In 1996, the Tigers entered the NCAA Tournament on a two-game losing streak, after being eliminated from the SEC Tournament by consecutive losses to Florida and Kentucky. However, based on the team’s regular-season performance, LSU was selected as one of the eight regional host sites for the NCAA tournament. The Tigers defeated Austin Peay, UNLV, and New Orleans before defeating Georgia Tech, 29–13, in the regional final. In the game, LSU broke multiple NCAA records, two of which still stand today: 13 hits in an inning and 8 doubles in an inning.
In the College World Series, the team defeated its first opponent, Wichita State, 9–8. LSU then faced Florida, which had beaten them three times in the regular season and once in the SEC Tournament, and won, 9–4. Florida came out of the losers’ bracket to face LSU again, and LSU won, 2–1, to advance to the national championship game against Miami (FL).
In the game, LSU defeated Miami, 9–8, on a walk-off home run by Warren Morris. At the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs and the tying run on third base, Morris hit a home run to right field off of Miami freshman Robbie Morrison. The home run was Morris’s first of the season, and it won the 1997 Showstopper of the Year ESPY Award.
By winning the Peach Bowl, LSU advanced to the College Football Playoff National Championship to play the winner of the Fiesta Bowl, third-seeded Clemson. The game was played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, mirroring LSU’s previous appearances in national championship games in 2012, 2008, and 2004. Clemson was the defending national champion and on a 29-game winning streak, but LSU was considered a 5.5-point betting favorite heading into the game.
To open the game, both teams were forced to punt on each of their first two possessions. Clemson opened the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Trevor Lawrence. LSU evened the score with a 52-yard touchdown pass from Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase. Early in the second quarter, Clemson regained the lead with a 52-yard field goal by B.T. Potter, and then extended the lead on their next possession with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to Tee Higgins. LSU scored touchdowns on their next three possessions to close out the first half: first on a three-yard run by Burrow, then a 14-yard pass from Burrow to Chase, and then a six-yard pass from Burrow to Thaddeus Moss with 10 seconds remaining in the half. The score was 28–17 LSU at half-time.
In the third quarter, Clemson pulled within three with a three-yard touchdown run by Travis Etienne and a successful two-point conversion via a pass from Lawrence to Amari Rodgers. LSU extended the lead with a four-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to Moss late in the quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, LSU scored again, with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to Terrace Marshall Jr. to make the score 42–25. LSU’s defense held Clemson scoreless throughout the fourth quarter to help seal the victory.
With the win, LSU finished as undefeated College Football Playoff champions and was later crowned unanimous national champions by the polls. This was LSU’s fourth claimed the national title in school history, and first since the 2007 season. It was their first undefeated season since 1958, and the second-ever 15–0 season by any FBS team in the modern era (after Clemson the previous season). Joe Burrow had 463 passing yards and five touchdowns in the game and was named Offensive MVP. Linebacker Patrick Queen had eight total tackles, including 0.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss, and was named Defensive MVP.
The LSU Tigers and Lady Tigers are the athletic teams representing Louisiana State University (LSU), a public four-year coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. LSU competes in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Based on winning percentage, the university’s athletics program is consistently one of the best in the nation.
College Sports Established
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana State University
1973 – Present / NCAA Division 1
1922 – 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1932 – Present / Southeastern Conference
1922 – 1932 / Southern Conference
Tigers – LSU’s men’s and women’s sports teams are called the Fighting Tigers, Tigers or Lady Tigers.
During its first three sports seasons, LSU played without a nickname. For the inaugural LSU–Tulane football game in 1893, the New Orleans newspapers referred to the LSU football team as the Baton Rouge “boys”, but that was not an official nickname. At the start of the 1896 football season, the football team had its first nickname and was referred to as the “Pelicans”. A former football player on the 1896 team said in a 1929 interview in the New Orleans Item-Tribune that the team was known as the “Pelicans” and had a Pelican insignia sewn on their jackets.
During the same fall 1896 football season, LSU first adopted its “Tigers” nickname during an undefeated football season. David F. Boyd, president of LSU, tagged the football team as the “Tigers”. The school’s nickname seemed like a logical choice since most collegiate teams in that year bore the names of ferocious animals and “Tigers” also referred to the Tiger Rifles. Additionally, the “Tigers” nickname has a long history in Louisiana military history. In the Mexican–American War, four different volunteer units used the nickname. One of these volunteer units was the Washington Artillery. It is a militia unit that traces its history to 1838 and has a logo that features a snarling tiger’s head. The tiger symbol used by LSU came from the Washington Artillery logo. In 1955, it was head football coach Paul Dietzel and the LSU ‘fourth-quarter ball club’ that helped the moniker “Tigers” grow into the nickname, “Fighting Tigers.”
2009, 2000, 1997, 1996, 1993, 1991
Men’s Basketball 1
Women’s Basketball 0
2019, 2007, 2003, 1958