Don’t let the subheader fool you, it sucks to NOT be a USC Trojan entering the 2020 college football season. But more importantly, it’s sucked to NOT be a USC Trojan 16 of the past 20 years. (Well, fine, it sucked all those years, but we’re just talking football wins and losses here people.)
Rivalries are fun, spirited and meant for discussion. USC vs UCLA is for more than that. It’s a proving ground as to which team rightfully is allowed to call themselves an entire city. No other rivalry across sports is as local as USC vs UCLA and as such, it means a lot more than just the result on the field.
Don’t get me wrong, the results help, but it’s the continuous feeling of victory over your close rival that sometimes gets you through the year. There are even times during disappointing football seasons that all that matters is the end result of the USC vs UCLA game. There are times that even the darkest, most tragic of seasons can be erased with a victory over the Bruins.
Then there are triumphs over them that send the Trojans to the grandest of stages.
All victories over UCLA are to be celebrated and all victories over them mean everything. All 50 of them compared to their 32. And all six times during World War II when the teams met twice a year during 1943, 1944 and 1945.
Did you know that during the WWII travel restriction period that saw USC-UCLA play six times in three seasons, that USC went 5-0-1 in that time period against UCLA?
It just sucks for them that they’ve only been on the winning end of these games five times since the turn of this century. In fact, since 1999, USC has outscored UCLA 688-414. That includes two shutout victories, three straight times held to just seven points (four total) and 13 multi-possession victories over their archrival for USC.
Come on, they’re so hard up for a victory or a shining moment in this rivalry that they celebrate the 2006 result when the clock strikes 8:47 as it’s 13 to 9, aka the score of their random, happenstance victory, their only one in 12 years to start the 2000’s.
We all love a good rivalry game and we all love it to be a close, hard fought victory in the end. That’s why it also sucks to be U(cla) but also really hurts for USC when you find out that Under Armour is dropping their sponsorship deal with UCLA as is Learfield/IMG College. If those deals fall through for them, they’re likely to lose upwards of $50 million this fiscal year and that would ultimately hurt their chances of having on-field success both in general but especially against the Trojans.
Guess we better get used to multi-game winning streaks against them. Guess we better get used to shutting them out (again).
The Victory Bell carriage looks better cardinal anyway.