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The 1942 college football season saw the Buckeyes of Ohio State University named as the nation’s #1 team by a majority of the voters in the AP poll, followed by the Georgia Bulldogs as the runner-up. For the second time in the history of the AP Poll, a team that had lost a game was the mythical national champion; Minnesota had been the first AP champion in 1936.

In 1942, as many as 156 sportswriters participated in the AP poll, more than ever before. 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. The United States had entered the Second World War, and able-bodied men of college age had volunteered for, or been drafted into, the armed forces. “Service teams”, many of which had former college players who had entered the Army or the Navy, played games against the college programs. In 1942, teams were fielded by Georgia Pre-Flight, the Great Lakes Naval Station, Iowa Pre-Flight, Jacksonville NAS, and St. Mary’s Preflight.

SeptemberEdit

On September 19, in Louisville, Georgia defeated Kentucky, 7-6. The following Friday, Georgia defeated the Jacksonville Naval Air Station, 14-0, in Macon. The soldiers at the Flight School at the University of Iowa, organized as the Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks, overwhelmed Kansas, 61-0.

Most schools got their seasons underway on September 26 Defending champion Minnesota beat Pittsburgh, 50-7. Duke beat Davidson 21-0. Notre Dame and Wisconsin played to a 7-7 tie in Madison. Illinois beat South Dakota 46-0. In Montgomery, Alabama beat South Louisiana Institute (later University of Louisiana at Lafayette), 54-0. Texas beat the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, 18-7. Michigan beat the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, 9-0. Before its smallest crowd since 1933 (22,555) Ohio State defeated a service team, the Fort Knox Armoraiders, 59-0.[3] Iowa Pre-Flight won again, at Northwestern, 20-12.

OctoberEdit

October 3 Minnesota’s winning streak ended when the defending national champs lost their first game in almost four years, to the Seahawks of Iowa Pre-Flight (who just happened to be coached that season by "former" Minnesota head coach Bernie Bierman who had taken leave from Minnesota to serve as an officer in the military during World War II), 7-6. Ohio State beat Indiana 32-21. Michigan beat Michigan State 20-0. Illinois defeated Butler 67-0. Texas beat LSU 27-14. Notre Dame lost to Georgia Tech 13-6. Georgia defeated Furman 40-7. Alabama beat Mississippi State 21-6. Duke lost at Wake Forest, 20-7.

October 10 Minnesota lost at Illinois, 20-13. Ohio State beat visiting, USC 28-12. Michigan lost to Iowa Pre-Flight, 26-14. Georgia beat Ole Miss, 48-13, at Memphis. In Mobile, Alabama defeated the Pensacola NAS, 27-0. Texas lost at Tulane, 18-7. In the poll that followed, the Top Five consisted of three teams from the Big Nine (#1 Ohio State, #3 Michigan, and #5 Illinois) and two from the SEC (#2 Georgia and #4 Alabama).

October 17 #1 Ohio State beat Purdue 26-0. #2 Georgia beat Tulane 40-0. #3 Michigan defeated Northwestern 34-16. In Birmingham, #4 Alabama beat #15 Tennessee, 8-0. #5 Illinois won at #19 Iowa, 12-7. Losing also that day was Iowa Pre-Flight, which sustained its first loss at Notre Dame, 28-0. In the next poll, the Top Five shuffled slightly, with Alabama and Michigan trading places: 1.Ohio State 2.Georgia 3.Alabama 4.Michigan 5.Illinois

October 24 #1 Ohio State won at Northwestern 20-6. #2 Georgia won at Cincinnati 35-13. #3 Alabama won at Kentucky, 14-0. #4 Michigan lost at #13 Minnesota, 16-14. #5 Illinois lost to #8 Notre Dame, 21-14. #6 Georgia Tech won at Navy, 21-0. In the poll that followed, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech replaced Michigan and Illinois: 1.Ohio State 2.Georgia 3.Alabama 4.Notre Dame 5.Georgia Tech

October 31 #1 Ohio State lost at #6 Wisconsin, 17-7. In Atlanta, #2 Georgia beat #3 Alabama, 21-10. #4 Notre Dame beat Navy in Cleveland, 9-0. #5 Georgia Tech won at Duke, 26-7. #7 Boston College beat Georgetown, 47-0. The Georgia Bulldogs took over first place in the poll that followed, and Wisconsin and Boston College moved in while Ohio State and Alabama fell out: 1.Georgia 2.Wisconsin 3.Georgia Tech 4.Notre Dame 5.Boston College.

NovemberEdit

November 7 In Jacksonville, #1 Georgia beat Florida, 75-0. #2 Wisconsin lost at unranked Iowa, 6-0 #3 Georgia Tech beat Kentucky 47-7. #4 Notre Dame beat Army 13-0 at Yankee Stadium. #5 Boston College beat Temple, 28-0. #8 Alabama beat South Carolina 29-0 and moved in to the Top Five as Wisconsin dropped out. The nation’s top two teams were Georgia and Georgia Tech: 1.Georgia 2.Georgia Tech 3.Boston College 4.Notre Dame 5.Alabama.

November 14 #1 Georgia won at Chattanooga, 40-0. In Atlanta, #2 Georgia Tech beat #5 Alabama 7-0. #3 Boston College beat Fordham at home, 56-6. #4 Notre Dame lost to #6 Michigan, 32-20, while in Cleveland, #10 Ohio State beat #13 Illinois 44-20. The poll: 1.Georgia 2.Georgia Tech 3.Boston College 4.Michigan 5.Ohio State

November 21 In Columbus, GA, #1 Georgia lost to unranked Auburn, 27-13. #2 Georgia Tech beat Florida 20-7. #3 Boston College defeated Boston University, 37-0. #4 Michigan and #5 Ohio State met in Columbus, with OSU winning 21-7, capturing the Big Nine championship, and finishing its season at 9-1-0. #7 Wisconsin beat #10 Minnesota 21-6 to finish its season at 8-1-1. In the next poll, the Boston College Eagles were number one: 1.Boston College 2.Georgia Tech 3.Ohio State 4.Wisconsin 5.Georgia

November 28 #1 Boston College lost to unranked Holy Cross, 55-12. #2 Georgia Tech visited #5 Georgia, and lost 34-0. #3 Ohio State defeated the Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks, 41-12, finishing 9-1-0 and capturing the #1 ranking in the final AP poll.

Conference standingsEdit

The following is an incomplete list of conference standings:

1942 Big 6 football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Missouri 4 0 1     8 3 1
Oklahoma 3 1 1     3 5 2
Nebraska 3 2 0     3 7 0
Kansas State 2 3 0     3 6 0
Iowa State 1 4 0     3 6 0
Kansas 1 4 0     2 8 0
1942 Big Ten football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 Ohio State 5 1 0     9 1 0
#3 Wisconsin 4 1 0     8 1 1
#9 Michigan 3 2 0     7 3 0
Illinois 3 2 0     6 4 0
Iowa 3 3 0     6 4 0
#19 Minnesota 3 3 0     5 4 0
Indiana 2 2 0     7 3 0
Purdue 1 4 0     1 8 0
Northwestern 0 6 0     1 9 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1942 PCC football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#13 UCLA 6 1 0     7 4 0
Washington State 5 1 1     6 2 2
#12 Stanford 5 2 0     6 4 0
USC 4 2 1     5 5 1
Oregon State 4 4 0     4 5 1
Washington 3 3 2     4 3 3
California 3 4 0     5 5 0
Oregon 2 5 0     2 6 0
Idaho 1 5 0     3 7 0
Montana 0 6 0     0 8 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Final Associated Press PollEdit

Prior to 1968 the final AP Poll was released before the bowl games were played.

Ranking Team Record
1 Ohio State Buckeyes 9-1
2 Georgia Bulldogs 10-1
3 Wisconsin Badgers 8-1-1
4 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 10-0
5 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 9-1
6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 7-1
7 Tennessee Volunteers 8-1-1
8 Boston College Eagles 8-1
9 Michigan Wolverines 7-3
10 Alabama Crimson Tide 7-3
11 Texas Longhorns 8-2
12 Stanford Indians 6-4
13 UCLA Bruins 5-3
14 William & Mary Indians 8-1-1
15 Santa Clara Broncos 7-2
16 Auburn Tigers 6-4-1
17 Washington State Cougars 6-2-1
18 Mississippi State Bulldogs 7-2
19 (t) Holy Cross Crusaders 5-4-1
19 (t) Minnesota Gophers 5-4
19 (t) Penn State Nittany Lions 6-1-1

Bowl GamesEdit

Bowl
Sun Bowl Second Air Force 13 Hardin-Simmons 7
Rose Bowl #2 Georgia Bulldogs 9 #13 UCLA Bruins 0
Sugar Bowl #7 Tennessee Volunteers 14 #4 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 7
Cotton Bowl #11 Texas Longhorns 14 #5 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 7
Orange Bowl #10 Alabama Crimson Tide 37 #8 Boston College Eagles 21

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.jhowell.net/cf/cf1942.htm
  2. http://www.appollarchive.com/football/ap/seasons.cfm?appollid=48
  3. “Ohio State Triumphs Over Fort Knox Soldiers,” The Sunday Times-Signal (Zanesville, O.), Sep. 27, 1942, pII-6

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