RPI Football

Background
Timeline
College Football Scoring Changes

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Background

There is a history of football at RPI. That is necessity for a program that began in 1886. However, the positives in that history mostly began in the 1990s, after one hundred years of mediocre play. Fortunately for players and fans, the last three decades have produced competitive and exciting football, with multiple conference titles, bowl victories and NCAA Tournament appearances. A program once known only for a long winless streak is now expected to challenge for a title every season.

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Timeline

SEASON EVENT(S)
1886 First football game played by RPI, a loss to the Ridgefield Athletic Club 25-0 in West Troy (now Watervliet). RPI later won its first intercollegiate game against Union, 11-4, a result disputed by Union.
1891 RPI did not play any games, the last season that would happen until the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
1892 RPI defeated the Laureate Boat Club in Troy, the first time RPI played in the city. The game was played at the Laureate grounds, RPI continued to play home games in West Troy and occasionally Albany.
1900 All home games were played in Troy for the first time.
1907 First season with a winning record, four wins against three losses. Also, the first season with an official head coach.
1911 An undefeated season under head coach John Inglis as RPI went 7-0-3, including a disputed result versus Rutgers. RPI claimed a 0-0 tie, Rutgers a 6-0 victory.
1912 '86 Field, in the center of campus, became the home field for football.
1925 RPI opened the season at Harvard, the only time the two schools played. The crowd of approximately 25,000 people was probably the largest RPI has ever played before.
1944 First season RPI and Coast Guard battled for the Shot Glass trophy. Coast Guard won 38-6.
1946 Hawkins Stadium in Menands was utilized as the home field due to construction on the RPI campus. This is the last season RPI played home games outside Troy.
1950 The Dutchman's Shoes game between RPI and Union was first contested, with Union winning 20-0.
1959 Middlebury defeated RPI 16-0 on October 24, starting winless and losing streaks for RPI that gained national attention.
1964 RPI tied Nichols 20-20 on October 10, ending the losing streak at 34 games. RPI began conference play in the ICAC.
1969 Trinity and RPI played to a 43-43 tie, setting a national record in football's College Division (now Division II). This record was surpassed in the 1990s.
1980 The first Transit Trophy game between RPI and WPI, which RPI won 30-13.
1990 Final season for ICAC football. RPI tied for the championship in two of the last three seasons.
1992 Under head coach Joe King RPI made the post-season for the first time, winning the ECAC Northeast Bowl over Bridgewater State.
1995 RPI joined the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association (UCAA), renamed the Liberty League in 2004.
1999 RPI finished the regular season undefeated at 9-0, won their third straight UCAA title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time, losing to Rowan at home in the first round.
2003 In their third appearance in the NCAA Tournament, RPI reached the semifinals, losing to eventual national champion St. John's on the road.
2005 The final Shot Glass Trophy game is played, RPI defeated Coast Guard 17-3 and gained permanent possession of the trophy.
2018 In their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance, and the second under head coach Ralph Isernia, RPI reaches the quarterfinals for the second time, losing to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
2020 Season canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic.

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College Football Scoring Changes

Prior to 1912, there were different values for scoring plays in football. This helps explain what would now be "odd" looking scores in the early years, such as teams only scoring 4 points in game (now extremely rare). Below is the value of each scoring play since football began in 1869.

SEASON(S) TOUCHDOWN FIELD GOAL SAFETY CONVERSION
1869 through 1882 1 1 1 1
1883 2 5 1 4
1884 through 1896 4 5 2 2
1897 through 1903 5 5 2 1
1904 through 1908 5 4 2 1
1909 through 1911 5 3 2 1
1912 through 1957 6 3 2 1
Since 1958 6 3 2 2 (run or pass) or 1 (kick)