Tigers to wear white in BCS Title Game

Posted Dec 18, 2007

LSU will wear its traditional white jerseys when the Tigers line up against Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7 in New Orleans, LSU equipment manager Greg Stringfellow confirmed on Tuesday.

As the higher-ranked team, Ohio State got first choice in selecting its jersey color for the national championship contest and the Buckeyes opted for their home color of scarlet, Stringfellow said. The Buckeyes will wear gray pants.

With Ohio State picking the dark jersey color, the Tigers will now get to wear their traditional “home” white jerseys for the contest.

LSU has worn white jerseys in seven straight bowl games, including all three of its Sugar Bowl appearances this decade. The last time LSU wore a color other than white in a bowl game came in 2000 when the purple-clad Tigers posted a 28-14 win over Georgia Tech in the Peach Bowl.

The following is an excerpt from the 2007 LSU Football Media Guide that gives the history of the white jersey and why the Tigers are one of just a handful of schools from across the country who that traditionally wear white for home games:

The tradition originated when LSU won its first national championship in 1958. Head coach Paul Dietzel had a habit of tinkering with the uniform every year. In 1958, he chose to wear white jerseys for LSU’s home games, and the Tigers subsequently won the national championship. A superstitious man, Dietzel didn’t change the uniform after that season. LSU continued to wear white jerseys for home games throughout the Charlie McClendon Era. When Jerry Stovall took over as head coach in 1980, he said the Tigers would occasionally wear purple jerseys so that home fans could see a different color.

In 1982, the NCAA changed its jersey rule, requiring teams to wear dark colored jerseys for home games. The Tigers wore purple jerseys for all home games from 1983 to 1994. When Gerry DiNardo became head coach in 1995, he vowed to change the NCAA jersey rule. After petitioning the rules committee of the American Football Coaches Association, he personally met with each member of the NCAA Football Rules Committee. DiNardo’s efforts were successful and the Tigers were allowed to wear white jerseys again beginning in 1995. A stipulation of the new rule was that the visiting team would have to give the home team permission to wear the white jerseys. The first team to deny LSU’s request was DiNardo’s former team, Vanderbilt.

Instead of going back to purple jerseys, the Tigers took to the field in new gold jerseys. The SEC later adopted a league rule stipulating that the home team has sole discretion in determining its jersey color. Nick Saban became LSU’s head coach in 2000 and continued the white jersey tradition, but with a twist. Saban decided that LSU would wear purple jerseys for all non-SEC games, except the home opener, a trend that current LSU coach Les Miles has continued.

The Tigers (11-2) and the Buckeyes will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7 in the Louisiana Superdome for the BCS National Title. It will be the first meeting between the teams since the 1988 season.

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