2021 Bayou Classic: Everything You Need to Know about the Matchup Between Grambling and Southern

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 24 Bayou Classic - Southern at Grambling
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It’s almost that time of the year again! Many people consider it to be the Super Bowl of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. One of the biggest rivalry matchups of the South has finally returned to New Orleans, and it is expected to be greater than ever. The 2021 Bayou Classic is an event that many have been waiting for, and the students, faculty, and alumni of both Southern University and Grambling State University are all very eager for the events to return after last year’s game changed due to the pandemic. The Bayou Classic is one of the most important events for HBCU students because of the many traditions and fun that the weekend has to offer.

The big game between these two schools is like none other. The Southern Jaguars and the Gambling Tigers have a rivalry that goes way beyond just football. Fans will finally get to see who will dominate the other in sports and entertainment. It also gives everyone a chance to be united and celebrate the pride, tradition, and excellence that come with attending an HBCU. For anyone who has ever attended the event, they can testify to all that the weekend will bring.

“My experience was amazing. The atmosphere was everything and the people were excited. Seeing my school beat Grambling State was one of the best things.” Trelin Gradney, a senior at Southern University, said of his time spent at The Bayou Classic. “You get to see all the football action. You get to sit in front of the band and watch the Fabulous Dancing Dolls perform. It’s so much fun and very exciting! There’s always so much going on.”

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Bayou Classic Traditions

Bayou Classic has been rooted in the very tradition of both of these institutions. It’s kind of a big deal in Louisiana. If you chose to attend one of these schools and have never attended the big game, then you have definitely missed out on all that the experience has to offer! The Classic consists of a full weekend’s worth of fun. The slate of events kicks off Friday with the much anticipated Greek Show and Battle of the Bands.

Typically, the Greek Show consists of an intense battle between the Divine 9 Greek organizations from each school. Each organization takes the stage to put on a themed performance full of costumes, stepping, strolling, and chanting. It’s very exciting to watch as they compete for the first-place prize each year. This competition is what begins to get the crowd engaged and hyped up for the rest of the night.

Immediately following the Greek show comes the long-awaited Battle of the Bands. Just imagine two of the biggest bands in Louisiana together under one roof for an entire night, going blow for blow. Southern University’s ‘Human Jukebox’ and Grambling State University’s ‘World Famed Tiger Marching Band’ is a showdown nobody wants to miss! The passion behind the way they play their music is one like none other. Ultimately, deciding the winner of the battle is always in the hands of the fans.

What to know on Bayou Classic Game Day

Then comes the day everyone has been waiting for: Game Day! The exciting day begins with a parade through the historic French Quarter, beginning at 9:30 a.m. After the fun and festivities conclude from the parade, it’s finally time to get to business. At 4:00 p.m. the Southern University Jaguars and the Grambling State University Tigers will battle for bragging rights and a trophy in Caesars Superdome. This historic matchup has been taking place since 1974. Southern currently leads the series by only one game with 24 wins to Grambling’s 23.

Each year Southern University and Grambling State University have gone toe to toe in battling each other. It’s almost as if the two schools use all the energy that they have built up throughout the season on each other. As an attendee, it’s very hard to predict how the game will play out. In 2019, the Tigers came so close to walking away with a win. It wasn’t until the last few seconds when Southern ran across the field and scored a major touchdown, which won them the game. The Jaguar fans lit up the stadium as they stood in applause and loud cheers. Throughout the game’s history, there have been times where Grambling dominated, however, and won five games back-to-back (1974-78). Southern has had its moments as well, as the team once scored eight wins in a row from 1993-2000. Entering this game, Southern has won the last three Bayou Classic matchups.

2021 Bayou Classic COVID-19 Regulations

Although it is exciting to have the Bayou Classic return to New Orleans, it is important to remember that we are still in a pandemic. All fans are strongly encouraged to follow all COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of themselves and others. Thankfully, the Superdome has implemented some of their own guidelines as well.

As required by the City of New Orleans, any guest 12 and above must show proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or evidence of a negative COVID-19 test that is no more than 72 hours late. Digital proof of vaccinations will also be permitted. As always, face coverings are required in the city of New Orleans and must be worn at all times while inside the Superdome. This applies to those who are both vaccinated and unvaccinated. The Superdome will also enforce a strict clear bag policy. No cash will be accepted at the concessions, so make sure to have that debit card on hand!

Bayou Classic is more than a football game. It signifies the culture, dignity, and pride of the HBCU experience. It is an event that allows fans to come together and celebrate two historic universities. While the pandemic might have postponed Bayou Classic last year, it never stopped the excitement that this weekend and this rivalry bring.

How to watch the 2021 Bayou Classic

The 2021 Bayou Classic will air on NBCSN this Saturday, November 27th at 5 PM ET.

*Authors Note: Christopher L. Hunter is a 20-year-old junior who attends Southern University and A&M College, from North Little Rock, Arkansas. He chose to study Broadcast Journalism, where he is continuously gaining experience in the Office of Student Media.  You can follow his social media @ChrxsHunter. For more of his stories on campus life and student involvement, be sure to visit http://www.southerndigest.com

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When will UCLA, USC join the Big Ten Conference?


The Big Ten has served as one of the nation’s premier intercollegiate athletic conferences for over 125 years. Originally founded by a group of seven universities led by Purdue president James H. Smart, the group has grown by leaps and bounds since its formation in 1896. The conference that was originally comprised of seven teams grew to an eventual 14, and is now set to expand to 16 with the groundbreaking addition of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten.

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When will USC, UCLA join the Big Ten?

Crosstown rival programs USC and UCLA both announced in summer 2022 that they will leave the Pac-12 Conference for the Big Ten on August 2, 2024.

The move rocked the college football world, considering the length of time that both schools were members of their previous conference. USC had held Pac-12 membership since 1922, winning a total of 39 conference football titles and nine basketball titles in that span. The UCLA Bruins were a part of the group since 1928, taking home 16 football and 32 basketball conference titles in those years.

UCLA and USC’s transition was announced on the heels of Oklahoma and Texas confirming their departure for the SEC last season, a move that is set to transpire ahead of the 2025 college football season.

Come 2024, the Pac-12 will be comprised of only 10 members, while the Big Ten will stretch from coast to coast.

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What schools are in the Big Ten Conference?

  • University of Michigan
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • University Maryland
  • Michigan State University
  • Indiana University
  • Rutgers University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Nebraska
  • Northwestern University
  • USC (will join in 2024)
  • UCLA (will join in 2024)

Why is it called the Big Ten?

Despite its current 14 members, the conference retains its title of “Big Ten” to this day. The name originated after Michigan rejoined in 1917, bringing the membership from nine to 10 teams. Media members were the first to dub the group the “Big Ten”, which was eventually confirmed as the conference’s official name in 1987.

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How can I watch Big Ten football, basketball and more?

While Big Ten football coverage for the 2023 season will be split among NBC, Fox and CBS, NBC and Peacock will be the home of the conference’s biggest game every week with Big Ten Saturday Night. NBC Sports’ new agreement with the Big Ten will also feature coverage of several men’s and women’s basketball games, Olympic sports, golf and more.

It became official in August of 2022 that NBC will air Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock, with a primetime football game each fall weekend.

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The 2023 All-American Bowl takes place this Saturday, January 7 inside the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as 100 of the nation’s top senior football players will go head-to-head in this highly anticipated all-star game.

Live coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET on NBC and Peacock. See below for additional information on how to watch the 2023 All-American Bowl.

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The All-American Bowl made its debut in December 2000 at Highlander Stadium in Dallas, Texas and since then has become one of the most-watched high school sporting events in America. Notable alumni that have participated in the event include NFL Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (2011), Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliot (2013), Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (2018), former Broncos QB Tim Tebow (2006), former Cleveland Browns OT Joe Thomas.

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How to watch the 2023 All-American Bowl:

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