Brief HIstory of College Football Scoring

Discussion in 'In The Stands' started by Bill in Sinton, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Bill in Sinton

    Bill in Sinton 5,000+ Posts

    On Nov. 6, 1869 football started with the first game between Princeton and Rutgers with Rutgers winning 6 to 4 with the game being at Rutgers. After the game Rutgers entertained the visitors with a meal, speeches and songs. Princieton issued a challege and one week later they played at Princeton with Princeton winning 8 - 0. Princeton then hosted the visitors with a meal, speeches and songs. I am sure they knew they were starting something great which they did. Scoring was different then and football really was "foot"ball. Field goals counted more than tds and there were no safeties. In fact if you were backed near your own goal it was practical to fall down in the endzone because no points were scored and you could take a free kick from the 25 yard line. However slowly tds came to be valued more especially when the shape of the ball evolved.
    By 1912 most of the scoring as we know it came into being. Field goals were 3 points, tds 6 points and extra points 1 point, and the safety 2 points. Only the offense could score the extra point after a td by kicking, or runinng and passing over the goal same as today.
    Drop kicks were used for field goals and extra points but teams learned they could get more accuracy with a holder and this slowly took over. The ball was placed at the 2 yard line on extra points to make it easier to run or pass the ball for the extra point.
    This remained the scoring until 1958 when after a td a team could go for two points by running or passing the ball over the goal line. A kick was one point. This option was introduced to try to eliminate ties. The ball was now placed at the 3 yard line however.
    In 1988 the safety conversion was introduced where the team that didin't score the td could get two points by running a blocked kick or intercepted pass to the opponents' end zone for 2 points and this was extended in 1992 to include fumble recovers. This is a personal preference but I don't like this because I feel that extra points should be limited as a reward to the scoring team only but oh well.
    A team can actually score 1 point on the conversion safety but it is very rare. If a team blocks, interecepts or picks up a fumble and runs into the endzone to try to get around defenders and is tackled in the end zone the team gets 1 point. This happened in our 2004 A&M game when the Aggies blocked an extra point kick and tried ot run around in the end zone to get it up field for 2 points but we got him in the end zone for the point.
    The only other time a point can be made is if Team B blocks an extra point kick, intercepts the ball or runs with a fumble and is tackled down the field and the ball rolls to Team A's one yard line and Team A player picks it up and tries to run it back and tries to get away by running around in the end zone and is tackled then B gets the point. This is probably even more rare and one will be lucky to hear about this maybe once in a lifetime but it will probably happen.
    Forfeits for any reason are listsed as 1 - 0 iin favor of the winner.
    In 1996 ties were basically eliminated by the Overtime periods after the four regular quarters if the game is still tied.
  2. Harri McDog Horn

    Harri McDog Horn 25+ Posts

    Weren't the goal posts widened in 1958 or 1959 to make field goals easier?
  3. Bill in Sinton

    Bill in Sinton 5,000+ Posts

    I don't know Harri. You may be right. If I understand right in the early days the ball was kciked between two goal posts and later an upright was added.
  4. Vote For Pedro

    Vote For Pedro 500+ Posts

    Thanks Bill. I agree, I've always found the history of the game to be quite interesting.
  5. Vote For Pedro

    Vote For Pedro 500+ Posts

    I've always been fascinated by the drop kick. I had never seen one and wondered what it looked like. After doing some searching I found Doug Flutie did one in 2006 as a novelty, and prior to that the last one in the NFL was 1941. There is Youtube video of the Flutie kick if anyone is interested. In college it's been just about as rare. It was the change in the shape of the ball back in the '30s that doomed the drop kick and made the current kick with a holder come into play.

    For those not familiar with the drop kick it is different from a punt in that the ball has to bounce off of the ground before it's kicked. In practice from the couple of videos I could find and descriptions of past kicks it seems the ball is kicked essentially at the same time it hits the ground. The intention of a drop kick is to kick it through the goalposts where it counts as a field goal if successful. Drop kicks can be, and when they were popular were, run from standard running or passing formations.

    Thanks Bill for inspiring me to research something I've always wondered about.
  6. orangecat

    orangecat 1,000+ Posts

    I used to play around in the yard a bunch with drop kicks. A bunch. It was so incredibly difficult to get consistency. Occasionally I would hit it just right and the ball would go way up in the air. On a football field this kind of kick would be impossible to block.

    More often than not, though, I would get a fairly low ugly looking kick. Wouldn't it be fun if they used a different football for extra points and kicks, to allow kickers to have a chance at a drop kick. Or maybe award two points for a drop kick, instead of one. And then maybe award 4 points for a FG drop kick instead of 3. This could be a blast.
  7. Texanne

    Texanne 5,000+ Posts

    One thing Bill left out was that once the ball carrier got nto the end zone with the ball, he would actually have to "touch it down."

    Great post, Bill! I learned all that in my class, Cultural History of Sports in America," which was taught in American Studies and remains this day my second-favorite course I took at Texas.
  8. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    Being able to drop-kick might have saved LSU in their game with Mississippi - they would have only had to run one guy onto the field instead of eleven for the FG and thus not been tempted to go out and spike the ball when there was only 1 second left.
  9. Vote For Pedro

    Vote For Pedro 500+ Posts

    Good point. Hadn't thought of that.
  10. Buck Naked

    Buck Naked 25+ Posts

    Good stuff, Bill. Thanks for posting that.
  11. AstroVol

    AstroVol 500+ Posts

    My grandfather played for West Virginia in the 1930s, and he told us that when he played, if the ball was kicked through the uprights on a kickoff, it counted as 1 point. I have never been able to verify or refute his claim. These are coal-mining mountain folk we're talking about, they may have been playing by their own rules.
  12. Ignatius

    Ignatius 1,000+ Posts

  13. Harri McDog Horn

    Harri McDog Horn 25+ Posts

    Kickers used to be able to introduce their own football into the game for the kicking play. These balls were usually quite scuffed and worn making the kick easier. I do not remember the exact year that the tee and individual kicking balls were banned but it is my understanding that the expanded width of the goal posts has remained.
  14. orangecat

    orangecat 1,000+ Posts

    yeah, I remember reading about the old balls in the famous Dave Campbell's mag. the summer after Franklin hit his 60+ FGs. I think the old ball thing lasted a few more years.
  15. DRAG69

    DRAG69 1,000+ Posts

    Drop kicks are still legal and can be made at anytime from anywhere on the field during a play. You can also punt the ball at anytime from anywhere on the field.
  16. accuratehorn

    accuratehorn 10,000+ Posts

    I thought this was going to be the autobiography of Joe Namath.
  17. Harri McDog Horn

    Harri McDog Horn 25+ Posts

    You can also return a kickoff by punting. I have only heard of that being done one time in almost sixty years. I listened to a game which I think involved Rice. I think the idea was to surprise the kicking team and to pin them deep in their own territory or recover the ball in case one of the other team got confused and touched the ball; sort of a quick kick on the kickoff.

    I remember a Cowboys game when Danny White was the punter and he at first tried to run for the first down but gave up on the idea after he had passed the line of scrimmage and punted the ball instead. There was some confusion following the play but the referees and announcers explained that a punt could take place at any time from any point on the field; just a rule that is a vestige of the era when the game of football first got its name.
  18. Ignatius

    Ignatius 1,000+ Posts

    That might be interesting to try toward the end of a half as an alternative to a Hail Mary with only a few seconds left. Throw a pass into the flat then have the WR/RB kick the ball as far downfield as he can. Ideally the weirdness of the whole situation might result in the defense just 'downing' the ball by touching it, which you could then recover way downfield. If it didn't work, they're pinned deep with only time to run a play or two before the half...
  19. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    ^ It worked for Nebraska in that one 'King of the Hill' episode.
  20. misirlou

    misirlou 250+ Posts

    As of 1991, NCAA goalposts are the same width as NFL, but the hash marks are wider than NFL to allow for running teams. The result is that kicking from the hashes in college is more difficult than in the pros. At least, the NCAA narrowed the hash marks a bit in 1993, but they are still over twice as wide as in the pros.

  21. Bill in Sinton

    Bill in Sinton 5,000+ Posts

    Mr. Flutie's kick was remarkable but it came in a game that was already decided. If it had been on a winning extra point then it really would have impressed me. As it was even though it was remarkable it reminded me of the WNBA All Star games when the Ladies would dunk because the opponents would just stand aside and let them go without resistance. At least now the WNBA has had legitimate dunks.

    Still Fluties efforts were remarkable with this kick but let's keep it in perspective. It was not a critical kick.

Share This Page