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Throwback Thursday: All Time Stinkers

A look back at the five biggest all time stinkers in BC football history, from three different viewpoints.

Where does VT 49 BC 0 stand on the list of all time stinkers?
Where does VT 49 BC 0 stand on the list of all time stinkers?
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

I want to bury this, I really do. Virginia Tech 49 Boston College 0 has eaten at me enough, it is time to move on.  Move on to what (Wagner...really?) or from what (the current staff) is something for another day and time, but to let this go on any longer is serving no real purpose.

It does though let us look back at what I will term "stinkers".  Games where either Boston College has been blown out or laid a massive egg.  They don't always need to be shutouts, nor do they always need to be against great or even good teams.   They are games that make you mad, that make you sad, that make you question the direction of a team, of a program either on that day or in general, that make you say "WTF did I just witness".

For the sake of the article, they come in three categories and will span the 47 years of games I have been privy to see from 1970-2016.  Some show in multiple categories.

1) Shutouts - the biggest shutout losses BC has experienced

2) Blowouts - the biggest losses by margin BC has experienced

3) The Stinkers - the most frustrating, embarrassing losses, regardless of margin, that BC has experienced.


Since 1970, Boston College has been shut out just nine times.  Of course, three of those nine, including the worst beat down of all, the 49-0 loss last weekend, have occurred in the past 13 games.  Outside of the one we just witnessed, the others are almost explainable.

  • 2016 - at Virginia Tech 49 Boston College 0
  • This one needs no explanation, we just saw it.  The fact that it marks both the biggest shutout loss in my 47 years of games as well as the biggest blowout loss, tells you all you need to know.  If there was a redeeming component to the game, someone tell me
  • 1977 - at Texas 44 Boston College 0
  • Longhorns destroy Eagles in Austin, just one year after the memorable 14-13 BC win over #7 Texas in Chestnut Hill.  Horns would win first three games by a total of 184-15 and reach #1 before losing in Cotton Bowl to Notre Dame
  • 1978 - at UMass 27 Boston College 0
  • Believe it or not, it happened, on a team captained by Fred Smerlas, that finished 0-11. At least the Minutemen won the Yankee Conference that year and made to the 1AA title game where they lost to Florida A&M
  • 1980 - at Navy 21 Boston College 0
  • Eagles shut out by what Ed Chlebek calls the "better team".  Middies would notch wins over Georgia Tech, Washington and Syracuse, along with BC and reach the now defunct, Garden State Bowl
  • 2010 - Virginia Tech 19 Boston College 0
  • Hokies win the ACC and wind up losing to Stanford in the Orange Bowl.


Since 1970, Boston College has lost many games by 30 plus points, but has only lost eight games by 40 points or more.  Of these five were against teams ranked in the top 11 in the country.  Only one of these happened at home, while only one happened with BC as a ranked team.

The five biggest blowouts:

  • 2016 - at Virginia Tech 49 Boston College 0
  • it will show up again, I promise
  • 1992 - at #8 Notre Dame 54 #9 Boston College 7
  • This one could easily have made the stinker list as well.  So much hype as the Eagles enter 7-0-1 and leave with their tales tucked between their legs.  Lou Holtz fakes a punt up 37-0 in the third quarter.  Late BC TD prevents worse loss since a 55-0 drubbing by Colby in 1912.
  • 2000 - at #2 Miami 52 Boston College 6
  • Canes looking for a shot at a national title, spare nothing in rolling Eagles in Orange Bowl. BC actually finishes the year at 7-5 by beating Arizona State in Hawaii.
  • 2012 - at #11 Florida State 51 Boston College 7
  • EJ Manuel sets a career high with 439 yards passing as Spaz and company blown out in Tallahassee.
  • 1976 - at Texas 44 Boston College 0
  • see shutout list


I have no defined criteria for a stinker, other than it eats at the pit of your stomach much worse than being blown out.  It can take the form of humiliation, of anger, of depression, but one thing is for certain, it is a stinker.  Unlike the other two lists, it is extremely subjective and it was not easy picking the top five, although picking the top one was, to use a basketball analogy, a layup.

When I started going through these, the ones I came across that I left out, were almost as shocking as the ones I picked.  Games like Duke 2011, the famous "middle schmiddle game".  The loss to Holy Cross in 1978 on a failed two point conversion on the way to 0-11.  Unconscionable losses at Villanova in 1976 and 1980, the former after actually being ranked in the top 15 earlier in the season, the 54-7 loss at Notre Dame, where the Eagles entered #9 in the country.  It's happened against good teams, it has happened against bad teams.

Here goes..misery:

  • 1995 - Army 49 at Boston College 7
  • It will be tough to EVER top this one.  It wasn't that Army was bad and buried BC.  The Cadets were an average team, who had just played Notre Dame to a one point game a week earlier, would beat Navy and finish 5-5-1.  It was far more than that.  On an absolutely abysmal weather afternoon at Alumni, the Cadets put down one of the all time beat downs on the Eagles.  It was 42-0 at the half.  Dan Henning and his staff looked like they had never heard of the wishbone offense run by Bob Sutton and Army.   In my opinion this is the top of the list and may be for the rest of my life time.
  • 2016 - at Virginia Tech 49 Boston College 0
  • damn this game.
  • 2012 - at Army 34 Boston College 31
  • Honestly, I don't have anything against Army.  I love my trips to West Point, but my God this was awful.  The Cadets entered the game 0-3, just having lost to 23-3 at home to Stony Brook the week before.  BC under Spaz cruised in 1-3, but in their three losses had been competitive.  This was destined to be an Eagle blowout, until it wasn't.  Highlight of the game was an Andre Williams 99 yard TD run, the low lights of the game, about everything else.  Army would finish the season at 2-10.
  • 2004 - Syracuse 43 at #17 Boston College 17
  • What would any talk of misery be without a Diamond Ferri mention. Eagles need to beat Orange at home as big favorites in final game of regular season and final Big East game ever to capture school's first BCS bowl bid.  Damien Rhodes runs 69 yards on first play of game and Ferri takes it from there running for 141 yards and 2 TDs as BC, starting sophomore Matt Ryan in place of injured QB Paul Peterson, watches it all go up in smoke.
  • 2015 - Wake Forest 3 at Boston College 0
  • How much hair did you have left after this one?  Talk about needing a cocktail or a sedative.  How many times can a team give you a game you simply don't want to take?  Ball security issues, clock mismanagement issues we are still talking about today.  AHHHHHHHHHH!
This article took me about 90 minutes to write.  Virginia Tech 2016 is now officially out of my system.

Something tells me though, we haven't seen the last of a potential addition to one of the categories on this list..this season.