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Fixing the Final 1945 AP College Football Poll

1) Army 9-0
2) Alabama 10-0
3) Navy 7-1-1
4) Indiana 9-0-1
5) Oklahoma State 9-0
6) Michigan 7-3
7) St. Mary's (California) 6-2
8) Pennsylvania 6-2

9) Notre Dame 7-2-1
10) Texas 10-1
11) Southern Cal 7-4
12) Ohio State 7-2
13) Duke 6-2
14) Tennessee 8-1
15) Louisiana State 7-2
16) Holy Cross 8-2
17) Tulsa 8-3
18) Georgia 9-2
19) Wake Forest 5-3-1
20) Columbia 8-1
To the left is the final 1945 AP college football top 20. You can access all of these teams' full schedules here: College Football Data Warehouse (amongst a number of other places). The fixed final AP poll, expanded to 25 teams, follows the article below.

Let's start by moving #5 Oklahoma State, 9-0, ahead of #4 Indiana, 9-0-1. Indiana took an upset, tying unranked 4-4-1 Northwestern, while OSU did not, and Oklahoma State's 33-13 Sugar Bowl slapdown of #7 St. Mary's may well have pushed them ahead of Indiana in a post-bowl poll anyway.

St. Mary's, of course, would have dropped in a post-bowl poll. They took an upset loss to unranked 5-4 UCLA, while #8 Penn took no upset. #9 Notre Dame took an upset loss, but to a good military team (6-4-1 Great Lakes Navy), and they partially made up for it by tying #3 Navy. So let's drop St. Mary's behind both teams.

All of that gives us the following ratings shift: Oklahoma State #4, Indiana #5, Michigan #6, Penn #7, Notre Dame #8, and St. Mary's #9.
Army halfback Glenn Davis and fullback Doc Blanchard
Mr. Outside and Mr. Inside, Army halfback Glenn Davis and fullback Doc Blanchard. Blanchard, also the kicker and punter, won the Heisman this season, and Davis won it in 1946. Army rolled over 9 opponents by an average score of 46-5, and 6 of those opponents were ranked: #3, #6, #8, #9, #13, and #19
.

Duke and Tennessee

#13 Duke (6-2) lost only to #1 Army and #3 Navy, and #14 Tennessee (8-1) lost only to #2 Alabama. The 4 teams ranked just in front of them all took an upset loss, so Duke and Tennessee ought to be moved ahead of all of them. Notre Dame, now #8, also took an upset loss, but they accomplished enough to remain ranked ahead of Duke and Tennessee.

Move Duke up to #9 and Tennessee to #10, dropping St. Mary's, Texas, Southern Cal, and Ohio State 1 spot each.

Louisiana State, Texas, and Southern Cal

10-1 Texas (originally rated #10) and 7-4 Southern Cal (#11) were both overrated, and both will be dropping quite a bit in the fixed poll. Texas lost to unrated 5-6 Rice, they did not defeat a rated opponent, and they barely beat 4 weak teams. Southern Cal lost to unrated 6-3 Washington, they were embarrassed 33-6 by San Diego Navy and 34-14 by #2 Alabama in the Rose Bowl, and they too failed to defeat a rated opponent.

Let's compare #15 Louisiana State (7-2) to Texas. LSU also took an upset loss, to unrated 6-3 Mississippi State, but that's better than Texas' loss to 5-6 Rice, especially since LSU destroyed Rice 42-0. LSU defeated a rated opponent (#18 Georgia, 9-2), while Texas did not, and LSU had just 1 close win, while Texas had 4.

Move Louisiana State up to #12, dropping Texas and Southern Cal 1 spot each. But that is just the start of a parade of teams moving up past Texas and Southern Cal.

Georgia

#18 Georgia (9-2) beat #17 Tulsa 20-6 in the Oil Bowl, so they should certainly be moved ahead of them, but Georgia also had a better relevant record than quite a few teams now ranked ahead of them. Their only losses came to #2 Alabama and now-#12 Louisiana State, so there is no doubt that they should be ranked ahead of now-#13 Texas.

Move Georgia up to #13, dropping Texas, Southern Cal, Ohio State, Holy Cross, and Tulsa 1 spot each.

Tulsa

8-3 Tulsa took their losses to 9-2 Georgia and a pair of top 5 teams, 9-0 Oklahoma State and 9-0-1 Indiana, and with Georgia moved up past Texas where they belong, Tulsa also has a better relevant record than quite a few teams ranked ahead of them, including, of course, Texas.

Move Tulsa up to #14, dropping Texas, Southern Cal, Ohio State, and Holy Cross 1 spot each.

Purdue and Ohio State

Unrated 7-3 Purdue won 35-13 at 7-2 Ohio State (originally rated #12). Purdue did take an upset loss, at unrated 4-4-1 Northwestern, but they still own the head-to-head tie-breaker with OSU, and by a very decisive score in Columbus, so they should be ranked ahead of Ohio State. Normally I'd place these teams at about the middle of where they were originally ranked, but both of them should be ranked ahead of Texas. Purdue, like Texas, took an upset loss, but unlike Texas they defeated a ranked opponent, and Ohio State did not take an upset loss.

Bring Purdue in at #15 and move Ohio State up to #16. Texas and Southern Cal each drop 2 spots, while Holy Cross, Wake Forest, and Columbia drop 1 spot each.

Northwestern

Unrated 4-4-1 Northwestern also had a better relevant record than did Texas. They took one upset loss, at unrated 4-5 Minnesota, but they made up for that by beating now-#15 Purdue, and they also tied now-#5 Indiana (9-0-1). Now, it may seem silly to rank a major 4-4-1 team ahead of a major 10-1 team, but remember that these teams played vastly different schedules. We have no idea whether Texas could have done better than 4-4-1 against Northwestern's schedule. On the other hand, it seems highly unlikely that Northwestern could have done better than 10-1 against Texas' schedule, given that Northwestern took an upset loss as it was-- and they were trounced in that game 30-7. They also looked bad in a 34-7 home loss to Notre Dame.

So I'll give the AP poll Texas here. But Southern Cal took 4 losses themselves, so I'm bringing Northwestern in ahead of them.

Northwestern comes in at #18, dropping Southern Cal, Holy Cross, Wake Forest, and Columbia 1 spot each.

Wake Forest

5-3-1 Wake Forest, originally rated #19, had both a better straight record and a better relevant record than did 7-4 Southern Cal, so let's move them up past the Trojans too. 8-2 Holy Cross currently sits between Wake Forest and USC, but HC lost to 2 unrated opponents, and they'll need to be dropped behind both of those teams (as handled below).

Wake Forest to #19. Southern Cal, Holy Cross, and Columbia drop 1 spot each.

Miami-Florida

Unrated 9-1-1 Miami-Florida defeated 8-2 Holy Cross (originally rated #16) 13-6 in the Orange Bowl, and would have passed up Holy Cross in a post-bowl poll. Miami took an upset tie with 2-4-3 South Carolina, but that still left them with a better relevant record than Southern Cal had, and unlike USC they defeated a rated opponent, so let's bring them in ahead of USC.

Miami-Florida comes in at #20, dropping Southern Cal, Holy Cross, and Columbia 1 spot each.

Temple and Holy Cross

Holy Cross also lost to unrated 7-1 Temple, and should be dropped behind them. We'll put both teams behind 8-1 Columbia (unlike Temple, Columbia did not take an upset loss). Columbia's schedule was weak enough that the AP poll can keep Southern Cal rated ahead of them.

Columbia moves up to #22, Temple comes in at #23, and Holy Cross drops to #24.

Clemson

There is 1 spot left to fill, and we have 4 candidates for it: 5-4 UCLA, 3-4-2 Wisconsin, 6-3-1 Clemson, and 4-4 Villanova. Any of these teams will do, so I'll just take the one with the best straight record, 6-3-1 Clemson, as that seems likeliest to have been the choice of AP poll voters.

Clemson #25.

Fixed AP Top 25

For the first time in 10 polls that I've fixed, no team falls out of this fixed and expanded AP top 25. Discounting games against each other, the 5 teams that come into the fixed poll took a total of 2 losses and 2 ties to unranked teams, and they nabbed 3 wins and 1 tie against AP-rated teams.

1) Army 9-0 --
2) Alabama 10-0 --
3) Navy 7-1-1 --
4) Oklahoma State 9-0 +1
5) Indiana 9-0-1 -1
6) Michigan 7-3 --
7) Pennsylvania 6-2 +1
8) Notre Dame 7-2-1 +1
9) Duke 6-2 +4
10) Tennessee 8-1 +4
11) St. Mary's (California) 6-2 -4
12) Louisiana State 7-2 +3
13) Georgia 9-2 +5
14) Tulsa 8-3 +3
15) Purdue 7-3 IN
16) Ohio State 7-2 -4
17) Texas 10-1 -7
18) Northwestern 4-4-1 IN
19) Wake Forest 5-3-1 --
20) Miami (Florida) 9-1-1 IN
21) Southern Cal 7-4 -10
22) Columbia 8-1 -2
23) Temple 7-1 IN
24) Holy Cross 8-2 -8
25) Clemson 6-3-1 IN

Fixed AP Polls
1945 National Championship
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