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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

BC on list of Top 50 All-Time College Football Programs

Boston College has made #49 on a list by Street & Smith of the 50 Greatest College Football Programs of All-Time.

The full list is here, courtesy of TCU Athletics.

I'm not a college football historian, and when the list says "All-Time," they mean All-Time (Yale is only one spot behind the University of Michigan), but I thought that BC could have been a little bit higher. I suppose a National Championship is missing from the Eagles' resume.

No, the 1940 season does NOT count in my book, even though I have a banner proclaiming BC as National Champions that year proudly displayed on my apartment wall (pictured below). And we all know where Frank Leahy went after the Sugar Bowl win that year... would we be #1 on the list and they #49 if he had stayed? Five (real) National Championships in the 1940s would have been a nice history to fallback on when times are tough...

UPDATE: See Past Division I-A Football National Champions (from the NCAA). BC is not among the National Champions listed for 1940.

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Comments on "BC on list of Top 50 All-Time College Football Programs"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/28/2005 10:51:00 AM) : 

Why shouldn't the 1940 National Championship count?? At least three teams claimed it that year and the other two make no secret about it. The new Hajjar Football Museum in the Yawkey Center mentions it just as an after thought. I don't get why we are so humble. What authority does "factmonster" (or whoever else) have in crowning National Champions for an era when they were routinely disputed?

By the way, that is a *beautiful* old banner. Where did you find it? I've been searching ebay for quite a while for something like that.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/28/2005 10:56:00 AM) : 

ps. Why did you get rid of the link to the Boston College Club?

pps. Why not add a link to the Boston College Athletics Wikipedia entry.


Blogger BC Eagle said ... (9/28/2005 11:03:00 AM) : 

I scored that banner on eBay about 2 years ago, it was probably the best eBay find for me (I'm a collector of BC memorabilia). It cost about $150. It is authentic and in pretty decent shape.

You're very observant. I will add the Boston College Club link again, and add the BC Athletics Wikipedia entry, too. The reason I took the BC club down is that i wanted to reduce clutter and figured few people would be interested in that link. Apparently, I figured wrong!


Blogger BC Eagle said ... (9/28/2005 11:20:00 AM) : 

As far as the 1940 National Championship, I reason the following way: There can be only one National Champion. The only "best and highest achievement" for a college football team in a given year = winning the National Championship. Winning the NC (with no other legitimate claimants) is superior to winning a "claim" to the NC (which is what BC did that year). Therefore, BC did not earn the highest achievement for a college football team. I think the logic is easily assailed, but people have "proven" God's existence in a similar way!

At best, it is a "shared" title, but I think that concept is really lame (especially when it might be shared by as many as 4 teams).

"Fact Monster" is not a reliable source or an authority of course. But it lists what is listed in many other, more authoritative sites. It listed Minnesota, which, in the very least, had the best "claim" to the title and was )I believe) the National Champion in 1940. I should have linked to the NCAA site (see update).


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/28/2005 12:09:00 PM) : 

Sound logic ... however as the NCAA website itself readily admits, they have never been in the business of crowning a National Champion in football. The list is by no means authoritative. It's just a compilation according to "various organizations" which in 1940 basically just meant a bunch of sportswriters, i.e. a popularity contest in which BC (then still a small Jesuit college in New England that most national writers had likely never heard of) had no chance of winning.

You're right in that 1940 was not an outright National Championship, but a claim to one. That fact, especially in light of my first point, is why it is so important to uphold the claim, even 65 years later. If we don't, who will?


Blogger BC Eagle said ... (9/28/2005 12:25:00 PM) : 

We beat Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl (I also scored the game program on eBay, but that's an easy find) and were undefeated, so I think that the national writers had heard of us, at least... but I think, generally, you are right; we were faced with a great bias. To put it in contemporary terms, I doubt we were at the top of any pre-season polls in August 1940 due to BCs place in the national consciousness.

Of course I am drawn to defend our claim (I never said we didn't have A claim)... but on the other hand, I don't want to evince an inferiority complex by proclaiming that BC was National Champion in 1940 when NONE of the polls and media outlets listed at the NCAA site chose us. I am even more reluctant to do so because I am relatively ignorant of the facts surrounding our "claim" - I've seen it on the BC Athletics website (and various other "Team of Destiny" propaganda) and on my prized banner, but not many other places. Perhaps somebody could enlighten me?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/28/2005 12:37:00 PM) : 

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/28/2005 12:38:00 PM) : 

Ah ... so *you're* the one who outbid me for the 1930's pennant ... :)


Blogger BC Eagle said ... (9/28/2005 12:43:00 PM) : 

Do you mean BC and HU are the only Boston schools to have such a club?

Regarding eBay bidding wars, I have been out of the game on there for a while so I don't think it was me on the "1930s" penant (I honestly think sellers make up the years), but now with my blog, there's a renewed interest... so watch out...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/28/2005 01:02:00 PM) : 

Yes I meant the only schools to have such a club in the Financial District. Harvard has another clubhouse on Comm Ave in the Back Bay (I've always thought the 'Louis, Boston' building on Newberry Street would make a good BC clubhouse). And of course Harvard, Yale, Williams and a few others have clubhouses in NYC.


Blogger BC Eagle said ... (10/06/2005 01:23:00 PM) : 

[the following comment has been deleted and re-posted here because a bug in blogger triggered by links posted in comments was preventing the permalink for this post from loading properly]

Anonymous said...
If you want to reduce clutter, how about getting rid of the Princeton Review link. It's totally unscientific, less than flattering and, in my opinion, dead wrong on a number of fronts.

Some links you may want to add in its stead:

* The BC historical football data page from the College Football Data Warehouse. I'm not sure who administers that site, but it seems pretty reputable:


* The BC page on College Confidential:


As for the Boston College Club, I'm a few thousand dollars short for a membership myself, but I do think its mightly nice that it exists. To date, BC and Harvard are the only schools with such a club. BU tried to set one up, but failed. According to the Globe, UMass is now trying to organize one, but it will probably fail too. It's also nice to know that the Boston College Club is a few floors higher than the Harvard Club, and therefore reins supreme as the Heights of the financial district.

9/28/2005 12:37:05 PM


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