For years people from all over have come together to celebrate the Bayou Classic. To those on the outside looking in, it is just a game, but for those who understand the culture and legacies of HBCUs, we know that it is far more than just a game. The Bayou Classic is one of the biggest turnouts for our people. Not just for those who went to Southern or Grambling, but for those who want a chance to experience Black culture through our schools.
The Bayou Classic is held every November on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Caesars Superdome. When the classic first began, it started out as a simple rivalry between the two schools. However, it quickly turned into a city-wide event, next went statewide, and now it is even a nationwide celebration. People from all over know about the Bayou Classic. Whether it is for the football team, the greek show, the showdown between the dance teams, the battle of the bands, or even just the experience, people are coming to get a taste of the inner city SWAC experience.
When speaking of the classic, you can’t go without mentioning football of course. No matter the outcome, we all come together to experience happiness in the Black community. Very seldom do we get a chance to experience moments like these in our community. Bayou Classic isn’t just for college students or alumni. It is a family event. A chance to learn, grow and experience Black culture amongst one another and that’s why the Bayou Classic is more than just a game.
On the more competitive side of things, the rivalry between Southern and Grambling traces all the way back to 1932 in Monroe, Louisiana. Southern of course came out on top with a 20-0 win. For the next 13 games to come, Southern had won 12 of those. However, the first official classic was held in 1974, 42 years later, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the Jags fell short with a 21-0 final score.
Both schools have had their times to shine throughout the history of the classic. Grambling has the longest win streak with a total of nine wins from the years 1970-1978. Southern has the largest victory with the final score being 64-6 in 1935 and 49-7 in April of 2021.
48 years later and we’re still here going strong despite, the few hiccups along the way such as Hurricane Katrina and the Covid-19 pandemic. This will be the 49th Annual Bayou Classic with the series record being 24-24. This year on November 26, we will have a tiebreaker. Who will it be?