College Football

The 19 oldest rivalries in college football

Yale upset No. 18 Princeton 51-14 in 2019

The first known college football game was played in 1869 and it wasn’t long before rivalries began to develop between the earliest football teams.

Here are the 19 oldest rivalries in Division I college football, across the FBS and FCS, beginning with Yale vs. Princeton in 1873. These are taken from official NCAA record books, which you can find here on

Teams first played
Yale-Princeton 1873
Yale-Harvard 1875
Princeton-Penn 1876
Princeton-Harvard 1877
Yale-Brown 1880
Harvard-Dartmouth 1882
Lafayette-Lehigh 1884
South Dakota St.-South Dakota 1889
Cornell-Columbia 1889
Penn-Cornell 1893
Harvard-Brown 1893
North Dakota-North Dakota St. 1894
Montana-Montana St. 1897
William & Mary-Richmond 1898
Dartmouth-Cornell 1900
Illinois St.-Eastern Ill. 1901
North Dakota St.-South Dakota St 1903
New Hampshire-Maine 1903
Western Ill.-Illinois St. 1904

Here’s more on the oldest rivalries:

Yale vs. Princeton

Yale Athletics

Yale upset No. 18 Princeton 51-14 in 2019.

The Yale-Princeton rivalry is the oldest in college football, dating back to 1873. Yale and Princeton dominated the college football scene when this rivalry began, with Yale claiming 13 outright national titles and Princeton claiming eight between 1869 and 1894.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL 150: Notable firsts and milestones

Yale vs. Harvard

Harvard Athletics
The 2018 game was played at Fenway Park.
The 2018 game was played at Fenway Park.

One of the more well-known rivalries, simply called “The Game,” has been around since 1875.

Princeton vs. Penn

Princeton’s third-oldest college football rivalry with an Ivy League opponent is the Princeton-Penn…

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