LSU, Tulane to resume rivalry
The on-again, off-again instate feud between LSU and its oldest football rival is officially alive and well again.
After a five-year hiatus and just two meetings since 1994, LSU and Tulane have agreed to a 10-year home-and-home series starting in 2006.
A recent NCAA ruling cleared the way for NCAA Division I football teams to play a 12-game schedule every year beginning in 2006.
"By scheduling Tulane, we're giving both schools a game with some tradition and real historical significance, and we can plan the rest of our (non-conference) scheduling around this series for a long time," LSU Athletic Director Skip Bertman said. "This is also a great chance to take our football program to New Orleans every other year and that's huge to us because we have such a big and important fan base there."
Added LSU Chancellor Sean O'Keefe, "I am very enthusiastic about this opportunity to bring the Tulane game back to the LSU schedule. There is a tremendous amount of history and tradition wrapped up in this game for the fans of both schools."
LSU will host the game at Tiger Stadium in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. The teams will play in the Louisiana Superdome in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
A key component of the five-and-five split rather than a two-for-one or three-for-one contract was a unique financial agreement that the two universities reached after six months of negotiation.
LSU's ticket office will sell a minimum allotment of 40,000 tickets for the five games at the Superdome, and each ticket will cost a minimum of $40.
Bertman also said details are being worked on for LSU fans to have access to luxury suites in the Superdome.
By comparison, for LSU home games, 7,000 tickets are reserved for visiting teams' fans. Tulane will be offered that number of tickets, along with roughly a $600,000 payout per trip.
The 40,000-ticket allotment means that although Tulane will be identified as the home team at the Superdome, LSU fans will likely make up more than half the crowd at the 69,767-seat Superdome.
Likewise, instead of losing the entire $1.8-2.0 million generated by a home game, LSU stands to pocket some money for playing Tulane on the road after minimal travel expenses are subtracted.
"The whole idea was drawn forward by us wanting to have an allotment that was specifically for LSU fans," Senior Associate Athletic Director Dan Radakovich said.
"A lot of times when you have a longstanding non-conference rivalry game like Clemson-South Carolina or Georgia-Georgia Tech, the ticket allocations have grown back and forth with both stadiums. In this case, we have such a huge fan base in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans, that we had to go this way to make the series work for us in lieu of a set financial guarantee."
The $40 ticket price will be used as a guideline for future games. A Tulane spokesperson said single-game tickets in 2004 started at $30. Single-game tickets for New Orleans Saints games ranged from $35-140 in 2004.
LSU spokesman Herb Vincent said single-game tickets for LSU's 2005 home games will be $36 each.
"It's not very common to schedule a home-and-home series and still know you're going to make some money on the road against a team that you have a rivalry status with," Bertman said. "This is really a wonderful thing for LSU and a deal that we think is in the best interest of Tulane as well."
Green Wave Athletic Director Chris Dickson echoed Bertman.
"The opportunity to compete in a true 'rivalry game' is unique to college athletics, and I'm excited that members of our football team will now have that chance," Dickson said in a statement released by Tulane. "Since I arrived at Tulane (in 1999), I have heard from many college football fans in this state who want to see these teams play an annual football game and now it will happen. With the addition of the 12th game for 2006, this series is a win-win situation for both institutions, for our fans and for our student-athletes."
Bertman emphasized that the Tulane series should not be construed by LSU fans as a quick fix for the new 12-game schedule.
Both he and Radakovich said that negotiations are ongoing with several high-profile opponents to fill open spots on the schedule in 2008 and beyond.
"We were working on this with Tulane long before the 12th game legislation was passed," Bertman said. "This actually gives us a little better idea of what we can do because we've got dates with Tulane locked in each year.
"Dan is still working very hard to find somebody who will play us home and home. There are a lot of schools that just won't play us -- just outright refuse to play us. There are a couple of big-name schools in Texas that we've tried to talk to, but they won't even talk to us."
The goal for Bertman, Radakovich and new coach Les Miles is to line up one high-profile non-conference opponent each season.
That goal has potentially been achieved this season (Arizona State), in 2007 (Virginia Tech) and in 2008 (at Arizona State).
The biggest current non-conference foe on the 2006 slate is Arizona, which is coached by Mike Stoops, whose brother Bob Stoops is the head coach at Oklahoma. The Tigers also have road trips to Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and Arkansas in 2006.
Northern Illinois was on the 2006 schedule but requested out of the game until 2011, leaving one non-conference opening to fill.
"Les and I have talked about making sure we have one high-level opponent on the schedule every year, but you also have to be reasonable," Bertman said. "It's great to talk about playing Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma or USC, but nobody wants to play two teams like that every year -- not with the SEC schedule we play every year, and not with the current system where one loss can knock you out of a chance to play for a national championship."
LSU and Tulane have played 94 times, but haven't met since 2001 when the Tigers rolled to a 48-17 triumph in the season opener.
The two teams first tangled in 1893 and played every season from 1919-94.
According to LSU records, the Tigers lead the series 65-22-7. Tulane's records give the Green Wave one more victory -- a 22-0 triumph in 1901 that was later forfeited because Tulane was ruled to have used ineligible players.
The Green Wave was a member of the Southeastern Conference from 1933-65, and went 5-24-4 against LSU.
From 1979-82, Tulane won three of four games against the Tigers after enduring 17 consecutive losses and a 24-year winless streak between 1949-72.
Since 1948 when the Green Wave its most lopsided win against the Tigers, 46-0, LSU has gone 42-4-2 vs. Tulane.
The 2007 game at the Superdome will be LSU's first road game against the Wave since 1994.
FUTURE LSU-TULANE FOOTBALL GAMES
Sept. 23, 2006 Tiger Stadium
Sept. 29, 2007 La. Superdome
Nov. 1, 2008 Tiger Stadium
Oct. 31, 2009 La. Superdome
Oct. 30, 2010 Tiger Stadium
Oct. 29, 2011 La. Superdome
Nov. 3, 2012 Tiger Stadium
Nov. 2, 2013 La. Superdome
Nov. 1, 2014 Tiger Stadium
Oct. 31, 2015 La. Superdome
RE: LSU, Tulane to resume rivalry
It's so far from a rival... Tulane's football program is no where close to what LSU's is. Now the LSU baseball vs Tulane baseball is more like it.
I agree with Papz, the football games are gonna be a slaughter!!!!!!!!
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