THE TOP 10: The teams

Today we bring to you our second installament of Tiger Rag's Top 10. Today we focus on the "top teams" in LSU Football history.

LSU's Top Teams



1. 1958 – LSU's only undefeated team to ever win a (recognized) national championship. Yes, the 1908 team went undefeated and the 2003 squad won a national title, but Paul Dietzel's 1958 Tigers ran the table and beat Clemson 7-0 in the Sugar Bowl to cap off an 11-0 season. The 1958 Tigers are most noted for their three-team system consisting of the Go Team, the White Team and the Chinese Bandits. LSU outscored opponents an average of 25-4 in its 11 games that season and survived a 7-6 mud bath versus Mississippi State to remain unbeaten. The Tigers capped off an undefeated regular season with the first of three 62-0 wins over rival Tulane.


2. 2003 – No doubt the most talented team in LSU's storied history, the 2003 Tigers set the record for most wins in a season, compiling an impressive 13-1 tally. Nick Saban's LSU squad won the program's second national championship and the first in 45 years. Although the title run was shrouded in controversial debate surrounding the BCS system, the Tigers rolled over Oklahoma 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl. LSU's only loss was a 19-7 home defeat by Florida in the sixth week. The Tigers, riding the nation's best defense, rebounded and rolled to eight consecutive victories.


3. 1969 – It seems ironic the team most people feel was the best ever did not go undefeated, win a championship, or even play in a bowl game. The 9-1 Tigers were snubbed by the Cotton Bowl in lieu of an 8-1-1 Notre Dame team that lost to eventual national champion Texas. The 1969 Tigers allowed less than 400 yards rushing on the season, outscored opponents an average of 35-9, and were only a loss away (26-23 to Ole Miss) from playing for the national championship.


4. 1908 – The first great team in LSU history. The 1908 team, led by the legendary G.E. "Doc" Fenton, rolled to a 10-0 record, averaged 44 points per game, surrendered only 11 points on the season and pitched an LSU record-tying seven shutouts. The Tigers' closest game was a 10-2 decision over Auburn. LSU also eclipsed the 80-point mark twice, including an 89-0 thrashing of Baylor.


5. 1961 – If only! A 16-3 loss to unranked Rice in the season opener spoiled what-could- have-been in coach Paul Dietzel's final season. The Tigers did not lose again, winning 10 straight games and the SEC championship, and closed things out with an impressive 25-7 thrashing of No. 7 Colorado in the Orange Bowl. LSU finished the season ranked No. 4 in both final polls while Alabama, who they did not play, won the national championship. The 1961 Tigers only gave up a suffocating 5.1 points per game.


6. 2006 – If only – part two! Sure, the 2006 Tigers had two losses, both of which came early in the season and knocked LSU from the national championship hunt. A 7-3 loss to Auburn and a 23-10 defeat at the hands of eventual national champion Florida kept the Tigers from the SEC Championship Game. Had either game gone differently, it could have been the Tigers playing Ohio State for all the marbles instead of the Gators. LSU still won 11 games and thrashed Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl.


7. 1970 – Despite being LSU's all-time winningest coach, Charles McClendon won only one SEC title – that coming in the 1970 season. That season, the Tigers lost only three games: a 20-18 defeat in the final seconds to Texas A&M, an epic 3-0 loss to No. 4 Notre Dame, and a 17-12 heartbreaker to eventual national champion Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.


8. 1987 – Only nine teams in LSU history have won 10 or more games, and first-year coach Mike Archer was at the controls of one of those prolific teams. The 1987 Tigers went 10-1-1. However, a 22-10 loss to Alabama cost LSU the SEC title, and the Tigers settled for a 30-13 win over No. 8 South Carolina in the Gator Bowl.


9. 2005 – Did Hurricane Katrina cost LSU a shot at the national title? The Tigers survived a hurricane-affected regular season going 10-1 and landing in the SEC title game in Les Miles' first season. LSU got blown out by Georgia for the league crown after playing 10 games in 10 weeks, but they got redemption by destroying No. 9 Miami 40-3 in the Peach Bowl.


10. 1937 – The 1935 and 1936 Tigers each won SEC championships and were recognized by at least one service as national champions. But the 1937 team may have been the best of the three. Bernie Moore's 1937 Tigers missed out on an SEC and national championship with a 7-6 loss to Vanderbilt. LSU then dropped a 6-0 decision to Santa Clara in the Sugar Bowl. The Tigers, who logged a record-tying seven shutouts, gave up just 20 points on the season, an average of 1.8 points per game.


Honorable Mention:

1933, 1935, 1936, 1946, 1959, 1962, 1967, 1982, 1986, 1988, 2001, 2005






Marty's Picks:

(Tiger Rag historian and former Times-Picayune sports writer Marty Mule' offers his insight)


1. 1969 – 9-1-0: averaging 35 points on offense and yielding just 38 yards rushing on defense, this was the best balanced Tiger team in the modern era.


2. 2003 – 13-1-0: touting the nation's best defense, the Tigers won a school record 13 games en route to the BCS national title.


3. 1961 – 10-1-0: Paul Dietzel said this team had more talent than the '58 national champions; 11 members of this team went to the pros.


4. 1958 – 11-0-0: At a time when the rules made points a premium, these Tigers had only four games decided by 10 points or less.


5. 1946 – 9-1-1: These Tigers had two All-Pros (Dan Sandifer and Jim Cason) and a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee (Y.A. Tittle) among 15 who played pro ball and 18 who were drafted.


6. 1959 – 9-2-0: didn't give up a touchdown until the eighth game of the season, and just 29 all told.


7. 1908 – 10-0-0: scored the almost unthinkable total of 442 points in the era of the five-point touchdown, and gave up one touchdown all season.


8. 1935 – 9-1-1: first LSU team to ranked No. 1 by at least one poll, winning a string of close games against quality opponents.


9. 1937 – 9-2-0: Gave up just three touchdowns all season – one on Vandy's infamous "Hidden Ball'' trick – Tigers outscored last five foes 174-13. eye-catching for the day.


10. 1970 – 9-3-0: Despite three losses, SEC champ Tigers were 10 points away from an unbeaten season.

Tiger Blitz Top Stories