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The LSU Tigers and Lady Tigers are the athletic teams of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They participate in the NCAA's Division I, in the Southeastern Conference. LSU fields teams in 21 varsity sports (9 men's, 12 women's). The 9 men's teams play baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field. The 11 women's teams play basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, sand volleyball, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field and volleyball. LSU athletics has many traditions associated with its sports programs. Its official team nickname is the Fighting Tigers, Tigers or Lady Tigers. The nickname was first coined in 1896 after an undefeated football season. The nickname is a throwback to the Civil War fame of a New Orleans infantry company, the "Tiger Rifles". They fought so fiercely in General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia that they, and eventually all other Louisiana troops, became known as "Louisiana Tigers". In 1955, the LSU "fourth-quarter club" added the word "Fighting" to the nickname thus becoming "Fighting Tigers". The school's mascot is Mike the Tiger and the official school colors are royal purple and old gold. Keeping with the French/Cajun character of South Louisiana, LSU support can be seen by its distinctive spelling of "Go Tigers" as "Geaux Tigers".
Based on winning percentage, the university's athletics program is consistently one of the best in the nation. LSU has also won 46 team national championships. Placing them tied for 5th all-time in total national championships. Former important rivals in football include one of the longest running college football rivalries with the Ole Miss Rebels and the Tulane Green Wave. More current rivalries include the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Florida Gators and the Texas A&M Aggies.