From Pop Warner to Nick Saban, from Rutgers-Princeton to Alabama-Clemson, from no helmets to leather ones to state-of-the art, college football has come a long way since its inception in 1869, evolving from a campus oddity into a national fascination. In honor of the sport’s 150th year, we at Sports Illustrated have put together 15 lists of college football’s greatest—everything from programs to pizza joints to individual performances. Our writers pooled their experiences and years of reporting and research to highlight the game’s best moments and chart its evolution into the colossus it is today, which generates billions of dollars in revenue, sparks eons of heated debate and powers rivalries that have been passed down for generations. Happy birthday, college football—and here’s to 150 more years.
While the sport has created a countless number of moments and memories that we’ll never forget, these are the top 150 photos in college football’s history. VIEW THE GALLERY