The Ohio League was an informal and loose association of American football clubs active between 1902 and 1919 that competed for the Ohio Independent Championship (OIC). As the name implied, its teams were mostly based in Ohio. Though a champion was declared by the group throughout its existence, a formal league was not founded until 1920, when several Ohio League teams added clubs from other states to form the American Professional Football Association. In 1922, the APFA became the National Football League.
Rochester's best team, the Jeffersons, was instrumental in bringing the NYPFL and the Ohio League together to form the NFL. Jeffersons owner Leo Lyons suggested to Bulldogs coach Jim Thorpe and owner Ralph Hay that a league format could eventually become as popular as Major League Baseball.