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Billy Sims - 1978

History & Tradition - Heisman

Billy Sims - 1978 - 44th Award Billy Sims was the nation's leading rusher and scorer for 1978, averaging 160.1 yards and 10.9 points a game. He set the Big Eight Conference single season rushing record of 1,762 yards on 231 carries for a phenomenal average of 7.6 yards per carry. Sims was the only back in the nation's top 50 to average 7.0 per carry, and became the first player in Big Eight history to rush for more than 300 yards in three straight games. Sims compiled these statistics in only one full season of play-injuries kept him out of play in his freshman year, and most of his sophomore year as well. In 1978, Sims was the Associated & United Press College Player of the Year; he was also consensus All-American, Walter Camp Foundation's Player of the Year, and Sports Magazine's Player of the Year. Billy was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1994. He is now retired from the NFL. Billy was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1995.

For only the second time in Heisman history, the winner had fewer first place votes than the second place finisher. Oklahoma's Billy Sims had 12 fewer first place votes than Penn State quarterback Chuck Fusina but built a big final total with a strong showing in second place ballots.

Place Name School Class Pos. 1 2 3 Total
1st Billy Sims Oklahoma Jr. RB 151 152 70 827
2nd Chuck Fusina Penn State Sr. QB 163 89 83 750
3rd Rick Leach Michigan Sr. QB 89 58 52 435
4th Charles White Southern California Jr. TB 36 74 98 354
5th Charles Alexander Louisiana State Sr. TB 42 51 54 282

No. of registered electors: 1,050
Date of announcement: November 28, 1978

The positions within each region are as follows:


1st Fusina Fusina Fusina Leach Sims Sims
2nd Sims Sims Alexander Sims Fusina White
3rd White Fuller Sims Fusina Whie Fusina
4th Leach Brown White White Leach Leach
5th Alexander Leach Ivery Alexander Alexander Robinson


J. Robert Byrom Written on Thursday, 01 January 2009 20:39 by J. Robert Byrom

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