1880 College Football Summary

A major change took place in this the first year of the game's second decade 11 players per side.

During the annual convention (Rules Committee) Yale, Princeton and Columbia voted in favor of this-as it was finally passed.

Another aspect of the game or as it was called in this year a match came about in the way scoring values would go into the way a game would determine the winner.

Touchdowns would be play a majority factor in the new scoring system; with a goal being equal to 4 four touchdowns; and last but not least, the ball could now be kicked to a designated player the quarterback.

But, hold on to your seats college football fans: as each season comes and goes, the game itself will continue to grow as well.

Seven men made-up the line of scrimmage; with a notable exception they were spread clear across the field; now measuring 110 yards long and 53 yards across.

Even with the new field teams would obtain procession of the ball and not relinquish it.

More on next season; we're getting ahead of the game.

Schools are still playing what was called the American Rugby Game, with Yale claiming its initial Intercollegiate Football Association title; with its chief rival, Princeton in the No. 2 spot.

These two feature Ivy League schools met at the end of the season to once again settle the title; and more less didn't as the contest end scoreless.

Yale had enter the fray with a 6-0-0 mark, one more win the Princeton.

In between games, Yale over three-games with Columbia, Brown and Pennsylvania scored the bulk of its season total; shut outing all three opponents, 145-0.

In the Yale-Pennsylvania game, a pair of long scoring plays ignited the former in its victory:

Fielding a punt, the future "Father of American Football Walter Camp raced 60 yards for a score; while teammate J.S. Harding rambling 80 yards on a play from scrimmage for game's only touchdowns.

Highlighting Princeton's 20-0 triumph over Pennsylvania were also made by long scoring plays both via returns.

F.L. Loney advanced a Quarter fumble 65 yards for a tally; while D.P. Morgan equaled the distance on a punt return.

Can you imagine running a100 yards, thinking you had scored and it didn't count?

Yale captain Robert Watson did just that. His would be tally was not allowed.

Per rules used this season, the touchdown counted only if the kick was made; and Watson's run came as time expired and the subsequent try for point, could not be attempted.

1880 Leaders (min. of 4 games) show:

  • Offensive Scoring Leader (Most Scored)
    Yale (7-0-1) 30 Goals, 15 Touchdowns 37 Safeties; converted to 187 Points
  • Defensive Scoring Leader (Least Allowed)
    Yale (7-0-1) 0 Goals, 0 Touchdowns 9 Safeties; converted to 9 Points
  • National Champions (Retroactive)
    Yale (7-0-1)
    Princeton (6-0-1)
  • Intercollegiate Football Association Standings
Team IFA Standings Full Season
Yale 2-0-1 6-0-1
Princeton 2-0-1


Harvard 1-2-0 4-2-1
Columbia 0-3-0 3-3-0

Writer R.M. Hodge/The Outing Magazine named Princeton National Champion

New! Facebook Comments

Leave a comment about this article in the box below and share it with your Facebook friends.

What do you think?

We'd love to hear your comments and/or opinions. If you submit them here, other visitors can read them, rate them and comment on them. An e-mail address is not required.

Top of This Page