Oklahoma State Retroactively Named 1945 Football National Champs
STILLWATER - Oklahoma State has officially been awarded the 1945 football national championship after a review by the American Football Coaches Association, it announced today.
The AFCA established a panel of national championship coaches to retroactively select the winners from 1922 (when the AFCA was founded) to 1949 (the year before the Coaches’ Poll was first published). Oklahoma A&M went 9-0 in 1945 and was led by consensus All-American halfback Bob “Blond Bomber” Fenimore and coached by Jim Lookabaugh.
The 1945 season kicked off just three weeks after Japan’s surrender to effectively end World War II. The A&M team had several war veterans on the roster.
“We may have been the best team in the country that year,” said All-American defensive end Neill Armstrong. “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 anything unless you do it as a team."
By virtue of this announcement from the AFCA, Oklahoma State now becomes first school to be recognized as national champions by a national organization or body in both football and men's basketball in the same academic year. Coach Henry Iba's hoops squad won the second of its back-to-back NCAA titles that same season.