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USC/UCLA Rivalry Sparks SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup

New sponsor, same old rivalry in Los Angeles.

Stephen Dunn

The yearly battle for Los Angeles sports supremacy has been revamped under the title sponsorship of BMW. The USC vs. UCLA SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup will lead the charge for the Gauntlet, one of the most sought after crowns for Trojan Athletics outside of the Victory Bell and the Jeweled Shillelagh.

The SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup will be awarded annually to the athletic department with the most success against the other in head-to-head matchups during the academic year. USC won the trophy last year, and an improved football and basketball campaign may separate that gap by an even larger total for the 2014-2015 Crosstown Cup.

In a competition to earn 100 points, or the Gauntlet Trophy, ten points are available for each of the 19 men's and women's sports (Football, Men's & Women's Basketball, & Olympic Sports) in which the schools both compete, with all 10 points for a single sport awarded to the winner of the most head-to-head contests in that sport.

"The USC-UCLA rivalry is unlike any in college athletics, with two universities of such academic prestige and athletic tradition sharing the same city," USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said in a press release.

While the rivalry dates back near 100 years, the official head-to-head Gauntlet Trophy battle started back in the 2001-02 season. USC holds a 9-4 advantage over UCLA in the all-time standings of the competition, including an impressive come-from-behind victory for the Trojans fueled by a strong non-revenue sports campaign this past spring.

USC men's tennis won the school's 100th team national championship last season, and USC men's athletics boast the most national championships with 84 overall. UCLA leads the nation with 110 NCAA Team Championships and 131 total National Championships but the Trojans have been nipping at their heels in recent years.

The first competition begins on the soccer field, a game to be played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum against the UCLA women's soccer squad -- the defending National Champions. Things will continue in the Galen Center and John Wooden Center for volleyball, and of course the Rose Bowl where USC and UCLA face off in a game that could decide the Pac-12 South Champion later this year.