For most people at Saturday’s LSU game, it was an incredible night they’ll never forget. For me, it was incredibly bittersweet because it was my last home game as an LSU student. I’ve been asked lots of times what the best game I’ve been to was. Since I like to be over-dramatic, I decided to rank all 27 home games from the last four years! I have five tiers to split them up by the overall feelings I get from each game, but they are numbered. I’ll include a brief description of what happened in each and game and/or why it’s ranked it’s ranked where it is. So get ready for a trip down memory lane!
Bottom Tier: The L’s
27. Nov. 19, 2016: LSU 10 Florida 16
26. Sept. 30, 2017: LSU 21 Troy 24
Being in the student section for this game wasn’t truly *that* awful because when you’re down 24-7 to a Sun Belt team in the fourth quarter you just kind of accept your doom and laugh to ease the pain. This is what happened after the first false-hope touchdown.
"OOOOOoooo We Suck! O Wee O We suck"- LSU student Section even after that last TD. Tigers trail 24-14 to Troy pic.twitter.com/Vp4MK8eetk— Reggie Chatman Jr. (@ReggieChatman) October 1, 2017
At the time, they weren’t wrong!
25. Nov. 3, 2018: LSU 0 Alabama 29
This is above the previous entry only because of a pregame atmosphere so electric it could charge a whole parking lot of Tesla Cybertrucks. Everything after being the first team to intercept Tua Tagovailoa all year late in the second quarter was a depressing slog. There was never any real hope for LSU to win the game. But shout out to all y’all who bought #FreeDevinWhite merch.
24. Nov. 5, 2016: LSU 0 Alabama 10
This game is similar to the last, except that atmosphere lasted throughout the entire first three quarters. This game was 0-0 heading into the fourth!!! Even after the loss it was hard to be upset about what happened. The defense was coming through time and time again. When you were screaming your lungs out on third downs they would actually get the stops and you felt like you did that! This may have been the most content I’ve ever been after an LSU loss, which says a lot considering the opponent.
Lower Tier: The Ugly Wins
23. Sept. 17, 2016: LSU 23 Mississippi State 20
This was the last game Les Miles ever coached in Tiger Stadium, and it was a fitting one. LSU put up a thrilling first half between Danny Etling’s first start and Leonard Fournette’s return from injury, racing out to a 23-3 halftime lead. The second half was a complete snoozer where State scored 17 unanswered points and nearly pulled off a miracle comeback after most of the student section (but not me) left. The only good part of MSU making it close was seeing Arden Key turn into a meteor supernova to secure the win.
From my angle I knew from the second the quarterback stopped running and tried to set up a throw he was about to get blasted into another dimension. If this was a bigger game where half the crowd hadn’t left early, the roar after that sack may have given LSU its second Earthquake Game. What an underrated moment.
22. Sept. 23, 2017: LSU 35 Syracuse 26
An ugly win that was a harbinger of what we would see the next week against Troy. This was before Eric Dungey became one of college football Twitter’s cult heroes, but he was his usual self and made this game annoyingly close. This was also probably one of Ed Orgeron’s most poorly-coached games because of how he kept rotating Danny Etling and Myles Brennan. True freshman Myles Brennan is not going to happen, Ed. Stop trying to make it happen!
21. Oct. 5, 2019: LSU 42 Utah State 6
One of LSU’s most well-played games of 2019 is the lowest-ranked game of the season. There’s one simple reason for that… the goddamn sun.
Joe Burrow threw five TDs and ran for another! The defense intercepted a future NFL draft pick three times! We covered the spread against a feisty Group of 5 team! But it doesn’t matter because watching it was miserable and legitimately unhealthy if you weren’t properly hydrated. When Dan Borne asked what the chance of rain was and the crowd replied “Never!” I wished we were wrong. Some rain would’ve felt tremendous.
20. Nov. 11, 2017: LSU 33 Arkansas 10
Like the previous entry, this was an 11 a.m. game, but being in November the weather was tolerable so long as you had sunglasses. This was at the height of LSU being completely unable to kick a damn thing, missing a field goal and two extra points. Weird! But DJ Chark and Derrius Guice had big games and LSU won easily. Arkansas probably also wishes the game didn’t kick off in the morning because they got home early enough for their starting quarterback to get a DUI that night.
19. Oct. 20, 2018: LSU 19 Mississippi State 3
This game had all the ingredients for a frustrating win: Bad weather, inconsistent offense, and a giant, steaming pile of bullshit refereeing. LSU’s defense played a masterful game. They knew Nick Fitzgerald couldn’t pass, and basically dared him to. If you include the ones called back by penalty, Fitzgerald threw something in the neighborhood of 24 interceptions. But nobody cared because all anybody remembers was this goddamn stupid load of enormous garbage.
HOW DO THEY NOT OVERTURN THAT???? UGHHHHH
Also I wasn’t a fan of these alternate unis. Sorry.
Middle Tier: Beating Up On The Little Guys
18. Oct. 15, 2016: LSU 45 Southern Miss 10
When this game rolled around it felt like we hadn’t seen LSU play in ages after the impromptu bye week due to the Florida Hurricane bullshit. After being tied at 10 at halftime, LSU roared to life and scored 35 unanswered in the second half. Pretty basic. Not much to see here!
17. Sept. 22, 2018: LSU 38 Louisiana Tech 21
This was that classic non-conference game that got way closer than it should’ve been but still ended up being a big win. We all panicked over nothing! But this game also deserves recognition for having TGBFTL’s most viral performance
16. Sept. 10, 2016: LSU 34 Jacksonville State 10
Kind of a downer atmosphere after the Week 1 loss to Wisconsin and having Fournette out due to injury. It was also delayed awhile due to some rain. After a quarter of frustration, the Danny Etling Era began. We probably inflated his performance and made him seem a little better than he really was (6-14, 100 yards, 1 TD, 1 rushing TD and 1 INT) because we had had it up to here with the anemic passing game. Luckily he turned out to be a Good Quarterback™!
Also Tre’Davious White made one of the greatest No No No No No YES Plays ever.
15. Sept. 8, 2018: LSU 31 Southeastern 0
Joe Burrow’s first game in Tiger Stadium was… pretty ugly! The Lion defense did a great job not allowing LSU to put many sustainable drives together. Three of LSU’s four touchdown drives started in SLU territory. The best drive was 96 yards and ended like this!
14. Nov. 17, 2018: LSU 42 Rice 10
A fun game, but I hate Senior Night not being against an SEC opponent. But it was still a nice environment. It was fairly cold but they served hot chocolate so that was cool!
13. Sept. 14, 2019: LSU 65 Northwestern State 14
The best part of this game was seeing if the 51.5 spread would be covered. It would have been if not for a missed third quarter extra point. That’s why I don’t bet.
12. Sept. 9, 2017: LSU 45 Chattanooga 10
This game was fun! Etling and Guice scored a lot. DJ Chark returned a punt for a touchdown. We got to make jokes about LSU leading 28-3 when that joke was still pretty fresh. We had fun!
11. Aug. 31, 2019: LSU 55 Georgia Southern 3
Even in a blowout against a wildly overmatched opponent it was glaringly obvious this LSU offense was unlike anything we’d seen before. I might have moved it higher but tailgating in August is something I’m not super eager to do again.
Upper Tier: Ess-ee-see Football
10. Oct. 26, 2019: LSU 23 Auburn 20
We’ve gotten so used to the high-flying offense this year that we couldn’t truly appreciate what a beautiful fistfight this game was. Despite being easily LSU’s least efficient offensive showing of 2019 and never leading by more than 10, this game was never really that close. Let us never forget that UAB and Troy have won in Tiger Stadium more recently than Auburn.
9. Sept. 29, 2018: LSU 45 Ole Miss 16
LSU was definitely a good team through the first four games of 2018, but had yet to have a complete offensive showing. That changed against the Rebels as Burrow aired it out for 292 yards and three touchdowns while the offense added another 281 yards and three scores on the ground. It was a pretty wet night, but in the fun way where the rain kind of accentuates the atmosphere instead of ruining it.
The thing keeping this game from being higher is the somber mood that lingered a day after we found out Wayde Sims was killed. I’ll never forget the dead silence during the tribute pregame. It lasted what felt like forever. There are usually some idiots who don’t realize what’s happening or yell something out during a moment of silence, but not this time. I’ve never seen it confirmed, but I believe the moment of silence lasted 44 seconds. It was chilling.
8. Nov. 23, 2019: LSU 56 Arkansas 20
The first home game after the triumphant defeat of Alabama was everything you would expect against a lesser opponent. The offense was a well-oiled machine and the starting defense didn’t allow a touchdown. Best of all, we ignored the ugly-ass boot!
What a season this has been!
7. Nov. 25, 2017: LSU 45 Texas A&M 21
After a mostly shaky year one under permanent head coach Ed Orgeron, LSU capped off its season with some fireworks. The team trampled the Aggies with every touchdown being scored by a player in his last game in Tiger Stadium. Danny Etling, Russel Gage, Darrel Williams, Derrius Guice, John David Moore and DJ Chark all found the end zone in a game that was never really close.
Y’all probably forgot most of that because all anybody remembers this game for is Odell Beckham Jr. paying the “Neck” fine.
6. Oct. 1, 2016: LSU 42 Missouri 7
What a weird pregame atmosphere. LSU was about to play a football game without Les Miles as head coach. It was an uneasy and nervous time, but boy were those fears eased soon after kickoff. Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams ran all over the Big 12 Tigers in the first game of Steve Ensminger’s new offense. We were afraid of an arduous and stressful coaching search on the horizon, but some of us knew exactly who wanted after just one game.
Top Tier: Where Opponents’ Dreams Come To Die
5. Oct. 22, 2016: LSU 38 Ole Miss 21
It wasn’t that long ago LSU was welcoming a RANKED Ole Miss team into Tiger Stadium! Hugh Freeze, Chad Kelly came to town for an 8:15 p.m. kickoff. You wanna talk about an unhinged atmosphere? Leonard Fournette had a modest day in his first game back from injury, running for 284 yards and three 50+ yard touchdowns. LSU intercepted Chad Kelly twice and shut the Rebels out after they tied the game in the second half. This was Ed Orgeron’s first game against his former team, and you could tell it meant a lot to him.
Oh and also Leonard Fournette murdered a man in front of 102,000 people.
If you listen around the 27-second mark you can hear the exact moment the crowd saw the slow-motion replay. I will never forget that.
4. Nov. 30, 2019: LSU 50 Texas A&M 7
Do I really need to say anything? Capping off a 12-0 regular season and a Senior Night honoring the best LSU football player of our lifetimes. Yeah yeah we bludgeoned the team that put us through a hellacious five-hour loss last year, but this night wasn’t about them at all. It was about our Heisman son, Joe Burreaux.
A tribute to this great state and university. Death Valley, where opponents dreams come to die... but where mine came true https://t.co/lGLyAkBLAG— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) December 1, 2019
Okay, this night was also about one more little thing: The fact that Bama ain’t making no damn Playoff this year.
There were little rumblings slowly spreading across the student section as people realized what was happening. Then the big announcement came right after the second touchdown and the night became a fairytale.
3. Oct. 13, 2018: LSU 36 Georgia 16
Georgia fans had a second line in New Orleans only to lose by 20. I will never stop laughing about this game. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 2 and undefeated coming off a narrow National Championship loss. The sentiment I got from most of their players and fans was “We’re excited to see Tiger Stadium for the first time!” It’s too bad they forgot they also had to play a football game. Legend has it Joe Burrow is still running through the Georgia secondary.
Also this game was on my 21st birthday. It was a pretty fun way to spend it!
2. Oct. 12, 2019: LSU 42 Florida 28
Part of why I was so upset after LSU’s 29-0 loss to Alabama in 2018 is because I thought it was my last chance to see an epic night game in Tiger Stadium as a student. But I will forever be grateful for CBS deciding for some reason to go to Aggieland this week, allowing this absolute banger to be at night. Even though the game was pretty tight and Florida actually took the lead in the third quarter, I never really doubted we would win. It was still close enough for the whole crowd to be into it the whole game. The five-minute period where Derek Stingley Jr. intercepted Kyle Trask in the end zone then Burrow hit Ja’Marr Chase for a 54-yard touchdown was sublime. Then it got even better because this happened.
Nobody left early. Tiger Stadium was roaring all night. Joe Burrow threw as many touchdowns as incompletions against what was declared the best secondary in the SEC. Chants of “It sucks to be a Florida Gator” echoed through the packed concourse on the walk out. John Goodman was there. This is the type of game you come to LSU for.
1. Oct. 14, 2017: LSU 27 Auburn 23
This might be a controversial opinion, but this is undoubtedly my favorite game as a student in Tiger Stadium. I could write a three-act play about this game. Let’s set the stage: Two weeks removed from losing to the Troy Trojans in Tiger Stadium, LSU bounced back with a cathartic win over Florida in the Swamp. While that felt good, we weren’t totally sure LSU was actually a good team. There was kind of a nervous energy when No. 10 Auburn came to town. Our fears were beginning to be realized when Auburn went up 20-0. How did the War Eagle Tigers handle the early success?
The Auburn mascot dressed up as the Troy Trojan, then they blew a 20-0 lead pic.twitter.com/55GtUiSRf6— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) October 15, 2017
LSU mounted a furious comeback including a ballsy fourth-and-goal end-around for a touchdown, a spectacular diving catch by Russell Gage for a second score and a DJ Chark punt return touchdown to cut the deficit to two. As LSU lined up for a go-ahead field goal, no LSU fan was confident based on the absurd kicking woes the team had gone through the first six weeks. But Connor Culp came through. The following defensive series was the loudest I’ve heard Tiger Stadium in my four years, as Jarrett Stidham threw four straight incompletions. Auburn got the ball back one more time, but an Arden Key sack iced it and Death Valley roared. LSU just came back from down 20-0 in a win that I believe helped rejuvenate the program and get us to where we are today: playing for championships.
COMEBACK COMPLETE! TIGERS WIN! TIGERS WIN! LSU defeats Auburn, 27-23, marking the largest come back in Tiger Stadium since 1949! pic.twitter.com/j6ECYgSN84— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 14, 2017
Part of why this game is so high for me is my personal experience. The friends I normally went to games with couldn’t make this one, so I had to call an audible. I asked a girl I worked with if I could sit by her and her friends. She said yes. We got there early to get a good spot and it was HOT, one of the hottest games I’ve been to. Between the heat and LSU’s deficit, we were miserable. Shortly after Auburn built the huge lead, her friends left the game, but she stayed. We watched together as LSU mounted the biggest SEC comeback in school history. Two years later we’re still dating and have been to every game since together.