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November 17, 2017, 03:24:29 pm
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Author Topic: OSU Wins First National Football Title  (Read 1631 times)
Conan71
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« on: October 14, 2016, 08:05:39 am »

Retroactively...

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How OSU won its first national football championship 71 years later

Seventy-one years later, Oklahoma State is a national champion in football.

The 1945 Oklahoma A&M football team, a squad that went undefeated and won the Sugar Bowl, was retroactively named the 1945 national champions by the American Football Coaches Association on Thursday.

It is Oklahoma State’s first football national championship.

The news comes after the AFCA formed a Blue Ribbon Commission to retroactively select Coaches’ Trophy winners from 1922 (when the AFCA was founded) to 1949, the year before the inaugural coaches poll.

A panel of coaches decided on the 9-0 Oklahoma A&M Aggies team as the national champion.

That team, led by OSU greats Bob Fenimore and Neill Armstrong, won seven of its nine games by double digits. Oklahoma A&M won its season opener over Arkansas, 19-14 and beat Tulsa 12-6. The regular season ended with a 47-0 rout at rival Oklahoma.

Oklahoma A&M was invited to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, where it defeated St. Mary’s 33-13 on Jan. 1, 1946.

“We may have been the best team in the country that year,” Armstrong said in December 2015, according to the AFCA news release. “We had a couple of All-Americans and a group of veterans who kept us in check. In practice, we scrimmaged every day. As hard as those scrimmages were, it’s a wonder that we had anything left for the games, but those scrimmages toughened us and made us better. We had a lot of older guys who had fought in the war and understood that you don’t win unless you do it as a team.”

The team was coached by Jim Lookabaugh, who was the head coach from 1939-49.

With Thursday’s AFCA announcement, Oklahoma State also became the first school to be recognized as a football and men’s basketball national championship in the same season by the same organization or body. The 1945-46 Aggies basketball team also won the national title, the second in a row under coach Henry Iba.

With 56 national championships, including 34 from wrestling, OSU ranks fourth among Division I schools behind UCLA, USC and Stanford.

The news of this football championship seemingly came out of nowhere Thursday.

One question persisted: How and why did this happen?

Former Baylor coach Grant Teaff, a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission, said the process of retroactively awarding the Coaches’ Trophy took two years to complete.

He said OSU was recognized as the 1945 national champions based on certain criteria.

The requirements included that the Cowboys and other teams up for consideration needed to have finished the season unbeaten, won their conference title and played a quality schedule.

“We allowed these three teams to have the opportunity to be recognized for the year they had,” Teaff said. “It is a simple way to properly recognize them.”

Other coaches on the Blue Ribbon Commission included longtime Georgia coach and athletic director Vince Dooley and former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum.

There were three undefeated teams at the end of the 1945 season: Army, Alabama and Oklahoma A&M.

Army, which was independent, went 9-0 and defeated No. 2 Navy in its final game of the season. The Cadets were a unanimous No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll of 1945.

Alabama, which was in the SEC, went 10-0, including a 34-14 win over Southern California in the Rose Bowl. The Crimson Tide finished No. 2 in the AP poll.

Oklahoma A&M was ranked fifth in the final AP poll.

The Aggies outscored their opponents 285-76 for the season. They still hold the school records for fewest points allowed, fewest rushing yards allowed and fewest yards allowed per game.

Fenimore, the running back known as the “Blond Bomber,” led the nation in rushing and total offense. The Woodward native was a consensus All-American.

Armstrong and J.C. Colhouer were All-Missouri Valley Conference selections.

Armstrong’s grandson, Cole Farden, was a punter for Oklahoma State from 2001-04. Now an assistant football coach at Arlington (Texas) Lamar High School, Farden said in a phone interview Thursday that the news of the 1945 national championship only adds to Armstrong’s lore.

“It’s awesome,” Farden said. “My grandpa, you look at his resume, he did so much in the football part of his life. We’re always proud of who he was as a man. He was a man of great character.”

Armstrong died on Aug. 10 at the age of 90. Farden has fond memories of watching football — and hearing stories — with his grandfather, as well as his grandfather’s old friends.

“We’d always go over to Bob Fenimore’s house on Sunday morning and just talk football,” he said.

Farden and Armstrong watched the Sugar Bowl together this past season — Oklahoma State’s first Sugar Bowl appearance since the 1945 team won the bowl game, a performance that now helped win them a national title.

Now, Farden always has Armstrong on his mind when he puts on one of his grandfather’s old Oklahoma A&M hoodies, with “Aggies” written across it.

Farden said he’ll throw it on sometimes when he goes to his high school on Saturdays to work in the football office.

“(Armstrong) being a national champion, that’s definitely something that we’re all proud of,” he said. “Especially myself, being an Oklahoma State Cowboy.”

1945 Oklahoma A&M schedule and results

Date   Opponent   Result
Sept. 29   at Arkansas   W, 19-14
Oct. 6   at Denver   W, 31-7
Oct. 12   SMU*   W, 26-12
Oct. 20   at Utah   W, 46-6
Oct. 27   at TCU   W, 25-12
Nov. 10   Tulsa   W, 12-6
Nov. 17   Texas Tech   W, 46-6
Nov. 24   at Oklahoma   W, 47-0
Jan. 1, 1946   vs. St. Mary's**   W, 33-13
*Game played in Oklahoma City

**Sugar Bowl in New Orleans

Mark Cooper

918-581-8387

mark.cooper@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @mark_cooperjr
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 09:04:41 am »

Nice!

Thanks for posting that!!

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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2016, 09:42:21 am »

Lol....Hahaha....To claim that when all 18 to 22 year olds were off fighting a war....Lol...Ok....
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 12:40:26 pm »

Lol....Hahaha....To claim that when all 18 to 22 year olds were off fighting a war....Lol...Ok....

Only about 25% of men 18-22 were in the armed forces during that period of time. Oklahoma State enrolled thousands every year during WWII ,including 500 navy personnel a year for special electronics training. It may be against the national narrative, but the country didn't really shut down and go "all in" for the war.   Read accounts of German or Japanese POWs or even allies that visited the US during the war - they were all astonished at how comparatively little most peoples lives actually changed (obvious exception for service members and the emotional stress of their loved ones, but compared to what happened in Europe).

Nonetheless, there were fairly normal schedules of college football games during the war years. Tulsa, Oklahoma State, and OU all maintained normal teams.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2016, 01:28:23 pm »

Only about 25% of men 18-22 were in the armed forces during that period of time. Oklahoma State enrolled thousands every year during WWII ,including 500 navy personnel a year for special electronics training. It may be against the national narrative, but the country didn't really shut down and go "all in" for the war.   Read accounts of German or Japanese POWs or even allies that visited the US during the war - they were all astonished at how comparatively little most peoples lives actually changed (obvious exception for service members and the emotional stress of their loved ones, but compared to what happened in Europe).

Nonetheless, there were fairly normal schedules of college football games during the war years. Tulsa, Oklahoma State, and OU all maintained normal teams.


Big disruptions for normal people were the gas rationing, couldn't buy sugar, and no new cars being built leading to some pretty good resale values of existing stock.  And tires - very hard to get tires.  Movies were still a big thing - as in going to them on Saturday afternoon.  And popcorn was still available at the movies.  Farm implements were tough to get, too, but got some dispensation for farmers due to food being of national interest.

All the above IF you weren't one of the privileged few.  They still got to drive around as much as they wanted.

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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

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davideinstein
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2016, 03:38:24 pm »

Lol....Hahaha....To claim that when all 18 to 22 year olds were off fighting a war....Lol...Ok....

There were 7 WWII veterans on the team.

Thoughts on the Army/Navy teams that year?

 Roll Eyes
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davideinstein
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2016, 03:39:12 pm »

Only about 25% of men 18-22 were in the armed forces during that period of time. Oklahoma State enrolled thousands every year during WWII ,including 500 navy personnel a year for special electronics training. It may be against the national narrative, but the country didn't really shut down and go "all in" for the war.   Read accounts of German or Japanese POWs or even allies that visited the US during the war - they were all astonished at how comparatively little most peoples lives actually changed (obvious exception for service members and the emotional stress of their loved ones, but compared to what happened in Europe).

Nonetheless, there were fairly normal schedules of college football games during the war years. Tulsa, Oklahoma State, and OU all maintained normal teams.

So did the '45 Army team that was the AP #1
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2016, 07:57:00 pm »

Army has a Claim...Bama has a claim....Lord knows who else....
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davideinstein
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2016, 08:13:52 pm »

Army has a Claim...Bama has a claim....Lord knows who else....

This isn't a claim. It was the Coaches Trophy literally awarded to OSU.
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2016, 09:02:28 pm »

This isn't a claim. It was the Coaches Trophy literally awarded to OSU.

Lol...Ok...
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Ibanez
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2016, 02:21:18 pm »

Army has a Claim...Bama has a claim....Lord knows who else....

Army has a much better claim. They played tougher opponents, including the NAZI's.

Basically...in 1945 Oklahoma State defeated St. Mary's in the Sugar Bowl. In 1945 Army defeated Germany in Germany.
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Conan71
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2016, 02:42:27 pm »

Army has a much better claim. They played tougher opponents, including the NAZI's.

Basically...in 1945 Oklahoma State defeated St. Mary's in the Sugar Bowl. In 1945 Army defeated Germany in Germany.

Love that!

Ibanez wins the interwebz for a day! 
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davideinstein
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2016, 03:22:44 pm »

Army has a much better claim. They played tougher opponents, including the NAZI's.

Basically...in 1945 Oklahoma State defeated St. Mary's in the Sugar Bowl. In 1945 Army defeated Germany in Germany.

They were 9-0 in 1944. Weird, eh?

Wonder why...
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Ibanez
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2016, 04:44:20 pm »

Here's what I meant by Army having a better claim to the title in 45:






Army defeated 5 ranked teams. OSU defeated none. How OSU was awarded this championship is beyond me.


The AP voting in 1945 had the final rankings of:

1. Army
2. Alabama
3. Navy
4. Indiana
5. Oklahoma State
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 04:49:09 pm by Ibanez » Logged
davideinstein
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2016, 05:54:21 pm »

How were we left out of the 2011 championship when LSU already beat Bama?
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