Tuesday, August 14, 2007


In building a collection of links regarding college football history I suggest it is best to start from the beginning. I offer the perspective of Parke Hill Davis.

Parke H. Davis is widely known as America's first college football historian. Davis played football at Princeton from 1890 to 1892. According to early sports journal Outing (vol. 57 - 1913);

"He was left end in 1890 under the captaincy of Edgar Allen Poe and for the next two years was left and right tackle respectively. But that was just the beginning. His real football career began after graduation.

For a year he was director of athletics at the University of Wisconsin, beating Michigan in football and assisting in the formation of the Western Intercollegiate Athletic Association, his team taking second place in the first games. In 1894 he was coach at Amherst and from '95 to '98 was director of athletics at Lafayette, putting that college very firmly on the football and baseball map. In 1896 Lafayette, under his coaching, tied his own alma mater on the gridiron and beat Pennsylvania.

While Davis is a worthy founding member of American college football his best work came through his study of the game. As a historian Parke Davis was unmatched and his efforts writing the details of the early college football seasons aid in our historical understanding of college football to this day.

His early history of football:

Football, the American intercollegiate game By Parke Hill Davis

©1911, 1917


It is the mission of The Unbalanced Line Online Library to present important and interesting historical texts to college football fans. Items will be added regularly as blog postings and can be easily indexed in the Library button on the site bar.

Copyrighted material is used expressly under the fair use guidelines of U.S. Code 17 #107 through #118 stating that the criticism, comment, news reporting, educational use or research of copyrighted material is not held in violation of copyright laws.

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