McNeese State Cowboys Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Division I FCS

Head Coach: Gary Goff

Team Mascot: Rowdy

Year Opened: 1965

Capacity: 17610

City / State: Lake Charles / Louisiana

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Red Beans and Rice Bowl

Rival Team: Central Arkansas Bears

The Red Beans and Rice Bowl is the name of the annual rivalry game between the McNeese State Cowboys and Central Arkansas Bears. The rivalry is named after the importance the rice industry has in both Louisiana and Arkansas, and each year the winner takes home a bronze bowl trophy. The series is tied at 5-5, so make sure to be in attendance when the Cowboys try to take the lead this season.

Battle of the Border

Rival Team: Lamar Cardinals

McNeese State and Lamar have a fierce rivalry in all sports, especially football. The Cowboys and Cardinals rivalry dates back to 1951, and the Border Battle is a must-see matchup for any fan of either school. Don’t miss it when the Cowboys take on the Cardinals as you’ll be in for a good game.

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McNeese State vs Northwestern State

Rival Team: Northwestern State Demons

The rivalry between McNeese State and Northwestern State began in 1951, and it has been going strong ever since. The Cowboys hold a 44-21-1 lead in the all-time series, so come out and cheer them on as they look to extend their lead.

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Cajun Crown

Rival Team: Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

The winner of the rivalry game between McNeese State and UL-Lafayette takes home the Cajun Crown. The rivalry between these two schools began in 1951 and is one of the Cowboys’ oldest rivalries. The two teams don’t play as frequently as they used to do to the Cowboys move from Division I-A to Division I-AA in 1982, but that doesn't’ mean you won’t see a good game when these two Louisiana-based rivals square off.

McNeese State Cowboys Tailgate Guide


Tailgating and college football fans in Louisiana will want to check out a McNeese State game. While it may not be LSU, McNeese State still manages to put on a fantastic tailgate that anyone who enjoys tailgating will love. The fans arrive bright and early to get their game day started, and the parking lots surrounding Cowboy Stadium are packed full of royal blue and gold.

McNeese State fans prepare a variety of delicious Louisiana favorites on game day, so come to the tailgate hungry and bring something to share. You’ll find tons of Louisiana cuisine around a McNeese State tailgate including boudin, gumbo, and much more.

Finally, make sure to snap a picture with the cowboy statue outside of the stadium. The statue is a must-see, and a picture with it makes a nice keepsake from your visit to Lake Charles.

Make the most out your trip to McNeese State and get here early to enjoy tailgating McNeese State style.


Mystery Rider Statue

Get a picture with the cowboy statue outside Cowboy Stadium. The statue presents an excellent photo op and a picture with the statue is a fantastic keepsake from your trip to McNeese State as well.

Where to tailgate

McNeese State Cowboys Stadium Guide

In Game

A McNeese State Cowboys game features tons of pageantry and tradition making it an excellent experience no matter how the Cowboys are doing. One of the best parts of any Cowboys game is the Mystery Rider. The Mystery Rider takes the field before the game and is a must-see for any college football fan and creates an unforgettable experience for any young fan.

The Pride of McNeese Marching Band is also a big part of what makes attending a Cowboys game such a fantastic experience. The band puts on great pre-game, and halftime shows meaning even if the Cowboys lose you’ll feel like you got your money’s worth thanks to the performance by the band.

Finally, the Cowboys spirit squads do a fantastic job of keeping the fans engaged in the game and spirits high. The cheerleaders’ routines get the stadium pumped up at the right times, and you won’t want to miss the routines of the Cowgirls Kickers.

If you enjoy the pageantry of college football, then you’ll love attending a McNeese State game.

Things to check out

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Mystery Rider

The Mystery Rider is a must-see part of any Cowboys football game. He pumps up the crowd when he takes the field on his trusty steed Moondancer so get to your seat early, so you don’t miss him.

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Pride of McNeese Marching Band

The Pride of McNeese Marching Band put on an incredible show at the game. Both the pregame and halftime shows are must-see parts of any Cowboys game and all throughout the game the band creates a fun atmosphere. Enjoy the Pride of McNeese’s performance when taking in a game at Cowboy Stadium.

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Cowgirl Kickers

Enjoy the Cowgirl Kickers performance at the game. The Cowgirl Kickers dance team will dazzle you with their routines making them a can’t miss part of any McNeese State sporting event.

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Cowboy Cheerleading Squad

The Cowboy cheerleading squad puts on a great show and will get everyone up and cheering for the Cowboys. The cheerleaders start off the game with a bang as they run the C-O-W-B-O-Y-S flags onto the field and will keep the crowd’s spirit high throughout the game with their routines.


Young fans won’t want to miss the opportunity to see Rowdy during the game. He gets into all kinds of shenanigans making him one of the most fun parts of any Cowboys football game.

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Fight Songs

  1. McNeese State University Alma Mater

    We hail our Alma Mater,
    with hearts full of gratitude;

    Where knowledge dwells with friendship,
    and all that is right and true.

    Our mem’ries here will linger,
    with faith in all you do;

    McNeese, McNeese, may glory reign here, too–
    All Hail! All Hail! McNeese, we are proud of you.

  2. On McNeese

    Official Fight Song

    Our Cowboys fight for victory,
    They knock their foes out one, two, three,
    They roll aside all opposition,
    Blocking their position,
    Striving in close harmony.

    To victory we’ll march tonight,
    Winning ’cause all Cowboys fight.
    They run the score to size galore and
    Then they score some more.
    Hail, McNeese, Hail!

  3. Jolie Blon

    Played at the start of the pregame performance and after every Cowboys touchdown.

    Pretty blond, look at what you’ve done,
    You left me to go away,
    to go away with another, yes, than me,
    What hope and what future am I going to have?

    Pretty blond, you’ve left me all alone
    To go back to your family.
    If you had not listened to all the advice of the others
    You would be here with me today.

    Pretty blond, you thought there as just you,
    There is not just you in the land to love me.
    I can find another pretty blond,
    Good God knows, I have a lot.

McNeese State Cowboys Bars & Restaurants

  1. The Bad Apple Saloon

    The Fat Frogg Bar and Grill

    Good food, nice atmosphere, and amazing drinks.

    3436 Ryan St, Lake Charles, LA 70605, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  2. Coolers Ice House

    Mesquite Mexican Grill Bar Cocktail Bradley's Bar Grill Cocktail Bobby Gs

    There’s no need to bounce around from place to place to enjoy your night out. Or you can always come by for lunch to enjoy a nice quick break from the hectic workday. With delicious food favorites, flavorful daiquiris and tons of televisions to watch all your favorite games, why go anywhere else?

    3840 1/2 Ryan St, Lake Charles, LA 70605, USA

    Bar website

    sportsbar - $$

  3. Big Daddy’s Sports Grill

    Big Daddys Sports Grill burger

    "The Little Restaurant With a lot of Flavor."

    1737 W Sale Rd #101, Lake Charles, LA 70605, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$$

  4. On The Rocks

    On The Rocks

    Located within steps of the McNeese campus, we're the Lake Charles area's obvious choice when it comes to a cool atmosphere, great food, an unbeatable drink selection, money saving specials, live entertainment, billiards and more.

    817 E McNeese St, Lake Charles, LA 70607, USA

    Bar website

    american - pizza - $$

  5. Crawfish Boil-n-Go


    We strive to only serve the most select sized crawfish that are hot and seasoned to perfection.

    823 University Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70605, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  6. Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar

    Walk Ons Bistreaux Bar

    Serving up beer, burgers, and a great time. Everyone needs a little playing time!

    5313 Common St, Lake Charles, LA 70607, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$