We move on today to the first of the two Joe Yukica bracket semi finals where the #4 seed, the 14-13 victory in 1976 over the Texas Longhorns takes on the 1993, 33-29 win at Syracuse. Head over to the Ultimate BC Football Game (Old Guy Edition) for a recap of both games.
Voting ends at 11:55 PM on July 11.
The winner of this contest will take on the winner of #5 1983 Penn State vs #12 1983 Clemson, an interesting in season battle.
In the second Tom Coughlin Semi-final, the #9 seed 1994 win over Notre Dame, defeated the #8 seed 1982 tie at Clemson by a wide margin (84% to 16%). Interesting that one comment referenced the difference between the program we know today and what the program was like in 1982. Playing against top 20 competition was not overly common in those days, never mind beating them or tying them. To take the step of doing that against the defending national champions at their place was very big at the time, but it does speak to the audience we have here today and of course, it was a tie! But hell it's my post and I can think anyway I like!
For those of you who don't know, Joe Yukica was the winningest coach by number of victories in BC history prior to TOB. His .641 winning percentage is the best of any BC coach since Frank Leahy with more than 2 years of service. Very conservative by nature, he set the tone for the power running games which became BCs forte and was instrumental in establishing the O-Line U moniker that stands today, although that term wouldn't really be used prior to TOB.
Although the team that beat Texas in 1976 was probably his best team, he had some heartaches such as the '75 team that was picked by Street and Smith's magazine (at the time the pre-eminent pre-season publication) to go 10-1, only to finish 7-4. None of Yukica's teams ever made it to a bowl, but recall, there were far fewer of them at the time (only 13 in his final season 1977 and only 11 in his first season 1968, compared to 35 in 2011). His 1974 team ended the season on six game win streak where they outscored their opponents 270-27 en route to an 8-3 season.
Yukica and TOB actually had a lot more similarities than just their conservative nature. Yukica took over at a time when BC was not even necessarily the strongest program in New England as in those days, the Ivy Programs were still strong (Dartmouth was a top 20 team midway through 1970 and BC had gone just 3-4 against Holy Cross in the 1960s prior to his arrival). Yukica took the program from a local New England program to an Eastern Regional program capable of competing with and beating just about anyone with the exception of Penn State. The frustration came that the program couldn't take that next step to being a national program and his conservative approach fueled that frustration. TOB was much the same way, in that he took what was a solid regional program and dipped its toes into being a national program, but couldn't sustain it. Once again frustration took over when 8-3 and 7-4 became the ceiling that both the fans and ultimately TOB felt before he headed off to NC State.