UCLA-USC rivalry

UCLA-USC rivalry

The UCLA-USC rivalry is the college rivalry between two universities located in Los Angeles, California: the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California.

The athletic competition rivalry between the two schools is among the more notable in NCAA Division I sports because both schools are located within the same city. The campuses are only ten miles apart. The sheer proximity of both alumni and students, and the likelihood of encountering each other and interacting on a daily basis make this one of the most intense college rivalries in the United States.

USC president Steven B. Sample said on May 13, 2008 UCLA is a "very important institution" [ [http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/electronicplay.aspx?fid=24827&id=E0C5478 USC president Steven B. Sample interview] ] .

Athletic Rivalry

UCLA is recognized as having one of the top basketball programs in the nation, while USC is recognized as having one of the top football programs in the nation. However, a somewhat rare confluence of events occurred in 1954, which began with USC in a Final Four appearance in the 1954 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and ended with UCLA winning their only NCAA Division I-A national football championship. Both schools also are successful in many "non-revenue" sports. UCLA is a national power in women's gymnastics, men and women's volleyball, men and women's soccer, and softball, while USC is a leading school in swimming and diving, and baseball. Both have had success in track and field, water polo, tennis, and women's basketball. Through May 2008, UCLA has won 103 NCAA team championships and 124 total national championships, which is more than any other college or university. [ [http://www.ncaa.org/wps/portal/home?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/wps/wcm/connect/NCAA/NCAA+News/NCAA+News+Online/2008/Assocation-wide/UCLA+wins+fourth+straight+-+05-12-08+NCAA+News NCAA News: UCLA wins fourth straight] ] The UCLA Women's Water Polo team beat USC's team 6-3 to win the 2008 Championship on May 11, followed by the Women's Tennis the following week beating California 4-0 to win their first women's tennis championship and the school's 102nd NCAA title. However, UCLA was knocked out by USC Women of Troy in Women's Golf on May 23, 2008. USC captured the 2008 NCAA Women's Golf Championship. [http://www.ncaa.com/golf-womens/article.aspx?id=236678 Believe The Dream! USC Wins 2008 NCAA Title] UCLA beat Stanford and USC in the NCAA Men's Golf Championship, May 31, 2008 [ [http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?ContentID=22426 NCAA News: UCLA wins by one] ] .

USC ranks first in men's NCAA team championship sports with 73, it is 3rd overall with 85 NCAA titles and 106 total National Championships. [ [http://usctrojans.cstv.com/trads/usc-nattitles.html Traditions: USC National Titles.] USC has won 106 national titles] [http://www.ncaa.org/champadmin/champs_listing1.html Schools with the most NCAA championships] (ncaa.org) as of Spring 2007. Abstract: The NCAA does not award National Championships in Division I-A football. See the Wikipedia article "NCAA Division I-A national football championship" for more information. The NCAA numbers leave out USC's 11 football championships from their tally of 84. Stanford University is in second place with 93 NCAA championships and two football championships. UCLA has 100 NCAA championships and 1 football championship. The next closest school is Oklahoma State with 48 NCAA championships. UCLA and USC also have AIAW titles, and titles awarded before the advent of the NCAA.]

Both universities also compete in which school's athletes have been featured on more Sports Illustrated magazine covers. As of August 2008, USC led the rivalry with 119 Sports Illustrated covers (more than any other college or university) to 114 for UCLA. [2008 USC Football media guide. (PDF copy available at www.usctrojans.com) USC Athletics, August 2008. pg 224. 119 Sports Illustrated covers with the latest being March 24, 2008. Includes:Sports Illustrated Presents College Football edition, an Extra edition, Commemorative issues, and a Collector's Edition] [2008 UCLA Football media guide (PDF copy available at www.uclabruins.com). UCLA Athletics, August 2008, pg 164. 114 Sports Illustrated covers with the latest being April 7 ,2008. Includes Commemorative issues, Basketball Edition, and Year in Pictures]

Lexus Gauntlet

is the name given to a competition between UCLA and USC in the 18 varsity sports that both compete in head-to-head; in 2003, 2005, and 2007 UCLA won the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy, while the University of Southern California won the trophy in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008.

Football rivalry

USC is one of the top teams in the country in college football, and recognizes 11 of its teams as National Champions. UCLA has one team recognized as a National Champion.

Quite often, the winner of the football game has won or shared the Pacific Ten Conference title in football. A berth in the Rose Bowl game has been on the line many times as well for both schools. Since the formation of the Pacific Coast Conference in 1916, USC has won or shared 37 conference titles and UCLA has won or shared 17 titles.Pac-10 football media guide. Pacific 10 Conference, Fall 2008. PDF copy available at [http://www.pac-10.org http://www.pac-10.org] ] Washington is third in overall conference titles with 15. Since the 1959 season, when the Pacific 10 Conference was formed as the Athletic Association of Western Universities, through the 2007 season, the schools have won or shared 33 of the 48 conference titles. USC has won 17 championships outright, shared eight and gone to the Rose Bowl or BCS bowl 21 times. UCLA has won six championships outright, shared five and gone to the Rose Bowl eight times. The schools have shared the championship between them three times. Both teams have spoiled conference and national championship runs for the other.

USC was already an established national football power under Howard Jones and had begun a major rivalry with Notre Dame when UCLA joined the Pacific Coast Conference in 1929. Los Angeles Times Sportswriter Braven Dyer predicted on the day of the first football meeting on September 28,1929, "In years to come, this game will probably be one of the football spectacles of the West" Dyer, Braven - TROJANS AND BRUINS OPEN GRID SEASON TODAY. RIVALS PRIMED FOR FIRST TILT Expect Crowd of 35,000 Fans to Watch Teams Three New Faces on Jones's First Line-up. Bruins Have Only Outside Chance to Win. Los Angeles Times, September 28, 1929. Quote:"In years to come, this game will probably be one of the football spectacles of the West"] USC dominated the early games (so much so, that after the first two games, the series was suspended for five years and they did not play each other from 1931-1935) until UCLA established itself. By the late 1930s, star players such as Kenny Washington, Jackie Robinson, and Bob Waterfield enabled UCLA to be competitive. With the hiring of Hall of Fame Coach Henry "Red" Sanders, UCLA became the more dominant program in the 1950s, culminating in their 1954 National Championship. A famous quote was attributed to Sanders regarding the rivalry, "Beating 'SC is not a matter of life or death, it's more important than that." [ [http://www.usc.edu/dept/pubrel/trojan_family/autumn04/F2_USCvsUCLA.html The Start of Something Big: USC vs. UCLA] by Lonnie White, marking 75 years of the UCLA-USC rivalry] [Burke, Anne (Editor) - [http://www.magazine.ucla.edu/year2004/summer04_09_03.html Summer 2004 Bruin Walk: Rah-rah Boo-hiss] . UCLA Magazine, summer 2004] But Sanders died suddenly of a heart attack, and shortly thereafter, John McKay took over a struggling USC program and returned it to national prominence. For most seasons from the mid 1960s to the end of the 1970s, the two schools were the top powers on the west coast. In the 15 Rose Bowls played from 1966 to 1980, USC or UCLA played in 12 of them. Even with the rise of Don James' Washington Huskies in the 1980s and early 90s, UCLA or USC still went to the Rose Bowl seven times between 1981 and 1995. In the 1990s and until the hiring of Pete Carroll by USC, UCLA was the dominant team, winning 8 straight from USC from 1991-1998, before USC then won 7 in a row from 1999-2005.

Title of the game

A number of titles have been applied to the football game such as: "The Los Angeles City Championship," "The Crosstown Showdown," "The Battle of L.A.", or simply the "crosstown rivalry." But none really have gained traction. Most often the game is referred to as the "USC-UCLA (or UCLA-USC) football game" by the media. [White, Lonnie - [http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-matchups30nov30,0,77078.story THE RIVALRY: UCLA VS. USC - It could turn into a special moment] . Xs and O's A look at a key matchup inside the USC-UCLA football game. Today: The special teams. Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2006. ] Fans of a particular team refer to it as the "USC game" or "UCLA game".

Activities before the game

At UCLA, the week before the game is known as "Beat 'SC Week" (officially dubbed "Blue and Gold Week"). At USC, the week before the game is known as "Troy Week" or, more popularly, "Conquest".

Both schools host a number of activities on their respective campuses during the week to promote school spirit. Activities include parades, bonfires, rallies, and live entertainment.

CONQUEST! "The Ultimate Trojan Experience" occurs on the USC campus the Thursday before the USC-UCLA Football Game. It brings together athletics, academics, school spirit and traditions and attracts almost 10,000 students, alumni, faculty and staff. [ [http://sait.usc.edu/ca/conquest.htm USC Office of Campus Activities - CONQUEST! The Ultimate Trojan Experience] ]

Also, both schools take steps to prevent vandalism of two major landmarks on campus: USC covers its Trojan Shrine (better known as "Tommy Trojan") statue in bubble wrap and duct tape, while UCLA hides its Bruin statue with a large sign reading "THE BRUIN BEAR IS HIBERNATING. BEAT 'SC." Groups of UCLA students also camp out in Bruin Plaza, ostensibly to protect the Bruin Bear in the event of a prank, while the USC Trojan Knights hold a weeklong vigil guarding Tommy Trojan with the sign "Don't Bruin your life". This has come as a response to students painting the statues in the rival schools' colors before the game.

There are a number of inter-campus competitions between various groups before the game.

*ROTC "Blood Bowl" - The football rivalry extends to the military training units at both schools. The Naval, Army, and Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps midshipmen and cadets at both universities compete in the annual "Blood Bowl" flag football game against each other, usually held the Friday before the official game, as a parallel to the varsity match. The name stems from the often rough and passionate play by the midshipmen and cadets representing school pride.

*Daily Bruin vs. Daily Trojan "Blood Bowl" - Staff of the Daily Bruin and Daily Trojan have competed in a flag football contest that is also called the "Blood Bowl". This tradition has existed since at least 1950.

*The Band Bowl - From the 1950s until the mid 1990s the UCLA Marching Band and the USC Marching Band played in a flag football contest called the "Band Bowl". Following a fight between the two bands at a contest and multiple cases of theft of the UCLA instruments, it was decided to suspend the series. The trophy from this version of the rivalry remains missing.

*UCLA vs. USC Kickoff Golf Challenge - UCLA teams compete against USC teams in a two-person best ball scramble.

*UCLA vs. USC Men’s Ice Hockey - UCLA and USC have teams that compete in ACHA Division II Ice hockey. They begin their series for the Crosstown cup.

*UCLA vs. USC Men's Rugby - UCLA and USC compete every year on the day after the football game.

Los Angeles Coliseum

For a number of years, the schools shared the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as their home stadium until UCLA moved to the Rose Bowl for the 1982 season. Each school alternated as the "home" team for the game, with home fans on North side of the Coliseum and visitor fans on the South (press box) side. Until 1983, players on both teams wore their home football jerseys for the game. Since the 1984 season, when the game was played at the Rose Bowl for the second time, the visiting fans sit in the visitor section of each respective stadium, and the visiting team wears their white jerseys. Because UCLA called the Coliseum home and USC won a number of Rose Bowl games, each school has a winning record in the others' home stadium.

Both USC coach Pete Carroll and former UCLA coach Karl Dorrell had expressed interest in restarting the tradition of both teams wearing home jerseys. However, ARTICLE 3. a. of the NCAA football rules states, "Players of opposing teams shall wear jerseys of contrasting colors, and the visiting team shall wear white jerseys." [ [http://www.ncaa.org/library/rules/2006/2006_football_rules.pdf NCAA Football rules 2006 (PDF)] ]

The Victory Bell

. It was given to the UCLA student body by the UCLA Alumni Association in 1939. It was UCLA's symbol of victory until it was stolen by USC students in 1941. When it was surrendered in 1942, the student body presidents of the two schools agreed that the bell would be the trophy awarded the winner of the annual UCLA-USC football game. The bell itself is brass, and the metal mounting around it is painted blue or red by the school that won the football game and earned its possession.

The Rose Bowl

Until the Rose Bowl Game became part of the Bowl Championship Series, a berth in the Rose Bowl to face the Big Ten Conference champion was the ultimate goal that was awarded to the Pacific 10 conference champion. As of the 2007 season, USC has appeared in the Rose Bowl 32 times and UCLA has appeared 12 times. The Rose Bowl is still the destination for the first place Big 10 and Pac 10 teams, should neither qualify for the BCS championship game.

UCLA was the first PAC-10 team to appear in a BCS bowl, the 1999 Rose Bowl, their last conference championship year. USC has appeared in six BCS bowl games, winning the BCS championship in 2005. With the Rose Bowl stadium being the home field for UCLA, the UCLA-USC rivalry football game has been played there to a sellout crowd during even numbered years since 1982.

The Rose Bowl and conference championship has been on the line for both teams 19 times and at least one team 36 times as of the 2007 season. Both teams have either won the championship or spoiled it for the other at one time or another.

Football Series Record

As of the 2007 season, the overall record of the football series is 42 wins for USC, 28 wins for UCLA and 7 ties. There has been one overtime game in the series in 1996.

Notes: *USC home game, **UCLA home game, highlighted scores indicate school with Rose Bowl on the line.

Winning streaks in the series

USC had possessed the Victory Bell for the seven football seasons from 1999 to 2005. This was USC's longest football winning streak over UCLA, and was broken with the 2006 game. The USC streak followed directly after UCLA's longest football winning streak against USC (and the longest football winning streak in the series), when UCLA won eight straight games from 1991 to 1998.

The 1967 "Game of the Century"

*1967 season - One of the Games of the Century , the 1967 USC vs. UCLA football game was one of the defining college football games of the 20th century. It matched No. 4 USC with O.J. Simpson against No. 1 UCLA with Gary Beban for the Conference Championship, National Championship, and Heisman Trophy on the line for Beban or Simpson. USC won 21-20 and went on to defeat Indiana in the Rose Bowl and win the national championship. Beban won the Heisman Trophy, which Simpson would go on to win the following season.

Other notable games

*In the 1929 season, UCLA would play football in the Pacific Coast Conference for the first time. USC had just come off an undefeated National Championship season under the legendary Howard Jones. In the opening game of the season, the USC "Thundering Herd" defeated UCLA 76-0, which stands as the most lopsided score of the series. [Dyer, Braven - TROJANS BATTER BRUINS BY 76 TO 0 SCORE. HERD HANGS UP 12 TOUCHDOWNS Flashy Backs Run Wild, Over Weak Rival Line Saunders, Shaver Cut Loose With Long Gallops Musick Looms as Real Star in Fullback Berth. Los Angeles Times, September 29, 1929]

*1939 season - This was the first year where the Rose Bowl was on the line for both teams, and the first time both teams were ranked. The game ended in a scoreless tie, and USC went to the 1940 Rose Bowl.Troy, Tennessee in Rose Bowl. Los Angeles Times, December 10, 1939. "It will be Southern California and Tennessee in the Rose Bowl Jan. 1, 1940."]

*1952 season - UCLA was ranked #3 and USC was ranked #4. Both teams were undefeated and untied. USC would win on 14-12. USC would later go on to lose to Notre Dame but win the 1953 Rose Bowl.

*1965 season #7 UCLA met #6 USC for the AAWU (Pac 8) title and the right to meet undefeated and #1 Michigan State in the 1966 Rose Bowl. The 1965 "Gutty Little Bruins" team won 20-16 with a score at 2:39 left to play. [ [http://www.english.ucla.edu/ucla1960s/6465/Smith2.htm UCLA Athletics: 1964-1965] UCLA.edu]

*1969 season - Undefeated #6 UCLA (8-0-1) met undefeated #5 USC (8-0-1) with the 1970 Rose Bowl on the line. USC would prevail with a score in the final two minutes to win 14-12.

*1976 season - This one of the biggest games of the 1976 season. Undefeated #2 UCLA (9-0-1) vs. #3 ranked USC (8-1) met to determine the 1977 Rose Bowl representative, and an outside shot at the National Championship should #1 ranked Pittsburgh lose. USC won 24-14 in the first rivalry game for both John Robinson and Terry Donahue.

*1986 season - Just before halftime, UCLA is up 24-0 over USC. A fake kneel down followed by a hail mary into the end zone put UCLA up 31-0 over USC at halftime. This play was known as "Hail Mary, and In Your Face". UCLA won the game 45-25.

*1988 season - Undefeated second-ranked USC (9-0) and quarterback Rodney Peete met 9-1, sixth-ranked UCLA and quarterback Troy Aikman with the 1989 Rose Bowl on the line. UCLA had been ranked #1 before losing to Washington State. A possible Heisman trophy for Peete or Aikman was on the line. The attendance set a regular season Rose Bowl record of 100,741. Rodney Peete was stricken with measles the week before the game and had been to the hospital. But he managed to lead the Trojans over the Bruins 31-22. It would set up the classic #1 Notre Dame vs #2 USC matchup the following week. Peete and Aikman would finish 2nd and 3rd in the Heisman balloting behind Barry Sanders.

*1999 season - USC won 17-7 to break the Bruins' streak of eight straight.

*2005 season - USC had been ranked #1 all season and faced a one-loss eleventh ranked UCLA (9-1) team as its last obstacle to the dream 2006 Rose Bowl BCS Championship matchup with #2 Texas. USC featured Heisman trophy winner Matt Leinart and eventual winner Reggie Bush. USC defeated UCLA 66-19 in one of the most lopsided games of the series since the first matchup in 1929. [cite web
last = Leon Moore
first = David
title = L.A. is capital of football for a day
url= http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/pac10/2005-12-02-ucla-usc_x.htm

*2006 season - On December 2, 2006, UCLA, which finished the regular season with a record of 7-5 (5-4 Pac-10), pulled one of college football's biggest upsets for 2006 by defeating the Trojans 13-9. In doing so, the Bruins not only ended No. 2 ranked USC's 63-game streak of scoring 20-plus points per game, but also dashed the Trojans' hopes of playing No. 1 ranked Ohio State for the 2006 national championship.

Other notable sports rivalries

Because of the geographical proximity and conference affiliation, UCLA and USC compete in other NCAA sanctioned sports, such as Basketball, Track and Field, Volleyball, and Water Polo. UCLA and USC are #1 and #3 respectively in terms of the most NCAA championships won in Division I as of 2007. They have faced each other for the national title in several sports including Men's Volleyball and Women's water polo. Although basketball and football tend to get the most attention, the rivalry between the two schools is intense in every sport.



UCLA has 30 conference championships and USC has seven. When John Wooden became the coach, UCLA turned into a national basketball powerhouse. UCLA has won 11 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournaments and has dominated the conference, winning two games for every one that USC won. As of the 2007-2008 season, UCLA has won or shared the conference title 30 times, and USC has won or shared the title 9 times. [2007-08 PAC-10 MEN'S BASKETBALL Media Guide] There have been some notable games in the rivalry.

*The first official meeting between the two schools as they are now known took place in February 1928 after UCLA was invited to join the Pacific Coast Conference. UCLA won two of a three game basketball series to inaugurate the basketball rivalry.
*In the 1960-1961 season, USC and UCLA met for the third time on March 3, 1961 in the game that would ultimately decide the AAWU champion and 2nd place. The teams had split the two previous games. USC beat UCLA 86-85 in overtime, and later advanced to the NCAA tournament.
*In the 1968-1969 season, USC took UCLA, led by Lew Alcindor to two overtimes before losing 61-55 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. On the second game, one night later on March 8th, 1969, USC would finally defeat UCLA 46-44, marking the Bruins' first loss in Pauley Pavilion.
*In the 1970-1971 basketball season, UCLA and USC were ranked #1 and #2 for much of the season. #2 ranked USC coached by Bob Boyd suffered its first loss against #3 ranked UCLA, blowing a 9 point second half lead. In the rematch in the final game of the season, UCLA jumped out to a big early lead and went on to win 72-63. USC would finish the season 24-2 and ranked #2, but only the conference champion, UCLA, could be invited to the 1971 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, as there were no at-large slots in the bracket. This would be one of the cases for expanding the bracket to 32 teams for the 1975 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.
*In the 1973-1974 basketball season, the two teams were tied for first in the Pac-10 going into the last game of the season. With the conference championship and berth in the 1974 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament on the line, Bill Walton led UCLA to a lopsided victory. Notably, UCLA would be the national semi-finalist in the NCAA tournament, while USC would be the semi-finalist in the Collegiate Coaches' Association Tournament, a tournament that invited second-place conference teams.
*In the 1984-1985 season, UCLA and USC would meet for the game that would decide first place in the Pacific 10. USC already had beat UCLA 78-77 in double overtime at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The second game at Pauley Pavilion on February 28, 1985 was finally decided in quadruple overtime with USC winning 80-78. USC would be invited to the 1985 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, while UCLA was invited to and won the National Invitation Tournament.
*In the 2007-2008 season, UCLA and USC met in the 2008 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, for the first time in 225 games in post-season play. The teams had split in the regular season with the Trojans winning at Pauley Pavilion and the Bruins winning at Galen Center. In their third game, a capacity crowd of 18,997 at the Staples Center saw UCLA beat USC 57-54 in the semi finals. [ [http://uclabruins.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/recaps/031408aad.html No. 3 UCLA Advances to Pac-10 Championship Game With 57-54 Win] . UCLA Athletic Department, March 14, 2008] Both teams had highly regarded freshmen: Kevin Love and O. J. Mayo.


In Women's basketball, UCLA has one AIAW championship and USC has two NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championships. The Bruins and the Trojans have faced each other twice in the second round of the AIAW championships with UCLA winning in 1979 and USC winning in 1981.


UCLA has dominated men's volleyball under the coaching of Al Scates and as of 2006 has won 19 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championships. USC has won six. UCLA and USC have faced each other in the championship game of the NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship four times.

* 1979 UCLA 3-1 USC
* 1980 USC 3-1 UCLA
* 1981 UCLA 3-2 USC
* 1987 UCLA 3-0 USC

In women's volleyball, the schools are even in number of championships. USC and UCLA each have won three NCAA Women's Volleyball Championships in Division I. In addition, USC and UCLA have won three AIAW Women's volleyball championships.

In 1981 USC defeated UCLA three games to two in the first NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship game. In 1976 USC defeated UCLA to win the AIAW volleyball championship.


As of the 2006 season, UCLA and USC have each won 16 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships including a run from 1960 to 1971 where either UCLA or USC was the champion.


The athletic rivalry began in 1920 when the University of California, Southern Branch Cubs defeated USC in spring baseball 7-6. Ben Bolch. UCLA-USC friction goes beyond football. Los Angeles Times. November 27, 2007. Quote:"UCLA-USC has been a back-and-forth affair since the schools first met in a major sport in the spring of 1920, when the Bruins -- then known as the Southern Branch Cubs -- knocked off the Trojans in baseball, 7-6, at Exposition Park."] USC has gone on to be the premier team in college baseball with 21 appearances in the College World Series and 12 titles, the most of any school and double the next closest school, Texas, who has six titles in 32 appearances. UCLA has appeared in the College World Series twice. As of the 2007 season between UCLA and USC, USC has 246 wins and UCLA has 110 wins. [Note: The 2007 UCLA Baseball (copy available from www.uclabruins.com) media guide only lists game by game results going back to 1975. The 2007 USC Baseball media guide (Copy available from www.usctrojans.com) states: "*All game-by-game records before the 1921 season are unavailable." One very interesting note is that the 2007 USC Baseball media guide confuses UCSB as University of California, Santa Barbara when it should be University of California, Southern Branch, the old name for UCLA. Santa Barbara State College did not become UCSB until 1947, at which time the UCSB Baseball media guide season-by-season results start. ]

Water Polo

The two school compete in Water Polo. In the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship, UCLA has won the title 8 times and USC has won 3 times. The team went head to head in the 1996 championship where the Bruins defeated the Trojans 8-7. In the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship, UCLA has dominated, winning 6 of the 8 championships since the inception of the tournament in 2001. In the 2006 championship game, UCLA defeated USC 9-8. In 2008, The UCLA Women's Water Polo team beat USC, 6-3, in the Championship game on May 11, giving UCLA 101 NCAA National Championships. [ [http://uclabruins.cstv.com/sports/w-wpolo/recaps/051108aab.html UCLA Defeats USC, 6-3, To Win Fourth-Straight NCAA Title. Women's water polo goes undefeated to win UCLA's 101st NCAA championship.] UCLA Athletic Department, May 11, 2008.] The Bruins' 100th NCAA championship was a Women's water polo victory over Stanford in 2007. [ [http://uclabruins.cstv.com/sports/w-wpolo/recaps/051407aaa.html Women's Water Polo Wins UCLA's 100th NCAA Title. Bruins capture third consecutive women's water polo crown with 5-4 win over Stanford.] UCLA Athletic Department, May 13, 2007]


Both UCLA and USC have fencing teams in the Intercollegeiate Fencing Conference of Southern California (IFCSC). Since the institution of both clubs, UCLA has dominated USC in every weapon. Although both teams are merely club teams, they compete against NCAA fencing teams as well, such as UCSD, Caltech, and Cal State Fullerton. The UCLA Fencing team has proven itself as one of the strongest club teams in the nation and one of the top teams in California by consistently defeating club and NCAA teams. [ [http://www.ifcsc.org www.ifcsc.org ] ] [ [http://www.studentgroups.ucla.edu/fencing/ UCLA Fencing ] ] [ [http://www-scf.usc.edu/%7efencing/ USC Fencing Homepage ] ]

Olympic Athletes

Both UCLA and USC send many athletes to the Olympic Games during the Olympiad. As of the last games, USC athletes account for 234 medals and UCLA athletes account for 213. As of the 2006 Winter Olympics, UCLA and USC athletes combined account for nearly one fifth of all medals won by the United States of America. [ [http://graphics.fansonly.com/photos/schools/usc/genrel/auto_pdf/uscolympians.pdf USC Olympians from the USC official Athletic site] (PDF)] [ [http://uclabruins.cstv.com/ot/olympic-medalists.html UCLA Olympic medalists from the UCLA official athletic site] ] [ [http://www.olympic.it/english/medal Olympic medals by country (Olympic.it)] ]

Rivalry outside sports competition

The UCLA-USC rivalry is like few other college or university rivalries. Both universities are in the same city. Both universities are at the top in the nation not only for their sports achievements, but also for academic standing. UCLA has outranked USC in the US News National University rankings for a number of years, however USC has surpassed both UCLA and UC Berkeley in SAT scores in US News National University rankings. USC has risen up the US News ranking, in to the top 30 universities in the nation, faster than any other institution in the history of the ranking. In a 2007 study by the California Bar exam, graduates from the USC Law school pass the Bar exam (on the first try) at a higher rate than UCLA or UC Berkeley law school graduates. Furthermore graduates from both universities work together all across Southern California. It is not uncommon for married couples or family members to consist of graduates from each school. Undergraduates of one school can be found attending graduate school and/or professional school across town. High schools in Southern California send some of their top graduates to both schools every year, as do community colleges around Los Angeles. Students from each school, including athletes, even can be found rooming together in the same house or apartment in Los Angeles.

The rivalry is also a microcosm of a geopolitical rivalry based upon the locations of the schools, the cost of attending each school, and the founding and growth patterns of the schools.

Geographic location

USC is located on the Southern fringe of downtown Los Angeles by Exposition Park. In the early years of the city, it was a fashionable area, but it began to be rundown as wealthier residents migrated towards other suburban neighborhoods, following the national trend. USC was an isolated enclave for a number of years and the surrounding neighborhood had a bad reputation. Lately, with newer downtown construction, the area is becoming connected with downtown again. Most of the major LA area public sports facilities are located near campus, including the Los Angeles Coliseum and Staples Center.

UCLA is located on the West side of Los Angeles and is nestled between many affluent suburban communities: Brentwood, Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and Westwood. With continuing growth in the area around campus, UCLA is no longer suburban.


The University of California is a public school, while the University of Southern California is a private school. The tuition for a California resident at UCLA has run significantly less than tuition for USC. According to 2007-2008 budgeting numbers put forth by both schools, the out of pocket expenses run $23,977 for UCLA undergraduates to $49,598 for USC undergraduates. [ [http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/prospect/budget.htm UCLA Undergraduate Admissions. Fees, Tuition, and Estimated Student Budget] 2007-2008 Estimated Undergraduate Student BudgetPer Academic Year (US dollars)] [ [http://www.usc.edu/admission/fa/costs/ USC Financial Aid: Costs] . Based on the 2007-2008 academic year (US dollars)] The largest gap is in tuition at $7,038 for UCLA and $35,212 at USC. Non-resident students at UCLA must pay an additional $19,068. The University of California has raised tuition, including the educational fee, over the years to account for declines in State support and to match inflation [ [http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/mar07/f3attach.pdf Excerpt from 2007-08 Budget for Current Operations] Appendix A Student Fees(PDF document)] . An academic or athletic scholarship from either school can render the funding difference to be negligible.


USC was established in 1880 and what would become UCLA, the California State Normal School in 1881. UCLA moved to its current location in 1927 when it was renamed the University of California at Los Angeles. USC had been playing football since 1888 and joined the Pacific Coast Conference in 1922. UCLA did not start playing football until 1919 and joined the PCC in 1928.

UCLA-USC rivalry in popular culture

*On the Jack Benny NBC radio program from November 26, 1950 (the Sunday after that season's UCLA - USC game), the episode was about Jack trying to go to the game with Mary Livingstone and Dennis Day. [http://otr.net/?p=jbny] Jack also had the USC and UCLA coaches as guests on his television show.
*In a 2005 ESPN commercial, a man wearing a UCLA sweatshirt opens his door on Halloween to find a young Trick-or-treater dressed in a Trojan outfit. He closes his door in disgust without handing out any candy. (The commercial's comedy lies in the fact that UCLA and USC fans retain a lifetime rivalry with each other, while still living side-by-side.)
*In a 2006 episode of The New Adventures of Old Christine, Old Christine's ex husband, Richard, takes their son Richie to the UCLA-USC game at the Coliseum.

Other rivalries

Because of their dominance of their respective sports, other schools in the Pacific 10 conference regard a basketball game with UCLA or a football game with USC as one of their top games of the year, no matter what the current standings.

USC vs Notre Dame football

USC also has a football-only rivalry with the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish, which many Trojan fans regard as a greater football rivalry. This predates the UCLA-USC rivalry by three years. Although a conference championship is never at stake, both schools have the college football national championship as their ultimate goal. And the game is usually used as a measuring stick to compare not just those two programs, but also the relative performance of many of the top teams in college football. In the Notre Dame-USC rivalry, the schools play for the Jeweled Shillelagh. USC radio broadcaster Pete Arbogast coined the phrase "Perfect Day" to describe a college football Saturday in which when UCLA and Notre Dame lose, and USC wins, the latest coming on Saturday September 15th, 2007.

UCLA Basketball

UCLA had a basketball rivalry with Notre Dame while Digger Phelps was the Notre Dame coach. UCLA and Notre Dame played a home-and-home meeting for several seasons, which is otherwise uncommon outside conference play. This rivalry existed from the desire of the Notre Dame athletic department to schedule the top schools for intersectional competition. In the 1990s, UCLA also had a basketball rivalry with Arizona, as the two schools competed for the Pac-10 Championship every year.

Cal and Stanford

UCLA and USC have rivalries with the Bay Area Pacific 10 schools, Cal (the University of California, Berkeley) and Stanford University. These rivalries extend to all sports within the conference, and stem from the Northern California vs. Southern California dynamic. There also exists the commonality of UCLA and Cal as public institutions against Stanford and USC as private institutions. Also, due to their positions as the most prestigious in the University of California system, there is also rivalry between UCLA and Cal. Stanford and USC are also long-time rivals as two prestigious private universities in California.

ee also

*UCLA Bruins athletics
*USC Trojans athletics
*1967 USC vs. UCLA football game
*Game of the Century (college football)
*Victory Bell (USC-UCLA)
*Lexus Gauntlet
*Notre Dame-USC rivalry

Other Pac-10 football rivalries

*Apple Cup - Trophy for the Washington / Washington State football game
* Civil War - Oregon / Oregon State football game
* Big Game - Stanford / California football game
*Territorial Cup - Trophy for the Arizona / Arizona State football game

External links

* [http://www.uclabruins.com Official UCLA athletics site]
* [http://usctrojans.cstv.com Official USC athletics site]
* [http://lexusgauntlet.cstv.com The Lexus Gauntlet]
* [http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/electronicplay.aspx?fid=24834&id=E0C5478 Video: 2007 UCLA Beat 'SC Parade, Rally and Bonfire]


Further reading

*White, Lonnie - " [http://www.usc.edu/dept/pubrel/trojan_family/autumn04/F2_USCvsUCLA.html The Start of Something Big: USC vs. UCLA] ". Marking 75 years of the UCLA-USC rivalry. USC Trojan Family Magazine, Autumn 2004.
*Clark, Justin - " [http://www.laweekly.com/general/features/crosstown-rivals/15087/?page=1 Crosstown Rivals] " LA Weekly. November 29, 2006. When USC and UCLA put on their academic game faces, nothing less than the future of the city is at stake.
*cite book
last = White
first = Lonnie
title = UCLA vs. USC: 75 Years of the Greatest Rivalry in Sports
publisher = Los Angeles Times Books
series =
month = August | year = 2004
doi =
isbn = 1-883792-27-4

*Florence, Mal - "The Great Rivalries USC vs. UCLA." Athlon College Football Preview, Autumn 1990

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