Top 11 Highlights of the 2011 Football Season
No. 4 - National Rankings
Jan. 25, 2012
Top Moments Central Page
The 2011 Southern Miss football season was a season for the record books including the most wins in school history, a Conference USA championship, and ending with a Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl victory.
SouthernMiss.com will be showcasing the top 11 highlights of the 2011 football season over the next four weeks with the #1 highlight being released on Wednesday, February 1st, national signing day.
With success comes recognition.
That is exactly what happened for the 2011 Southern Miss football which enjoyed one of its finest, if not best season, in the school's first 100 years.
On the strength of an eight-game win streak and some strong non-conference victories over Virginia, Louisiana Tech and Navy, the Golden Eagle picked up momentum as the season progressed.
Following a decisive home victory over SMU 27-3, just the second time a June Jones team was held without a touchdown during his collegiate tenure as a head coach, the Golden Eagles debuted in the USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 25 when the poll was release on Oct. 23.
A week later, after a decisive triumph at UTEP, Southern Miss collected a No. 25 spot in the first Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Rankings while moving up a spot in the coaches' poll. The Golden Eagles then used four non-offensive touchdowns in its next contest to beat East Carolina on the road and enter the Associated Press Rankings for the first time at No. 25.
Except the week following the UAB contest, the Golden Eagles remained in the poll for the remainder of the campaign and earned their final national rankings for the first time in 12 seasons.
Southern Miss finished No. 19 in the coaches' poll, while earning a No. 20 position in the Associated Press Top 25. Those rankings were the highest for the Golden Eagles in both respective polls for the season. In 1999, Southern Miss finished No. 13 in the coaches' poll and No. 14 in voting by the AP.
During the 2011 season, the Golden Eagles appeared in the USA Today poll seven different times, while holding a spot in the AP Top 25 five times.
Southern Miss also finished No. 21 in the BCS Rankings. The team did not move up any spots from the previous release period following the C-USA championship game at the completion of the regular season.