Saturday was a special day for both the Southern and LSU football programs. The first ever meeting between the two Baton Rouge schools was more of a celebration than a competitive atmosphere. While the result was decided before the ball was even kicked off, that hardly mattered to any of the 100,000+ fans of both schools in attendance on September 10.
The Tigers emerged victorious, 65-17, on the evening, but you’d hardly know it by looking at the faces of the away fans. This event was much bigger than football and that reality was not lost on anybody in attendance. Many of those on campus for the game described it as one of the most magical nights they’ve ever seen in Tiger Stadium. After seeing the scenes and hearing the sounds, this is no surprise. This meeting should become an annual event for those reasons.
LSU football and Southern should play an annual game at Tiger Stadium
The atmosphere on campus leading up to the Southern game was different. LSU is usually packed before home openers, but the stadium seldom fills up to watch the team take on non-conference opponents. This is especially true for FCS foes. However, the school actually had to take extra precautions ahead of this game because of the number of fans expected to show up.
There is obviously no way to know how many people showed up to tailgate pre-game. However, Louisiana’s flagship university estimated that it’d see around 200,000 fans. Inside the stadium, it was a true sell-out as it looked nearly impossible to spot an empty seat.
This just goes to show that the Tigers versus the Jaguars is different gravy.
This is a game that needs to happen more often, if not annually. LSU fans have little reason to pack the stands against the North Texas’ or New Mexico’s of the world. Those games are guaranteed blowouts, as well, so why pay them to travel to Baton Rouge when Southern is just miles away from Tiger Stadium at all times?
LSU would dominate every season, but it does that with the aforementioned opponents, as well. The Tigers versus Southern is about so much more than football though, spectators saw that on Saturday night. It’s about coming together to celebrate a truly unique community. Baton Rouge has a rich history, and both LSU and Southern are a huge part of telling that story. The continuation of this in-state series is crucial in highlighting this special relationship
Playing this game annually would give fans another reason to mark a date on their calendars. That goes for both fanbases too. This is an event that people have been begging to see for years, and even though the game wasn’t competitive, it lived up to expectations everywhere else.
Which sane individual would pass up on the opportunity to see the Human Jukebox (the nation’s best band) play inside Tiger Stadium (the nation’s best venue) once a year? I dare someone to try and find me a person who opposes that idea. It takes a lot as a visitor to ‘wow’ LSU fans, but the Jaguars and their faithful knocked it out of the park in every possible way—bravo.
A precedent was set when the two programs from the 225 met for the first time on Saturday. Now, it’s time to continue these meetings and turn it into an annual tradition. The Tigers’ administration and athletic department cannot allow the Baton Rouge community to go another long period of time without this game. It simply means more.