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Some LSU Football History

Posted Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at 4:12 PM

I'm going to bore a lot of people with something many are likely too young to recall about LSU football...and playing an opponent in a bowl game they had beaten in a regular sason SEC game.

The year was 1959...and many players played both ways, offense and defense back then. Appopriatelply enough it all started on Halloween night when LSU defeated Ole Miss 7-3 when Billy Cannon, who won the Heismann Trophy that season, returned a punt for 89 yards for a touchdown late in the game. Cannon was also in on the tackle that stopped a late Ole Miss rally just short of the goal line.

LSU, the defending national champions, lost their chance at repeating that hone by losing 14-13 to Tennessee in Knoxville the following week. The Tigers scored late but Cannon was stopped short on a two-point conversion try.

Although no national title was involved, LSU and Ole Miss met again in the Sugar Bowl. Ole Miss dominated all the way to win 21-0 although it should be noted practically all of LSU's starting backfield except Cannon had been wiped out by injuries and didn't play in the bowl game.

Cannon, among other things, went on to get his dental degree from Tennesee, was drafted first and played for the Houston Oilers, then in the fledgling AFL.

Only the SEC opponent is different 52 years later.

Looking ahead to the 2011 season and LSU and Alabama meeting again, this time in the BCS National Championship game, I have to wonder how many older LSU fans are hoping history won't repeat itself.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

It should be a good'un.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 8:08 PM

I was a freshman at UT in 1959 and was sitting in the student section on about the 40 yard line when LSU ran the "big stop' play. All we saw was a pile of bodies at the goal line and then the ref. signaling no 2 point conversion. Needless to say there was much beer consumed on Cumberland Ave. that night, and i drank my share of it.

As to the upcoming LSU/ Ala. game, i am pulling fot LSU to win. IMO if they do they will go down as one of the best, if not the best, college teams in NCAA history. They have handily beaten the top ranked teams in the nation and beat Ala. at Ala; no easy feat considering they were playing an undefeated Saban coached team at home.

Also I am a strong John Chavis fan; imo the best defensive coach in the nation and a coach who gave UT fans like me such great memories during his stay at UT. Apologize for this being so long: just got carried away i guess.

-- Posted by tenn49 on Mon, Dec 19, 2011, at 10:52 PM

Some may want to find out the sad but redeeming things that later happened to Billy Cannon on Wikipedia...I remember hearing discussions about his possible kin to Shelbyville Cannons....

-- Posted by FlaDon on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 4:07 PM

Billy Cannon was the first football player signed for 100k. He had a lackluster carreer with the Houston Oilers in the ola American Football League. His son was a star in his own right and signed with Dallas after the merger. Billy became an orthodontist. Apparently he didn't make enough money so he started counterfieting The story goes that the way he was caught, was instead of "In God We Trust" being printed on the bills, he printed, "Go to Hell Ole Miss"

-- Posted by firstmost on Sat, May 5, 2012, at 9:23 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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