College Football: The Past and the Present

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Type: article
Parent page: The Evolution of College Football
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The world continues to change, and nothing signifies this change more than college football. Contrary to the multi-billion industry that college football is today, the sport had modest beginnings. The rules, the teams, the conferences, the venues, and the fans have each undergone immense transformation.

The Roots of College Football

The early college football game borrowed a lot from rugby and football. The first-ever intercollegiate game was weird than said. It occurred in New Brunswick, New York, and pitted Princeton University against Rutgers. Each of the team fielded an unbelievable number of players. Twenty-five players from each team ensured that the match was a grind-it-out war.

The Evolution

Come 1880, the number of players was reduced to the current 11 players. Despite this reduction, the game remained overly rough. Injuries and at worst even deaths occurred in matches. By the 20th century, college football rules were ripe for change. The first thing that was changed was the playing ball. The round ball was gone and was replaced by an oval ball.

Modern Rules

Initially, a field goal yielded five points, while a touchdown was awarded two points. The modern game now rewards a touchdown with six points, and a field goal is given three points. Rougher tactics were banned while the forward passing has been legalized.

The downs system also continues to evolve. A team is now required to make ten yards instead of five, in three tries for a first down. As the quality of the game improved, each college team is now required to be part of the NCAA.

Conference Changes

Conferences continue to change amid several dissatisfactions and controversies. Since 1992, the placement of teams in different divisions has proved controversial. The earlier models of the Bowl Coalition and the Bowl Alliance have been replaced with the current Bowl Championship Series (BCS).