1945 college football season: Wikis


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The 1945 college football season finished with the United States Military Academy, more popularly known as “Army”, being the unanimous choice for the nation’s number one team by the 116 voters in the Associated Press writers’ poll. The runner up was the United States Naval Academy, more popularly known as “Navy”.

During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the college football teams that would later be described as "Division I-A". The NCAA did recognize a national champion based upon the final results of the Associated Press poll of sportswriters (the UPI coaches poll would not start until 1950). The extent of that recognition came in the form of acknowledgment in the annual NCAA Football Guide of the "unofficial" national champions. [3].

Though not all writers voted in every poll, each would give their opinion of the ten best teams. Each writer listed his choice for the top ten teams, and points were tallied based on 10 for first place, 9 for second, etc., and the AP then ranked the twenty teams with the highest number of points. Although the rankings were based on the collective opinion of the representative sportswriters, the teams that remained "unbeaten and untied" were generally ranked higher than those that had not. A defeat, even against a strong opponent, tended to cause a team to drop in the rankings. Generally, the top teams played on New Year's Day in the four major postseason bowl games: the Rose Bowl (near Los Angeles at Pasadena), the Sugar Bowl (New Orleans), the Orange Bowl (Miami), and the Cotton Bowl (Dallas).



The Associated Press did not poll the writers until the third week of the season. Among the teams that had been ranked highest at the end of 1944, the two service academies-- Army and Navy, as well as Ohio State, USC and Michigan. Among the service teams that had ranked high in 1944, Randolph Field, Bainbridge Naval, and Iowa Pre-flight no longer played against college teams. Some service teams still remained in place, even after the end of World War II.

On September 15, Michigan beat Great Lakes Navy, 27-2. On September 22, Michigan lost to Indiana, 13-7. Minnesota beat Missouri, 34-0. In a Friday night game in Los Angeles, USC beat UCLA 13-6. September 29 Notre Dame beat Illinois 7-0, Army beat Louisville Field, 32-0, and Navy beat Villanova 49-0. USC won at California, 13-2, and Ohio State won at Missouri 47-6.


On October 6, Army beat Wake Forest, 54-0 and Navy beat Duke, 21-0. Ohio State beat Iowa 42-0. Minnesota won at Nebraska 61-7. Notre Dame won at Georgia Tech, 40-7. UCLA beat St. Mary’s Pre-Flight, 26-14.

October 13 At Yankee Stadium in New York, #1 Army beat #9 Michigan, 28-7. #2 Navy stayed unscored upon with a 28-0 win over Penn State. #3 Notre Dame beat Dartmouth, 34-0. #4 Ohio State beat Wisconsin, 12-0. #5 Minnesota beat Fort Warren, 14-0.

October 20 #1 Army beat Melville PT Boats 55-13. In Baltimore, #2 Navy beat Georgia Tech 20-6. #3 Notre Dame won at Pittsburgh, 39-9. #4 Ohio State lost to #9 Purdue, 35-13. #5 Minnesota defeated Northwestern, 30-7.

October 27 In New York, #1 Army beat #19 Duke 48-13. #2 Notre Dame beat Iowa 56-0. In Philadelphia, #3 Navy defeated #7 Penn, 14-7. #4 Purdue lost to unranked Northwestern, 26-14. #5 Minnesota lost to #12 Ohio State, 20-7. In Birmingham, #6 Alabama beat Georgia 28-14. #8 Indiana beat #14 Tulsa 7-2, to reach 5-0-1.


November 3 #1 Army beat Villanova, 54-0. #2 Notre Dame and #3 Navy, both 5-0-0, met in Cleveland, and played to a 6-6 tie. In Louisville, #4 Alabama defeated Kentucky, 60-19. #5 Indiana beat Cornell College of Iowa, 46-6, but dropped to sixth in the next poll. In Los Angeles, #8 St. Mary's beat USC, 26-0.

November 10 #1 Army (6-0-0) and #2 Notre Dame (5-0-1) met for a contest at Yankee Stadium, and it was no contest, with the Cadets winning 48-0. #3 Alabama was idle. In Baltimore, #4 Navy beat #7 Michigan 33-7. #5 St. Mary's beat Fresno State, 32-6. #6 Indiana won at Minnesota, 49-0.

November 17 In Philadelphia, #1 Army beat #6 Penn, 61-0 #2 Navy defeated Wisconsin 36-7 in Baltimore. In Nashville, #3 Alabama beat Vanderbilt, 71-0. #4 Indiana won at Pittsburgh, 19-0. #5 St. Mary's lost to UCLA, 13-7. #7 Notre Dame won at Northwestern, 34-7.

November 24 #1 Army (8-0-0) and #2 Navy (7-0-1), both unbeaten, were idle as they prepared for the Army–Navy Game. #3 Alabama beat the Pensacola Naval Air Station, 55-6. #4 Indiana closed its season at 9-0-1 with a 26-0 win over #18 Purdue. In New Orleans, #5 Notre Dame beat Tulane, 32-6.

December 1 In the second #1 and #2 matchup of the year, #1 Army (8-0-0) and #2 Navy (7-0-1) met at the Army–Navy Game in Philadelphia, with Army winning 32-13 to close a perfect season. #3 Alabama defeated Mississippi State, 55-13. #4 Indiana had finished its season. #5 Notre Dame lost to the Great Lakes Navy team, 39-7. #6 Oklahoma State, which had finished the season 9-0-0 and accepted an invitation to the Sugar Bowl, rose to fifth in the final poll.

Final AP Top 20

The final rankings were released December 2, and did not take into consideration the postseason bowl games:

1. Army Cadets (9-0-0)
2. Navy Midshipmen (7-1-1)
3. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0-0)
4. Indiana Hoosiers (9-0-1)
5. Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-0-0)
6. Michigan Wolverines (7-3-0)
7. St. Mary's Gaels (7-1-0)
8. Penn Quakers (6-2-0)
9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2-1)
10. Texas Longhorns (9-1-0)
11. USC Trojans (7-3-0)
12. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-2-0)
13. Duke Blue Devils (6-2-0)
14. Tennessee Volunteers (8-1-0)
15. LSU Tigers (7-2-0)
16. Holy Cross Crusaders (8-1-0)
17. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (7-2-0)
18. Georgia Bulldogs (8-2-0)
19. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-3-1)
20. Columbia Lions (8-1-0)

Bowl games

SUGAR BOWL #5 Oklahoma State Cowboys 33 St. Mary's Gaels 13
ROSE BOWL #3 Alabama Crimson Tide 34 #11 USC Trojans 14
COTTON BOWL #10 Texas Longhorns 40 Missouri Tigers 27
ORANGE BOWL Miami Hurricanes 13 #16 Holy Cross Crusaders 6

See also




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