Oklahoma State University has won its first national championship in football! For 1945.
The American Football Coaches Association is cleaning up its records from between 1922 and 1949, when the championships were not clearly defined.
OSU–then, Oklahoma A&M–had an undefeated season and a Sugar Bowl win, along with an All-American leading rusher and a defense that gave up just 8.6 points a game. Nevertheless, it ended the season ranked #5, behind Army, Alabama, Navy, and Indiana.
From Kyle Frederickson, OSU football: AFCA recognizes 1945 A&M team as national champions | News OK:
Congratulations, Oklahoma State football fans!
Your long wait for a national championship is finally over. Pop the champagne. Plan the parade. Make room in the glass case for the program’s first national title trophy, because the Cowboys did it.
Well, sort of.
The American Football Coaches Association announced Thursday it has recognized the 1945 Oklahoma State (then Oklahoma A&M) team as its retroactive national champion. It is part of an effort by the organization, composed of more than 11,000 members nationally across all levels of football, to select coaches’ trophy winners from 1922 to 1949: time elapsed between the first year of the AFCA and the last year before the coaches’ poll was published.OSU was determined the 1945 champion by a panel of coaches — the Blue Ribbon Commission — after reviewing potential candidates.
“After gathering all the pertinent information and doing our due diligence, it is the pleasure of our Blue Ribbon Commission of coaches to officially recognize Oklahoma State’s 1945 championship season with the AFCA Coaches’ Trophy,” AFCA executive director Todd Berry said in a news release.
The merits of OSU’s newfound championship can be debated, however, there’s no questioning A&M was a powerhouse in 1945.
It went 9-0 with a 33-13 Sugar Bowl victory against St. Mary’s. Bob Fenimore was a consensus All-American who led the nation in rushing and total yardage. The defense, led by star defensive end Neill Armstrong, allowed just 8.6 points per game. Even then, A&M finished fifth in the final AP poll: 1. Army 2. Alabama 3. Navy 4. Indiana 5. A&M.