HISTORY OF FOOTBALL – Page 4 of 4

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 rightticon_sears_trophey

College Championships

YearTeam
1869, 70Princeton
1871No Champion Named
1872, 73Princeton
1874Yale
1875Princeton, Harvard
1876, 77Yale
1878, 79Princeton
1880Yale, Princeton
1881, 82, 93, 84Yale
1885Princeton
1886,87,88Yale
1889Princeton
1890Harvard
1891, 92Yale
1893Princeton
1894Yale
1895Penn
1896Princeton, Lafayette
1897Penn
1898, 99Harvard
1900Yale
1901, 02Michigan
1903Princeton
1904Penn
1905Chicago
1906Princeton
1907Yale
1908Penn
1909Yale
1910Harvard, Pittsburgh
1911Princeton, Penn State
1912Harvard, Penn State
1913Harvard
1914Army
1915Cornell
1916Pittsburgh
1917Georgia Tech
1918Pittsburgh, Michigan
1919Harvard, Illinois, Notre Dame
1920California
1921California, Cornell
1922Princeton, California, Cornell
1923Illinois, Michigan
1924Notre Dame
1925Alabama
1926Alabama, Stanford
1927Illinois
1928Georgia Tech, Southern California
1929, 30Notre Dame
1931, 32Southern Cal
1933Michigan
1934Minnesota, Alabama
1935, 36Minnesota
1937Pittsburgh
1938TCU
1939Texas A & M
1940, 41Minnesota
1942Ohio State, Georgia
1943Notre Dame
1944, 45Army
1946, 47Notre Dame
1948Michigan
1949Notre Dame
1950Oklahoma
1951Tennessee
1952Michigan State
1953Maryland
1954Ohio State, UCLA
1955, 56Oklahoma
1957Auburn, Ohio State
1958LSU
1959Syracuse
1960Minnesota
1961Alabama
1962Southern Cal
1963Texas
1964Alabama
1965Alabama, Michigan State
1966Notre Dame
1967Southern Cal
1968Ohio State
1969Texas
1970Nebraska, Texas
1971Nebraska
1972Southern Cal
1973Notre Dame, Alabama
1974Oklahoma, Southern Cal
1975Oklahoma
1976Pittsburgh
1977Notre Dame
1978Alabama, Southern Cal
1979Alabama
1980Georgia
1981Clemson
1982Penn State
1983Miami
1984BYU
1985Oklahoma
1986Penn State
1987Miami
1988Notre Dame
1989Miami
1990Colorado, Georgia Tech
1991Miami, Washington
1992Alabama
1993Florida State
1994, 95Nebraska
1996Florida
1997Michigan, Nebraska
1998Tennessee
1999Florida State
2000Oklahoma
2001Miami
2002Ohio State
2003Southern Cal, LSU
2004USC
2005Texas
2006Florida
2007LSU (Louisiana State University)
2008Florida
2009Alabama
2010Auburn
2011Alabama
2012Alabama
2013Florida State
2014Ohio State

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.

football-lombardi-trophy

NFL Champions

YearTeam
1920Akron Pros
1921Chicago Staleys
1922Canton Bulldogs
1923Canton Bulldogs
1924Clieveland Bulldogs
1925Chicago Cardinals
1926Frankford Yellow Jackets
1927New York Giants
1928Providence Steam Rollers
1929Green Bay Packers
1930Green Bay Packers
1931Green Bay Packers
1932Chicago Bears
1934New York Giants
1935Detriot Lions
1936Green Bay Packers
1937Washington Redskins
1938New York Giants
1939Green Bay Packers
1940Chicago Bears
1941Chicago Bears
1942Washington Redskins
1962Dallas Texans AFL
Green Bay Packers NFL
1963San Diego Chargers AFL
Chicago Bears NFL
1964Buffalo Bills AFL
Cleveland Browns NFL
1965Buffalo Bills AFL
Green Bay Packers NFL
1966Green Bay Packers
1967Green Bay Packers
1968New York Jets
1969Kansas City Chiefs
1970Baltimore Colts
1971Dallas Cowboys
1972Miami Dolphins
1973Miami Dolphins
1974Pittsburgh Steelers
1975Pittsburgh Steelers
1976Oakland Raiders
1977Dallas Cowboys
1978Pittsburgh Steelers
1979Pittsburgh Steelers
1980Oakland Raiders
1981San Fransico 49ers
1982Washington Redskins
1983Los Angeles Raiders
1984San Francisco 49ers
1985Chicago Bears
1986New York Giants
1987Washington Redskins
1988San Francisco 49ers
1989San Fanciso 49ers
1990New York Giants
1991Washington Redskins
1992Dallas Cowboys
1993Dallas Cowboys
1994San Francisco 49ers
1995Dallas Cowboys
1996Green Bay Packers
1997Denver Broncos
1998Denver Broncos
1999St Louis Rams
2000Baltimore Ravens
2001New England Patriots
2002Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2003New England Patriots
2004New England Patriots
2005Pittsburg Steelers
2006Indianapolis Colts
2007New York Giants
2008NY Giants
2009Pittsburgh Steelers
2010New Orleans Saints
2011Green Bay Packers
2012NY Giants
2013Baltimore Ravens
2014Seattle Seahawks
2015New England Patriots