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Grambling vs. Southern: 49th Annual Bayou Classic Preview, Prediction, Odds

The 49th Annual Bayou Classic preview, prediction, and betting odds from HBCU Legends.

NEW ORLEANS - The highly anticipated annual showdown between the Grambling State Tigers (3-7, 2-5 SWAC) and Southern University Jaguars (6-4, 4-3 SWAC) is about to go down in the 49th Annual Bayou Classic.

Bayou Classic



The G-Men enter the clash with nothing but bragging rights and respectability on their minds.

Last season Grambling won 29-26 after Garrett Urban booted a last-second game-winning field goal from 25 yards. Today, the Jaguars seek vengeance.

Southern must win to secure the SWAC West title over Prairie View. Then the Jaguars will battle Jackson State Tigers (11-0, 8-0 SWAC) in the 2022 SWAC Football Championship game on Dec. 3 in Jackson, MS.

Grambling and Southern will have highly-touted high school recruits and transfer portal players observing the Bayou Classic outcome. Eric Dooley and Hue Jackson compete for the hotbed of talent in the Gulf Coast region. A victory will give one program the postseason recruiting edge over the other.

Bayou Classic 2022


  • Spread: Grambling +11.5 (-110) | Southern -11.5 (-118)
  • Moneyline: Grambling (+310) | Southern (-500)
  • Total: 51.5 - Over (-112) | Under (-108)
  • Game Info: Saturday, Nov. 26 | 12 PM CT | Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
  • Broadcast Info: NBC/PEACOCK | Grambling State Sports Radio Network | The Peach (KPCH-99.3 FM) in LA
  • Series History: Southern leads the all-time series 39-34.  Bayou Classic series is tied at 24-24.

Check the Latest Odds from SI Sportsbook


I must preface this prediction by saying I grew up a Southern Jaguars fan. My father earned two degrees from SU, and my cousin Kenny "The Body Snatcher" Times was the Defensive MVP in the 1979 Bayou Classic upset.

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Southern has the second-ranked offense and defense in the SWAC.

McCray leads the fifth-ranked Jaguars passing offense with 206.2 yards per game. Meanwhile, the Grambling quarterback position has been a revolving door since Hue Jackson's arrival. The Tigers are 11th in the conference with 142.5 passing yards per game.

The second-ranked Jaguars defense surrenders 282.3 yards per game, while the ninth-ranked G-Men allow 398.1 yards per contest.

Rushing the football may give Southern the advantage. The Jaguars (#2) rush for 207.0 yards per game compared to 164.8 yards per game by the Tigers (#5).

Keep an eye on the special-team unit for each squad. Both rank toward the league's bottom, with Southern (10th) converting 7 of 12 field goal attempts and Grambling (12th) notching only 5 of 11 field goal attempts.

Keep in mind how a rash of recent upsets has thrown the "Wacky SWAC" in turmoil! For instance, underdogs Mississippi Valley beat Prairie View, Alabama A&M rallied to defeat Texas Southern, and UAPB downed Alabama State in the 98th Turkey Day Classic.

Lest we forget, this is the "Grand Daddy Classic" of all HBCU rivalries across the country. I wouldn't be surprised if Grambling threw an "Upset Party" in the Bayou Classic!

HBCU Legends predicts a close and uncomfortable 38-31 win for Southern in the 49th Annual Bayou Classic. Are the Jaguars the better team?

We shall see.

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