LSU Tigers Football History

LSU Tigers football history is entwined with the fabric of Louisiana. When you think of Louisiana; you think of Mardi Gras. Every LSU football home game is like a mini Mardi Gras.

Before a Tigers home game, the Louisiana State University campus swells with Tiger fans that come from every part of the State (and beyond). Most are adorned with the team's regal colors of purple and gold.

The outskirts of the stadium are decorated with motor homes, tents, portable grills, and eager fans. The LSU pre-game party has a reputation for being one of the best in all of college football. The pre-game (and post-game) (and during game) atmosphere makes LSU's Tiger Stadium one of the best places to watch a college football game.

LSU Tigers football history began in 1893. From 1893-1895, the LSU football club was independent. In 1896, the program joined the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association until its admission into the Southern Conference in 1922. After the establishment of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Tigers joined it in 1932. When the SEC divided into divisions in 1992; LSU became part of the Western Division.

Get the gear - LSU Tigers Merchandise and Apparel, Tickets, and Baseball Caps.

LSU Tigers Football Stadium History

Tiger Stadium is the home field where the Louisiana State University Tigers play to a capacity of 92,400. The stadium is the sixth largest college football stadium in the nation and the third largest in the SEC. The noise LSU fans make when they cheer for their team (or boo the opponent) is so loud that the arena is dubbed "Death Valley" due to the difficulty opposing teams have contending with the remarkable decibel levels produced in Tiger Stadium.

Tiger Stadium was opened in 1924 with an initial seating capacity of 12,000. Grandstands flanked both sides of the playing field, where, in 1931, an additional 10,000 seats were added. A north end zone enclosure added in 1936, boosted capacity to 46,000. Grandstands in the south were constructed in 1953. Over the years, additional features such as upper decks, the replacement of bench seats, and a revamped playing surface further upgraded Tiger Stadium.


There have been many memorable games in Tiger Stadium history. Some of those games include:

  • The first night game in 1931. LSU beat Spring Hill 35-0 victory; and,
  • The infamous "Earthquake Game" against Auburn in 1988. In that game, LSU claimed a 7-6 win thanks to QB Tommy Hodson's game-winning touchdown throw to running back Eddie Fuller in the last seconds of the game. LSU fans rejoiced so loudly that a LSU Geology Department seismograph registered the ruckus.
  • The 1959 game between #1 LSU and #3 Ole Miss. LSU was trailing 3-0, when Billy Cannon famously broke seven tackles during a miraculous 89 yard punt return, for a touchdown, to give the Tigers a 7-3 win in Tiger Stadium.

Read more about LSU's Tiger Stadium at Best SEC Football Stadium.

LSU Tigers Football History: Notable Coaches and Players

The LSU Tigers football program has been headed by a handful of notable coaches, who have cultivated the skills of numerous players. For example, when the Tigers won the National Title in 1958, it was legendary coach, Paul Dietzel, who led his LSU team to victory. He would later earn the National Coach of the Year honors for that same year.

Other coaches that left their mark on LSU football history included Michael "Iron Mike" Donahue (1923-1927) and Lawrence "Biff" Jones (1932-1934). Both Donahue and Jones are in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Coach Bernie Moore (1935-1947) was known for his high level of sportsmanship and encouraged a physical style of play. During his reign, the Tigers won two SEC titles. After retirement, Moore would become SEC Commissioner in 1947.

Charlie "Cholly Mac" McClendon (1962-1979) served as the longest tenured coach for the LSU football program, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

Of course, Nick Saban led LSU to a National Championship in 2003 and was named college football's coach of the year by the Associated Press.

And, current coach Les Miles led LSU to the 2008 BCS National Championship.

As for great LSU football players, none were greater than Billy Cannon (running back), who won the 1959 Heisman Trophy and was chosen as the first overall pick in the 1960 NFL draft. During his time at LSU, he led the Tigers to a Sugar Bowl title (and National Championship), beating Clemson 7-0. In that game, Cannon complete the pass that allowed Mickey Mangham to score the winning touchdown.

Offense Billy Cannon

Over the years, the College Football Hall of Fame has acknowledged a handful of other former LSU stars, such as quarterback Doc Fenton; running back Abe "Miracle" Mickal; Wide Receiver Gaynell "Gus" Tinsley; and Wide Receiver Ken Kavanaugh.

Other notable players include Tommy Casanova (1969-1971), who wore many different hats, including punt returner, running back, kick returner, and defensive back. During his three years on the team, Casanova was named to College Football's All-American team and became the only 3-time All-American in LSU history.

LSU Tigers Football History: SEC Distinctions

Over the course of Louisiana State University football history, the program has captured three National Championships (1958, 2003 and 2007). They also have been Conference Champions thirteen times (ten times in the SEC - 1935, 1936, 1958, 1961, 1970, 1986, 1988, 2001, 2003 and 2007). Since the SEC split into two divisions, LSU has claimed seven SEC Western Division Championships (1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007).

LSU Tigers Football History: Did You Know?

Tiger Stadium places every yard line number on their field, (they go beyond the common multiples of 10).

Other LSU Tigers Football Stories:


New! Facebook Comments

Leave a comment about this article in the box below and share it with your Facebook friends.

What do you think?

We'd love to hear your comments and/or opinions. If you submit them here, other visitors can read them, rate them and comment on them. An e-mail address is not required.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

LSU Snake Dance 
Tiger Stadium opened in 1924, and before that it was called State field, I think. I just went through some old boxes and ran across about 25 photos of …


LSU vs UCONN or Notre Dame? 
Has LSU ever played against UConn in Football? And how many times has LSU played against Notre Dame in regular season?

Click here to write your own.

By Mo Johnson, Copyright © 2006-2017

Top of this Page

Please Visit our Amazon, Ebay, Etsy and Better Display Cases stores.

Like this Page

Visit Our Social Media Pages

Become a Fan of SecSportsFan on Facebook Follow SecSportsFan on Twitter
Find SecSportsFan on Google+ Follow SecSportsFan on YouTube