College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States. Unlike most other sports in North America, no minor league farm organizations exist in American or Canadian football. Therefore, college football is considered to be the second tier of American football in the United States and Canadian football in Canada. However, in some areas of the country, college football is more popular than professional football, for much of the early 20th century, college football was seen as more prestigious than professional football, it is in college football where a player's performance directly impacts his chances of playing professional football. The best collegiate players will declare for the professional draft after three to four years of collegiate competition, with the NFL holding its annual draft every spring in which 256 players are selected annually.
Those not selected can still attempt to land an NFL roster spot as an undrafted free agent. After the emergence of the professional National Football League, college football remained popular throughout the U. S. Although the college game has a much larger margin for talent than its pro counterpart, the sheer number of fans following major colleges provides a financial equalizer for the game, with Division I programs — the highest level — playing in huge stadiums, six of which have seating capacity exceeding 100,000 people. In many cases, college stadiums employ bench-style seating, as opposed to individual seats with backs and arm rests; this allows them to seat more fans in a given amount of space than the typical professional stadium, which tends to have more features and comforts for fans.. College athletes, unlike players in the NFL, are not permitted by the NCAA to be paid salaries. Colleges are only allowed to provide non-monetary compensation such as athletic scholarships that provide for tuition and books.
Modern North American football has its origins in various games, all known as "football", played at public schools in Great Britain in the mid-19th century. By the 1840s, students at Rugby School were playing a game in which players were able to pick up the ball and run with it, a sport known as Rugby football; the game was taken to Canada by British soldiers stationed there and was soon being played at Canadian colleges. The first documented gridiron football match was played at University College, a college of the University of Toronto, November 9, 1861. One of the participants in the game involving University of Toronto students was William Mulock Chancellor of the school. A football club was formed at the university soon afterward, although its rules of play at this stage are unclear. In 1864, at Trinity College a college of the University of Toronto, F. Barlow Cumberland and Frederick A. Bethune devised rules based on rugby football. Modern Canadian football is regarded as having originated with a game played in Montreal, in 1865, when British Army officers played local civilians.
The game gained a following, the Montreal Football Club was formed in 1868, the first recorded non-university football club in Canada. Early games appear to have had much in common with the traditional "mob football" played in Great Britain; the games remained unorganized until the 19th century, when intramural games of football began to be played on college campuses. Each school played its own variety of football. Princeton University students played a game called "ballown" as early as 1820. A Harvard tradition known as "Bloody Monday" began in 1827, which consisted of a mass ballgame between the freshman and sophomore classes. In 1860, both the town police and the college authorities agreed; the Harvard students responded by going into mourning for a mock figure called "Football Fightum", for whom they conducted funeral rites. The authorities held firm and it was a dozen years before football was once again played at Harvard. Dartmouth played its own version called "Old division football", the rules of which were first published in 1871, though the game dates to at least the 1830s.
All of these games, others, shared certain commonalities. They remained "mob" style games, with huge numbers of players attempting to advance the ball into a goal area by any means necessary. Rules were simple and injury were common; the violence of these mob-style games led to a decision to abandon them. Yale, under pressure from the city of New Haven, banned the play of all forms of football in 1860. American football historian Parke H. Davis described the period between 1869 and 1875 as the'Pioneer Period'. On November 6, 1869, Rutgers University faced Princeton University in the first-ever game of intercollegiate football, it was played with a round ball and, like all early games, used a set of rules suggested by Rutgers captain William J. Leggett, based
SMU Mustangs football
The SMU Mustangs football program is a college football team that represents Southern Methodist University. The team competes in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the American Athletic Conference. In June 1915, Ray Morrison became SMU's football, baseball and track coach, in addition to being a math instructor; the football team began as a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association, playing at Armstrong Field. The first game played by SMU's football team was a 13–2 victory over Hendrix College. After winning two games in a span of two seasons, Morrison left SMU for Fort Oglethorpe upon the United States’ entry into World War I. During this time, the football team was known as "the Parsons", due to the large number of theology students on the team. On October 17, 1917, the name "Mustangs" was selected as the school's mascot. For the 1917 season, Morrison was replaced by J. Burton Rix, who led the Mustangs to a 3–2–3 record in their final season in the TIAA; the 1918 season was the first of many seasons for the SMU Mustangs as a member of the Southwest Conference, joining Baylor University, Rice University, the University of Texas, Texas A&M University, the University of Arkansas, Oklahoma A&M University.
The Mustangs’ first season in the conference ended with a 4–2 record. J. Burton Rix continued to coach the team until the 1921 season, in which he was replaced by W. A. Cunningham and Victor Kelly, his co-coaches that season, as the team went on to lose six games. Ray Morrison returned to SMU in 1922, co-coaching the team with former Vanderbilt teammate Ewing Y. Freeland. For the 1922 and 1923 seasons, Morrison focused on the backfield and ends, while Freeland focused on the linemen; the team became known as the "Aerial Circus" by sportswriters because of Morrison's passing offense. Morrison became known as "the father of the forward pass", due to the team's use of passing on first and second downs, instead of as a play of last resort. At the time, most teams utilized the forward pass five to six times in one game, while SMU did so between 30 and 40 times. In the 1922 season, the Mustangs compiled a 6–3–1 record. Furthermore, end Gene Bedford and back Logan Stollenwerck were named first-team All-Southwest Conference, becoming the first SMU football players to receive that honor.
Bedford was the first player to play for the Rochester Jeffersons. In the 1923 season, the SMU Mustangs achieved a perfect 9–0 record, winning their first conference football title in school history. After this season, Freeland left the SMU football team becoming head coach for the Texas Technological College football team, leaving Morrison as the sole head coach for SMU. SMU played in their first bowl game in 1924, in the Dixie Classic against West Virginia Wesleyan College, but lost that game 7–9. By 1926, the team began playing their home games at Ownby Stadium. In their first game at Ownby Stadium, the Mustangs defeated North Texas State Teachers College 42–0, led by quarterback Gerald Mann; the first Homecoming game was played in 1926, resulting in a 14–13 victory over Texas Christian University. The team continued to have winning seasons until the 1932 season; the Mustangs won their second conference title in 1926, compiling an 8–0–1 record, a third conference title in 1931, compiling a 9–0–1 record.
In 1928, guard Choc Sanders became SMU's first All-American, as well the first All-American from the Southwest Conference. In 1929, tackle Marion Hammon became SMU's second All-American. After a winning 1934 season, Morrison left SMU to take over the Vanderbilt Commodores football team after the retirement of Dan McGugin. Morrison was replaced by Matty Bell in 1935. Known as a player's coach, Bell brought discipline to his team, he spent time listening and talking to his players. In his first season, Bell led the Mustangs to 12–1 record. During this season, the Mustangs were ranked number one in the nation. In order to play in the Rose Bowl against the Stanford Indians football team for the unofficial national championship, SMU faced off against the TCU Horned Frogs, who featured star quarterback Sammy Baugh; the 1935 SMU-TCU football game is considered the greatest game in SMU history, as Bobby Wilson scored two touchdowns to give SMU a 14–0 lead before Baugh rallied the Horned Frogs to a 14–14 tie.
Early in the fourth quarter, Bob Finley connected on a long pass to Wilson after the Mustangs faced a fourth down at the TCU 39. Wilson caught the ball at the five and rolled into the endzone as the Mustangs held on to win, 20–14, earned a trip to the Rose Bowl. Winning their fourth conference title, the Mustangs lost the Rose Bowl to Stanford 0–7. Despite this, the 1935 SMU Mustangs were selected by the Dickinson System as national champions, their first football national championship in school history; the Mustangs had three more winning seasons from 1936 to 1939. SMU failed to win the Southwest Conference title in 1940, despite having the same conference record as the Texas A&M Aggies. After a 5–5 season in 1941, Bell left SMU to serve in the United States Navy during World War II. With Bell in the Navy, Jimmy Stewart took his place as head coach. In his three seasons as head coach, Stewart compiled an overall record of 10–18–2. Bell returned as head coach for the 1945 season. Upon Bell's return as SMU's head coach, the team gained the talent of halfback and placekicker Doak Walker.
Walker won All-Southwest Conference honors his freshman year in 1945 and play in the East–West Shrine Game in San Francisco. Walker did not play for the 1946 season due to serving in the United States Army, yet re-enrolled at SMU and rejoined the football team for the 1947 season; the Mustangs posted a 9 -- 0 -- 2 record in 1947. In t
2000 NCAA Division I-A football season
The 2000 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the Oklahoma Sooners claiming their first national championship and their first conference championship since the departure of head coach Barry Switzer. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was in his second season as head coach, having been the defensive coordinator of Steve Spurrier's 1996 National Champion Florida Gators, having helped Bill Snyder turn the Kansas State Wildcats around in the early 1990s. Stoops erased a three-game losing streak against rival Texas by a score of 63–14, one of the worst defeats in Texas' football history. Despite the lopsided victory, this game marked a return of the Red River Shootout to a rivalry game with national title implications; the BCS title game was not without controversy, as the system shut fourth-ranked Washington out of the championship game, despite being the only team who had beaten each #2 Miami and #5 Oregon State and having the same 10-1 record as #3 Florida State during the regular season. 10–1 Miami, who handed #3 Florida State their only loss, was ranked higher in both the AP Writers' Poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, had the same record as the Seminoles, was seen as a possible title contender.
Virginia Tech was left out of the BCS bowls, despite being ranked higher than one of the at-large teams, Notre Dame. The South Carolina Gamecocks broke a 21-game losing streak, stretching back into 1998, to go 8–4 including a win over Ohio State in the Outback Bowl. Two new bowl games began in the 2000 season: the Silicon Valley Bowl, which had a contractual tie-in with the WAC, the Galleryfurniture.com Bowl. The following rules changes were passed by the NCAA Rules Committee in 2000: The definition of an illegal block is expanded to include any high-low or low-high combination block by any two offensive players when the initial contact occurs beyond the neutral zone. Crack-back blocks are now prohibited from any offensive player in motion in any direction and the restricted zone is now 10 yards beyond the neutral zone in all directions. Offensive teams in the process of substituting or simulated substituting are prohibited from rushing to the line of scrimmage to snap the ball to give the defense a disadvantage.
The penalty for a first offense is five yards, additional violations are considered unsportsmanlike conduct. Defensive players lined up within one yard of the line of scrimmage are prevented from rushing up to the line with the obvious intent of causing an offensive player to false start. Passers within five yards of the sideline from the original position of the ball are allowed to throw the ball so it lands beyond the neutral zone without penalty. Two teams upgraded from Division I-AA, thus increasing the number of Division I-A schools from 114 to 116. Nevada left the Big West Conference to become the ninth member of the Western Athletic Conference. Two new teams joined Division I-A football this season: the University of Connecticut and the University of South Florida. Orange Bowl: #1 Oklahoma 13, #3 Florida State 2 Rose Bowl: #4 Washington 34, #14 Purdue 24 Fiesta Bowl: #5 Oregon State 41, #10 Notre Dame 9 Sugar Bowl: #2 Miami 37, #7 Florida 20 Cotton Bowl Classic: #11 Kansas State 35, #21 Tennessee 21 Florida Citrus Bowl: #17 Michigan 31, #20 Auburn 28 Gator Bowl: #6 Virginia Tech 41, #16 Clemson 20 Outback Bowl: South Carolina 24, #19 Ohio State 7 Holiday Bowl: #8 Oregon 35, #12 Texas 30 Peach Bowl: LSU 28, #15 Georgia Tech 14 MicronPC.com Bowl: NC State 38, Minnesota 30 Sun Bowl: Wisconsin 21, UCLA 20 Alamo Bowl: #9 Nebraska 66, #18 Northwestern 17 Insight.com Bowl: Iowa State 37, Pittsburgh 29 Liberty Bowl: #23 Colorado State 22, #22 Louisville 17 Aloha Bowl: Boston College 31, Arizona State 17 Oahu Bowl: #24 Georgia 37, Virginia 14 Independence Bowl: Mississippi State 43, Texas A&M 41 Music City Bowl: West Virginia 49, Mississippi 38 Las Vegas Bowl: UNLV 31, Arkansas 14 Motor City Bowl: Marshall 25, Cincinnati 14 Humanitarian Bowl: Boise State 38, UTEP 23 Mobile Alabama Bowl: Southern Miss 28, #13 TCU 21 Silicon Valley Classic: Air Force 37, Fresno State 34 Galleryfurniture.com bowl: East Carolina 40, Texas Tech 27 The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the Most Outstanding Player of the year.
Winner: Chris Weinke, Florida State 2. Josh Heupel, Oklahoma 3. Drew Brees, Purdue 4. LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU 5. Damien Anderson, Northwestern Maxwell Award – Drew Brees, Purdue Walter Camp Award – Josh Heupel, Oklahoma Davey O'Brien Award – Chris Weinke, Florida State Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award – Chris Weinke, Florida State Doak Walker Award – LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU Fred Biletnikoff Award – Antonio Bryant, Pittsburgh Bronko Nagurski Trophy – Dan Morgan, Miami Chuck Bednarik Award – Dan Morgan, Miami Dick Butkus Award – Dan Morgan, Miami Lombardi Award – Jamal Reynolds, Florida State Outland Trophy – John Henderson, Tennessee, DT Jim Thorpe Award – Jamar Fletcher, Wisconsin Lou Groza Award – Jonathan Ruffin, Cincinnati Paul "Bear" Bryant Award – Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
Southern Miss Golden Eagles football
The Southern Miss Golden Eagles football program represents the University of Southern Mississippi in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The Eagles are members of Conference USA and play their home games at M. M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Southern Miss first fielded a football team in 1912, coached by Ronald Slay; that team posted a 2–1 record. A. B. Dille coached the Golden Eagles from 1914 to 1916, posting a record of 6–10–1. USM did not field a football team from 1917 to 1919 because of World War I. Allison Hubert was the Golden Eagles head football coach for six seasons, posting a 26–24–5 record, his Golden Eagles teams were known to be fierce. Hubert departed after the 1936 season to accept the head football coach position at VMI. After Hubert came Reed Green, who coached USM for a total of nine years, from 1937 to 1942 and 1946 to 1948, his final record was 59–20–4. The Golden Eagles did not compete in football from 1943 to 1945 because of World War II.
During the coaching tenure of Thad Vann, the Golden Eagles became one of the nation's most elite football programs. Vann compiled a 139-59-2 record, had only one losing season in his 20 seasons in Hattiesburg, his last, his 1953 and 1954 Golden Eagles teams upset posted records of 9-2 and 6-4, respectively. The Golden Eagles made it to the Sun Bowl in 1954. Vann's 1958 and 1962 teams claim a national championship. Vann retired after the 1968 season and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1987. P. W. Underwood returned to his alma mater from his post as an assistant coach at Tennessee. Underwood compiled a 31-32-2 record in his six seasons and engineered one of the biggest wins in school history in 1970, a 30-14 upset of fourth-ranked Mississippi. Bobby Collins was the Golden Eagles head football coach for seven seasons, compiling a record of 48-30-2. Collins led the Golden Eagles to two bowl appearances, the Independence Bowl and the Tangerine Bowl after the 1980 and 1981 regular seasons.
His 1981 team finished. Collins left USM after the 1981 season to accept the head football coach position at SMU. Collins was succeeded by his former defensive coordinator Jim Carmody, who coached the Golden Eagles for six seasons. Under Carmody's tutelage, Carmody's Golden Eagles compiled a record of 37–29. Only one of those six seasons did the Golden Eagles finish with a losing record, a 4–7 campaign in 1984; the Golden Eagles would only have one more losing season until 2012. During Carmody's tenure, the Golden Eagles defeated Alabama, 38–29, in Tuscaloosa in 1982, snapping the Crimson Tide's 56-game home winning streak at Bryant–Denny Stadium, it was the first time since 1962 that Alabama had lost there and proved to be the final loss of coach Bear Bryant's career. Carmody recruited a young Kiln, Mississippi high school quarterback named Brett Favre to Southern Miss in 1987. In 1984, Southern Miss under NCAA sanctions for prior infractions, admitted to improper recruiting practices pertaining to freshman linebacker Don Palmer.
As part of the fallout, Carmody's salary was frozen. Palmer alleged he was given clothing, basketball game tickets and transportation to the campus by an USM assistant coach. Curley Hallman came to Southern Miss from his post as defensive backs coach at Texas A&M. Hallman's.676 winning percentage at USM is the highest of any coach in Southern Miss football history. Hallman coached future NFL star quarterback Brett Favre during his tenure at USM. Hallman's record at Southern Miss is 23-11 in three seasons. Hallman departed after the 1990 season to accept the head football coach position at LSU. Jeff Bower came back to his alma mater as head football coach following Hallman's departure. Bower led the Golden Eagles to 14 consecutive winning seasons, the fifth longest streak in college football history and to bowl games 10 of his last 11 seasons. Bower's 119 wins are the most by any head coach in USM football history. Bower led the Golden Eagles to three Liberty Bowl appearances in 1997, 1999 and 2003.
His 1997 and 1999 teams finished ranked in the top 20 of both the Coaches' Polls. Bower led the Golden Eagles to two New Orleans Bowl victories, a GMAC Bowl victory and a Mobile Alabama Bowl victory, he led the Golden Eagles to three additional bowl appearances. Bower was named Conference USA's "Coach of the Decade" in 2004. Bower resigned after the 2007 season with an overall record of 119-83-1. Larry Fedora was hired away from his post as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State as the USM head football coach on December 11, 2007. Fedora's four-year contract included a $650,000 per-year base salary, but incentives brought his yearly pay close to $900,000. Fedora made a big splash early in his tenure at USM, landing a commitment from five-star wide receiver prospect DeAndre Brown, who chose the Golden Eagles over offers from SEC members LSU, Ole Miss and Auburn. In Fedora's first game as head coach, the Golden Eagles set the USM all-time record for yards in a game with 633. Southern Miss would go on to notch its four most explosive offensive seasons in program history in Fedora's four seasons.
His players graduated at the highest rate in USM history. In what turned out to be Fedora's final season, the Golden Eagles upset sixth-ranked and undefeated Houston in the Conference USA championship game en route to a Hawaii Bowl victory and rankings of #19 and #20 in the final Coaches' and AP Polls, respectively. Fedora led the Golden Eagles to two New Orleans Bowl appearances in his first two seasons and a loss in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl to Louisville in his third. Fedora's record year-by year was back-to-back 7-6 records in 2008 and 2009, 8-5 in 2010 and a USM record 12-2 in 2011; the 2011 season
2004 NCAA Division I-A football season
The 2004 NCAA Division I-A football season was the highest level of college football competition in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The regular season began on August 28, 2004 and ended on December 4, 2004; the postseason concluded on January 4, 2005 with the Orange Bowl, which served as the season's BCS National Championship Game. USC defeated Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl by a score of 55–19, which earned the Trojans their second consecutive AP title and first-ever BCS title; the Orange Bowl win and accompanying BCS title were vacated as part of the sanctions levied against USC following an NCAA investigation. USC appealed the decision but was denied by the NCAA, the 2004 BCS title was vacated on June 6, 2011; the NCAA Rules Committee adopted the following rule changes for the 2004 season: Instant replay would make its debut in college football, as the Big Ten Conference began to use it on a one-year experimental basis. Officials are allowed to announce the number of a player committing a penalty, similar to the NFL.
Modifying the rule regarding offensive substitutions made and rushing to snap the ball before the defense can make their changes. Allowing the head coach to request a time-out. Allowing the receiving team the option to enforce encroachment penalties on punts/kickoffs either from the end of the return or from the previous line of scrimmage, requiring a re-kick. Leaping on PAT/Field Goal attempts is prohibited. Defensive pass interference will not be called when a kicker throws a ball high and downfield to simulate a pass. Roughing the passer will not be called if a defensive player is blocked into the passer. Prior to the 2004 season and Virginia Tech left the Big East Conference to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, giving the ACC 11 members. Connecticut joined the Big East after having been an Independent since ascending to Division I-A in 2000. Troy State left their Independent status and joined the Sun Belt Conference; the 2004 season ended with five undefeated teams vying for a spot in the national title game.
In the 2003 season, no team finished the regular season unbeaten, five teams finished the season with one loss. In 2004, the situation became more complicated, as five teams went without losing, a record in the BCS era. USC of the Pac-10, Oklahoma of the Big 12, Auburn of the SEC, Utah of the MWC, Boise State of the WAC all finished the regular season undefeated. USC and Oklahoma were ranked #1 and #2 in the preseason by both the AP and Coaches Polls, but the other three undefeated teams were handicapped by starting the season out of the top 15, thus USC and OU played for the BCS National Championship in the Orange Bowl, while Auburn and Boise State had to settle for other bowl games. Auburn played in the Sugar Bowl and beat Virginia Tech, the ACC champion and ranked #8 by the BCS. Utah became the first BCS Buster and beat Pittsburgh, the champion of the Big East and ranked #21, in the Fiesta Bowl. Boise State lost a close, high scoring game in the Liberty Bowl to Louisville, the #10 ranked Conference USA champion.
As with previous seasons, fans of successful teams left out of BCS bowls were disappointed. Auburn and Boise State all went unbeaten but were not offered a chance to compete for the BCS championship. Auburn was the focus of national media attention on this topic, since Auburn managed to go undefeated in the traditionally tough SEC. Adding to the frustration with the BCS system was the fact that Auburn and Utah, though both picked to play in BCS bowl games, would not be able to play each other as a match-up of ranked unbeatens; this confluence of events made 2004 a seminal year for serious momentum building behind a multi-team playoff system in college football, which would be realized with the advent of the College Football Playoff. USC was forced to vacate their BCS title win, along with their regular-season victory over rival UCLA, due to NCAA sanctions that stemmed from the USC athletics scandal; the AP title was not vacated. The severity of these sanctions has since been criticized by some pundits across college football.
Controversy arose in selecting the second at-large team of the BCS after Utah. California expected to get the invitation, having been ranked fourth by the BCS entering the last week of the regular season. Texas, left out of the BCS the previous season, was ranked fifth. Both teams finished with 10-1 records, but the Longhorns received a boost of support from poll voters in the final regular season rankings to overtake Cal and move into the fourth position, which ensured they would receive the final at-large bid. Texas coach Mack Brown was criticized for publicly politicking voters to put Texas ahead of California, Cal coach Jeff Tedford called for coaches' votes to be made public. Texas went on to defeat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, while California lost to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl. Much of the pre-bowl criticisms of Texas being given the spot vs. Michigan evaporated when the Longhorns and Wolverines produced an instant classic game, marked by a breakthrough performance by Vince Young and a Texas FG as time expired to give them a 38-37 victory.
The Associated Press, as a result of two consecutive seasons of BCS controversy, prohibited the BCS from using their poll as part of its ranking formula following the 2004 season. The AP poll was replaced by the Harris Interactive poll starting in 2005, the AP continues to award its own national championship trophy. In another first
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original
A quarterback, colloquially known as the "signal caller", is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive line up directly behind the offensive line. In modern American football, the quarterback is considered the leader of the offensive team, is responsible for calling the play in the huddle; the quarterback touches the ball on every offensive play, is the offensive player that always throws forward passes. In modern American football, the quarterback is the leader of the offense; the quarterback touches the ball on every offensive play, his successes and failures can have a significant impact on the fortunes of his team. Accordingly, the quarterback is among the most glorified and highest-paid positions in team sports. Prior to each play, the quarterback will tell the rest of his team which play the team will run. After the team is lined up, the center will pass the ball back to the quarterback. On a running play, the quarterback will hand or pitch the ball backwards to a halfback or fullback.
On a passing play, the quarterback is always the player responsible for trying to throw the ball downfield to an eligible receiver. Additionally, the quarterback will run with the football himself, which could be part of a designed play like the option run or quarterback sneak, or it could be an effort to avoid being sacked by the defense. Depending on the offensive scheme by his team, the quarterback's role can vary. In systems like the triple option the quarterback will only pass the ball a few times per game, if at all, while the pass-heavy spread offense as run by schools like Texas Tech requires quarterbacks to throw the ball in most plays; the passing game is emphasized in the Canadian Football League, where there are only three downs as opposed to the four downs used in American football, a larger field of play and an extra eligible receiver. Different skillsets are required of the quarterback in each system - quarterbacks that perform well in a pass-heavy spread offensive system, a popular offensive scheme in the NCAA and NFHS perform well in the National Football League, as the fundamentals of the pro-style offense used in the NFL are different from those in the spread system.
While quarterbacks in Canadian football need to be able to throw the ball and accurately. In general, quarterbacks need to have physical skills such as arm strength and quick throwing motion, in addition to intangibles such as competitiveness, leadership and downfield vision. In the NFL, quarterbacks are required to wear a uniform number between 1 and 19. In the National Collegiate Athletic Association and National Federation of State High School Associations, quarterbacks are required to wear a uniform number between 1 and 49. In the CFL, the quarterback can wear any number from 0 to 49 and 70 to 99; because of their numbering, quarterbacks are eligible receivers in the NCAA, NFHS, CFL. Compared to captains of other team sports, before the implementation of NFL team captains in 2007, the starting quarterback is the de facto team leader and well-respected player on and off the field. Since 2007, when the NFL allowed teams to designate several captains to serve as on-field leaders, the starting quarterback has been one of the team captains as the leader of the team's offense.
In the NFL, while the starting quarterback has no other responsibility or authority, he may, depending on the league or individual team, have various informal duties, such as participation in pre-game ceremonies, the coin toss, or other events outside the game. For instance the starting quarterback is the first player to be presented with the Lamar Hunt Trophy/George Halas Trophy and the Vince Lombardi Trophy; the starting quarterback of the victorious Super Bowl team is chosen for the "I'm going to Disney World!" campaign, whether they are the Super Bowl MVP or not. Dilfer was chosen though teammate Ray Lewis was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV, due to the bad publicity from Lewis' murder trial the prior year. Being able to rely on a quarterback is vital to team morale. San Diego Chargers safety Rodney Harrison called the 1998 season a "nightmare" because of poor play by Ryan Leaf and Craig Whelihan and, from the rookie Leaf, obnoxious behavior toward teammates. Although their 1999 season replacements Jim Harbaugh and Erik Kramer were not stars, linebacker Junior Seau said "you can't imagine the security we feel as teammates knowing we have two quarterbacks who have performed in this league and know how to handle themselves as players and as leaders".
Commentators have noted the "disproportionate importance" of the quarterback, describing it as the "most glorified -- and scrutinized -- position" in team sports. It is believed that "there is no other position in sports that'dictates the terms' of a game the way quarterback does, whether that impact is positive or negative, as "Everybody feeds off of what the quarterback can and cannot do... Defensively, everybody reacts to what threats or non-threats the quarterback has. Everything else is secondary". "An argument can be made that quarterback is the most influential position in team sport