1946 College Football Recap
Army entered the 1946 season favored to win its third straight national title. The Cadets were riding an 18?game winning streak and they still had Blanchard and Davis. Clearly, coach Red Blaik's squad would have to be beaten to lose its status as the No.1 team in the nation.
Frank Leahy had coached Notre Dame to a national championship in 1943, then left South Bend for the South Pacific and two years with the Navy. He returned to his old job in '46 and was joined by a crowd of lettermen-turned soldiers who still had eligibility remaining. The Irish were loaded and determined. Not only did they want their No.1 ranking back, but they were eager to avenge the 59?0 and 48?0 losses to Army in 1944 and '45.
Army was 7?0 and Notre Dame was 5?0 when the two teams met at Yankee Stadium on Nov.9. The No.1 Cadets came in averaging 30 points a game while the No.2 Irish averaged 35. Final score: 0?0.
Army's 25?fame winning streak was over but the Cadets were still unbeaten. They won their last two games, but had to struggle past Navy. Meanwhile, Notre Dame shut out Northwestern and Tulane and beat Southern Cal by 20. A week later, the final AP poll gave the championship to the Irish.
Elsewhere, the Big Ten and Pacific Coast Conference signed an agreement to play each other in the Rose Bowl each New Year's Day. No.5 Illinois beat No.4 UCLA, 45?14, in the inaugural.