Boston College played in three bowl games from the 1939-42 seasons under coaches Frank Leahy and Denny Myers. But after a 37-21 loss to Alabama in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1943, the Eagles waited 40 long years for their next bowl game. (Remember, bowl games were like gold in those days, and nationally-ranked powers were often shut out of pot season play.) Then came a man named Flutie to play quarterback for coach Jack Bicnkell ... you know the rest of the story.
|The Man Himself, on a 1982 pocket schedule.|
Even as a sophomore, his star shone brightly.
Flutie (not to mention a talented supporting cast including running back Troy Stadford and linebacker Steve DeOssie) led the Eagles to a 8-2-1 regular-season record. Highlights included a 38-16 opening-day win over Texas A&M (after Aggies coach Jackie Sherrill had already planned a lavish postgame party) and a come-from-behind 14-13 win over Rutgers on Flutie's 2-point conversion pass to Scott Nizolek with no time left.
Best of all for BC, its decades-long bowl drought ended with a trip to the Tangerine Bowl (now the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl ... says that five times fast), where the Eagles lost 33-26 to Auburn. The game was a matchup of not just two future Heisman Trophy winners, but two Heisman winners who transcended football: Flutie and Auburn's Bo Jackson.
|Doug Flutie in action against the Auburn Tigers in the 1982 Tangerine Bowl.|
Note the bowl logo on the shoulders and the lack of sleeve stripes.
The picture is from the 1983 Sub Turri yearbook.
The Eagles' uniforms were similar to what they wore in the late 1970s-early 80s, but a wide maroon stripe with white outlines on the pants replaced the thin red-and-white stripes. Two versions of the white jersey were used during this time period: One with sleeve stripes and one without. I suspect the stripe-less version was used for warm-weather games, since from pictures I've seen, they appear to be those "fishnet" mesh jerseys popular in the 1970s-80s. A Tangerine Bowl logo patch was worn on the shoulders of both teams for the bowl game.
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Want tickets-need tickets-got tickets ...
According to the incredible Boston College Football Vault (the source of much of the information here about the '82 Eagles), about 10,000 fans followed the Eagles down to Florida to the game ... not bad for a team that has a reputation of not "traveling" well.
BC went on to more success under Flutie ... but hey, I have to save some material for down the road.
Later this week, we'll look at one more BC bowl team as the Pinstripe Bowl approaches.