Flashback Friday: The First Time Oklahoma State Football Dealt With A Pandemic

Marshall Levenson

As we all know, this Saturday's game for Oklahoma State against Baylor was postponed to Dec. 12 due to COVID concerns on the side of Baylor. 

With an already scheduled bye week last week, this obviously means Oklahoma State football has consecutive open weeks. This has never been done before... or so we thought. 

The program announced this morning via social media that this is the first time since 1918 that Oklahoma State has had consecutive open weeks in the regular season. It is also not the first time it was caused by a global pandemic

The then Oklahoma A&M Aggies were forced to take three weeks off due to the 1918 influenza outbreak, otherwise known as the Spanish Flu. 

That is about the only thing in this situation you will find parallels in. If we take a look at the roster and team photo from that year, you will notice there are only 12 players. That is just a tad less than the now 100+ that college programs run with these days.

The 1918 season was not at all that bad though as the Aggies finished 6-2. In this season recap written after the season, you can read about every game of their season and what their prospects for success were. 


It is very interesting to see how much the game has changed and what the sport is like today. 

In todays game we celebrate when players come back from injury or wait a year to enter the NFL Draft. In this time period, they celebrated when players came back from war. I can not even imagine the dynamic of college football back then. 

I hate bye weeks as is because you can't watch your team but especially when they are unplanned and last second decision. Let's all just hope its another 102 years until another problem like this arises. 

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Comments (9)
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Kansas cowboy
Kansas cowboy

Nice to get old stories


116-pound Aggie QB? How can that even be possible? I can't even envision a college-age kid weighing 116, especially not back then, when most kids had to work hard around the homestead, and were more athletic.


Why was it called the "Spanish Flu" and not given some micro-organism name and number?

How well did those harsh measures taken back in 1918 work to thwart the Spanish Flu? From what I've read, in regards to US lives lost (675,000), that pandemic seemed to really kick into high gear in the Fall of 1918 in the midst of the most aggressive impositions.

The Southern Democrat racist and big-government authoritarian, Woodrow Wilson. Supporter of Eugenics and the author of America's first internment camps for ethnic American's of the wrong heritages... that figures.

"Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results." - Albert Einstein


Grumble, you likely already know, but the Spanish Flu name derived from Spain sitting out the war (WWI). Therefore, they talked of the illness, prevention measures and deaths in their country. The US (where this arose in Kansas originally) and their allies as well as the Axis countries would publicize anything about their illness issues. This was to protect the war effort and keep confidential the possible troop count affected. More US troops died of the flu than combat injuries.