We analyzed a century of Princeton football scores. Here's what we found.
What is a Scorigami?
Scorigami, a term invented by Jon Bois, is the mark of each unique score in football that has occurred so far. The Daily Princetonian’s iteration of Bois’s original project on the history of NFL scores charts every unique score in Princeton’s football history in the modern era.
For the purpose of this project, the “modern era” begins in 1912, when the touchdown was changed from 5 to 6 points, as it has remained today. Due to the nature of football — in which points are most often to be accrued in chunks of two, three, six, and seven — there are many final scores which have never happened before. With the end of the 2022 season, Princeton has played 961 football games since 1912, 455 (47 percent) of which were scorigamis.
For example, earlier this season, the Tigers beat Lafayette 23-2. Princeton had previously never played in a game that ended 23-2 – it was a scorigami!
Unique scores seem to be quite common whenever Princeton plays Lafayette. In the 31 matches between Princeton and Lafayette, 18 have resulted in scores that had never happened before in Princeton’s history. Another common rival with whom Princeton has regularly played in scorigami games includes Harvard in recent years. This season’s 37-10 win over the Crimson marked the continuation of a five-year scorigami streak between the two rivals (all of which Princeton won).
Why is this data meaningful?
Princeton played the first game in the history of college football on November 6, 1869, against Rutgers. In the following 153 years, they have played over 1,300 football games against 80 different opponents, winning 28 national championships. Jerry Price, the historian for Princeton Athletics, shared why football is so meaningful:, “Princeton football is a real source of pride. Its history is very storied.”
Since Bob Surace ’90 became Princeton’s head football coach in 2010, he has seen 61 scorigamis in the 120 games he has coached. Having completed his twelfth season on the job this year, Surace now holds the record of the second highest scorigami per season average of all coaches that coached for more than two seasons with a whopping 5.08 scorigamis per season on average.
Surace knows how important history is to the team and alumni. “When I meet [a football alum] it’s very humbling. I knew the passion of our alumni, and some research they've done. The history goes way back, and I’m quite humbled.”
Where is this data from?
The data is pulled and verified using multiple sources: “Athletics at Princeton: A History” by Frank Presbrey, Bric-a-Bracs, and The Daily Princetonian’s archives.