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The Toledo Rockets football team is a college football program in Division I FBS, representing the University of Toledo. The Rockets compete in the Mid-American Conference. Toledo began playing football in 1917, although it did not field teams in 1931, and 1943-1945. Since the inception of the AP Poll in 1936 Toledo has finished in the Top 25 four times. Its highest finish came in 1970 when it ranked #12 after finishing 12–0–0. They have defeated 5 out of 6 Top 25 Teams they have faced at the Glass Bowl the most recent: 29-23 victory over #21 Cincinnati Bearcats on October 20, 2012. Its current head coach is Matt Campbell.
Toledo first fielded a football team in 1917, under the leadership of John Brandeberry. According to Toledo Rockets lore, the team began when a group of students purchased uniforms from a sporting goods store, then arranged a game against the University of Detroit in order to settle the debt. Brandeberry stepped in to coach the team, which promptly lost the game 145–0 (but settled the debt).
For the first few years Toledo played without a nickname, but was dubbed the "Rockets" after two long touchdown runs in a 1923 loss to Carnegie Tech. That season also saw Toledo win its first conference title.
From 1969 through 1971, Toledo won 35 consecutive games, which currently ranks as the fifth-longest winning streak in major college football. Under head coach Frank Lauterbur, the Rockets won 3 Mid-American Conference Championships and won each of their 3 appearances in the Tangerine Bowl during those years. Mel Long, a member of the team for all three years, was named to The AP All-America First Team after the 1971 season. Charles "Chuck" Ealey led the Rockets to all 35 victories as starting quarterback.
In 1990, the Rockets posted a 9-2 record and were coached by Nick Saban.