The “Tiger Bowl” between Auburn and LSU has only been a yearly rivalry since 1992, but in that short span, fans from both sides have seen a lifetime worth of excitement.
Of the 24 games played over that span, exactly half have been decided by one score. LSU ever-so-narrowly holds the advantage with 13 wins to Auburn’s 11. What’s even more impressive, the winner of the matchup has been ranked every year since 2002 and four times has gone on to play in the National Championship game.
FROM THE OTHER SIDE: Auburn’s 5 biggest wins vs. LSU
Today we’re taking a look back at and ranking LSU’s five most memorable victories over Auburn since 2000, with emphasis being placed on how meaningful the game was, how close the final score was and what the game ended up meaning for LSU.
No. 5: 2008 — LSU: 26, Auburn: 21
We’re starting the list off with one of the closest games in the history of the rivalry. Two top-10 teams were going at it. College GameDay was on hand. LSU trailed at the half and had to trust the game in the hands of the backup quarterback when Jarrett Lee took over for the injured Andrew Hatch. But behind some trademark Les Miles trickery — a 22-yard halfback pass from Keiland Williams to Demetrius Byrd — and some last-minute heroics by Lee (see above), LSU came back and beat Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium for the first time since 1998.
No. 4: 2015 — LSU: 45, Auburn: 21
Last year’s game didn’t quite have the last-minute intrigue of 2008’s incarnation of the rivalry, but it sure was memorable. Sept. 19, 2015 was the day that LSU’s running back went from being “former No. 1 recruit Leonard Fournette” to “baddest man alive Leonard Fournette.” No. 7 carried 19 times for 228 yards and three touchdowns, and nearly every single time he touched the ball was memorable. To single out just one moment would be an injustice to all the rest, so go ahead and watch that supercut of all of Fournette’s carries from that day. Decide for yourself which one was the best.
No. 3: 2001 — LSU: 27, Auburn: 14
This one wasn’t so much memorable for what happened on the field as it was for when it happened and the events that happened peripherally to the game. Because of the Sept. 11 attacks earlier that year, this game was pushed back to Dec. 1, creating an SEC Championship play-in game of sorts between Auburn and LSU. Prior to the game, Auburn’s players stomped the LSU logo at midfield and at halftime Auburn’s kicker interfered with LSU’s marching band performance, generating a high degree of emotion. LSU carried that emotion to a huge win, ensuring the team an SEC West title and giving Nick Saban his first win over Auburn.
No. 2: 2005 — LSU: 20, Auburn: 17
Let’s be real: Coming off of Hurricane Katrina, every win in 2005 was a little more special than most. And this one is certainly no exception to that rule. Just one week after LSU’s 21-17 home victory over No. 11 Florida, No. 16 Auburn came to town, having won their last 12 SEC regular season games. Despite the fact that Auburn running back Kenny Irons put more than 200 rushing yards on the day, JaMarcus Russell and the Tigers kept clawing back and sent the game to overtime, where they won by a field goal.
No. 1: 2007 — LSU: 30, Auburn: 24
The announcers got this one right: It was the call of the year. Trailing by one point with less than 30 seconds remaining, Les Miles had Matt Flynn and company line up under center with a split backfield and one wide receiver flanked out to the wide side of the field. That receiver, Demetrius Byrd, streaked to the end zone and, instead of clocking the ball or throwing a quick outlet pass to preserve the clock, Flynn threw deep, connecting with Byrd to give LSU the lead with one second remaining. The win kept the season alive and, just over two months later, Miles, Flynn, Byrd and all the rest won themselves a National Championship.
What do you think of our rankings? Was there a game that we missed that you remember fondly? Let us know in the comments and keep the conversation going.