The 1886 college football season had no clear-cut champion, with the Official NCAA Division I Football Records Book listing Princeton and Yale as having been selected national champions.[1]

Conference and program changesEdit

School 1885 Conference 1886 Conference
California Golden Bears Program established Independent

Season notesEdit

On Thanksgiving Day in Princeton, NJ, undefeated teams from Yale and Princeton met. The game started late due to the absence of a referee, and heavy rain caused the game to be called on account of darkness with Yale leading 4-0 in the second half. Under the rules of the time, the game was declared "no contest" by the substitute referee, and the final score was declared to be 0-0. After a special meeting of the Intercollegiate Football Association held to review the game, the Association issued a two-part resolution - that (1) Yale should have been acknowledged the winner, but that (2) under their existing rules, the Association did not have the authority to award the game to them.[2]

The first intercollegiate game in the state of Vermont happened on November 6, 1886, between Dartmouth and Vermont at Burlington, Vermont. Dartmouth won 91 to 0.[3] Vermont was the last state in New England yet to have a football contest.

Conference standingsEdit

The following is a potentially incomplete list of conference standings:

1886 college football records
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Yale         9 0 1
Princeton         7 0 1
Michigan         2 0 0
Harvard         12 2 0
California         6 2 1
Massachusetts         2 1 0
Navy         3 3 0
Dartmouth         2 2 0
Rutgers         1 3 0
Northwestern         0 1 0
Vermont         0 1 0
Minnesota         0 2 0
1886 Northern Intercollegiate Football Association standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Williams (MA)         4 1 1
Tufts         0 8 0
† – Conference champion


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