First College Football Game Ever Played – Rutgers University Beat Princeton University 6-4 in 1869

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Long before college football was the multi-billion dollar twenty-first century business that it is today the very first college football game ever played took place on November 6, 1869 between Rutgers University and Princeton University.

Interestingly enough this particular game not only marked the first intercollegiate American football game but it also represented half of the first college football season which was comprised of a mere two teams that played each other twice. The final results of the inaugural college football season resulted in both Princeton and Rutgers each finishing with one win and one loss as Rutgers won the first game 토토 (at home) and Princeton won the second (at home). Amusingly, the first ever national championship was retroactively shared between these schools which were again the only ones competing and of course in addition for tying for the national title they each tied for the worst record in the league.

While the first college football game ever played was probably a closer resemblance to rugby than football it has been given the historical significance bestowed upon it in large part because this matchup pitted two American colleges against one another in the first documented contest of any game specifically recorded as being called “football.” The evolution of sport is much more the norm than the exception. Baseball is a prime example of a game that developed from an older sport in cricket. Cricket in turn likely evolved from more primitive games that involved hitting some sort of ball with a bat. A sport like basketball is an exception in that it is very unusual for such a definitive moment to be cited when a game of such popularity was created (December, 1891) and incorporated in large part a similar set of rules as those that are used today.

The first college football game took place so long ago that both schools actually went by different names than they do today. In November of 1869 modern day Rutgers University was Rutgers College and Princeton University was the College of New Jersey. The iconic first game was hosted by Rutgers and played in New Brunswick, New Jersey on the site of the modern day College Avenue Gymnasium. The final score of this first contest had Rutgers coming out victoriously by a count of six runs to four runs (clearly the term touchdown had not yet gained popularity). Estimated attendance for that first game has been pegged at roughly one hundred spectators.

 

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