THE AFFIRMATIVE: Should LSU Administration Claim 1908 National Championship?

1908. What a year, apparently.

The case is strong against #Claim08LSU. I will run it later this weekend.

But for now let’s look at the case for LSU football claiming a fifth national title–the 1908 season to be exact.

LSU claims the 1958, 2003, 2007, and 2019 national titles. But there is opinion out there that since the NCAA retroactively awarded LSU the co-championship along with Penn, that the school should honor it as well.

Just for fun, here are some other things that occurred in 1908:

  • The Ford Model T was first produced.
  • Gandhi was arrested for the first time in South Africa.
  • Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship was published.
  • Houdini began performing his Milk Can escape.
  • The Games of the IV Olympiad were held in London.
  • The Tunguska event, a catastrophic disruption caused by the explosion of a large meteor high above ground, occurred.
  • Lyndon B Johnson was born.
  • The Chicago Cubs tied the New York Giants after Fred Merkle commits “Merkle’s Boner.”

Interesting stuff.

But back to LSU.

A popular LSU forum, Tigerdroppings.com, is torn on the issue. But those who are pushing for the affirmative are either jokingly or seriously promoting the #Claim08LSU on Twitter. Or maybe just the poster named “NorthshoreTiger76” is promoting it.

Another poster, “pensacola,” asserted that LSU officials should make the campus speed limit 08.

To which “TSsngumbo” replied, “Coach O runs faster than that with his shirt off.”

Funny.

The simple fact is that the NCAA does recognize the Tigers as champion because the National Championship Foundation retroactively awarded its championship to LSU. If nothing else, it is interesting to note that SEC West rival Alabama claims 17 titles in their history, three of which are not recognized by the NCAA.

“LSU615” believes that “Alabama is claiming 1908.”

Lol.

But seriously, in truth, many programs claim pre-AP poll championships before that poll was introduced in 1936.

So maybe LSU should as well.

The season was spectacular, the first of its kind to that point in LSU’s short history.

With LSU at 4-0, over 800 fans boarded a train with the team to travel to powerful Auburn for a Halloween showdown. Back home in Baton Rouge, there was a hint of the passion that is characteristic of LSU football fans today.  A large crowd of Tiger faithful crowded into a telegraph office for updates on the game.

No cell phones back then. Or phones period.

Baton Rouge was officially “football crazy.

And it has been so ever since.

LSU beat Auburn that day, 10-2.

They would win the next five games, including a four-game shutout streak over Mississippi State (50-0), Baylor (89-0), Haskell (32-0), and Louisiana Tech (22-0). The Tigers finished the season with a 36-4 victory over Arkansas in Little Rock, which 5,000 fans attended.

New defensive coordinator Bo Pelini should be taking notes on such dominance.

LSU finished the 1908 season 10-0 overall. They outscored opponents 442-11. Penn was 11-0-1 and outscored opponents 215-28.

It was total dominance, kind of like that familiar 2019 team we just saw. Plus the NCAA has already acknowledged a Tiger championship.

Why not make it happen LSU?

Writer Jeff LeJeune has an M.A. in English, is a high school and college instructor, and is a former college athlete. In addition to his writing work for The Hayride, he is a ghostwriter, editor, and novelist. His website is www.jefflejeune.net.

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