List of the first college football games in each U.S. state

The following is a list of the first college football game in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Games included on this list are the earliest recorded single intercollegiate football games in each member state of the United States.

State Date Home Visitor Location Final score Notes
NJ November 6, 1869 Rutgers Princeton[1] College Avenue field, New Brunswick, New Jersey 6–4 First organized intercollegiate football game in New Jersey. The game was essentially soccer, but is considered the first college football game ever played.[2][3]
NY November 2, 1872 Columbia Rutgers Union Base Ball Club Grounds, Tremont, New York 0–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in New York.[4] The game was essentially soccer, as a kick over the crossbar was not counted as a goal.[5] Tremont became a part of New York City in 1874, and Walter Gladwin Park in The Bronx is the approximate location where the game was played.[6][7][better source needed]
CT November 16, 1872 Yale Columbia Hamilton Park, New Haven, Connecticut 3–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Connecticut.[8][9] First game in New England. The game was essentially soccer with 20-man sides, played on a field 400 by 250 feet. Yale won 3–0, Tommy Sherman scoring the first goal and Lew Irwin the other two.[10]
VA November 2, 1873 Washington and Lee VMI Lexington, Virginia 4–2 First organized intercollegiate football game in Virginia. The game was essentially soccer and is considered by some to be the first intercollegiate game in the south.[11]

Some industrious students of the two schools organized a game for October 23, 1869 – but it was rained out.[12] Students of the University of Virginia were playing pickup games of the kicking-style of football as early as 1870, and some accounts even claim it organized a game against Washington and Lee College in 1871. But no record has been found of the score of this contest. Due to scantness of records of the prior matches some will claim either Richmond v. Randolph-Macon on December 3, 1881 (essentially soccer) or Virginia v. Pantops Academy on November 13, 1887 as the first game in Virginia.

MA May 14, 1874 Harvard McGill Jarvis Field, Cambridge, Massachusetts 3–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Massachusetts.[13][14] The game was played under the "Boston Rules", which were essentially modified soccer rules that allowed the ball to be carried in some limited circumstances.

The next day, May 15, 1874, Harvard and McGill played to a scoreless tie in the first organized intercollegiate football game under rugby rules.

ME November 6, 1875 Bates Tufts Rand Field, Lewiston, Maine 1–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Maine. After playing Harvard in a rugby football game in June 1875, Tufts took its squad to Bates College for the first organized intercollegiate football game played in Maine.[15][16]
PA November 11, 1876 Penn Princeton[1] Young America Cricket Club Grounds, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 6–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Pennsylvania.[17] The game was essentially soccer, though some "batting with the wrist" was apparently allowed.[18]
IL May 30, 1879 Michigan Racine College White-Stocking Park, Chicago, Illinois 1–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Illinois. The Chicago Daily Tribune called it "the first rugby-football game to be played west of the Alleghenies" and it was advertised as the "championship of the Western Colleges."[19][20]

The first organized intercollegiate football game in Illinois played by teams from the state occurred November 11, 1882, when Lake Forest defeated Northwestern 1–0 on the Campus Meadow in Evanston.[21]

MI November 1, 1879 Michigan Toronto Recreation Park, Detroit, Michigan 0–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Michigan.[22]
KY April 9, 1880 Transylvania[23] Centre Stoll Field, Lexington, Kentucky 13¾–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Kentucky.[24][25] Due to being the first rugby-style intercollegiate game in the south, the game is considered by some to be the first intercollegiate game in the south.[26]
NH November 17, 1881 Dartmouth Amherst Hanover, New Hampshire 1–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in New Hampshire.[27][28]

The first organized football game in New Hampshire involving a college occurred October 29, 1881 when MIT defeated Exeter Academy 2-0 in Exeter.[29]

MN September 30, 1882 Minnesota Hamline King's Fair Ground, Minneapolis, Minnesota 4–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Minnesota.[30][31] Some secondary sources may incorrectly report September 29 as the date and the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul as the location. The correct date and location are September 30 at King's Fair Ground in Minneapolis.[32]
MD November 30, 1882 Navy Johns Hopkins Annapolis, Maryland 8–0 First organized intercollegiate football in Maryland. It snowed heavily before the game, to the point where players for both teams had to clear layers of snow off of the field, making large piles of snow along the sides of the playing ground. The field was 110 yards by 53 yards, with goalposts 25 feet (7.6 m) apart and 20 feet (6.1 m) high. The first half of the game went scoreless; the Baltimore American reported that "the visitors pushed Navy every place but over the goal line in the first half".[33] During play, the ball was kicked over the seawall a number of times, once going so far out it had to be retrieved by boat before play could continue.[33][34]

The first organized football game in Maryland involving a college occurred December 11, 1879 when Navy and the Baltimore Athletic Club played to a scoreless tie on the "superintendent's cow pasture" in Annapolis.

DC November 20, 1883 Gallaudet Georgetown Kendall Green, Washington, D.C. 13–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Washington, D.C.[35][36]
IN May 31, 1884 Butler DePauw 7th Street Base Ball Park, Indianapolis, Indiana 16–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Indiana.[37][38]
CO April 11, 1885 Colorado College Denver Athletic Park, Colorado Springs, Colorado 12–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Colorado. The CC Athletic Association responded to a challenge from the University of Denver by scheduling a game early on April 11. A severe windstorm that morning forced postponement of the game until the afternoon.[39]

The first organized football game in Colorado involving a college occurred December 25, 1882 when Colorado College defeated Sigafus Hose Company 10–8 on a field near the college campus in Colorado Springs.

VT November 6, 1886 Vermont Dartmouth Burlington, Vermont 91–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Vermont.[40]
NC October 18, 1888 Wake Forest North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, North Carolina 6–4 First organized intercollegiate football game in North Carolina.[41][42]

The first "scientific game" occurred on Thanksgiving of the same year when North Carolina played Duke (then Trinity) at Raleigh Athletic Park. Duke won 16 to 0.[43]

WI November 29, 1888 Racine College Lake Forest Racine, Wisconsin 6–4 First organized intercollegiate football game in Wisconsin.[44] Lake Forest claims it was just the sixteenth team in the nation.[45]
OH December 8, 1888 Miami (OH) Cincinnati Old Main lawn, Oxford, Ohio 0–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Ohio. The "Victory Bell" is one of the sport's oldest rivalries.[46] The first game was played in a freezing rain.[47]
SD May 3, 1889 South Dakota State South Dakota Sioux Falls Fairgrounds, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 6–6 First organized intercollegiate football game in South Dakota.[48] "The foot ball resulted in a draw and the prize of $15 was divided between Vermillion [South Dakota] and Brookings [South Dakota State]."[49]
CA 1889 USC Loyola Marymount[50] Los Angeles, California 40–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in California.[51] First Pacific Coast game.[citation needed]

The first organized football game in California involving a college occurred December 2, 1882 when Cal lost a rugby football game to Phoenix Club 7–4 in San Francisco. The first organized American football game in California involving a college occurred January 16, 1886 when Cal defeated a club team called the Wasps 20–2 at West Field in Berkeley.[52]

RI October 23, 1889 Brown Tufts Pawtucket, Rhode Island 16–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Rhode Island.[53] Brown may have played an organized intercollegiate game in Rhode Island as early as 1886 against Boston University, but it is unclear whether that game was played in Massachusetts or in Rhode Island.
IA November 16, 1889 Grinnell[54] Iowa Field on South Campus, Grinnell, Iowa 24–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Iowa.[55]

At least one Associated Press article claims this is the first game west of the Mississippi River.[56] However, by November 1889 intercollegiate games had already been played west of the Mississippi River in Colorado and South Dakota, and possibly in California. As a technical matter, the first intercollegiate game played west of the Mississippi River was the 1882 contest between Minnesota and Hamline. Though both university campuses are east of the river, Minnesota and Hamline played at Minneapolis' King's Fair Ground just west of the river.

SC December 14, 1889 Wofford Furman Encampment Grounds, Spartanburg, South Carolina 5–1 First organized intercollegiate football game in South Carolina.[57][58] The game was essentially soccer, featured no uniforms, no positions, and the rules were formulated before the game.[59] First game in the Deep South.
DE October 11, 1890 Delaware Swarthmore (Sophomores) Newark, Delaware 30–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Delaware. "In Newark, when news leaked out in 1889 that the college boys were going to play football Sheriff Bill Simmons swore up and down Main Street that the first corpse carried off the field would mean the end of the game."[60]

The first organized football game in Delaware involving a college occurred October 26, 1889 when the Delaware Field Club defeated Delaware 74–0 at Union Park in Wilmington.[61]

KS November 22, 1890 Baker Kansas Baldwin City, Kansas 22–9 First organized intercollegiate football game in Kansas.[62]

The first organized football game in Kansas involving a college occurred March 1, 1890 when Wichita University[63] lost to Lewis Academy 4-2 on the WU campus in Wichita.[64]

MO November 27, 1890 Washington (MO) Missouri St. Louis, Missouri 28–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Missouri.[65]

The first organized football game in Missouri involving a college occurred in 1887 when Washington (MO) defeated the University Club 14–4 in St. Louis.[66]

TN November 27, 1890 Vanderbilt Nashville[67] Athletic Park, Nashville, Tennessee 40–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Tennessee.[68]
WA November 27, 1890 Washington College Washington Tacoma, Washington 0–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Washington.[69]

The first organized football game in Washington involving a college occurred November 28, 1889 when a team of Eastern College Alumni defeated Washington 20–0 at Jackson Street Baseball Park in Seattle.[70]

NE February 14, 1891 Doane Nebraska Field "west of the reservoir", Crete, Nebraska 18–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Nebraska.[71][72]

The first organized football game in Nebraska involving a college occurred November 27, 1890 when Nebraska defeated Omaha YMCA 10–0 at "the base ball park, North Twentieth street" in Omaha.[73][74]

WV November 28, 1891 West Virginia Washington & Jefferson Show Lot, Morgantown, West Virginia 72–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in West Virginia.[75]
GA January 30, 1892 Georgia Mercer Herty Field, Athens, Georgia 50–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Georgia.[76]
UT November 25, 1892 Utah State Utah The Quad, Logan, Utah 12–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Utah.[77]
AL February 22, 1893 Auburn Alabama Lakeview Park, Birmingham, Alabama 32–22 First organized intercollegiate football game in Alabama.[78]

The first organized football game in Alabama involving a college occurred November 11, 1892 when Alabama defeated a picked team of players from Birmingham high schools 52–0.[79]

MS November 11, 1893 Mississippi Union (TN) University Athletic Park, Oxford, Mississippi 56–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Mississippi.[80][81]
OR November 11, 1893 Oregon State Lewis & Clark[82] College Parade Grounds, Corvallis, Oregon 62–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Oregon.[83][84]
LA November 25, 1893 Tulane LSU Crescent City Base Ball Park, New Orleans, Louisiana 34–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Louisiana.

The first organized football game in Louisiana involving a college occurred November 18, 1893 when Southern Athletic Club defeated Tulane 12–0 in New Orleans.[85] The first intramural games in the state occurred at Tulane on New Year's Day, 1890 by dividing students into two teams.[86] The game was introduced to Tulane by Hugh and Thomas Bayne, who played the game at Yale University.[86]

NM January 1, 1894 New Mexico New Mexico State Albuquerque, New Mexico 18–6 First organized intercollegiate football game in New Mexico.[87] First game in the southwest.[citation needed]

The first organized football game in New Mexico involving a college occurred October 10, 1892 when Albuquerque High School defeated New Mexico 5–0 in Albuquerque.[88]

ID May 20, 1894 Idaho Washington State Moscow, Idaho 22–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Idaho.[89]
TX October 19, 1894 Texas Texas A&M Hyde Park Racetrack, Austin, Texas 38–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Texas.[90][91]

The first organized football games in Texas involving a college both occurred November 30, 1893. Texas defeated the Dallas Football Club 18–16 at Fair Park in Dallas; while Austin College defeated a Dallas club team 16–4 in Sherman.[92]

ND November 3, 1894 North Dakota North Dakota State Grand Forks, North Dakota 24–6 First organized intercollegiate football game in North Dakota.[93]
OK 1895 Tulsa[94] Bacone[95] Muskogee, Indian Territory Unknown First organized intercollegiate football game in territory that would become Oklahoma.[96] Henry Kendall College won the game on its home field, though the exact score and date are unknown.[96]

Because the exact date of the 1895 Henry Kendall College vs. Indian University game is unknown, the first organized football game involving a college in territory that would become Oklahoma may have occurred on November 7, 1895 when the 'Oklahoma City Terrors' defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 34 to 0. The Terrors were a mix of Methodist college students and high schoolers.[97] The Sooners did not manage a single first down. By next season, Oklahoma coach John A. Harts had left to prospect for gold in the Arctic.[98][99]

Organized football was first played in Oklahoma Territory on November 29, 1894 between the Oklahoma City Terrors and Oklahoma City High School. The high school won 24 to 0.[98]

WY November 25, 1895 Wyoming Northern Colorado Prexy's Pasture, Laramie, Wyoming 34–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Wyoming.[100][101]

The first organized football game in Wyoming involving a college occurred February 22, 1893 when Wyoming defeated Cheyenne High School 14–0 in Laramie.[102]

NV November 28, 1896 Nevada California (Junior Varsity) Reno, Nevada 40–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Nevada.[103][104]

The first organized football game in Nevada involving a college may have occurred October 24, 1896 when Nevada defeated Wadsworth 30-0 in Reno.[105]

MT November 12, 1897 Montana Butte Business College Missoula, Montana 20–4 First organized intercollegiate football game in Montana.[106]

The first organized football game in Montana involving a college occurred September 15, 1895 when the Butte Football Club defeated Iowa State 12–10 in Butte.[107] ISU head coach Pop Warner apparently bet heavily on his team to win the game and only begrudgingly settled those bets after the loss.[108]

AR November 25, 1897 Ouachita Baptist Arkansas Arkadelphia, Arkansas 24–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Arkansas that is claimed by both participants.[109]

On November 28, 1895 Ouachita Baptist defeated Arkadelphia Methodist College (now Henderson State) 8–0 in Arkadelphia.[110] Henderson State claims this as an organized game and dates the beginning of both its football program and the Battle of the Ravine to 1895.[110] However, Ouachita Baptist does not consider this to be an official game and dates the beginning of its program to 1896 and the Battle of the Ravine to 1907.[111]

The first organized football game in Arkansas involving a college occurred October 13, 1894 when Arkansas defeated Fort Smith High School 42–0 in Fayetteville.[109]

AZ November 30, 1899 Arizona Arizona State[112] Carrillo Gardens, Tucson, Arizona 11–2 First organized intercollegiate football game in Arizona.[113]

The first organized football game in Arizona involving a college was played in either 1897 or 1898. Arizona State records show a 38-20 loss to Phoenix Indian School in 1897.[114] However, the first game reported by the Arizona Republican was a 16-6 ASU loss to Phoenix High School on January 22, 1898 in Phoenix.[115]

FL November 22, 1901 Stetson Florida Agricultural College
(predecessor of Florida)
North Main St. Fairgrounds, Jacksonville, Florida 6–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Florida.[116] Stetson beat Florida Agricultural College at Lake City, one of the four forerunners of the University of Florida, 6–0, in a game played as part of the Jacksonville Fair.[117] A sure score by FAC was obstructed by a tree stump.[118]

The first intramural games in the state occurred when Stetson teams played a 7-game intramural series in 1894.[118]

HI December 25, 1920 Hawaii Nevada Moiliili Field, Honolulu, Hawaii 14–0 First organized intercollegiate football game in Hawaii.[119]

The first organized football game in Hawaii involving a college occurred October 23, 1909 when Hawaii defeated McKinley High School 6–5 on a field at Oahu College.[119]

Some may view the October 30, 1909 game between Hawaii and Oahu College to be the state's first intercollegiate game.[120] However, Oahu College was never a postsecondary school and the University of Hawaii records its first intercollegiate football game as the 1920 contest against Nevada.[119]

AK January 1, 1949 Alaska–Fairbanks Ladd Air Force Base Fairbanks, Alaska[121] 0–0 First organized football game in Alaska involving a college.[122] Alaska has not hosted an organized intercollegiate college football game.

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