It is common hearsay that creativity is what you make of an already existing matter. NCAA football is a classic example. America did not invent the game of football. But what is American football today at college level is something that the world has never seen before.
American college football is played by teams of students from American universities and colleges and military academies as well. College football paved the way of making American football extremely popular in the United States. Till date, College football remains a rage among students, alumni, and other fans of the sport, especially in the Southern and Midwestern parts of the country.
American football as we know it today has its roots in various forms of football. Football was originally played in the mid-19th century at public schools in England. The 1840s saw the students at Rugby School in England playing Rugby, a game that allowed players picking up the ball and running with it. However, it was only later that it came to be called Rugby. It reached Canada with British soldiers and was soon being played at Canadian colleges.
The first game between American college teams was played on November 6, 1869. The teams were representing what are now Rutgers University and Princeton University. The rules followed in that game were in accordance to the 1863 rules of the English Football Association, which formed the basis of the modern form of soccer.
Other colleges followed suit and for a few years, it was soccer that American college teams played and mastered. America tried its hand at rugby for the first time in 1874 when Harvard University, isolated from other football teams because of its insistence on handling the ball more than was allowed in soccer, met Montreal’s McGill University.
Walter Camp, better known as the “Father of American Football,” made the prevalent variation of rugby into a unique sport. Camp brought about changes to the game that were not only innovative but also gave identity that made the game truly American. He did not stop at that. He saw to it that the changes reached the masses. He published articles in popular dailies and weeklies in the order of Harper’s Weekly and Collier’s Weekly.
With increasing popularity increased the violence of the game as well. After a few deaths of players and a Presidential threatening to ban the sport, a new association, viz, the National Collegiate Athletic Association was formed. This governing body was to set rules for college teams. NCAA banned the “mass momentum” and “flying wedge” movements. The forward pass was also introduced.
Before the National Football League, it was college football that reigned the American football mania. Post-World War II era saw professional football emerging as the predominant football medium.
However, in spite of the popularity of the NFL, it is college football that continues to enjoy extreme popularity throughout America. This is because professional football is limited to major urban areas, while college games are more popular in predominantly rural areas.