bayou_classic_logoThe Bayou Classic has long been the penultimate event in the HBCU football world for decades.

The annual battle in New Orleans between Southern and Grambling State has featured a litany of storied players, coaches and even epic battles between the rival bands.


That could all change according to Mercedes-Benz Superdome officials who reportedly have thrown around the idea of replacing Grambling in future games.

“Citing low attendance in recent years, the group said it is possible that Grambling could be replaced by another team, either a team that would play yearly, or the opponent could alternate yearly, according to a story published by WWL-TV/ New Orleans.

“If Grambling has fallen off that bad, maybe Southern could take the lead and it could be an earned-in game and bring in somebody else,” said Robert Bruno, the commissioner of the LSED. “I just don’t know if Grambling can carry the load.”

While organizers could blame Grambling for not holding up its end of the bargain, fluctuating attendance figures could be explained by the impact Hurricane Katrina had on the region.

Grambling has fallen on hard times over the last two seasons, as they’ve only won just twice in their last 21 games, including a 12-game losing streak that ultimately led to the firing of head coach Doug Williams, which turned out to be one of three coaching changes last season.

The average Bayou Classic attendance before Hurricane Katrina displaced thousands of Louisiana residents was 70,198. The last two games has featured an average attendance of 46,682.

Superdome officials also have suggested that the game could be moved from its longtime slot on Thanksgiving to the opening weekend.

Southern leads the overall series 31-30. The teams are tied in the Bayou Classic series with 20 wins each after Grambling’s 40-17 loss to Southern in 2013.

About The Author

Kendrick Marshall

Editor for HBCU Sports, award-winning journalist, and a graduate of Jackson State University.

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