The United States Sports Academy’s 2011 College Football Game of the Year is Alabama’s victory over LSU in the Allstate BCS Championship Game.
The Alabama defense smothered the LSU offense in the rematch of the two top-ranked Southeastern Conference rivals to win the national title game, 21-0, and earn selection as the Game of the Year by a panel of eminent sports leaders who are on the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Committee.
The dominating performance moved the Crimson Tide (12-1) into the top spot in the final Associated Press poll for the eighth time, tying Notre Dame for the most of any team in college football. Alabama’s defense prevented LSU (13-1) from crossing midfield until there were 8 minutes left in the game. The Tigers finished with just 92 yards and five first downs.
Alabama place kicker Jeremy Shelley tied a bowl record with five field goals and the Crimson Tide defense did the rest, posting the first shutout in the 14-year history of the BCS. It was the second BCS title in three years for Alabama led by head football coach Nick Saban.
In the team’s regular-season battle in Week 10, LSU won a defensive struggle, 9-6, with a field goal in overtime against Alabama on the road.
Each week the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Committee selects a Game of the Week winner. Each week’s winner is then considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the regular season. The 2010 winner was Auburn for its 22-19 victory against Oregon in the BCS game.
The committee, which reads like a “Who’s Who” in college football, is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”
Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy will donate Moore’s painting to Alabama for being named this year’s top college football game, along with $5,000 to Alabama’s general scholarship fund.
The contest was developed to pay tribute to a team whose efforts in a game exemplify the spirit and principles of athletic endeavor, dedication and teamwork. The College Football Game of the Year Award is a part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport series.
The Academy is the largest graduate school of sport education in the world. The Academy became the first and only free standing, accredited university in America devoted entirely to sport programs when it opened in 1972, a distinction that continues to this day.