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Saturday, October 11, 2014


Today marks another great date in Michigan Football history, as the proto-wolverines squared off on the gridiron against the mighty Albion Britons, vanquishing the upstarts by a score of 56-10. The game was played in 1890, only two years after tackling below the waist was legalized.

Albion was playing it's 10th game of "football" - - - ever - - - after taking a year off from the sport in 1889. At the time of this memorable contest, the Britons had played only four teams in their brief football history. Neither team had a Head Coach. Players did not wear uniforms with numbers, and there was no such thing as a forward pass. There was no specific requirement for the size or shape of the ball. Field goals were worth five points.

Their exaggerated claims made by Wolverines about their alleged football supremacy are based on counting these historical events as actual games. The forward pass was not legalized until 1906, and the NCAA did not begin tracking football records until 1937. The sport evolved from rugby to a hybrid form of rugby in the latter part of the 19th century. But it was rugby in 1890, as this article from the Detroit Free Press (archives) clearly states.

Remember "games" like this when UM fans start calling out their inflated "all-time win" numbers. This was more of a modified rugby exhibition than a football game.

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