Boston College and the Heisman

 doug flutie

The Heisman presentation is approaching, so let’s have a look at the Heisman history of each school involved in this year’s ceremony. First up is Boston College.

Boston College

Finalists: Andre Williams (2013), Doug Flutie (1984), Doug Flutie (1983)

Player Year Position Place Points Winner
Mike Holovak 1942 FB 4th 95 Frank Sinkwich
Doug Flutie 1983 QB 3rd 253 Mike Rozier
Doug Flutie 1984 QB 1st 2,240 Flutie
Glenn Foley 1993 QB 5th 180 Charlie Ward
Matt Ryan 2007 QB 7th 63 Tim Tebow


Mike Holovak was an All-American fullback for the Eagles in 1942. He finished 964 points behind that year’s winner, Georgia halfback Frank Sinkwich. He was also just a few points behind third place finisher Clint Castleberry of Georgia Tech, the only freshman to finish in the top three of the vote until Herschel Walker in 1980. Holovak finished third in the East region, fifth in the South and fourth in the Southwest. Holovak served as co-captain of the Eagles’ squad that entered the final weeks of the 1942 campaign as the top-ranked college team in the country. However, on November 28 they were upset by arch-rival Holy Cross, a defeat that canceled a victory party that night at Boston’s Cocoanut Grove hotel. That worked out well as a horrendous fire swept through the building that night, killing 492 people and injuring hundreds more.

BC didn’t have another top 10 finisher until Doug Flutie appeared on the scene. As a junior in 1983, he threw for 2,724 yards with 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions while leading the Eagles to a 9-3 record and a No. 19 final ranking. For that effort, he finished third behind winner Mike Rozier of Nebraska and Steve Young of BYU. He entered 1984 as the Heisman front runner and promptly snapped the streak of running back winners that dated back to 1972. He threw for 3,634 yards and 30 touchdowns with 13 interceptions and left BC as the NCAA’s all-time passing yardage leader with 10,579 yards. He is best known for his Hail Mary pass play to beat Miami in the closing seconds of a 47-45 victory.

Contrary to what some think, that play did not win him the Heisman as ballots had already been mailed in. Flutie ran away with the trophy, sweeping the six regions and totaling 2,240 points to nearly double the total of runner up Keith Byars of Ohio State. Of course, Flutie went on to a rather interesting career in both the CFL and NFL.

Glenn Foley finished fifth in 1993, the year Charlie Ward of Florida State won the Heisman. Foley did something that year that Ward could not — he beat Notre Dame.

BC’s late November upset of the No. 1 Irish allowed the Seminoles to claim the national title after falling to the Irish earlier in the season. Foley threw for 3,397 yards and 25 touchdowns that year as the Eagles finished 9-3. He totaled 180 points in the Heisman vote, with his best region being the Northeast, where he finished third.

For a stretch of the 2007 season, Matt Ryan was considered a legitimate Heisman contender. The senior quarterback had BC at 8-0 at one point, but an upset loss to FSU ended his Heisman dreams. He ended throwing for 4,507 yards and 31 touchdowns (and 19 picks) and he faded to a seventh place, well behind winner Tim Tebow of Florida. Of course, Ryan would go on to become a first-round draft pick and a two-time Pro Bowler for the Atlanta Falcons.

Williams is his school’s first Heisman finalist since Flutie in 1984. He rushed for 2,102 yards, scored 17 touchdowns, and averaged 6.4 yards per carry. He is the first Eagle to ever surpass the 2,000 yard rushing mark and set the school record for most yards rushed in a game with 339 yards against North Carolina State. Williams accounted for 51% of BC’s offense this season and has the most rushing yards in all of Division I College Football for the 2013 season.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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