1944 college football season

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The 1944 college football season was played during the Second World War. The football team of the United States Military Academy (West Point), more popularly known as Army, was crowned as the nation's No. 1 team by 95 of the 121 writers who participated in the AP Poll.

Contents

As in 1943, the AP poll included service teams, drawn from flight schools and training centers which were preparing men for fighting in World War II, and the teams played against the colleges as part of their schedules. Half of the final Top 20 teams were composed of service teams, in addition to the two service academies at West Point and Annapolis. Most colleges that had suspended their programs in 1943 were back in 1944, including the entire Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Pacific Coast Conference again fielded only four teams (out of ten).

In the AP poll, each participating 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 top twenty results.

September

On September 16 the Great Lakes Naval Training Center team defeated Fort Sheridan, 62–0, before a crowd of 25,000 at its base north of Chicago. Michigan beat Iowa Pre-Flight, 12–7 before a crowd of 22,000 in Ann Arbor.

September 23 Great Lakes won at Purdue, 27–18. In Milwaukee, Michigan beat Marquette 14–0. At San Antonio, Randolph Field defeated Abilene Field, 67–0.

September 30 Notre Dame won at Pittsburgh 58–0. Great Lakes and Illinois played to a 26–26 tie. Michigan lost to Indiana, 20–0. In Houston, Randolph Field beat Rice 59–0. Army beat North Carolina, 46–0. North Carolina Pre-Flight, quarterbacked by Otto Graham (formerly of Northwestern, and a future Cleveland Browns star) upset Navy, 21–14. [2]

October

October 7 Notre Dame beat Tulane 26–0 and Army defeated Brown 59–7. In games between service teams and colleges, the servicemen triumphed, as N.C. Pre-Flight won at Duke, 13–6, Great Lakes won at Northwestern 25–0, and Randolph Field won at Texas 42–6. In the poll that followed, Notre Dame was first, and Army third, with the service teams occupying the other spots.

October 14 In Boston, No. 1 Notre Dame beat Dartmouth, 64–0. No. 2 North Carolina Pre-Flight was tied by Virginia, 13–13. No. 3 Army beat Pittsburgh, 69–7. No. 4 Randolph Field, quarterbacked by “Bullet Bill” Dudley, beat SMU at home in San Antonio, 41–0. [3] No. 5 Great Lakes beat Western Michigan 38–0. No. 8 Ohio State won at Wisconsin, 20–7 and No. 11 Iowa Pre-Flight won at Purdue, 13–6. N.C. Pre-Flight and Great Lakes fell out of the top five: 1.Notre Dame 2.Army 3.Randolph Field 4.Ohio State 5.Iowa Pre-Flight.

October 21 No. 1 Notre Dame defeated Wisconsin 28–13. No. 2 Army beat the Coast Guard Academy, 76–0. No. 3 Randolph Field and Camp Polk played a Sunday game at Fort Worth, Texas, with Randolph's Ramblers winning 67–0. No. 4 Ohio State beat Great Lakes, 26–6. No. 5 Iowa Pre-Flight defeated Fort Warren, 30–0. In Atlanta, No. 8 Georgia Tech defeated Navy 17–15.

October 28 No. 1 Notre Dame won at Illinois, 13–7. At a war bonds fundraiser at the Polo Grounds in New York, No. 2 Army beat Duke 27–7. No. 3 Randolph Field defeated Morris Field 19–0. No. 4 Ohio State beat Minnesota 34–14. No. 5 Georgia Tech reached 5–0–0 after a 13–7 over the flight training school located on the U.Ga. campus, Georgia Pre-Flight.

November

November 4 No. 1 Army rolled over Villanova, 83–0. In six games, the Cadets had outscored their opponents by an average of 60 to 3. In Baltimore, No. 2 Notre Dame lost to No. 6 Navy, 32–13. No. 3 Ohio State beat Indiana 21–7. No. 4 Randolph Field beat North Texas Agricultural (later called the University of Texas-Arlington) 68–0. No. 5 Georgia Tech lost at Duke, 19–13, and fell out of the top five, as Navy moved up.

November 11 At Yankee Stadium in New York, No. 1 Army crushed No. 5 Notre Dame, 59–0. No. 2 Ohio State beat Pittsburgh 54–19. No. 3 Navy beat Cornell, 48–0. No. 4 Randolph Field defeated Maxwell Field, 25–0. No. 8 Michigan, which beat Illinois, 14–0, took Notre Dame's place in the Top Five.

November 18 In Philadelphia, No. 1 Army beat Pennsylvania, 62–7. In Georgetown, Texas, No. 2 Randolph Field beat Southwestern University, 54–0. No. 3 Navy defeated Purdue in Baltimore, 32–0. In Cleveland, before a crowd of 83,627 fans, No. 4 Ohio State beat Illinois 26–12. No. 5 Michigan defeated Wisconsin, 14–0. In a Sunday game between service teams, No. 6 United States Naval Training Center Bainbridge, Maryland defeated Camp Lejeune, 33–6.

November 25 No. 1 Army (8–0–0) and No. 2 Navy (6–2–0) were both idle as they prepared for the annual Army–Navy Game. No. 3 Ohio State beat Michigan 18–14. The next day, No. 4 Randolph Field beat Amarillo Field, 33–0, and No. 5 Bainbridge Naval beat Camp Perry, 21–13.

December 2 No. 1 Army and No. 2 Navy met in Baltimore. Army's offense was held to its lowest score of the season, but won 23–7 to cap a perfect season. Army had scored 59 points or more in seven of its nine games, with a 504 to 35 aggregate over its opponents. No. 3 Ohio State had finished its season, while No. 4 Randolph Field and No. 5 Bainbridge Naval were idle. After the release of the final poll, Randolph Field participated in two more games for the sale of bonds. In Los Angeles, the "Ramblers" beat the Fourth Air Force team (March Field), 20–7, on December 10. Six days later, Randolph Field met the Second Air Force Superbombers at the Polo Grounds in New York for the “Treasury Bond Bowl”, and won 13–6 to complete their season at 11–0–0.

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1944 Big Six Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Oklahoma $401  631
Iowa State 311  611
Missouri 212  352
Nebraska 230  260
Kansas 140  361
Kansas State 140  252
  • $ Conference champion
1944 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Ohio State $600  900
No. 8 Michigan 520  820
Purdue 420  550
Minnesota 321  531
Indiana 430  730
No. 15 Illinois 330  541
Wisconsin 240  360
Northwestern 051  171
Iowa 060  170
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1944 Border Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Texas Tech 200  470
West Texas State 110  430
New Mexico 020  170
Arizona State–Flagstaff 000  220
  • $ Conference champion
1944 Middle Three Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Lafayette $400  610
Rutgers 220  320
Lehigh 040  060
  • $ Conference champion
1944 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Oklahoma A&M $100  810
Tulsa 010  820
Drake 000  720
  • $ Conference champion
1944 Mountain States Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Colorado $200  620
Denver 211  432
Utah 121  521
Utah State 020  330
  • $ Conference champion
1944 Pacific Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 7 USC $302  802
Washington 110  530
UCLA 121  451
California 131  361
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1944 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 13 Georgia Tech $400  830
No. 12 Tennessee 501  711
Georgia 420  730
Alabama 312  522
Mississippi State 320  620
LSU 231  251
Ole Miss 230  260
Tulane 120  430
Kentucky 150  360
Florida 030  430
Auburn 040  440
Vanderbilt 000  301
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1944 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 11 Duke $400  640
Wake Forest 610  810
Clemson 310  450
NC State 310  720
William & Mary 211  521
Maryland 110  171
South Carolina 130  342
VMI 150  180
North Carolina 031  171
Richmond 040  260
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1944 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
TCU $311  731
Texas 320  540
Arkansas 221  551
Texas A&M 230  740
SMU 230  550
Rice 230  560
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Independents

1944 Eastern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Army     900
Yale     701
Harvard     510
Bucknell     721
Penn State     630
Penn     530
Boston College     430
Cornell     540
Villanova     440
Drexel     220
Pittsburgh     450
Brown     341
Temple     242
Syracuse     241
Princeton     120
Dartmouth     251
Colgate     250
NYU     250
Columbia     260
Tufts     141
Franklin & Marshall     180
Rankings from AP Poll
1944 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Miami (OH)     810
Michigan State     610
No. 9 Notre Dame     820
Central Michigan     520
Wichita     521
Bowling Green     530
Western Michigan     430
Wayne     110
Ohio Wesleyan     181
Marquette     170
Rankings from AP Poll
1944 Southern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Virginia     612
No. 4 Navy     630
West Virginia     531
Miami (FL)     171
Rankings from AP Poll
1944 Western college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Nevada     440
Idaho Southern Branch     450
Saint Mary's     050
1944 military service football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 Randolph Field     1200
No. 5 Bainbridge     1000
No. 18 Fort Pierce     900
No. 13 Norman NAS     600
No. 6 Iowa Pre-Flight     1010
No. 16 El Toro Marines     810
Bunker Hill NAS     610
No. 3 Great Lakes Navy     921
No. 10 March Field     722
North Carolina Pre-Flight     621
No. 20 Second Air Force     1041
Camp Peary     520
Third Air Force     731
Alameda Coast Guard     422
No. 19 Saint Mary's Pre-Flight     440
Rankings from AP Poll

Minor conferences

ConferenceChampion(s)Record
California Collegiate Athletic Association No champion
Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association Morgan State College 4–0
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Far Western Conference No champion
Indiana Intercollegiate Conference Wabash College 4–0–1
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Lone Star Conference No champion
Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association No champion
Nebraska College Athletic Conference No champion
New Mexico Intercollegiate Conference No champion
North Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference No champion
North Dakota College Athletic Conference No champion
Ohio Athletic Conference No champion
Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Pacific Northwest Conference No champion
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference No champion
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference No champion
South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference No champion
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference No champion
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Florida A&M College 5–0
Southwestern Athletic Conference Langston
Texas College
Wiley (TX)
5–1
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

1944 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Northern Illinois State $300  700
Illinois State 100  341
Southern Illinois 210  330
Eastern Illinois 120  130
Western Illinois 040  080
  • $ Conference champion
1944 New England Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
New Hampshire +110  130
Maine +110  220
Connecticut 000  710
  • + Conference co-champions
1944 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Texas College +510  810
Wiley +510  810
Langston +510  621
Southern 240  440
Samuel Huston 240  350
Prairie View State 240  360
Arkansas AM&N 060  170
  • + Conference co-champions

Rankings

Bowl games

Bowl gameWinning teamLosing team
Rose Bowl No. 7 USC 25No. 12 Tennessee 0
Sugar Bowl No. 11 Duke 29 Alabama 26
Orange Bowl Tulsa 26No. 13 Georgia Tech 12
Cotton Bowl Classic Oklahoma A&M 34 TCU 0
Sun Bowl Southwestern (TX) 35 Pumas CU 0

Awards and honors

All-Americans

The consensus All-America team included:

PositionNameHeightWeight (lbs.)ClassHometownTeam
QB Les Horvath 5'10"173Sr. Parma, Ohio Ohio State
HB Glenn Davis 5'9"175So. Claremont, California Army
HB Bob Jenkins 6'1"195Jr. Talladega, Alabama Navy
FB Doc Blanchard 6'0"205Jr. Bishopville, South Carolina Army
E Phil Tinsley 6'1"188Sr. Bessemer, Alabama Georgia Tech
E Paul Walker 6'3"203Jr. Springfield, Missouri Yale
T Don Whitmire 5'11"215Sr. Giles Co., Tennessee Alabama
G Bill Hackett 5'9"191Jr. London, Ohio Ohio State
C John Tavener 6'0"220Sr. Newark, Ohio Indiana
G Ben Chase 6'1"195 San Diego, California Navy
T John Ferraro 6'4"245So. Los Angeles, California USC
E Jack Dugger 6'3"210Sr. Canton, Ohio Ohio State

Statistical leaders

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1932 college football season

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The 1943 college football season concluded with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame crowned as the nation's No. 1 team by a majority of the voters in the AP Poll, followed by the Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks as the runner-up. For the third time in the history of the AP Poll, a team that had lost a game was named mythical national champion;. Notre Dame lost its final game of the season, a Chicago contest against the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Along the way, however, the Fighting Irish had played one of the toughest college schedules ever, beating two No. 2 ranked teams and two No. 3 ranked teams. Purdue University would seemingly have a claim on the 1943 Championship as well as the only undefeated team playing a full schedule, but the Purdue athletic department has never pursued the claim.

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.

References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2009-01-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. “Navy Upset”, The Amarillo Sunday News-Globe, Oct. 1, 1944, p17
  3. “Randolph Field Steamrolls Over Southern Methodist 41–0”, Amarillo Sunday Globe-Times, Oct. 15, 1944, pB-6