It may not carry the national prestige it once did. It may not be televised on the primary NBC Broadcast Network anymore. It may not be relevant in the FCS college football world.
What the Bayou Classic remains is extremely relevant and important to the city of New Orleans, the state of Louisiana and to fans throughout the state.
Once again, north and south came together in New Orleans in a game that carried great significance between a pair of teams unbeaten in conference play.
When it was over, Grambling was a clear winner, whipping Southern 52-30 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to claim the Western Division title of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
The Tigers left no doubt as to who the better team was. Southern was competitive early but Grambling eased away from the Jaguars with a dizzying offensive display, led by DeVante Kincade.
It is easy to see why Ole Miss recruited him and Grambling is very happy that he transferred from Oxford to northern Louisiana. He threw for 283 yards and a touchdown and raced 45 yards for another score.
Martez Carter was dazzling as well for the Tigers, finishing with 279 all purpose yards and three touchdowns. Lenard Tillery did everything he could to keep Southern in the game, accounting for 234 total yards.
As always, the halftime show was spectacular.
Fans waving the red, yellow and black “G” cards in the stands ruled the day. The G-Men now advance to the SWAC championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston next weekend against Alcorn State, a team the Tigers handled 43-18 earlier this season.
The job that Broderick Fobbs has done for a program that was listing badly, was badly financed and in jeopardy of virtually disappearing a few years ago cannot be overlooked. He has simply been brilliant in restoring the roar to the Tigers established so long ago by the great Eddie Robinson.
Dawsom Odums has done an excellent job at Southern as well. To see both programs back on solid ground and contending for championships is very encouraging.
The only downside is that Grambling will not compete in the FCS playoffs. Based on what we saw Saturday, the Tigers would compete well on the national scene.
When you combine good teams, good weather, a holiday weekend and outstanding entertainment, the result produces what we saw Saturday, a crowd announced at 67,845, the largest crowd for the annual classic since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and forced the move of the game to Houston.
The Bayou Classic remains a winner. While Grambling took home the trophy, the real winners were New Orleans and the state of Louisiana.