With this week’s announcement that Boston College will be facing Alabama in 2031 and 2034, it’s an opportunity to go into the wayback machine and take a look at the four previous matchups between these two schools.
Boston College leads the all-time series 3-1, which likely helps explain why Nick Saban has been ducking this matchup for so long.
BC is the only team in the ACC with an all-time winning record against ‘Bama. A total of seven Power 5 conference teams can claim this (Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Minnesota, UCLA, and Utah are the others, and BC has the most wins against the Tide of any of these teams... just stating the facts here; we report, you decide).
January 1, 1943 - The Orange Bowl
Alabama 37, Boston College 21
Denny Myers’ 1942 BC football team is the squad that famously was 8-0 and #1 in the nation going into their season finale against Holy Cross, only to suffer a shocking 55-12 defeat - a BC sports moment forever connected with the Cocoanut Grove tragedy that happened that evening.
The consolation prize for BC was a trip to the Orange Bowl and a chance to face 8-3 Alabama.
Mike Holovak scored two touchdowns for BC as they raced out to a 14-0 lead, but Bama came roaring back with that SEC speed and built a 14-point second half lead. Bama put the game on ice when BC fluffed a punt attempt in their own end zone and was taken down for a safety (plus ca change).
Here’s some grainy video of both teams perfectly executing the Steve Addazio offense:
November 23, 1946 - Braves Field, Boston
Boston College 13, Alabama 7
BC had to wait just three years to get their revenge on Bama.
Denny Myers, who coached the 1942 team that went to the Orange Bowl, missed the 1943-1945 seasons serving in the Navy in World War II. He returned to the helm in 1946 and steered BC to a 6-3 record, including this late-season win over Alabama, in front of 41,000 fans at Braves Field in Boston.
Here is an awesome piece from the New York Times Archive with the headline “ALABAMA IS UPSET BY BOSTON COLLEGE”
Twice defeated by Dixie elevens this fall, Boston College upset one of the South’s traditional leaders today before a crowd of 40,166 at Braves Field. A 39-yard gallop by Maurice Poissant, freshman right half-back, in the final period gave the Eagles a 13-to-7 decision over Alabama.
The ‘46 Eagles featured two NFL draft picks, John Kisell and Art Donovan.
November 25, 1983 - Foxboro Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Boston College 20, Alabama 13
Here’s a YouTube clip starting with a ‘Bama TV show discussing the coldness and the nasty weather at Foxboro Stadium: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioJ1Kh51wzM
This was the first of two straight wins by Doug Flutie over the Tide. Flutie threw a game-tying touchdown pass with under 7 minutes to play, then Bob Biestek stuffed home a touchdown run with under 5 minutes left to put BC on top. Flutie went 14-for-29 for 198 yards in nasty, windy conditions that limited most of the offense to the ground game.
The win wrapped up BC’s regular season with a 9-2 record, earning the Eagles an invite to the Liberty Bowl where they would face Notre Dame.
September 8, 1984 - Legion Field, Birmingham, AL
Boston College 38, Alabama 31
That leads us to probably the most famous BC-’Bama matchup, at least from BC fans’ perspective, as Doug Flutie was in full Doug Flutie mode leading BC to a wild 38-31 comeback win, after trailing 31-14 in the third quarter.
Here are some vintage highlights featuring an interview with Jack Bicknell:
BC Athletics later uploaded the full game to YouTube, which is pretty cool.
This win over the #9 Tide on national TV vaulted BC into the top 10 and was part of Flutie’s run to the Heisman. He went 19-for-34, with 254 passing yards, two passing TDs, and one of his famous scrambles for a rushing touchdown (which is shown in the highlight video above).