In 1869, students at Rutgers invited students from Princeton over for sport. They played an evolving New England game sort of like soccer and sort of like rugby and mostly just brawling in a field. A week later, a rematch. And they wanted to have a tie-breaker, but faculty complained about the students spending all their time brawling in fields. And so ended the first season of American football. Since then, not much has really changed, other than it now being inconceivable that academics could ever stop a college football game from happening. And yes, Princeton claims to have won the 1869 national championship.