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buckeye.36.1944


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Comment 09 May 2012

There was no postseason Big Ten obligations.  This started later in the same decade.  Additionally, manpower was at a premium due to the war.  Many of the players on that team effectively joined the armed forces after the fall quarter was complete and would have effectively missed any bowl game.

Comment 09 May 2012

Great piece.  I was lucky enough to shake the hand of Les Horvath back in the 90's before he passed and spent a few minutes with him.  He was a gracious as ever and engaged the entire time.  My father, Gene Janecko, played with him in 1944, his Heisman Trophy winning year.  My dad was 17 at the time (now kickin' at 85) but still remembers that fall quite well.  That season stands out for him as it was his only season at Ohio State.  He went off to join the war effort shortly after the conclusion of the season and when he returned after the war he ended up playing college football at Youngstown College instead of tOSU to be closer to home (bummer!).  He remembers Les as being the absolute leader of that 1944 team, both on the field and in the locker room.  This was no small feat with Bill Willis, Jack Dugger, Bill Hackett, Warren Amling, and Ollie Cline on the squad.  It was an amazingly underrated team that year that doesn't get the recognition it deserves.  The game films I've watched of that team are astounding.  It would've been great if they had been able to play Earl Blaik's top ranked Army team of that year.  Would've been a fantastic battle.

Les Horvath is the one Heisman Trophy winner whom most Buckeye fans don't recognize.  The article is a welcome spotlight on him and that team.  Thanks.