Yale Dominated Early College Football
History tells us that the first football game was played between Rutgers and Princeton back in the 19th century. Early games were played under rules agreed upon by the participants, numbers of players varied, and football was similar in many respects to rugby.
The first commonly accepted rules were codified by Walter Camp of Yale for whom a memorial was built outside the Yale Bowl with contributions from most of the nation's major football-playing colleges.
Yale dominated the game in the 19th century and many of the present-day SEC schools participation in the sport came about with Yale's encouragement and assistance. For example, in the first game played in what at the time was Georgia's new stadium the visiting team was Yale. (Georgia won).
During the period of Teddy Roosevelt's presidency football had become so violent a sport, (with several deaths occurring) that the President called a meeting of representatives from the major participants and threatened to have the game outlawed unless rules were revised to lessen the carnage.
Led by schools from what is now the Ivy League, changes were made, including the introduction of the forward pass, and the modern era of intercollegiate football began.
Football at West Point owed much to advice and assistance from Yale and in the years before World War II games between Yale and Army or between Yale and Navy occurred almost every year.
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By Mo Johnson
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