No more secondary television network for the state’s biggest in-state rivalry game, the Bayou Classic.
The 49th Annual Bayou Classic, pitting arch-rivals Grambling and Southern in their season-ending football clash, will be carried nationally by NBC.
The Saturday, Nov. 26 confrontation in the Caesars Superdome will have its earliest kickoff in seven years, thanks to the upgrade of the network TV platform. The Tigers and Jaguars will kick shortly after the telecast begins at 1 p.m. in New Orleans.
In 2015, the game shifted to air on the now-defunct NBC Sports Network and kickoff was backed up to 4 o’clock.
Grambling won last year’s Bayou Classic, 29-26, in New Orleans, breaking a string of three straight Southern victories. Grambling has taken nine of the last 15 meetings dating back to 2008, but Southern has won six of the last 10. The Bayou Classic series is knotted at 24-24.
The second most-prominent neutral site game on the Tigers’ schedule also is shifting its kickoff time. The State Fair Classic in the DFW Metroplex announced its kickoff time on Saturday, October 1 at the Cotton Bowl Stadium will be 6 p.m., departing from an afternoon start.
The Tigers open the season with a 6 p.m. kickoff at Arkansas State on Saturday, September 3. The following Saturday, the G-Men come to Shreveport for a neutral site contest against Northwestern State at Independence Stadium that is also slated to kick at 6.
Grambling’s home opener is October 15 when Florida A&M visits Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium. Season tickets for the three home games (Florida A&M, Alcorn State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff) along with games against Prairie View A&M and Northwestern State are on sale through the Grambling ticket office.
Photo courtesy of Bayou Classic