1887 College Football Summary

Walter Camp wrote the first college football rule book this season. Another book was penned, The Game of Football; its author, Henry Chadwick, was more known as a baseball writer.

Early college football, the traditional Big Three: Yale, Harvard and Princeton, would be in the hunt for the Intercollegiate Football Association title.

The three powerhouses would combine for a 26-3 record; with Yale emerging as the only one with a perfect record as the only losses suffered the trio of talented teams would be to each other.

Harvard fell to Yale, 17-8; while Princeton's setbacks would be by identical 12-0 scores against the others.

Wesleyan, a major college during the game's formative falls opened the season with 34-0 triumph over Amherst; finished the season 4-5-0; with the losses to the teams by top three teams by a composite of 391-4.

Two of the big wins over Wesleyan: Harvard's 110-0 and Yale winning margin of 106-0 were among the Top 10 single-game scores for values that were in place this season which was used since the initial values were introduced in 1883.

Yale began a 37-game winning streak that would end in 1889; but would start another streak of the same number of games in 1890.

Early college football refereed to schools from what is considered Midwest; the west saw the inaugural game between Michigan and Notre Dame was played in South Bend; with the victors being the visitors, 8-0.

Andrew Wyant, the only member of the College Football Hall of Fame to begin his playing career in 1887, began a streak that will never be equaled.

After a five-year career that began at Bucknell, while in high school; he transferred to the University of Chicago; in all he played in 98 consecutive games including 23 as a senior. He never missed a play because of injury or illness.

Among his many jobs, was one as a medical doctor in WW I and WW II.

1887 Leaders

  • Offensive Scoring Leader (Most Points Scored)
       Harvard (10-1) 660 points
  • Defensive Scoring Leader (Least Points Allowed)
       California (6-1-0) 10 points
  • National Champions (Retroactive)
       Yale (9-0-0)
  • Intercollegiate Football Association Standings
Team IFA Record Full Season
Yale 4-0-0 9-0-0
Harvard 3-0-1 10-0-1
Princeton 2-2-0 7-2-0
Wesleyan 1-3-0 7-5-0
Pennsylvania 0-4-0 6-7-0

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