College Football: A 150 Year Tradition

College Football: A 150 Year Tradition


College Football: A 150 Year Tradition

If you are anything like me you spent at least part of your weekend watching college football. Between watching my alma mater’s games and watching the games of the university where my son-in-law is a football strength coach, college games are almost always on in the background of my Saturday activity. Across the entire 2019 year teams around the country will celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football.

The very first college football game was played on November 6, 1869 between rivals Rutgers and Princeton. Rutgers squeaked out a 6-4 win in that game in front of about 100 excited spectators. Since then, the popularity of the game has grown by leaps and bounds and continues to grow. Here are a few interesting numbers about college football:

  • 56% of adults say they are fans of college football—more than professional baseball, hockey, basketball and soccer and second only to professional football.
  • During the 2017 season 47.6 million fans attended college football games.
  • Almost 5,000 fans attended the 2017 NCAA Division III National Championship game where Ohio’s Mt. Union University defeated Mary Hardin-Baylor.

For some of us, like me, college football games represent a four generation family tradition passed down across family members who attended my college alma mater. For others, college football represents pride of place, like Ohio fans who cheer the Buckeyes but never went to school there. For still others, college football represents the game at its best—kids going out and playing their hearts out for the pride of their school and themselves. The game has survived and is still thriving. Ohio college football stories will be told from the perspective of the coaches, the players and the fans in our exhibit Ohio – Champion of Sports which will be open during the 150th celebration year.

The national celebration begins with the January 2019 bowl games and runs throughout the year with all NCAA teams participating at various levels. The highlight of the year will be the anniversary game week starting Thursday, October 31 and running through Saturday, November 9, 2019. More information on the first game and the 150th year celebration can be found on the CFB150 website.

Visit our exhibit, Ohio–Champion of Sports, to see and hear more of the rich stories of Ohio college football and to add your own story of what college football means to you during the celebration year as well!

Posted October 15, 2018
Topics: Daily Life

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