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Encyclopedia > College American football
A college football game between Colorado State University and the Air Force Academy.

College football was the venue through which American football first gained popularity in the United States. College football remains extremely popular today among students, alumni, and other fans of the sport.



A college football game between Texas Tech University and the U.S. Naval Academy.

The first game played between teams representing different colleges or universities was played on November 6, 1869 between Rutgers University and Princeton University, at College Field (now the site of the College Avenue Gymnasium), New Brunswick, New Jersey. Rutgers won, by a score of 6 to 4. As the score would indicate, the game bore little resemblance to the game of today. The rules of that game were the 1863 rules of the English Football Association, the basis of the modern form of soccer.

The development of the American game can be traced to a meeting between the Harvard University and McGill University football teams in 1874. The two teams were used to playing different brands of football--the McGill team played a rugby-style game, while Harvard played a soccer-style game. The teams agreed to play under compromise rules, and from this meeting the game of football began to evolve in both the United States and Canada.

The game increased in popularity through the remainder of the 19th century. It also became increasingly violent. President Theodore Roosevelt threatened, in 1906, to ban the sport following a series of player deaths from injuries suffered during games. The response to this was the formation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which set rules governing the sport. One of the rules changes to emerge from this attempt at alleviating the violence of the sport was the introduction of the forward pass. Another was the banning of "mass momentum" plays (many of which, like the infamous "flying wedge", were literally deadly).

Prior to the founding of the National Football League, and for a few decades thereafter, college football was the predominant venue for American football. Innovations in strategy and style of play originated in college football and spread to the pro game gradually. It was not until the post- World War II era that the pro game achieved ascendancy in the eyes of the average American sports fan.

The season schedule

Division 1A college football begins two to three weeks earlier than the NFL, towards the end of August. Until 2003, the regular season was officially ushered in by the Kickoff Classic, held in recent years in New Jersey (although other pre_season games such as the Eddie Robinson Classic and the Pigskin Classic have also been played), but recent NCAA policy changes have eliminated some of these games, and so the season now largely starts out with regular games. The regular season then continues through early December (generally with the annual Army-Navy Game).

The college post-season is ushered in by the annual presentation of the media voters and former winners of the award. This is then followed by a series of bowl games that showcase (usually) the top college team in a particular conference, as well as the consensus "national champion", which is determined not by a true playoff, but by a controversial confederation of voters, broadcast networks, bowls and conferences known as the Bowl Championship Series. A series of all-star bowl games round out the season for the balance of January, including the East_West Shrine Game, the Senior Bowl (for many decades the official final game of the season), the Hula Bowl, and the Gridiron Classic (in recent years, the Hula and Gridiron have alternated as the final game of the season).

National championships

NCAA divisions and conferences

NCAA Division I-A

NCAA Division I-AA

NCAA Division II

NCAA Division III

NAIA Conferences

Conferences that formerly sponsored football

Division I colleges that no longer play football

College football bowl games for 2004-2005

Please see NCAA football bowl games, 2004-05

College football bowl games played for 2004-2005

2004-05 Division I_A College football Bowl Game season:

New Orleans (Dec. 14) | Champs Sports (Dec. 21) | GMAC (Dec. 22) | Fort Worth (Dec. 23) | Las Vegas (Dec. 23) | Hawaii (Dec. 24) | MPC Computers (Dec. 27) | Independence (Dec. 28) | Insight (Dec. 28) | Houston (Dec. 29) | Alamo (Dec. 29) | Continental Tire (Dec. 30) | Emerald (Dec. 30) | Holiday (Dec. 30) | Silicon Valley (Dec. 30) | Music City (Dec. 31) | Sun (Dec. 31) | Liberty (Dec. 31) | Peach (Dec. 31) | Outback (Jan. 1) | Cotton (Jan. 1) | Gator (Jan. 1) | Capital One (Jan. 1) | East-West Shrine Game (Jan. 15) | Gridiron Classic (Jan. 15) | Hula Bowl (Jan. 22) | Senior Bowl (Jan. 29)

Bowl Championship Series games:
Rose Bowl (Jan. 1) Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1) Sugar Bowl (Jan. 3) Orange Bowl (Jan. 4)

Bowls no longer played

College football awards

See Also

External links

  Results from FactBites:
American football - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3683 words)
American football, known in the United States and Canada simply as football, is a competitive team sport.
College football is also extremely popular throughout the U.S., especially in markets not served by an NFL team.
Both American football and soccer have their origins in varieties of football played in the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century, and American football is directly descended from rugby football.
College football - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1421 words)
Prior to the founding of the National Football League, and for a few decades thereafter, college football was the predominant venue for American football.
But a lack of a pro franchise is not necessarily an indicator of where the college game is most successful; for example, in Ohio, Texas and Florida -- states which all have multiple NFL franchises -- there are universities that also rank in the upper financial echelons of the college football.
The college post-season is ushered in by the annual presentation of the Heisman Trophy Award, considered the most prestigious award in all of college football, given to the top player of the year as determined by a panel consisting of media voters and former winners of the award.
  More results at FactBites »



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