After a pause in hostilities last fall, the Grambling-Southern rivalry is finally renewed Saturday afternoon in Baton Rouge as the Tigers and Jags collide in a Southwestern Athletic Conference basketball doubleheader.
Both Grambling squads are in fourth place in the SWAC race, and are taking two-game win streaks on the road to The Bluff and the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
The Lady Tigers (6-5 overall, 5-2 in the SWAC) meet a hot Southern team, also 5-2 in the SWAC. The Lady Jags were 0-6 before league play began, but most recently notched a 57-51 victory at Alcorn State last Saturday. They were off Monday night. The women play at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The men’s battle begins at 5:30. The Tigers (7-8, 5-3) have won four of their last six. The Jaguars (4-6, 4-2) rolled 76-59 at Alcorn and had Monday off.
The road trip continues Monday night for Grambling, at Alcorn State in another doubleheader.
The next home weekend for Grambling is Feb. 13 and 15 when the Lone Star State’s SWAC members, Texas Southern and Prairie View, visit the Fred Hobdy Assembly Center.
FOOTBALL: Former Tigers’ defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles takes aim at winning a Super Bowl on Sunday.
Bowles coached at Grambling in 1998 and 1999 on Doug Williams’ initial Tigers staff before taking his first NFL job as secondary coach of the New York Jets. He later became the Jets head coach, and has emerged as a prime candidate for another head coaching job by building a rising defense as the DC at Tampa Bay.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians has openly endorsed Bowles for another head coaching post and is dismayed his loyal assistant didn’t get one in the recent group of seven NFL vacancies.
The Tigers went 5-6 in 1998 and 7-4 in 1999, but Bowles’ last game was a frustrating 37-31 Bayou Classic loss as Southern overwhelmed Grambling 27-6 after halftime. Those Jaguars won the SWAC title, but Bowles helped set the foundation for the Tigers to return to the throne in the conference in the following three seasons.
BOWLING: The Lady Tigers bowling team is in the SWAC East Roundup beginning this morning in D’Iberville, Miss., and next weekend competes in the Louisiana Tech Classic – in Dallas.
VOLLEYBALL: Grambling’s volleyball squad plays this afternoon at 4 at Tougaloo, then visits Southern Saturday for a 3 o’clock contest while the basketball teams collide there as well. The Lady Tiger spikers are home Monday night at 6 against UAPB.