1871 college football season

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

This is likely due to the difficulty in scheduling games for the then-new sport.[citation needed] Only two games had been played in each of the previous seasons (1869 and 1870) by only three teams (Rutgers, Princeton, and Columbia).

Princeton did play several games against a Princeton Theological Seminary team in 1871, although the Tigers considered these "practice" (or exhibition) games, and the general convention is not to count these as official games.[3][4]

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


  1. ^ Jimmy Atkinson (March 13, 2006). "National Champions: 1869-1879". College Football Blog. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ Professional Football Researchers Association. "Camp and his Followers: American Football 1876-1889" (PDF). Professional Football Researchers Association. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  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.