2008 Manning Award Winner - Matt Ryan
Boston College senior quarterback Matt Ryan was selected as the winner of the 2008 Manning Award, presented by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performance. The award is voted on by a panel of local and national media, as well as each of the Mannings. Florida's Tim Tebow finished second. Ryan completed just over 59 percent of his passes (388 of 654) for 4,507 yards with 31 touchdowns. He led the Eagles to an 11-3 record, their highest win total since 1940. Ryan, who was a first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and the conference's Offensive Player of the Year, led BC to a No. 2 BCS ranking as the Eagles began the season with eight straight wins.
Ryan led his team to three road wins over ranked teams, and capped off his season with a three-touchdown performance in leading the Eagles to a 24-21 win over Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl. It was the eighth consecutive bowl win by Boston College, the longest such streak in the nation.
"After a highly competitive season, our Manning Award voting was the closest in history," said Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan. "Matt Ryan led the Eagles to their highest win total in nearly 70 years and joins our distinguished list of awardees." Ryan is the fourth winner of the award, which began following the 2004 regular season. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner, followed by Texas' Vince Young. Last season, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award, capped by his performance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. All three players went on to become first round draft picks in the NFL.
"In an exceptional season for quarterbacks, Matt Ryan's performance rose above our most talented class of finalists ever to win this year's award," Archie Manning said. "His record-breaking season led Boston College to new heights and we are proud to announce him as this year's winner and look forward to honoring him in New Orleans later this year." Ryan beat out Tebow and eight other finalists for this year's award: Erik Ainge (Tennessee), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma), Colt Brennan (Hawai'i), Chase Daniel (Missouri), Dennis Dixon (Oregon), Graham Harrell (Texas Tech), Patrick White (West Virginia) and Andre' Woodson (Kentucky).
"Matt had a phenomenal season for the Eagles" Allstate Sugar Bowl President Ray Jeandron said. "His play elevated his team to great heights this season and he is very deserving of this honor."