The Oklahoma State Throwback Project (Updated 12/26)

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Alright everyone, here we are, the last part of the throwback series. This one was a double feature on the Bob Fenimore era, and by sheer coincidence it happens to include a throwback to the Sugar Bowl (which Oklahoma State will now be returning to for the first time since 1946).



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Before we dig into the history here (because trust me, there's more than enough to cover), I'll just give a brief bit about the uniform design. Rather than doing yet another faux-leather finish with these helmets like I did with the 1910 and 1939 sets, I decided to go with more of a gunmetal black to try and capture the unique sheen of those dark leather helmets from the era a bit better. As for the set itself, the 1940's mark one of the few periods that Oklahoma State ever wore whites at home, and were the introductory years for one of the most iconic recurring striping patterns that OSU has worn in its history. When's casdas and I were talking about the '87/'88 uniforms, he pointed out that Pat Jones actually brought back the Northwestern stripes as a direct reference to this period, and for good reason.

The 1944 season was a breakthrough season for the Cowboys, who posted up an overall 8-1 record and Missouri Valley Conference championship. They were rewarded with the university's first ever bowl appearance, the 1945 Cotton Bowl against TCU, where they would cap off their season with a 34-0 victory (fun aside: you can watch footage from the game here on OSU Athletics' Youtube page). This success served as a stepping-off point for 1945, where the Cowboys would post a historic 9-0 record and earn a berth in the Sugar Bowl. This season stands as Oklahoma State's first and only undefeated season in school history, and its second highest finish in the AP Poll at #5. 1945 also marks the Cowboys' largest ever margin of victory in the Bedlam series with a 47-0 shutout against Oklahoma. The 1946 Sugar Bowl gave OA&M its second bowl victory in as many years with a sound defeat of #7 St. Mary's 33-13, their best victory of the season (you can also watch this game here, although sadly this recording doesn't have sound).

Speaking of the Sugar Bowl:


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Now, there's not much point in talking about these teams without also getting to the players that brought them so much success. Of course, there's Bob Fenimore, the "Blonde Bomber" from Woodward, OK. His numbers through the 1944 and 1945 seasons were astounding at the time- in the former, he led the nation in total offense with 1,758 yards and was third in rushing with 899 yards, and in the latter, he led the nation in both total offense with 1,641 yards and rushing with 1,119 yards. His production wasn't solely on the offensive side of the ball, though; he marked 18 interceptions over his career at OSU, a figure that still stands as a school record to this day. However, referring to the period as the Bob Fenimore era would be unfair to many of the other greats from those teams, including two-time All-American Neill Armstrong, who led the nation in pass receptions in 1944 and went on to have a rich NFL career (and if you ever get the chance to visit Heritage Hall in GIA, you can find a great picture of the two shaking hands both in their playing days and later in 2001). Other notable figures from the '44-'45 seasons include coach Jim Lookabaugh and OSU Hall of Honor member Cecil Hankins.


Well, that's that. Hope you all enjoyed the series, and I'm glad I got to share it here with you all. I'm looking forward to doing more projects here in the future, but for now, enjoy the holidays!

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