1945 College Football Recap
The war was over by autumn, but Army kept up its football offensive with a second straight unbeaten season.
Each time the Cadets snapped the ball in 1945 they gained eight yards. The average score of their nine wins slipped a bit to 46–5, but again they treated Notre Dame harshly. Facing the No.2 Irish at Yankee Stadium on Nov.9, Army crushed them, 48–0.
A thousand miles from West Point, the talent pool wasn't quite so predictable. The war effort had wiped out Alabama's roster in 1943 and forced coach Frank Thomas to cancel the season. A year later, the Crimson Tide returned to go 5–1–2 and reach the Sugar Bowl. In '45, with sophomore Harry Gilmer at quarterback, they beat everyone they played, including Southern Cal by 20 points in the Rose Bowl. The loss was USC's first in the Rose Bowl after eight wins.
In the Midwest, Indiana won its first Big Ten championship and finished the season unbeaten. The Hoosiers placed 4th in the final AP poll and Bo McMillan was named Coach of the Year. Oklahoma A&M was the 5th-ranked team. Sparked by junior halfback Bob Fenimore, the nation's leader in total offense for the second year in a row, the Cowboys went undefeated and won the Sugar Bowl.
The Cotton Bowl, however, belonged to Texas' sophomore quarterback Bobby Layne. Layne ran for four touchdowns, passed for two others and kicked four extra points as the No.10 Longhorns showed Missouri, 40–27.