LSU-Arkansas battle for "The Boot"

A rivalry is a series between two teams in which the momentum swings back and forth from other. <br><br> Families are divided, friends turn against one another, intense battles follow; that is what rivalries are all about. <br><br> A few years ago, LSU went in search of creating a rivalry stating the Tigers have no natural rival.

The LSU-Ole Miss rivalry was once a national pastime, but the Rebels fell on hard times and a Tiger-Mississippi matchup hasn't meant anything in over 30 years.


LSU-Alabama is considered a rivalry, but the Crimson Tide's domination of the all-time series leaves Bama fans asking why people consider the Tigers and Alabama rivals.


Then someone mentioned Arkansas.


The Razorbacks, being nearby neighbors with LSU, form what many believe a good rivalry with the Tigers. Once a great series, LSU and Arkansas did not play for almost 30 years and finally played again in 1992 after the Hogs joined the Southeastern Conference.


Like any rivalry, there needed to be some sort of spoils of war.


Every great series has some sort of award – take the Egg Trophy in the Ole Miss-Mississippi Series or the Apple Cup in the Washington-Washington State series. They have all sorts of strange trophies including an ax, an Old Oaken Bucket, even a huge pig, so one needed to be formulated for the LSU-Arkansas series.


Then came "The Boot."


The "Battle for the Golden Boot" was introduced in 1995 when the SEC Western Division champion Razorbacks visited Baton Rouge. An upstart group of Tigers, under first-year head coach Gerry DiNardo handed the Hogs a 28-0 thrashing claiming the "Boot" for the first time.


LSU won three first three games of the newly formed rivalry brining people to scoff at the "rivalry" and call it a farce, when in fact, the LSU-Arkansas game has grown into one of the best rivalry games in the nation.


In 2000, LSU lost 14-3 to Arkansas in the muck and mud in Little Rock keeping Nick Saban's first team out of the SEC title game.


A year later, the Tigers nipped the Hogs 41-38 to keep SEC title hopes alive. LSU went on to defeat Auburn and Tennessee for the first league crown in over a decade.


Last season, Arkansas utilized a couple of "Hail Mary" bombs to steal victory from the jaws of defeat and deny the Tigers from back-to-back trips to Atlanta.


LSU holds a 29-17-2 overall record in the series, but the "Battle for the Boot" rivalry is a heated 5-3 battle with the Tigers holding a slim margin.


The trophy, which is a golden configuration of the state of Louisiana and Arkansas, has changed hands each year. No team has won back-to-back games since LSU captured "The Boot" in 1996 and 1997.


The LSU-Arkansas series dates all the way back to 1901 when LSU claimed a 15-0 victory in Baton Rouge.


One of the more famous meetings between the Tigers and Hogs came in the 1947 Cotton Bowl when the game ended in a 0-0 tie, despite LSU dominated the game statistically. Due to sub-freezing temperatures, the game was dubbed the "Ice Bow."

The teams were both members of the national elite in the mid 1960s. Defending national champion Arkansas watched as its' 22-game winning streak fell in a 14-7 loss to LSU again in the Cotton Bowl.

Molded from 24-karat gold in the shape of the states of Arkansas and Louisiana, the trophy stands four feet in height, weighs nearly 200 pounds and is valued at $10,000. After a win in the series, the victorious team keeps the trophy until the next year's meeting.

Since LSU's successful defense of the Golden Boot in 1997, the trophy has changed hands every year.

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