The UL Belt
Ah, 2006. It was such a simpler time.
Video replay was in its infancy. There was no controversial college football playoffs. And current conference-mate ODU was in the initial steps of reviving their football team (years before the idea even crossed UAB’s bot-controlled mind).
But simple as the times were, things were not great in Ruston, as Tech went 3-10 and finished second-to-last in the WAC. In Jack Bicknell Jr’s final year with the Bulldogs, Tech traveled (and subsequently lost) to three ranked teams and was blown out 42-0 at The Joe to 8-5 Nevada.
But in cyberspace (as the cool people called it back then), something not quite as disastrous was being created: the College Football Belt.
The CFB Belt works like a belt does in wrestling. Starting with Nebraska’s domination in 1972, the belt would be given to whoever defeated the belt’s current owner. So when UCLA defeated Nebraska in the first game of the 1973 season, UCLA got the belt. And so on and so on. The belt’s current holder is Ohio State.
But the CFB Belt would only be the first of several college football belts created over the years. Several others appeared across the internet (but mostly on Reddit), including one that we’ve talked about before.
So I’d like to create a new college football belt. Something that’s a little nearer and dearer to all of our hearts: Louisiana-Lafayette’s naming convention.
(If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, here’s a quick guide for reference)
I want to create a belt that allows the holder to call themselves UL. So if ULL wins the right games, they get the belt and the right to live out their fantasy of dropping their city name from their school name.
But one big question: who gets the original belt? Where in the history of Louisiana college football do we start?
If this is truly going to be the UL Belt, we at least need to start with the original University of Louisiana. Tulane went by UL from 1847 to 1884, years before the founding of the school in Lafayette. Since Tulane didn’t have a football team until 1893, the Green Wave get the belt for those first nine years for free.
I’d also like to set up two ground rules for this belt. First, the belt can only be transferred between teams in the state. So if Tulane lost to Ole Miss, Tulane would retain the belt. Also since we starting so far back, only universities are eligible to hold the belt. Which is good since the “1893 Tulane Olive and Blue Football Team” lost 12-0 to the Southern Athletic Club in the program’s first ever contest.
Tulane was able to defeat LSU in their second game, but lost the belt to the Tigers in 1895. Get used to those two teams swapping the belt back and forth, because that’s a trend that practically encapsulates the belt’s entire history:
But what’s that pale blue dot way back in 1904? If that year sounds familiar, it’s because there was a pretty big party in Ruston that year when Louisiana Tech defeated LSU 6-0. And outside of Tech, no team other than LSU or Tulane has held the belt.
Or to put another way, Tech could call themselves the University of Louisiana for 391 days in 1904-1905, and the school in Lafayette could call themselves UL for 0 days throughout all of human history.
So it’s that simple ULL. Want to be called UL? Earn the belt. Beat LSU.