|1945 Oklahoma A&M Cowboys football|
National champion (AFCA)
|Conference||Missouri Valley Conference|
|1945 record||9–0 (1–0 MVC)|
|Head coach||Jim Lookabaugh (7th season)|
|Home stadium||Lewis Field|
The 1945 Oklahoma A&M Cowboys football team represented Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (later renamed Oklahoma State University–Stillwater) in the Missouri Valley Conference during the 1945 college football season. The team was led by seventh-year head coach Jim Lookabaugh and played its home games at Lewis Field in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Cowboys compiled a 9–0 record (1–0 against conference opponents), won the Missouri Valley championship, defeated Saint Mary's in the 1946 Sugar Bowl, were ranked No. 5 in the final AP Poll, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 285 to 76. The 1945 season remains the only undefeated season in school history.
On offense, the 1945 team averaged 31.7 points, 286.9 rushing yards, and 133.5 passing yards per game. On defense, the team allowed an average of 8.4 points, 108.6 rushing yards and 79.6 passing yards per game.
The team's statistical leaders included halfback Bob Fenimore with 1,048 rushing yards, 593 passing yards, 72 points scored, and seven interceptions, and end Neill Armstrong with 312 receiving yards. Fenimore was selected as a consensus first-team halfback on the 1945 College Football All-America Team. He was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Three Oklahoma A&M players received first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in 1945: Bob Fenimore, Neill Armstrong, and lineman J.C. Colhouer.
In 2016, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the organization responsible for the Coaches Poll, awarded Oklahoma A&M the 1945 national championship. This was after the AFCA asked schools who felt they had a legitimate bid for the title to submit their reasons why so that their committee could hear the case and decide. OSU was (and continues to be) the only school to apply for the honor for any of the 28 years considered, and was awarded the AFCA trophy even though in 1945 AP national champion Army (final #1, A&M final #5):
- Went 9–0 (A&M, 9–0).
- Beat five teams who were ranked at the time (A&M, two), of which six finished in the final AP poll (A&M, two). These included the final #19, #13, #9, #8, #6, and #3 teams (A&M, final #17 and #7).
- Outscored their opponents 412–46 (A&M, 285–76), an average score of 46–5 per game (A&M, 32–8).
- Had the #1 and #2 finishers in the Heisman voting for the year (A&M, none).
- Is widely considered one of, if not the, best college football teams of all time.
The AFCA committee stated that Army could also be recognized as co-champion for 1945 "if the school decides to submit paperwork to the AFCA for evaluation by the committee," indicating that West Point had not originally felt the need to submit a case on behalf of a national championship they already possessed, to a committee handing out retroactive awards 71 years after the fact. As a result, the 1945 national championship possessed by Oklahoma State is widely disregarded by the college football community at large.
|September 29||at Arkansas*||W 19–14|
|October 6||at Denver*||W 31–7|
|October 12||vs. SMU*||No. 15||W 26–12|
|October 20||at Utah*||No. 15||W 46–6|
|October 27||at TCU*||No. 17||W 25–12|
|November 10||No. 19 Tulsa||No. 11||W 12–6|
|November 17||Texas Tech*||No. 8||W 46–6|
|November 24||at Oklahoma*||No. 6||W 47–0|
|January 1, 1946||vs. No. 7 Saint Mary's*||No. 5||W 33–13|
- ↑ "1945 Oklahoma State Cowboys Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/oklahoma-state/1945-schedule.html. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
- ↑ "Oklahoma State Cowboy Football 2016 Guide". Oklahoma State University. p. 172. https://s3.amazonaws.com/sidearm.sites/okstate.com/documents/2016/8/1/2016_Oklahoma_State_Football_Guide.pdf. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
- ↑ 2016 Football Guide, p. 144.
- ↑ 2016 Football Guide, p. 138.
- ↑ 2016 Football Guide, p. 140.
- ↑ 2016 Football Guide, pp. 168, 170.
- ↑ "Football Award Winners". National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 2016. p. 8. http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/2016/Awards.pdf. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
- ↑ 2016 Football Guide, p. 154.
- ↑ Culpepper, Chuck (2016-10-13). "Oklahoma State just won the 1945 college football national championship". The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2016/10/13/oklahoma-state-just-won-the-1945-college-football-national-championship/. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
- ↑ Fornelli, Tom (2016-10-13). "Why Oklahoma State has been named college football's 1945 national champion". CBS Sports. https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/why-oklahoma-state-has-been-named-college-footballs-1945-national-champion/. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
- ↑ Tramel, Berry (2017-08-23). "Why Why is Oklahoma State on an island with the retroactive titles?". News OK. https://newsok.com/article/5561230/why-is-oklahoma-state-on-an-island-with-the-retroactive-titles/. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
- ↑ Connelly, Bill (2016-12-10). "What made 1945 Army the greatest college football team of all time". SB Nation. https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2016/12/9/13843204/1945-army-football-season-world-war-2. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
- ↑ Connelly, Bill (2016-03-09). "Celebrating the 50 best college football teams since World War II". SB Nation. https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2016/3/9/11160764/best-ncaa-football-teams-ever-history-ranking. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
- ↑ Marshall, Kendrick (2016-10-18). "AFCA member explains why OSU awarded 1945 national championship". Tulsa World. https://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/osusportsextra/afca-member-explains-why-osu-awarded-national-championship/article_81901939-ef07-5a8b-a9d1-7599e6f13a37.html. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
- ↑ Mac, Jack (2017-08-18). "Oklahoma State is Really Proud of the 1945 National Championship They Didn't Win". Barstool Sports. https://www.barstoolsports.com/barstoolu/oklahoma-state-is-really-proud-of-the-1945-national-championship-they-didnt-win?_branch_match_id=425766907213507705. Retrieved 2018-12-04.