Army likely to get share of 1945 na­tional ti­tle

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Cliff Brunt AP Sports Writer

An Amer­i­can Foot­ball Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive says Army will likely share the 1945 na­tional ti­tle with Ok­la­homa State.

An ex­ec­u­tive with the Amer­i­can Foot­ball Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion said Mon­day that Army will likely share the 1945 na­tional ti­tle with Ok­la­homa State.

Last week, the AFCA retroac­tively named Ok­la­homa State, then known as Ok­la­homa A&M, its 1945 cham­pion. A com­mit­tee headed by for­mer AFCA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Grant Teaff made the de­ci­sion.

The as­so­ci­a­tion said sev­eral schools re­quested that it es­tab­lish a group of coaches to se­lect win­ners from 1922, when the as­so­ci­a­tion was founded, to 1949, the year be­fore its coaches’ poll was first pub­lished. Gary Dar­nell, the AFCA’s as­so­ciate ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said Army met the as­so­ci­a­tion’s cri­te­ria for 1945, and the academy plans to send in the nec­es­sary pa­per­work to claim its ti­tle for that year and two other years it qual­i­fies for, though Dar­nell didn’t spec­ify which years.

Dar­nell said he has spo­ken with of­fi­cials from Army, and the pro­gram is fine with be­ing 1945 cocham­pi­ons.

“When you’re deal­ing with the West Points (Army), their fans are our lead­ers,” he said. “They’re go­ing to see it, and they’re go­ing to em­brace the op­por­tu­nity to be co-champs, or just to be rec­og­nized.”

Army and Ok­la­homa State were the only schools that met the AFCA’s cri­te­ria for 1945. Army was The Associated Press’ cham­pion that year . Ok­la­homa A&M fin­ished No. 5.

The AFCA con­sulted the Billingsley En­cy­clo­pe­dia of Col­lege Foot­ball to help de­cide who qual­i­fied. Dar­nell said there is a lone qual­i­fier for all but about seven of those years from 1922 to 1949, and it’s up to the schools to file the pa­per­work and claim their cham­pi­onships. In those years where it’s un­clear, Dar­nell said the com­mit­tee will nar­row the field.

Dar­nell said the AFCA took the 18-month process se­ri­ously be­fore nam­ing Ok­la­homa State its first retroac­tive cham­pion.

“How can a bunch of guys just get to­gether and vote for say, this one as op­posed to this one?” Dar­nell said. “How do a bunch of peo­ple get to­gether and de­cide which four teams are go­ing to play in the play­off? It’s no dif­fer­ent. At some point, you make a de­ci­sion. You in­gest as many facts as you can, and make a de­ci­sion and try to be as fair and hon­est as you can with it.”

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