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The game inaugurated what is known to college football fans as the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. William Dudley , a chemistry professor at Vanderbilt.
It is thought that the first forward pass in football occurred on October 26, in a game between Georgia and North Carolina when, out of desperation, the ball was thrown by the North Carolina back Joel Whitaker instead of punted and George Stephens caught the ball.
It was the first game in the south decided by a field goal. Warner picked up the trick and later used it at Cornell against Penn State in The Sewanee Tigers are one of the all-time great teams of the early sport.
The team went 12—0, outscoring opponents to It is recalled memorably with the phrase " The first college football game in Oklahoma Territory occurred on November 7, when the 'Oklahoma City Terrors' defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 34 to 0.
The Terrors were a mix of Methodist college students and high schoolers. By next season, Oklahoma coach John A.
Harts had left to prospect for gold in the Arctic. The high school won 24 to 0. In , the first Stanford football team was hastily organized and played a four-game season beginning in January with no official head coach.
To Whittemore's surprise, Camp agreed to coach the team himself, on the condition that he finish the season at Yale first. The team also played exhibition games against two Los Angeles area teams that Stanford does not include in official results.
USC first fielded an American football team in Frank Suffel and Henry H. Goddard were playing coaches for the first team which was put together by quarterback Arthur Carroll; who in turn volunteered to make the pants for the team and later became a tailor.
Vincent's College to a 40—0 victory. Pomona College was invited to enter, but declined to do so. An invitation was also extended to Los Angeles High School.
During that game, a large group of men and boys, who were observing from the roof of the nearby S. In May , Fielding H. Yost was hired as the football coach at Stanford University ,  and, after traveling home to West Virginia, he arrived in Palo Alto, California , on August 21, Baird as the head football coach for the Michigan Wolverines football team.
From to , Michigan had a game undefeated streak that included a trip to play in the first college football bowl game , which later became the Rose Bowl Game.
During this streak, Michigan scored 2, points while allowing only In , citing concerns about the violence in American Football, universities on the West Coast , led by California and Stanford , replaced the sport with rugby union.
The annual Big Game between Stanford and California continued as rugby, with the winner invited by the British Columbia Rugby Union to a tournament in Vancouver over the Christmas holidays, with the winner of that tournament receiving the Cooper Keith Trophy.
From its earliest days as a mob game, football was a very violent sport. The annual Army-Navy game was suspended from to for similar reasons.
The resultant collisions often led to serious injuries and sometimes even death. In there were 19 fatalities nationwide. President Theodore Roosevelt reportedly threatened to shut down the game if drastic changes were not made.
What is absolutely certain is that on October 9, , Roosevelt held a meeting of football representatives from Harvard , Yale , and Princeton.
Though he lectured on eliminating and reducing injuries, he never threatened to ban football. He also lacked the authority to abolish football and was, in fact, actually a fan of the sport and wanted to preserve it.
The President's sons were also playing football at the college and secondary levels at the time. Outland held an experimental game in Wichita, Kansas that reduced the number of scrimmage plays to earn a first down from four to three in an attempt to reduce injuries.
Though it was underutilized for years, this proved to be one of the most important rule changes in the establishment of the modern game.
As a result of the — reforms, mass formation plays became illegal and forward passes legal. Bradbury Robinson , playing for visionary coach Eddie Cochems at St.
Louis University , threw the first legal pass in a September 5, , game against Carroll College at Waukesha. Other important changes, formally adopted in , were the requirements that at least seven offensive players be on the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap, that there be no pushing or pulling, and that interlocking interference arms linked or hands on belts and uniforms was not allowed.
These changes greatly reduced the potential for collision injuries. Amos Alonzo Stagg introduced such innovations as the huddle , the tackling dummy, and the pre-snap shift.
Besides these coaching innovations, several rules changes during the first third of the 20th century had a profound impact on the game, mostly in opening up the passing game.
In , the first roughing-the-passer penalty was implemented. In , the rules on eligible receivers were loosened to allow eligible players to catch the ball anywhere on the field—previously strict rules were in place only allowing passes to certain areas of the field.
Star players that emerged in the early 20th century include Jim Thorpe , Red Grange , and Bronko Nagurski ; these three made the transition to the fledgling NFL and helped turn it into a successful league.
Sportswriter Grantland Rice helped popularize the sport with his poetic descriptions of games and colorful nicknames for the game's biggest players, including Notre Dame's " Four Horsemen " backfield and Fordham University 's linemen, known as the " Seven Blocks of Granite ".
In at Champaign, Illinois Chicago and Illinois played in the first game to have a halftime show featuring a marching band.
On November 25, Kansas and Missouri played the first homecoming football game. The game between West Virginia and Pittsburgh on October 8, , saw the first live radio broadcast of a college football game when Harold W.
Princeton won 21—18 in a hotly contested game which had Princeton dubbed the "Team of Destiny. In Vanderbilt defeated Carlisle 4—0, the result of a Bob Blake field goal.
In Vanderbilt held defending national champion Yale to a scoreless tie. In Bo McMillin led Centre upset defending national champion Harvard 6—0 in what is widely considered one of the greatest upsets in college football history.
The next year Vanderbilt fought Michigan to a scoreless tie at the inaugural game on Dudley Field , the first stadium in the South made exclusively for college football.
Michigan coach Fielding Yost and Vanderbilt coach Dan McGugin were brothers-in-law, and the latter the protege of the former. The game featured the season's two best defenses and included a goal line stand by Vanderbilt to preserve the tie.
Its result was "a great surprise to the sporting world. The game features prominently in Vanderbilt's history. Vanderbilt's line coach then was Wallace Wade , who in coached Alabama to the south's first Rose Bowl victory.
This game is commonly referred to as "the game that changed the south. In the early s, the college game continued to grow, particularly in the South , bolstered by fierce rivalries such as the " South's Oldest Rivalry ", between Virginia and North Carolina and the " Deep South's Oldest Rivalry ", between Georgia and Auburn.
Although before the mids most national powers came from the Northeast or the Midwest , the trend changed when several teams from the South and the West Coast achieved national success.
College football quickly became the most popular spectator sport in the South. Several major modern college football conferences rose to prominence during this time period.
The Southwest Athletic Conference had been founded in As it grew beyond its regional affiliations in the s, college football garnered increased national attention.
Four new bowl games were created: In lieu of an actual national championship, these bowl games, along with the earlier Rose Bowl, provided a way to match up teams from distant regions of the country that did not otherwise play.
In , the Associated Press began its weekly poll of prominent sports writers, ranking all of the nation's college football teams.
Since there was no national championship game, the final version of the AP poll was used to determine who was crowned the National Champion of college football.
The s saw growth in the passing game. Though some coaches, such as General Robert Neyland at Tennessee, continued to eschew its use and was the last college team to produce an undefeated, untied and unscored upon season in In , the rules committee removed two major penalties—a loss of five yards for a second incomplete pass in any series of downs and a loss of possession for an incomplete pass in the end zone—and shrunk the circumference of the ball, making it easier to grip and throw.
The trophy recognizes the nation's "most outstanding" college football player and has become one of the most coveted awards in all of American sports.
During World War II, college football players enlisted in the armed forces , some playing in Europe during the war.
As most of these players had eligibility left on their college careers, some of them returned to college at West Point , bringing Army back-to-back national titles in and under coach Red Blaik.
Doc Blanchard known as "Mr. Inside" and Glenn Davis known as "Mr. Outside" both won the Heisman Trophy , in and respectively. The s saw the rise of yet more dynasties and power programs.
Oklahoma , under coach Bud Wilkinson , won three national titles , , and all ten Big Eight Conference championships in the decade while building a record game winning streak.
Woody Hayes led Ohio State to two national titles, in and , and dominated the Big Ten conference, winning three Big Ten titles —more than any other school.
Wilkinson and Hayes, along with Robert Neyland of Tennessee, oversaw a revival of the running game in the s. Passing numbers dropped from an average of Nine out of ten Heisman trophy winners in the s were runners.
Notre Dame, one of the biggest passing teams of the decade, saw a substantial decline in success; the s were the only decade between and when the team did not win at least a share of the national title.
Paul Hornung , Notre Dame quarterback, did, however, win the Heisman in , becoming the only player from a losing team ever to do so.
Following the enormous success of the National Football League 's championship game , college football no longer enjoyed the same popularity as the NFL, at least on a national level.
While both games benefited from the advent of television, since the late s, the NFL has become a nationally popular sport while college football has maintained strong regional ties.
As professional football became a national television phenomenon, college football did as well. In the s, Notre Dame, which had a large national following, formed its own network to broadcast its games, but by and large the sport still retained a mostly regional following.
In , the NCAA claimed all television broadcasting rights for the games of its member institutions, and it alone negotiated television rights.
This situation continued until , when several schools brought a suit under the Sherman Antitrust Act ; the Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA and schools are now free to negotiate their own television deals.
ABC Sports began broadcasting a national Game of the Week in , bringing key matchups and rivalries to a national audience for the first time.
New formations and play sets continued to be developed. Emory Bellard , an assistant coach under Darrell Royal at the University of Texas , developed a three-back option style offense known as the wishbone.
The wishbone is a run-heavy offense that depends on the quarterback making last second decisions on when and to whom to hand or pitch the ball to.
Though some schools play a run-based version of the spread, its most common use is as a passing offense designed to "spread" the field both horizontally and vertically.
In the rankings of the most victorious programs , Michigan , Notre Dame , and Texas are ranked first, second, and third in total wins. In , for the highest level of college football, there were only five bowl games Rose, Orange, Sugar, Sun, and Cotton.
By , three more had joined that number and in , there were still only eight major college bowl games. The number grew to eleven in At the birth of cable television and cable sports networks like ESPN , there were fifteen bowls in With more national venues and increased available revenue, the bowls saw an explosive growth throughout the s and s.
In the thirty years from to , seven bowl games were added to the schedule. From to , an additional 20 bowl games were added to the schedule.
Yet others have countered that the increased number of games has increased exposure and revenue for a greater number of schools, and see it as a positive development.
With the growth of bowl games, it became difficult to determine a national champion in a fair and equitable manner.
As conferences became contractually bound to certain bowl games a situation known as a tie-in , match-ups that guaranteed a consensus national champion became increasingly rare.
In , seven conferences and independent Notre Dame formed the Bowl Coalition , which attempted to arrange an annual No. The Coalition lasted for three years; however, several scheduling issues prevented much success; tie-ins still took precedence in several cases.
For example, the Big Eight and SEC champions could never meet, since they were contractually bound to different bowl games.
The coalition also excluded the Rose Bowl, arguably the most prestigious game in the nation, and two major conferences—the Pac and Big Ten—meaning that it had limited success.
It was agreed that the No. The system still did not include the Big Ten , Pac , or the Rose Bowl , and thus still lacked the legitimacy of a true national championship.
In , a new system was put into place called the Bowl Championship Series. The champions of these six conferences, along with two "at-large" selections, were invited to play in the four bowl games.
Each year, one of the four bowl games served as a national championship game. Also, a complex system of human polls, computer rankings, and strength of schedule calculations was instituted to rank schools.
Based on this ranking system, the No. Traditional tie-ins were maintained for schools and bowls not part of the national championship.
For example, in years when not a part of the national championship, the Rose Bowl still hosted the Big Ten and Pac champions. The system continued to change, as the formula for ranking teams was tweaked from year to year.
Starting with the season, a fifth game—simply called the BCS National Championship Game —was added to the schedule, to be played at the site of one of the four BCS bowl games on a rotating basis, one week after the regular bowl game.
This opened up the BCS to two additional at-large teams. Due to the intensification of the college football playoff debate after nearly a decade of the sometimes disputable results of the BCS, the conference commissioners and Notre Dame's president voted to implement a Plus-One system which was to be called the 'College Football Playoff'.
In the early 20th century, football began to catch on in the general population of the United States and was the subject of intense competition and rivalry, albeit of a localized nature.
Although payments to players were considered unsporting and dishonorable at the time, a Pittsburgh area club, the Allegheny Athletic Association , of the unofficial western Pennsylvania football circuit , surreptitiously hired former Yale All-American guard William "Pudge" Heffelfinger.
On November 12, , Heffelfinger became the first known professional football player. Heffelfinger picked up a Pittsburgh fumble and ran 35 yards for a touchdown, winning the game 4—0 for Allegheny.
Although observers held suspicions, the payment remained a secret for years. On September 3, the first wholly professional game was played, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania , between the Latrobe Athletic Association and the Jeannette Athletic Club.
Latrobe won the contest 12—0. In , William Chase Temple took over the team payments for the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club , a professional football team based in Pittsburgh from until , becoming the first known individual football club owner.
This team later became the Chicago Cardinals , then the St. Louis Cardinals and now is known as the Arizona Cardinals , making them the oldest continuously operating professional football team.
The first known professional football league, known as the National Football League not the same as the modern league began play in when several baseball clubs formed football teams to play in the league, including the Philadelphia Athletics , Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Pirates' team the Pittsburgh Stars were awarded the league championship. The event featured the first-ever indoor pro football games.
The first professional indoor game came on December 29, , when the Syracuse Athletic Club defeated the " New York team " 5—0.
Syracuse would go on to win the Series, while the Franklin Athletic Club won the Series in The World Series only lasted two seasons.
The first black person to be paid for his play in football games is thought to be two-sport athlete Charles Follis , A member of the Shelby Steamfitters for five years starting in , Follis turned professional in The game moved west into Ohio , which became the center of professional football during the early decades of the 20th century.
Small towns such as Massillon , Akron , Portsmouth , and Canton all supported professional teams in a loose coalition known as the " Ohio League ", the direct predecessor to today's National Football League.
In the Canton Bulldogs—Massillon Tigers betting scandal became the first major scandal in professional football in the United States.
It was the first known case of professional gamblers attempting to fix a professional sport. Although the Massillon Tigers could not prove that the Canton Bulldogs had thrown the second game, the scandal tarnished the Bulldogs' name and helped ruin professional football in Ohio until the mids.
Thorpe became the face of professional football for the next several years and was present at the founding of the National Football League five years later.
Jim Thorpe was elected the league's first president. After several more meetings, the league's membership was formalized.
The original teams were: In its early years the league was little more than a formal agreement between teams to play each other and to declare a champion at season's end.
Teams were still permitted to play non-league members. The season saw several teams drop out and fail to play through their schedule.
Akron, Buffalo, Canton, and Decatur, finished the schedule. Akron claimed the first league champion, with the only undefeated record among the remaining teams.
Two black players took part in the league's inaugural season: Fritz Pollard and Bobby Marshall. In , Pollard coached in the league, becoming the first African-American to do so.
In , several more teams joined the league, increasing the membership to 22 teams. Among the new additions were the Green Bay Packers , which now has the record for longest use of an unchanged team name.
Also in , A. Staley , the owner of the Decatur Staleys, sold the team to player-coach George Halas , who went on to become one of the most important figures in the first half century of the NFL.
In , Halas moved the team to Chicago, but retained the Staleys nickname. In the team was renamed the Chicago Bears. By the mids, NFL membership had grown to 25 teams, and a rival league known as the American Football League was formed.
The rival AFL folded after a single season, but it symbolized a growing interest in the professional game. Several college stars joined the NFL, most notably Red Grange from the University of Illinois , who was taken on a famous barnstorming tour in by the Chicago Bears.
The scandal involved a Chicago player, Art Folz , hiring a group of high school football players to play for the Milwaukee Badgers, against the Cardinals.
In addition there are teams in the formation stage in several provinces, such as in the province of Santa Fe.
Canadian football , the predominant form of football in Canada, is closely related to American football — both sports developed from rugby, and the two sports are considered to be the chief variants of gridiron football.
Punting is illegal, and kickoffs are attempted from the goal line. Large overhead nets deflect forward passes and kicks that hit them, and deflected kicks are live balls that may be recovered by either team.
Like in arena football, teams in indoor football leagues play in arenas, but games are only attended by a small number of fans, and most players are semi-professional athletes.
Indoor football leagues are unstable, with franchises regularly moving from one league to another or merging with other teams, and teams or entire leagues dissolving entirely.
There are several non-contact variants of American football, such as flag football. A game of touch football may require that the player be touched with either one or two hands to be considered down, depending on the rules used.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the American variation of gridiron football.
For a broader usage of the name, see American football disambiguation. Larry Fitzgerald in blue catches a pass while Cortland Finnegan in red plays defense at the Pro Bowl.
Team sport ball game. Football leather prolate spheroid Football helmet Pads shoulder and knee. History of American football. Official American football , Chain crew , and Penalty gridiron football.
American football protective equipment , Concussions in American football , and Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. American football in the United States.
Canadian football , Arena football , and Flag football. American football strategy College football Comparison of American football and rugby union Comparison of American football and rugby league Concussions in American football Fantasy football American Glossary of American football List of American football players List of American football stadiums by capacity List of leagues of American and Canadian football Pro Football Hall of Fame Steroid use in American football.
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