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1978 - 44th Award
Billy Sims
Oklahoma Back

Billy Sims of The University of Oklahoma became the sixth junior to win the coveted Heisman Memorial Trophy Award. Sims was the nation's leading rusher and scorer for 1978, averaging 160.1 yards and 10.9 points. 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 every time he touched the ball. 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.

The Voting

 

Points

 

Place

Name

School

Class

Pos.

1

2

3

Total

1stBilly SimsOklahomaJr.RB151152 70827
2ndChuck FusinaPenn StateSr.QB163 89 83750
3rdRick LeachMichiganSr.QB 89 58 52435
4thCharles WhiteSouthern CaliforniaJr.TB 36 74 98354
5thCharles AlexanderLouisiana StateSr.TB 42 51 54282
6thTed BrownNorth Carolina StateSr.RB 5 19 2982
7thSteve FullerClemsonSr.QB 19 6 1382
8thEddie Lee IveryGeorgia TechSr.RB 11 19 1081
9thJack ThompsonWashington StateSr.QB 13 11 1172
10thJerry RobinsonUCLASr.LB 12 11 1270

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.

No. of registered electors: 1,050
Date of announcement: November 28, 1978
Date of dinner: December 7, 1978

The positions within each region are as follows:

Place

NORTH-EAST

MID-ATLANTIC

SOUTH

SOUTH-WEST

MIDWEST

FAR-WEST

1stFusinaFusinaFusinaLeachSimsSims
2ndSimsSimsAlexanderSimsFusinaWhite
3rdWhiteFullerSimsFusinaWhieFusina
4thLeach BrownWhiteWhiteLeachLeach
5thAlexanderLeachIveryAlexanderAlexanderRobinson

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