The 1945 college football season finished with the undefeated 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 undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide, followed by the United States Naval Academy, more popularly known as "Navy". In 2016, the American Football Coaches Association retroactively named the Oklahoma A&M Cowboys national champion for 1945 (that school being the only applicant).[2]

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]

Several new bowl games would debut at the end of the 1945 season, among them the Gator Bowl.

Conference and program changes

School 1944 Conference 1945 Conference
Wichita Shockers Independent Missouri Valley

September

The Associated Press did not poll the writers until the third week of the season. Among the teams that had been ranked in the top six at the end of 1944, only the two service academies (Army and Navy) as well as Ohio State, were still playing a regular schedule. 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.

October

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. The year's first AP Poll was led by No. 1 Army, No. 2 Navy, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 Ohio State, and No. 5 Minnesota.

October 13 At Yankee Stadium in New York, No. 1 Army beat No. 9 Michigan, 28–7. No. 2 Navy stayed unscored upon with a 28–0 win over Penn State. No. 3 Notre Dame beat Dartmouth, 34–0. No. 4 Ohio State beat Wisconsin, 12–0. No. 5 Minnesota beat Fort Warren, 14–0. The top five in the AP Poll remained the same.

October 20 No. 1 Army beat Melville PT Boats 55–13. In Baltimore, No. 2 Navy beat Georgia Tech 20–6. No. 3 Notre Dame won at Pittsburgh, 39–9. No. 4 Ohio State lost to No. 9 Purdue, 35–13. No. 5 Minnesota defeated Northwestern, 30–7. The new top five was No. 1 Army, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Navy, No. 4 Purdue, and No. 5 Minnesota.

October 27 In New York, No. 1 Army beat No. 19 Duke 48–13. No. 2 Notre Dame beat Iowa 56–0. In Philadelphia, No. 3 Navy defeated No. 7 Penn, 14–7. No. 4 Purdue lost to unranked Northwestern, 26–14. No. 5 Minnesota lost to No. 12 Ohio State, 20–7. In Birmingham, No. 6 Alabama beat Georgia 28–14. No. 8 Indiana beat No. 14 Tulsa 7–2, to reach 5–0–1 and the No. 5 ranking behind Army, Notre Dame, Navy, and Alabama.

November

November 3 No. 1 Army beat Villanova, 54–0. No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Navy, both 5–0–0, met in Cleveland, and played to a 6–6 tie. In Louisville, No. 4 Alabama defeated Kentucky, 60–19. No. 5 Indiana beat Cornell College of Iowa, 46–6, but dropped to sixth in the next poll. In Los Angeles, No. 8 St. Mary's beat No. 6 USC 26–0 and moved up to fifth place behind Army, Notre Dame, Alabama, and Navy.

November 10 No. 1 Army (6–0–0) and No. 2 Notre Dame (5–0–1) met for a showdown at Yankee Stadium, and it was no contest, with the Cadets winning 48–0. No. 3 Alabama was idle. In Baltimore, No. 4 Navy beat No. 7 Michigan 33–7. No. 5 St. Mary's beat Fresno State, 32–6. No. 6 Indiana won at No. 20 Minnesota, 49–0. The next poll was No. 1 Army, No. 2 Navy, No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Indiana, and No. 5 St. Mary's.

November 17 In Philadelphia, No. 1 Army beat No. 6 Penn, 61–0. No. 2 Navy defeated Wisconsin 36–7 in Baltimore. In Nashville, No. 3 Alabama beat Vanderbilt, 71–0. No. 4 Indiana won at Pittsburgh, 19–0. No. 5 St. Mary's lost to UCLA, 13–7. No. 7 Notre Dame won at Northwestern 34–7 and moved back up to No. 5, with the top four remaining the same.

November 24 No. 1 Army (8–0–0) and No. 2 Navy (7–0–1), both unbeaten, were idle as they prepared for the Army–Navy Game. No. 3 Alabama beat the Pensacola Naval Air Station, 55–6. No. 4 Indiana closed its season at 9–0–1 with a 26–0 win over No. 18 Purdue. In New Orleans, No. 5 Notre Dame beat Tulane, 32–6. The top five remained the same.

December 1 In the second No. 1 and No. 2 matchup of the year, No. 1 Army (8–0–0) and No. 2 Navy (7–0–1) met at the Army–Navy Game in Philadelphia, with Army winning 32–13 to close a perfect season and a wire-to-wire No. 1 ranking. No. 3 Alabama defeated Mississippi State 55–13 and moved to No. 2 in the final poll with Navy falling to No. 3. Indiana had finished its season and remained at No. 4. No. 5 Notre Dame lost to the Great Lakes Navy team, 39–7. No. 6 Oklahoma A&M, which had finished the season 9–0–0 and accepted an invitation to the Sugar Bowl, rose to fifth in the final poll.

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1945 Big Six Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Missouri $ 5 0 0 6 4 0
Oklahoma 4 1 0 5 5 0
Iowa State 2 2 1 4 3 1
Nebraska 2 3 0 4 5 0
Kansas 1 3 1 4 5 1
Kansas State 0 5 0 1 7 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1945 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 4 Indiana $ 5 0 1 9 0 1
No. 6 Michigan 5 1 0 7 3 0
No. 12 Ohio State 5 2 0 7 2 0
Northwestern 3 3 1 4 4 1
Purdue 3 3 0 7 3 0
Wisconsin 2 3 1 3 4 2
Illinois 1 4 1 2 6 1
Minnesota 1 5 0 4 5 0
Iowa 1 5 0 2 7 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1945 Border Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
New Mexico 1 0 1 6 1 1
Texas Tech 1 0 1 3 5 2
West Texas State 0 2 0 2 6 0
Arizona 0 0 0 5 0 0
Arizona State–Flagstaff 0 0 0 2 3 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1945 Middle Three Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Rutgers $ 2 0 0 5 2 0
Lafayette 1 1 0 1 7 1
Lehigh 0 2 0 2 4 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1945 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 5 Oklahoma A&M $ 1 0 0 9 0 0
No. 17 Tulsa 2 1 0 8 3 0
Wichita 1 1 0 6 4 0
Drake 1 2 0 5 4 1
Saint Louis 0 1 0 5 4 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1945 Mountain States Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Denver $ 4 1 0 4 5 1
Colorado 3 1 0 5 3 0
Utah 3 2 0 4 4 0
Utah State 1 3 0 4 3 0
Colorado A&M 0 4 0 2 5 1
  • $ – Conference champion
1945 Pacific Coast Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 11 USC $ 5 1 0 7 4 0
Washington State 6 2 1 6 2 1
Washington 6 3 0 6 3 0
Oregon State 4 4 0 4 4 1
UCLA 2 3 0 5 4 0
California 2 4 1 4 5 1
Oregon 3 6 0 3 6 0
Idaho 1 5 0 1 7 0
Montana 0 1 0 1 4 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1945 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 2 Alabama $ 6 0 0 10 0 0
No. 14 Tennessee 3 1 0 8 1 0
No. 15 LSU 5 2 0 7 2 0
No. 18 Georgia 4 2 0 9 2 0
Ole Miss 3 3 0 4 5 0
Georgia Tech 2 2 0 4 6 0
Mississippi State 2 3 0 6 3 0
Auburn 2 3 0 5 5 0
Vanderbilt 2 4 0 3 6 0
Florida 1 3 1 4 5 1
Tulane 1 3 1 2 6 1
Kentucky 0 5 0 2 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1945 Southern Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 13 Duke $ 4 0 0 6 2 0
No. 19 Wake Forest 4 1 1 5 3 1
William & Mary 4 2 0 6 3 0
Clemson 2 1 1 6 3 1
Maryland 3 2 0 6 2 1
VMI 3 2 0 5 4 0
North Carolina 2 2 0 5 4 0
NC State 2 4 0 3 6 0
VPI 2 5 0 2 6 0
South Carolina 0 3 2 2 4 3
Richmond 0 4 0 2 6 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1945 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 10 Texas $ 5 1 0 10 1 0
SMU 4 2 0 5 6 0
TCU 3 3 0 5 5 0
Rice 3 3 0 5 6 0
Texas A&M 3 3 0 6 4 0
Baylor 2 4 0 5 5 1
Arkansas 1 5 0 3 7 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Independents

1945 Eastern college football independents records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 1 Army     9 0 0
Franklin & Marshall     4 0 1
No. 20 Columbia     8 1 0
Temple     7 1 0
No. 16 Holy Cross     8 2 0
Tufts     4 1 0
No. 8 Penn     6 2 0
Yale     6 3 0
Massachusetts State     2 1 1
Harvard     5 3 0
Penn State     5 3 0
Cornell     5 4 0
Villanova     4 4 0
Boston College     3 4 0
Brown     3 4 1
Colgate     3 4 1
Princeton     2 3 2
NYU     3 4 0
Pittsburgh     3 7 0
Bucknell     2 5 0
Drexel     2 5 0
Dartmouth     1 6 1
Syracuse     1 6 0
Boston University     0 5 0
CCNY     0 8 0
Rankings from AP Poll
1945 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Michigan State Normal     5 0 1
Central Michigan     6 1 0
Miami (OH)     7 2 0
No. 9 Notre Dame     7 2 1
Detroit     6 3 0
Great Lakes Navy     6 4 1
Michigan State     5 3 1
Akron     5 4 0
Marquette     5 4 1
Bowling Green     4 3 0
Western Michigan     4 3 0
Cincinnati     4 4 0
Ohio     3 4 0
Ohio Wesleyan     3 4 0
Carthage     2 3 0
Wayne     2 5 1
Rankings from AP Poll
1945 Southern college football independents records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Miami (FL)     9 1 1
No. 3 Navy     7 1 1
Virginia     7 2 0
Chattanooga     5 3 0
West Virginia     2 6 1
Tennessee Tech     1 8 0
Rankings from AP Poll
1945 Western college football independents records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 7 Saint Mary's     7 2 0
Nevada     7 3 0
Cal Poly     1 5 1
Pacific (CA)     0 10 1
San Francisco State     0 2 0
Rankings from AP Poll
1945 military service football records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Great Lakes Navy     6 4 1
Keesler Field     3 6 1
Pensacola NAS     2 7 1

Minor conferences

Conference Champion(s) Record
California Collegiate Athletic Association No champion
Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association Virginia State College 7–0–1
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Far Western Conference No champion
Indiana Intercollegiate Conference Valparaiso 4–0
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Central (IA) 5–0
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Lone Star Conference No champion
Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Gustavus Adolphus 4–0
Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association No champion
Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association No champion
Nebraska College Athletic Conference Nebraska Wesleyan 2–0
New Mexico Intercollegiate Conference No champion
North Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference No champion
North Dakota College Athletic Conference No champion
Ohio Athletic Conference Oberlin 2–0
Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Pacific Northwest Conference No champion
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference No champion
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Colorado College 1–0
South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference No champion
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Redlands 4–0
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Florida A&M College 6–0
Southwestern Athletic Conference Wiley (TX) 6–0
State Teacher's College Conference of Minnesota No champion
Texas Collegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Washington Intercollegiate Conference No champion
Wisconsin State Teachers College Conference No champion

Minor conference standings

1945 California Collegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
San Diego State 1 0 0 2 5 0
Fresno State 0 1 0 4 6 2
  • No champion named for the 1945 season
1945 Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Virginia State $ 6 0 1 7 0 2
West Virginia State 4 0 2 5 1 2
North Carolina College 5 1 0 6 3 0
Johnson C. Smith 3 3 1 5 4 1
Morgan State 5 2 0 5 2 0
Howard 4 3 0 4 4 0
Virginia Union 4 3 0 4 4 0
Delaware State 3 3 0 4 3 0
Lincoln (PA) 2 4 0 2 5 0
North Carolina A&T 2 5 0 2 5 0
Hampton 2 6 0 2 6 0
Bluefield State 1 5 0 1 6 0
Shaw 0 6 0 0 6 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1945 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Illinois State Normal $ 3 1 0 4 3 0
Southern Illinois 2 1 1 4 1 2
Northern Illinois State 2 2 0 4 3 0
Eastern Illinois 1 1 2 2 3 2
Western Illinois 0 3 1 1 5 1
  • $ – Conference champion
1945 Indiana Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Valparaiso $ 4 0 0 6 1 0
DePauw 1 0 0 3 2 0
Ball State 4 1 1 4 1 1
Butler 3 2 0 3 3 0
Earlham 3 3 0 3 3 0
Wabash 1 1 1 2 3 1
Central Normal 2 3 0 2 4 0
Indiana State 1 2 0 2 4 0
Manchester 0 2 0 0 2 0
Franklin (IN) 0 5 0 0 5 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1945 Iowa Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Central (IA) $ 5 0 0 7 1 0
Iowa Wesleyan 1 0 0 3 2 0
Wartburg 3 2 1 3 2 1
Loras 0 0 0 5 2 0
Dubuque 2 2 0 4 2 0
Simpson 1 2 0 2 5 0
Luther 1 3 0 2 5 0
Upper Iowa 1 4 1 1 4 1
Parsons 0 1 0 1 5 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1945 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Gustavus Adolphus $ 4 0 0 6 0 0
St. Thomas (MN) 3 1 0 5 1 0
Macalester 2 1 0 3 1 0
St. Olaf 1 2 0 2 3 0
Saint John's (MN) 1 4 0 1 6 0
Concordia (MN) 0 1 0 2 2 2
Augsburg 0 1 0 0 3 0
Saint Mary's (MN) 0 1 0 0 5 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1945 New England Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Connecticut + 2 0 0 7 1 0
Rhode Island State + 1 0 0 2 1 0
Maine 0 3 0 0 5 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
1945 North State Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
High Point + 5 0 0 5 0 1
Catawba + 2 0 0 10 1 0
Appalachian State 1 3 0 1 6 0
Western Carolina 0 2 0 1 3 0
Guilford 0 3 0 0 7 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
1945 Ohio Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Oberlin $ 2 0 0 8 0 0
Capital 5 1 0 5 1 0
Otterbein 3 0 2 4 2 2
Muskingum 4 1 1 6 1 1
Ashland 3 1 0 4 1 0
Baldwin–Wallace 4 1 0 6 4 0
Wittenberg 3 3 0 3 4 0
Case 1 3 0 2 5 0
Heidelberg 1 4 1 1 4 1
Ohio Northern 0 2 0 3 2 0
Kenyon 0 6 0 0 6 0
Wooster 0 3 0 0 6 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1945 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Wiley $ 6 0 0 10 0 0
Southern 5 1 0 5 2 0
Texas College 3 2 1 ? ? ?
Langston 3 3 0 5 3 0
Samuel Huston 1 3 2 ? ? ?
Prairie View 1 4 1 3 5 1
Arkansas AM&N 1 5 0 2 6 0
  • $ – Conference champion

Rankings

Main article: 1945 NCAA football rankings

Bowl games

Bowl game Winning team Losing team
Rose Bowl No. 2 Alabama 34 No. 11 USC 14
Sugar Bowl No. 5 Oklahoma A&M 33 No. 7 Saint Mary's 13
Orange Bowl Miami (FL) 13 No. 16 Holy Cross 6
Cotton Bowl Classic No. 10 Texas 40 Missouri 27
Sun Bowl New Mexico Lobos 34 Denver 24
Gator Bowl No. 19 Wake Forest 26 South Carolina 14
Oil Bowl No. 18 Georgia 20 No. 17 Tulsa 6
Raisin Bowl Drake 13 Fresno State 12

See also

References

  1. ^ "October 8, 1945 AP Football Poll". CollegePollArchive.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  2. ^ Tramel, Berry (2017-08-23). "Why is Oklahoma State on an island with the retroactive titles?". News OK. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2015-04-22.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)