1871 college football season

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The 1871 college football season is the only one since the first season in 1869 in which no games were played for the entire season.[1][2]

This is likely due to the difficulty in scheduling games with the novelty of the "new" sport. Only two games had been played in each of the previous seasons (1869 and 1870) by a total of only three teams (Rutgers, Princeton, and Columbia).

Princeton did play several games against a Princeton Theological Seminary team in 1871, although the general convention is not to count these as official games.[3][4]

Due to no games being played, 1871 is the only year since play began in which no college football national champion has ever been named, retroactively or otherwise.


  1. ^ http://www.collegefootballblog.org/2006/03/
  2. ^ http://www.the-game.org/history-waltercamp.htm
  3. ^ Tex Noel, Stars of an Earlier Autumn: An Unofficial College Football Records Book (iUniverse, 2011), ISBN 978-1462053063, p. 107. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  4. ^ Mel Smith, "We're Not That Kind of School", College Football Historical Society Newsletter, May 2003, p. 12-13.

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