The bowl season is over and the 2011 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl is still attracting attention.
In a blog by ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson ("What we learned from non-AQ bowl season"), BYU’s 24-21 win over Tulsa was highlighted. In addition, two BYU players were named to ESPN’s all-bowl team – offensive tackle Matt Reynolds and punter Riley Stephenson.
The BYU victory also earned the Cougars a No. 25 ranking in the USA Today poll as the Provo-based institution was the first school listed in "others receiving votes" in the Associated Press rankings. Another blog made a case for the Cougars to be included in the AP rankings as "BYU is one of only 11 programs nationally to be ranked in at least one of the two major polls during five of the last six seasons." BYU also becomes the first Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl participant to be ranked in the top 25 in a final poll since Boise State (16th in AP and 15th in USA Today) and TCU (25th in AP and 24th in USA Today) in 2003.
With the outcome for the 2011 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl being decided in the final minute, the December 30 post-season contest was one of 18 bowl games this season with a victory margin by a touchdown or less.
BYU won the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl with 11 seconds remaining in the contest on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Riley Nelson to Cody Hoffman to cap a 12-play, 48-yard drive. Tulsa had taken a 21-17 lead with 10:42 left in the game on a 30-yard touchdown pass from G. J. Kinne to Bryan Burnham. After a six-play drive stalled on the Tulsa side of the 50, a BYU punt by Riley Stephenson pinned the Golden Hurricane at their own 1-yard line where the Cougars forced a punt to start their game-winning drive with 4:18 left in the contest.
Bowl results for the 2011-2012 post-season can be found at www.armedforcesbowl.com. After two years staging the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, the post-season game will return in 2012 to Fort Worth and the newly-renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium.
NOTE – The 12 schools that have competed in the first eight Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls combined for a 95-59 record during the 2011-2012 season. Ten of the 12 schools competed in bowl games this year. BYU became the 13th school to compete in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.