The 2020 college football season is highly unusual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are schedule changes, schools opting not to play and an overall sense of uncertainty. Heck, even Notre Dame is playing a conference schedule.

But it’s not the first time a season has strayed from the norm. Although the circumstances were vastly different from today, the sport forged on during another global crisis in the early 1940s.

The United States officially entered World War II on Dec. 8, 1941. By August 1942, 52 colleges had dropped football as a result of the war, according to Harold Claassen of the Associated Press.

Notable programs included NYU, Gonzaga, Centenary (La.) and St. Mary’s (Texas). Claassen reported that a majority of the 52 were “institutions away from densely populated areas and relying for profit on spectators who lived at a distance.”

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For GonzagaCentenary (La.) and St. Mary’s (Texas), the discontinuation of football was permanent. None of those schools have fielded a team since.

Most colleges, in some capacity, did participate in the 1942 season. But they weren’t alone.

Service teams such as Great Lakes Navy, Iowa Pre-Flight and Georgia Pre-Flight competed against the Michigans, Iowas and Auburns of the college football world.

To be clear, these “service teams” were not service academies like Army or Navy. Rather, they represented military camps and pre-flight schools across the country — some of which were located on college campuses.