and 2017 for football. The venue, which previously held 9,200 people, will now have a capacity of 15,000 for the 2017 season, and will be further expanded to 20,000 in 2018.
- West Virginia is nearing completion of approximately $50 million in renovations to Milan Puskar Stadium. Work on the west and south side gates and concourses, including renovations to concessions, restrooms, and additional space for EMS and police operations, is expected to be complete for 2017, mirroring similar work on the north and east sides completed for 2016.
- Louisiana Tech will open a new pressbox and suite complex on the west side of Joe Aillet Stadium which includes new ticketing facilities and restrooms. Also included in the renovations are, new LED stadium lighting fixtures.
- Notre Dame will debut the Campus Crossroads project, which will add three new 8-story structures on the South, West and East sides of Notre Dame Stadium. The expansion will add new premium stadium seats on the East and West sides of the stadium and feature more than 750,000 square feet of teaching, research, and performance space.
Two schools announced naming rights deals for their stadiums:
- Kentucky renamed its stadium from Commonwealth Stadium to Kroger Field per a 12-year naming rights deal with the Cincinnati-based supermarket company. This makes UK the first Southeastern Conference school to enter into such a deal for its football stadium.
- New Mexico renames its stadium from University Stadium to Dreamstyle Stadium per a 10-year naming rights deal with Albuquerque-based construction firm Dreamstyle Remodeling.
- A recent rule change allows Hawai'i, and teams that have a scheduled game at Hawai'i, to play during the "Week Zero" kickoff weekend in late August. This change better accommodates the long-standing "Hawai'i rule" that allows schools which travel between Hawai'i and the mainland (including schools based in Hawai'i) to schedule an extra game each season. Four schools have taken advantage of the extra week:
- Hawai'i played at UMass on August 26, with the visitors winning 38–35. UMass ended their 2016 season with a loss at Hawai'i, and thus opened their 2017 season against the same opponent.
- BYU hosted FCS opponent Portland State on August 26, winning 20–6.
- San Jose State hosted USF on August 26, with the visitors winning 42–22.
- Colorado State hosted Oregon State on August 26 in the first game at the Rams' new stadium (see above), and won 58–27.
- Stanford and Rice played in Sydney on August 26 (August 27 local time) for the second Sydney Cup, won by Stanford in a 62–7 blowout. This was the second straight year a Pac-12 team went to Australia, as California defeated Hawai'i in the first Sydney Cup to open the 2016 season.
During the official Week 1 (as usual, held the weekend before Labor Day), several neutral-site "kickoff weekend" games were held, in addition to a full slate of games held at home stadiums around the U.S.:
- Advocare Classic
- Belk Kickoff Game
- Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games
- Advocare Texas Kickoff
For purposes of this table, an "upset" involves an unranked team defeating a ranked team.
FBS rankings prior to November 1 are from the AP Poll, and from the College Football Playoff rankings after that date.
|Maryland||51–41||#23 Texas||September 2|
|Memphis||48–45||#25 UCLA||September 16|
|Mississippi State||37–7||#12 LSU||September 16|
|Vanderbilt||14–7||#18 Kansas State||September 16|
|San Diego State||20–17||#19 Stanford||September 16|
|NC State||27–21||#12 Florida State||September 23|
|Arizona State||37–35||#24 Oregon||September 23|
|Troy||24–21||#25 LSU||September 30|
|Iowa State||38–31||#3 Oklahoma||October 7|
|LSU||17–16||#21 Florida||October 7|
|Michigan State||14–10||#7 Michigan||October 7|
|Stanford||23–20||#20 Utah||October 7|
|Syracuse||27–24||#2 Clemson||October 13|
|California||37–3||#8 Washington State||October 13|
|West Virginia||46–35||#24 Texas Tech||October 14|
|LSU||27–23||#10 Auburn||October 14|
|Memphis||30–27||#25 Navy||October 14|
|Boise State||31–14||#19 San Diego State||October 14|
|Arizona State||13–7||#5 Washington||October 14|
|Northwestern||39–31 3OT||#16 Michigan State||October 28|
|Houston||28–24||#17 South Florida||October 28|
|Arizona||58–37||#15 Washington State||October 28|
|Iowa||55–24||#6 Ohio State||November 4|
|West Virginia||20–16||#15 Iowa State||November 4|
|Stanford||30–22||#9 Washington||November 10|
|Georgia Tech||28–22||#17 Virginia Tech||November 11|
|Kansas State||45–40||#13 Oklahoma State||November 18|
|Wake Forest||30–24||#19 NC State||November 18|
|Ole Miss||31–28||#16 Mississippi State||November 23|
|Pittsburgh||24–14||#2 Miami||November 24|
|Fresno State||28–17||#23 Boise State||November 25|
Through the 2015 season, conferences were required to have a minimum of 12 members to play a conference championship game that was exempt from the NCAA limit of 12 regular-season games. The NCAA removed this requirement effective with the 2016 season. At that time, all FBS conferences except the Big 12 and Sun Belt Conferences held season-ending championship games. With the Big 12 reinstating its championship game for the 2017 season, only the Sun Belt Conference determines its champion solely by regular-season records, and that conference will launch a championship game in 2018.
|Conference||Champion||Runner-up||Score||Offensive Player of the Year||Defensive Player of the Year||Coach of the Year|
|American||#20 Memphis (West) at #14 UCF (East)||McKenzie Milton, UCF||Ed Oliver, Houston||Scott Frost, UCF|
|ACC||#1 Clemson (Atlantic) vs. #7 Miami (Coastal)||Lamar Jackson, Louisville||Bradley Chubb, NC State||Mark Richt, Miami|
|Big 12||#3 Oklahoma vs. #11 TCU (#2 seed)||Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma||Ogbo Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
Malik Jefferson, Texas
|Matt Campbell, Iowa State|
|Big Ten||#8 Ohio State (East) vs. #4 Wisconsin (West)||Saquon Barkley, Penn State||Josey Jewell, Iowa||Paul Chryst, Wisconsin|
|C-USA||North Texas (West) at Florida Atlantic (East)|
|MAC||Akron (East) vs. Toledo (West)||Logan Woodside, Toledo||Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois||Jason Candle, Toledo|
|MW||#25 Fresno State (West) at Boise State (Mountain)||Rashaad Penny, San Diego State||Leighton Vander, Boise State||Jeff Tedford, Fresno State|
|Pac-12||#14 Stanford (North) vs. #11 USC (South)|
|SEC||#6 Georgia (East) vs. #2 Auburn (West)|
For the 39 post-season bowl games, teams should be bowl eligible to be selected. Normally, this requires a team to have a minimum of a 0.500 winning percentage. If there are not be enough winning teams to fulfill all open bowl slots, teams with losing records could be chosen in order to fill all 78 slots. Additionally, in the rare occasions where a conference champion does not meet eligibility requirements, they are usually still chosen for bowl games with tie-ins for that conference champion.
Bowl eligible teams
- American Athletic Conference (7): Houston, Memphis, Navy, South Florida, SMU, Temple, UCF
- Atlantic Coast Conference (9): Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
- Big 12 Conference (8): Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, West Virginia
- Big Ten Conference (8): Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
- Conference USA (10): Florida Atlantic, FIU, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Southern Miss, UAB, Western Kentucky, UTSA
- Independents (2): Army, Notre Dame
- Mid-American Conference (7): Akron, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan
- Mountain West Conference (6): Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, San Diego State, Utah State, Wyoming
- Pac-12 Conference (9): Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State
- Southeastern Conference (9): Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M
- Sun Belt Conference (4): Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Georgia State, Troy
Bowl ineligible teams
- The American (5): Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, Tulane, Tulsa
- ACC (4): North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
- Big Ten (6): Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rutgers
- Big 12 (2): Baylor, Kansas
- Conference USA (4): Charlotte, Old Dominion, Rice, Texas-El Paso
- Independent (2): BYU, UMass
- MAC (5): Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (OH)
- Mountain West (6): Air Force, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV
- Pac-12 (3): California, Colorado, Oregon State
- SEC (5): Arkansas, Mississippi (self-imposed ban), Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida
- Sun Belt (6): Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Idaho, Louisiana–Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State
Teams one win away from bowl eligibility
- ACC (1): Florida State
- Sun Belt (2): Louisiana-Lafayette, New Mexico State
Preseason and in-season
This is restricted to coaching changes taking place on or after May 1, 2017. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2017, see 2016 NCAA Division I FBS end-of-season coaching changes.
|Oklahoma||Bob Stoops||June 7, 2017||Retired||Lincoln Riley|
|Ole Miss||Hugh Freeze||July 20, 2017||Resigned||Matt Luke|
|Coastal Carolina||Joe Moglia||July 28, 2017||Medical leave||Jamey Chadwell (interim)|
|UTEP||Sean Kugler||October 1, 2017||Resigned||Mike Price (interim)|
|Oregon State||Gary Andersen||October 9, 2017||Resigned||Cory Hall (interim)|
|Georgia Southern||Tyson Summers||October 22, 2017||Fired||Chad Lunsford|
|Florida||Jim McElwain||October 29, 2017||Fired||Randy Shannon (interim)|
|Tennessee||Butch Jones||November 12, 2017||Fired||Brady Hoke (Interim)|
|UCLA||Jim Mora||November 19, 2017||Fired||Jedd Fisch (Interim)|
End of season
This list includes coaching changes announced during the season that did not take effect until the end of the season.
|South Alabama||Joey Jones||November 20, 2017||Resigned|
|Kent State||Paul Haynes||November 22, 2017||Fired|
|Arkansas||Bret Bielema||November 24, 2017||Fired||Paul Rhoads (Interim)|
|UCLA||Jedd Fisch (Interim)||November 25, 2017||Permanent replacement||Chip Kelly|
|Nebraska||Mike Riley||November 25, 2017||Fired||Trent Bray (Interim)|
|Arizona State||Todd Graham||November 26, 2017||Fired|
|Florida||Randy Shannon (interim)||November 26, 2017||Permanent replacement||Dan Mullen|
|Mississippi State||Dan Mullen||November 26, 2017||Hired by Florida||Joe Moorhead|
|Texas A&M||Kevin Sumlin||November 26, 2017||Fired||Jeff Banks (interim)|
|Rice||David Bailiff||November 27, 2017||Fired|
|Oregon State||Cory Hall||November 30, 2017||Permanent replacement||Jonathan Smith|
Awards and honors
- The Heisman Trophy is given to the year's most outstanding player. Finalists:
- Archie Griffin Award (MVP): Finalists:
- AP Player of the Year: Finalists:
- Chic Harley Award (Player of the Year): Finalists:
- Maxwell Award (top player): Finalists:
- SN Player of the Year: Finalists:
- Walter Camp Award (top player): Finalists:
- Burlsworth Trophy (top player who began as walk-on): Finalists:
- Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player): Finalists:
- Campbell Trophy ("academic Heisman"): Finalists:
- Sam Benger, Carnegie Mellon (DIII)
- Braxton Berrios, Miami
- Mason Hampton, Boise State
- Justin Jackson, Northwestern
- Micah Kiser, Virginia
- Justin Lea, Jacksonville State (FCS)
- Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State
- Marcus Martin, Slippery Rock (DII)
- Chandon Sullivan, Georgia State
- Blaise Taylor, Arkansas State
- Marlon Walls, Stephen F. Austin (FCS)
- Chris Weber, Nebraska
- Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State (FCS)
- Wuerffel Trophy (humanitarian-athlete): Finalists:
- POLY POY (Polynesian College Football Player of the Year): Finalists:
- Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Finalists:
- Johnny Unitas Award (senior/4th year quarterback): Finalists:
- Kellen Moore Award (quarterback):
- Manning Award (quarterback): Finalists:
- Sammy Baugh Trophy (passing quarterback): Finalists:
- Doak Walker Award (running back): Finalists:
- Jim Brown Trophy (running back): Finalists:
- Fred Biletnikoff Award (wide receiver): Finalists:
- John Mackey Award (tight end): Finalists:
- Dave Rimington Trophy (center): Finalists:
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defensive player): Finalists:
- Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player): Finalists:
- Bradley Chubb, NC State
- Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
- Roquan Smith, Georgia
- Lott Trophy (defensive impact): Finalists:
- Bill Willis Award (defensive lineman): Finalists:
- Dick Butkus Award (linebacker): Finalists:
- Jack Lambert Trophy (linebacker): Finalists:
- Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end): Finalists:
- Paycom Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back): Finalists:
- Jack Tatum Trophy (defensive back): Finalists:
- Lou Groza Award (placekicker): Finalists:
- Ray Guy Award (punter): Finalists:
Other positional awards
- Outland Trophy (interior lineman on either offense or defense): Finalists:
Television viewers and ratings
Most watched regular season games
|Rank||Date||Matchup||Network||Viewers (millions)||TV Rating||Significance|
|1||November 25, 3:30 ET||#1 Alabama||14||#6 Auburn||26||CBS||13.66||7.6||Iron Bowl/College GameDay|
|2||September 2, 8:00 ET||#3 Florida State||7||#1 Alabama||24||ABC||12.34||6.9||Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game/College GameDay|
|3||November 25, 12:00 ET||Michigan||20||#9 Ohio State||31||FOX||10.51||6.1||The Game|
|4||October 28, 3:30 ET||#2 Penn State||38||#6 Ohio State||39||9.87||5.7||Rivalry/College GameDay|
|5||September 9, 7:30 ET||#5 Oklahoma||31||#2 Ohio State||16||ABC||8.08||4.6||College GameDay|
|6||September 2, 3:30 ET||#11 Michigan||33||#17 Florida||17||7.65||4.9||Advocare Classic|
|7||November 11, 3:30 ET||#1 Georgia||17||#10 Auburn||40||CBS||7.41||4.4||Deep South's Oldest Rivalry|
|8||November 11, 7:00 ET||#2 Alabama||31||#16 Mississippi State||24||ESPN||7.03||3.9||Rivalry|
|9||October 21, 7:30 ET||#19 Michigan||13||#2 Penn State||42||ABC||6.95||3.9||College GameDay|
|10||November 4, 8:00 ET||#19 LSU||10||#2 Alabama||24||CBS||6.73||3.9||Rivalry|
Conference championship games
|December 1, 8:00 ET||#12 Stanford (North)||#10 USC (South)||ESPN||Pac-12||Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA|
|December 2, 4:00 ET||#6 Georgia (East)||#2 Auburn (West)||CBS||SEC||Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA|
|December 2, 8:00 ET||#8 Ohio State (East)||#4 Wisconsin (West)||FOX||Big Ten||Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN|
|December 2, 8:00 ET||#7 Miami (Coastal)||#1 Clemson (Atlantic)||ABC||ACC||Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC|
|December 2, 12:30 ET||#11 TCU (#2 seed)||#3 Oklahoma (#1 seed)||FOX||Big 12||AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX|
|December 2, 12:00 ET||#20 Memphis (West)||#14 UCF (East)||ABC||AAC||Spectrum Stadium, Orlando, FL|
|December 2, 12:00 ET||Akron (East)||Toledo (West)||ESPN||MAC||Ford Field, Detroit, MI|
|December 2, 12:00 ET||North Texas (West)||Florida Atlantic (East)||ESPN2||C-USA||FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL|
|December 2, 7:45 ET||#25 Fresno State (West)||Boise State (Mountain)||ESPN||MW||Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID|
- 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football rankings
- 2017 NCAA Division I FCS football season
- 2017 NCAA Division II football season
- 2017 NCAA Division III football season