The Great 21st Century Division 1 Football Tournament
Can you smell the gumbo? Hear the alligators snapping? Taste the beignets? Then it must be time for the Cajun region of everybody's favorite convoluted internet tournament.
(For those new to this series, the full explanation [and West Coast region results] can be found here, but in a nutshell, it's a tournament that uses randomly-selected real-life 21st-century results between teams when possible, and simulated results when not. All other previously-completed regions can be found here.)
The Cajun region consists of the 11 D1 teams in Louisiana, as well as the state's nearest neighbors in Texas (Lamar, Stephen F. Austin), Arkansas (Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Central Arkansas) and Mississippi (Alcorn State). Here's how the bracket came out:
*First Round results*
[2003 Stephen F. Austin] 23
[2003 Louisiana-Monroe] 21
And just like that, one of the 5 FBS teams in the bracket goes down. Charlie Weatherbie’s time at UL-Monroe famously included an upset over Alabama, but it began with a 1-11 campaign marred by two losses to FCS opponents, including this clunker to the Lumberjacks. Tony Tompkins’ 81-yard TD reception on the first play of the game from scrimmage sets the tone for SFA.
[2018 Northwestern State] 28
[2018 Alcorn State] 21
(SIM) A projected coin-flip game ends up coming down to a single score, and a narrow win for the Demons.
[2002 Louisiana-Lafayette] 44
[2002 Arkansas Pine-Bluff] 9
(SIM) In a battle of two of Division 1's best mascots, the Ragin’ Cajuns easily defeat the Golden Lions.
[2010 Louisiana State] 32
[2010 McNeese State] 10
The Tigers, in the middle of an 11-2 season, actually trailed into the 2nd quarter against the Cowboys, before finally shutting down the McNeese offense and taking over. Michael Ford rushed for 86 yards and 2 scores to pace the Bayou Bengals.
[2016 Tulane] 27
[2016 Central Arkansas] 35
(SIM) Another FCS-over-FBS “upset”, although not really because Massey had the Bears (who won 10 games and beat FBS Arkansas State in 2016) slightly favored over the Green Wave (who went 4-8).
[2010 Louisiana Tech] 20
[2010 Grambling State] 6
In their first year under Sunny Dykes, the Bulldogs failed to make a bowl game, but they didn’t have much trouble with the Tigers, winning behind a pair of rushing TDs from Myke Compton.
[2005 Southern] 27
[2005 Southeastern Louisiana] 35
(SIM) Lions beat Jaguars in the battle of FCS Louisiana big cats.
[2017 Nicholls State] 41
[2017 Lamar] 14
The Colonels comfortably dispatched of conference foes Lamar for the third straight year, thanks in large part to running back Kyran Irvin’s 152 yards and 2 TDs.
*Second Round results*
[2012 Stephen F. Austin] 34
[2012 Northwestern State] 17
The schools in Nacogdoches and Natchitoches face off every year for Chief Caddo, a 7.5-foot wooden statue of a Native American. In the 2012 season finale, the Lumberjacks rattled off 24 unanswered points over the game’s final 16 minutes to turn a 7-point deficit into a doubling-up of their rivals.
[2006 Louisiana-Lafayette] 3
[2006 Louisiana State] 45
The 2006 Tigers opened their season with back-to-back 45-3 blowout wins, the first over the Ragin’ Cajuns. JaMarcus Russell threw for 3 TD passes before giving way to backups Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux. Fun fact: in the 22 matchups between these two schools dating back to 1902, not only has UL-Lafayette never won, they’ve only scored a whopping total of 25 points. LSU put up a 93-0 and an 85-0 on them back in the ‘30s. Anyway, moving on.
[2011 Central Arkansas] 42
[2011 Louisiana Tech] 48
One week before the Bulldogs famously blew a 27-point lead to Case Keenum and company, they needed a comeback of their own to survive in overtime against the Bears.
[2017 Southeastern Louisiana] 21
[2017 Nicholls State] 17
An 85-yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter by Juwan Petit-Frere puts the Lions ahead for good in this intrastate rivalry.
[2008 Stephen F. Austin] 14
[2008 Louisiana State] 56
(SIM) The lopsided semi-final draw proves to be exactly the blowout it was expected to be.
[2008 Louisiana Tech] 41
[2008 Southeastern Louisiana] 26
The Lions were able to keep this one competitive for a while, but the Bulldogs got down to business and put this one away after halftime. Daniel Porter leads the way with 150 yards of total offense and a pair of TDs.
[2009 Louisiana State] 24
[2009 Louisiana Tech] 16
Semi-final hero Daniel Porter throws a TD pass on a trick play to give the Bulldogs a 13-10 lead going into halftime, but Keiland Williams rushes for two scores in the 2nd half to give LSU the (probably inevitable) Cajun region championship, earning them a matchup with the Lone Star regional winner in the Championship bracket.
Join us right back here on Thursday for the results of the Empire region.