THE TOP 10: The games

This is the third installment of our Tiger Rag Top 10. Today we focus at the "Best Games" in LSU history. However, this list contains the best games not played against Ole Miss. Tomorrow, we feature the Top 10 games played against the Rebels.



The best games in LSU history not played against Ole Miss


1. 1997 – LSU 28, Florida 21 – While some old timers may disagree, anyone who was in Tiger Stadium for LSU's 28-21 triumph over No. 1 Florida will say it tops the list. For the first time in school history, the Tigers beat the No. 1 ranked team in the country. LSU used a swarming defense in shutting down defending national champion Florida's passing attack. The seven-point defeat was the first for then-Florida coach Steve Spurrier versus LSU. Until then, the former Heisman Trophy winner was perfect against LSU: 3-0 as a player and 7-0 as a coach. Quarterback Herb Tyler rushed for a pair of touchdowns and Cedric Donaldson picked off two Doug Johnson passes, one of which he returned 31 yards for a touchdown. The loss snapped Florida's 25-game SEC winning streak, a run that included 13 straight SEC road victories.


2. 1966 – LSU 14, Arkansas 7 – A game truly considered one of the best ever in LSU history, the Tigers' 14-7 triumph over defending national champion Arkansas in the 1966 Cotton Bowl truly withstands the test of time. LSU's seven-point victory over No. 2 Arkansas snapped the Razorbacks' 22-game winning streak and dashed the Hawgs' hopes of repeating as champions. Joe LaBruzzo rushed for both Tiger touchdowns and Pat Screen directed the offense in place of injured quarterback Nelson Stokley as LSU finished No. 8 in the final AP poll.


3. 2003 – LSU 21, Oklahoma 14 – Despite bitter controversy, No. 2 ranked LSU battered top-ranked Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship Game in the Sugar Bowl 21-14. BCS No. 3 Southern California felt they should have been in the title game considering the Sooners didn't even win their own conference. USC staked claim to half the national title by defeating Michigan in the Rose Bowl. LSU, led by freshman Justin Vincent and a swarming defense, brutalized Heisman Trophy winner Jason White and held the Sooners' high-powered offense in check most of the day.


4. 1949 – LSU 21, Tulane 0 – Those who were there swear it was the greatest game in LSU history. Over half a century ago, heavy underdog LSU went into Tulane Stadium and blanked defending SEC champion Tulane 21-0. The No. 10 Green Wave had no answer for Gus Tinsley's Tigers as the victory propelled LSU to a Sugar Bowl berth versus Oklahoma.


5. 1988 – LSU 7, Auburn 6 – Voice of the Tigers Jim Hawthorne recalls LSU's 7-6 win over Auburn in 1988 as uneventful. But it is the ending of that game on Oct. 8, 1988, that further enhanced the mystique of a night game in Tiger Stadium. Tommy Hodson's last-second pass to Eddie Fuller not only gave LSU a win over No. 4 Auburn, but it provided one of the most notable pieces of Tiger lore. At the very moment of Fuller's reception, a seismograph across campus registered. From then on, that game has been – and forever will be – referred to as the "Earthquake Game."


6. 2003 – LSU 17, Georgia 10 – No doubt one of the top few day games in Tiger Stadium history, the Tigers' 17-10 win over No. 7 Georgia on Sept. 20, 2003, provided the springboard for LSU's national championship run. The Tigers clung to a 10-3 lead late in the fourth quarter. But Georgia's David Greene responded with a 93-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. LSU quarterback Matt Mauck answered with 34-yard touchdown pass to Skyler Green for the late lead. Corey Webster's last-second interception sealed the win for LSU.


7. 1979 – USC 17, LSU 12 – No doubt one of the greatest games in LSU history, despite the fact LSU lost the game. No. 1 USC escaped Death Valley with a 17-12 win, a victory many felt was aided by generous officials. The Tigers led 12-10 late in the game when LSU was flagged for a late face mask that kept the Trojans' game-winning drive alive. Paul McDonald hit Kevin Williams for the go-ahead score, capping off a day when future Heisman Trophy winner Charles White ran for 185 yards. LSU had one last chance in the end, but David Woodley's pass skipped off the fingertips of Willie Turner and the Tigers were left wondering what if.


8. 1982 – LSU 20, Alabama 10 – Bear Bryant's curtain call versus LSU wasn't a memorable one for the Tide. The Tigers went into Legion Field and handed the retiring Bryant and his 8th-ranked Crimson Tide a 20-10 defeat. The loss was one of only four for Bryant against LSU as Alabama's coach. Bryant lost his Crimson Tide debut versus LSU 13-3 in 1958, the year the Tigers won the national title.


9. 1970 – Notre Dame 3, LSU 0 – A billboard was erected following LSU's 3-0 loss to top-ranked Notre Dame at South Bend in 1970. The sign read, "If Notre Dame is No. 1, then LSU is 1A." Tommy Casanova dropped an interception in the end zone allowing the then-second-ranked Fighting Irish to kick the winning field goal.


10. 1993 – LSU 17, Alabama 13 – No doubt the most improbable LSU victory in history. A mediocre Tiger team surely was expected to be lambs to the slaughter for defending national champion Alabama. But when the dust settled, LSU came out on top beating No. 3 Alabama 17-13 and giving coach Curley Hallman the greatest win of his four-year tenure in Baton Rouge.


Honorable Mention:

1949 – LSU 13, North Carolina 7

1959 – LSU 7, Clemson 0

1962 – LSU 14, Texas 0

1970 – Nebraska 17, LSU 12

1982 – LSU 55, Florida State 21

2001 – LSU 31, Tennessee 20

2002 – LSU 33, Kentucky 30

2006 – LSU 31, Arkansas 26



Marty's Picks:

(Tiger football historian and former Times-Picayune sports writer Marty Mule' makes his picks)


1. LSU 14, Arkansas 7 - 1966 Cotton Bowl.


2. Southern Cal 17, LSU 12 – 1979, no Tiger team ever played more to its fullest capability than against All-World Trojans.


3. LSU 14, Ole Miss 0 – 1958, centerpiece game in unbeaten, No. 1 season.


4. LSU 21, Tulane 0 - 1949, Gus Tinsley, who played, coached or witnessed Tiger games from the 1930s to the turn of the 21st Century maintained no LSU team ever performed better against a superior opponent.  


5. LSU 13, North Carolina 7 – 1949, Tigers slow down Choo-Choo Justice and end ACC champion Tar Heels' 20-game victory streak on wet field on sunny day. Said to be the biggest game in Tiger Stadium until the 1958 Ole Miss game.


6. LSU 17, Georgia 10 – 2003, late victory put LSU in position for BCS national title.


7. LSU 20, Alabama 10 – 1982, LSU beats Bear Bryant for the first time in 12 seasons in the biggest 10-point rout ever.


8. LSU 21, Auburn 20 – 1969, LSU gives the Sullivan-Beasley combo a dose of reality in one of the great games of Tiger Stadium lore – and in the day, at that.

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