Which Was First CFB Team in Midwest? Was Walter Camp First to Assign Points?

by Michael O'Bryant

I have two questions:

#1 Which college was the first in the midwest to field a football team?

#2 Did assigning points to touchdowns, goals, safeties orginate with Walter Camp or was this being practiced before 1882?

Most histories that I have read seem to indicate that Michigan fielded the first Midwestern team in 1879. I have evidence that St. Xavier College (which has since dropped football)also fielded a team that year.

Also most histories that I have read seem to indicate that it was Camp's idea to assign point values to touchdowns, safties and goals but I have found evidence of games being played which give point values these before 1882.

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Nov 10, 2009
Michigan First in Midwest
by: Tex Noel

Greetings Michael...

Thank you for your questions.

In searching through the book Evolvements of Early American Foot Ball Through the 1890/91 Season...an awesome source for very early (earlier than 1869) college football scores; I didn't see a listing of St. Xavier College.

I would say, prior to your findings, 1879 Michigan would be best to be the first college in the Midwest.

I would be most interested in seeing your evidence and also publishing it in a future issue of The College Football Historian; free monthly publication of the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association (IFRA).

Should you be interested in becoming a subscriber all you have to do is let me know and I can add your name to the database and then, you will be able to receive each issue with the other 147 subscribers.

I would also like your permission to forward your findings to the book's author, Mel Smith.

Early scoring in college football was recorded in this fashion by the author:

• 1869: G=1

• 1870-1878: G=4,TD=2

• 1879-1881: G=4, TD=2, Opps S=1

• 1882: G=4, TD=2, Opps S=1

(G=Goals; TD=Touchdowns and S=Safeties (which were taken off the opponent's total: Team "A" scored 3-11-3 and allowed 1-14-7.

Please note, safeties weren't counted in the scoring prior to the 1879 season.

I hope the above have answered your questions and also that you will think about joining IFRA; from your findings, you would be what good for the membership to have another in-depth researcher as a part of us.

I hope to hear from you as your schedule permits.


Exc. Director, IFRA

Editor, TCFH

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