Football

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Confidential

Then Came Television
American football truly became the fans game with the advent of live television broadcasts. The fast-paced action and central focus (the man with the ball) makes football the perfect sport for television. The first college football game to be televised was a September 1939 match up between Fordham University and Waynesburg College. (Trivia factoid: Fordham won 34-7.) Not quite a month later, a pro game between the Brooklyn Dodgers (yes, a football team) and the Philadelphia Eagles was broadcast via television. The Dodgers won that game 23-14. Suddenly fans who lived far away from where football was actually played could follow their teams.

We are the Champions
There’s just something about football that brings out the competitive nature of its players and its fans. At the end of the season, each team wants to be able to say, “We’re Number 1!”

Pro football has a pretty clear system for determining its champion. From 1920 to 1932, the champion was determined strictly by won-loss record. Beginning in 1932, a championship game was played at the end of each season between the top two teams. From 1960 to 1966, two pro football champions were named—one by the NFL and one by the rival American Football League.

When the leagues began a merger in 1966, the two league champions competed in a world championship game. On January 15, 1967, the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in the first of what we now call the Super Bowls. It wasn’t until the fifth championship game that the name Super Bowl was officially used.

Beginning in 1970, the newly merged league was divided into two conferences—the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. Conference champions are determined through a series of playoffs. The conference champions meet in the Super Bowl, one of the most widely watched sporting events in the world.

College has experimented with many systems for determining a national champion. Every year since 1869, a college football champion has been named using various polls or research foundations. The National Collegiate Athletic Association list no less than 34 separate polls and ranking systems that have been used to determine what some call the “mythical championship “ title. In many years, more than one team is named champion.

Currently, college teams compile points through a complicated system that looks at records, scores, polls, strength of schedule and the color of the coach’s eyes. (Just kidding on that last one—kind of.) The top teams as determined by this elaborate system are invited to Bowl Championship Series games with the system ideally matching up the first and second ranked teams. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out so smoothly and fans constantly debate who truly deserves the title of national champion.

As we said at the outset, American football has always been a confusing game.

Since 1869, College Football has relied on various polls and ranking systems to determine a national champion. Today, the team determined to bethe champion is awarded the Sears Trophey which is topped by the crystal football show at rightt

College Championships

Year

1869, 70

1871

1872, 73

1874

1875

1876, 77

1878, 79

1880

1881, 82, 93, 84

1885

1886,87,88

1889

1890

1891, 92

1893

1894

1895

1896

1897

1898, 99

1900

1901, 02

1903

1904

1905

1906

1907

1908

1909

1910

1911

1912

1913

1914

1915

1916

1917

1918

1919

1920

1921

1922

1923

1924

1925

1926

1927

1928

1929, 30

1931, 32

1933

1934

1935, 36

1937

1938

1939

1940, 41

1942

1943

1944, 45

1946, 47

1948

1949

1950

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955, 56

1957

1958

1959

1960

1961

1962

1963

1964

1965

1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994, 95

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Team

Princeton

No Champion Named

Princeton

Yale

Princeton, Harvard

Yale

Princeton

Yale, Princeton

Yale

Princeton

Yale

Princeton

Harvard

Yale

Princeton

Yale

Penn

Princeton, Lafayette

Penn

Harvard

Yale

Michigan

Princeton

Penn

Chicago

Princeton

Yale

Penn

Yale

Harvard, Pittsburgh

Princeton, Penn State

Harvard, Penn State

Harvard

Army

Cornell

Pittsburgh

Georgia Tech

Pittsburgh, Michigan

Harvard, Illinois, Notre Dame

California

California, Cornell

Princeton, California, Cornell

Illinois, Michigan

Notre Dame

Alabama

Alabama, Stanford

Illinois

Georgia Tech, Southern California

Notre Dame

Southern Cal

Michigan

Minnesota, Alabama

Minnesota

Pittsburgh

TCU

Texas A & M

Minnesota

Ohio State, Georgia

Notre Dame

Army

Notre Dame

Michigan

Notre Dame

Oklahoma

Tennessee

Michigan State

Maryland

Ohio State, UCLA

Oklahoma

Auburn, Ohio State

LSU

Syracuse

Minnesota

Alabama

Southern Cal

Texas

Alabama

Alabama, Michigan State

Notre Dame

Southern Cal

Ohio State

Texas

Nebraska, Texas

Nebraska

Southern Cal

Notre Dame, Alabama

Oklahoma, Southern Cal

Oklahoma

Pittsburgh

Notre Dame

Alabama, Southern Cal

Alabama

Georgia

Clemson

Penn State

Miami

BYU

Oklahoma

Penn State

Miami

Notre Dame

Miami

Colorado, Georgia Tech

Miami, Washington

Alabama

Florida State

Nebraska

Florida

Michigan, Nebraska

Tennessee

Florida State

Oklahoma

Miami

Ohio State

Southern Cal, LSU

USC

Texas

Florida

LSU (Louisiana State University)

Florida

Since its inception in 1920, the NFL has crowned a champion team each year. Until 1932, the championsip was awarded to the team with the best record. Beginning in 1933, the champion was determined by a game between the two teams with the best records. From 1960-66 the NFL and rival AfL each named champions. What we know today as the Super Bowl was first played in January 1967.

NFL Champions

Year

1920

1921

1922

1923

1924

1925

1926

1927

1928

1929

1930

1931

1932

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938

1939

1940

1941

1942

1962

 

1963

 

1964

 

1965

 

1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Team

Akron Pros

Chicago Staleys

Canton Bulldogs

Canton Bulldogs

Clieveland Bulldogs

Chicago Cardinals

Frankford Yellow Jackets

New York Giants

Providence Steam Rollers

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers

Chicago Bears

New York Giants

Detriot Lions

Green Bay Packers

Washington Redskins

New York Giants

Green Bay Packers

Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears

Washington Redskins

Dallas Texans AFL
Green Bay Packers NFL

San Diego Chargers AFL
Chicago Bears NFL

Buffalo Bills AFL
Cleveland Browns NFL

Buffalo Bills AFL
Green Bay Packers NFL


Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers

New York Jets

Kansas City Chiefs

Baltimore Colts

Dallas Cowboys

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers

Oakland Raiders

Dallas Cowboys

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers

Oakland Raiders

San Fransico 49ers

Washington Redskins

Los Angeles Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Chicago Bears

New York Giants

Washington Redskins

San Francisco 49ers

San Fanciso 49ers

New York Giants

Washington Redskins

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys

San Francisco 49ers

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos

St Louis Rams

Baltimore Ravens

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Pittsburg Steelers

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers


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1938 Team Picture
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