College Football

College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges and military academies.

It was all the way through college play that American football first gained status in the United States.

College Football History

Modern American football has its genesis in various games, all known as football, played at public schools in England in the mid-19th century. By the 1840s, students at Rugby School were playing a game in which players were talented to pick up the ball and run with it, a sport afterward known as Rugby football.

The game was taken to Canada by British soldiers stationed in attendance and was soon being played at Canadian colleges.

The first football game played between teams on behalf of colleges was an unfamiliar ancestor of today's college football, as it was played under 99 years old soccer-style Association rules. The game between teams from Rutgers College (now Rutgers University) and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) took place on November 6, 1869 at College Field (now the site of the College Avenue Gymnasium at Rutgers University) in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Rutgers won by a score of 6 "runs" to Princeton's.

The 1869 game between Rutgers and Princeton is significant in that it is the first documented game of any sport called "football" (which also encompasses the game of Association Football) between two American colleges. It is also notable in that it came full-two years before a codified rugby game would be played in England. The Princeton/Rutgers game was indisputably different from what we today know as American football. However it was the forerunner of what evolved into American football. Another comparable game took place between Rutgers and Columbia University in 1870 and the reputation of intercollegiate competition in football would spread all through the country.