Perhaps if you’re not from Louisiana, the rivalry between Tulane and LSU may be foreign.
The Tulane Green Wave and the LSU Tigers’ rivalry goes all the way back to 1893. As a matter of fact, the “Battle of the Rag” has been alive for over 85 years from 1911-1916. In this span, both teams met once every year. The two teams sit only 60 miles from each other. However, the two universities are worlds apart, as far as culture and athletics.
Be that as it may, there was a time where Tulane was just as competitive to LSU in football. Most people aren’t aware that Tulane used to be a part of the SEC from 1932 to 1966. Moreover, the Green Wave was a charter member. Tulane actually won three SEC titles in 1934, 1939, and 1949. Similarly, LSU also won four in that same period. Of course, this was before most of us were even born yet. But there was a winning tradition at Tulane at the same time that only stopped because of the intentional exit from the SEC. Tulane pulled out of the SEC to put more emphasis on academics.
On the other hand, the LSU Tigers have become one of the most dominant brands in college football up to this day. The rivalry has also been dominated as a whole by the LSU Tigers with a 69-22-7 record against the Green Wave. That being said, before 1950 the series was a lot closer. In those 44 games, LSU would win 26 of those compared to the 18 that Tulane fought for. Since then, the Tigers has dominated after 1950 with a 43-4 record and two ties.
Regardless, the rivalry has been dormant as of late. It’s really a shame for both sides and their fans. The game was a tradition that was special for fans of both teams. Ultimately, the game needs to be brought back. There is a generation that is missing out on one of the greatest rivalries in Louisiana sports. In addition, the Tulane Green Wave seem to be heading in the right direction with new coach Willie Fritz.
Fritz comes into Tulane in his second year, and has found success everywhere else he’s been. First, Fritz coached at Central Missouri, where in his first year he took them from 5-6 to an 8-3 record the year after. Furthermore, eleven of the next 12 years the Central Missouri team posted a winning record. Two of those seasons were a hefty 10-2 mark.
As a consequence, Willie Fritz was inducted into the Central Missouri Hall of Fame for having the most wins in history. In the same way, Fritz found similar success at Sam Houston St. After the first year mark of 6-5, the following year the Bearcats finished 14-1. Over the next four years, his record culminated with an incredible 40-15 record.
Finally, at Georgia Southern the same winning tradition continued. As a matter of fact, the work there was even more astounding. Fritz took over Georgia Southern in their inaugural season as an FBS school. Georgia Southern won their very first bowl appearance in 2015, with a win over Bowling Green 58-27 in the Godaddy.com Bowl. The results are overwhelmingly successful at every stop.
Now the Tulane Green Wave have their man. Coach Willie Fritz will no doubt turn things around starting this year. There’s no reason to think otherwise. The only question that’s out there is, will LSU give the Green Wave a shot to renew the rivalry.
The risk is much higher for LSU to bring this game back on a yearly basis. However, there is gonna be a time that comes when LSU will have to play Tulane again. Especially, if the Greenies start taking recruits away from Baton Rouge.
Fans on both sides want this game to happen. Hopefully, the two universities can work out a deal to play every year going forward.