Stanford–USC football rivalry

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Stanford–USC football rivalry
First meeting November 4, 1905
Stanford 16, USC 0
Latest meeting December 1, 2017
#10 USC 31, #12 Stanford 28
Next meeting 2018
Statistics
Meetings total 97
All-time series USC leads, 61–32–3
Largest victory USC, 49–0 (1977)
Longest win streak USC, 12 (1958–69)
Longest unbeaten streak USC, 15 (1976–1990)
Current win streak USC, 2 (2017–present)

The Stanford–USC football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Stanford Cardinal and the USC Trojans, both members of the Pac-12 Conference and the only private schools in the conference. The two teams first played in 1905 and have met nearly every year since 1919 (missing only 1921, 1924, and World War II years 1943–1945), frequently vying for the conference championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Stanford is USC's oldest current rival.[1]

Series history[edit]

Early rivalry[edit]

The rivalry began in earnest in the 1930s during a period in which USC had several undefeated seasons. A group of Stanford freshmen, after a stinging loss to an undefeated USC team, promised never to lose to USC again, the "Vow Boys" made good on their promise, winning their next 3 games against the Trojans.[2]

Notable games and incidents[edit]

For most of its history, USC dominated the series, and overall USC has won about two-thirds of the games, but the rivalry has been marked with notable incidents and expressions of disdain between the two schools; in 1972, USC coach John McKay accused Stanford and its fans of having "no class" and said he'd "like to beat Stanford by 2,000 points"; Stanford coach Jack Christiansen responded that he wouldn't "get into a urinating contest with a skunk".[3][4] In 1979, Stanford came back in the last four minutes to tie #1 USC 21–21 on October 13, this game, considered one of the greatest of the 20th century,[5] effectively cost USC a national title (they dropped to #4 in the polls afterwards). USC finished 11–0–1, but was ranked #2 in both polls due to the tie; in 1980, the Stanford Band marched onto the field accompanied by a horse skeleton on wheels, being ridden by a Trojan-helmeted human skeleton, in a parody of USC's Traveler mascot.[6] For the 2012 game, the Stanford band leader inexplicably showed up dressed as the USC Trojan mascot.[7]

Recent history[edit]

The competitive atmosphere of the rivalry has heated up since 2007, after Stanford hired head coach Jim Harbaugh.[8] 1–3 Stanford (who had been 1–11 the prior season under head coach Walt Harris) entered the 2007 game as a 41-point underdog against #2 USC, but pulled out a 24–23 win in what has been called one of the biggest college football upsets of all time.

The 2009 game was marked by a post-game verbal confrontation between Harbaugh and USC head coach Pete Carroll, after Stanford capped off its convincing 55–21 win over #9 USC with a late 2-point conversion attempt and another touchdown; Carroll came off the field saying "What's your deal?" at Harbaugh, who responded, "What's your deal?" Stanford then adopted the phrase as a slogan for its season ticket packages.

In recent years, the rivalry has been memorable for its upsets, the lower-ranked team pulled off an upset six out of nine years from 2007–2015 (four by Stanford and two by USC), including four years in a row from 2012–2015 (two each for Stanford and USC). In 2012, #21 Stanford knocked off the #2 Trojans, 21–14; in 2013, unranked USC defeated #5 Stanford 20–17, ending Stanford's longest winning streak in the series, at four, and possibly costing the Cardinal a trip to the national championship game.[9][10][11][12] In 2015, unranked Stanford went on the road and upset #6 USC 41–31.

In 2010, the then-Pac-10 Conference expanded to 12 teams and split into north and south divisions, moving Stanford and USC into different divisions, this move threatened the annual rivalry, since teams from each division were not scheduled to play each other every year; however, the conference elected to maintain the "historic California rivalries", including both the Stanford–USC rivalry and the Cal-UCLA rivalry.[13]

Both teams being ranked entering the game was once a rare occurrence but has become the norm in recent years. There have been 12 games where both Stanford and USC were ranked, with 2 from 1940–1953, 4 from 1968–1972, just 1 from 1973–2008, and 6 since 2009.

USC leads the series 61–32–3; they have led since the third game. USC holds the longest win streak in the series, with 12 wins from 1958–1969. Stanford's longest win streak was 4 from 2009–2012. USC went 39–9–1 from 1958–2006; however, Stanford is 8–4 since then, including 4 of 6 in the L.A. Coliseum, the teams met twice in the 2015, once in the regular season, and, after #7 Stanford and #24 USC won their divisions, a rematch in the Pac-12 Championship Game, which #7 Stanford won 41–22, also ending the four-year streak of upsets in the series. In 2017 the teams, both ranked in the top 15, again met for the conference championship, with USC winning 31-28, the first win by a southern division team since the Pac-12 adopted the championship game format.[14]

Game results[edit]

Stanford victories USC victories Tie games
No. Date Location Winner Score
1 November 4, 1905 Stanford Stanford 16–0
2 November 27, 1919 Los Angeles USC 13–0
3 October 16, 1920 Los Angeles USC 10–0
4 November 11, 1922 Stanford USC 6–0
5 October 27, 1923 Stanford USC 14–7
6 October 17, 1925 Los Angeles Stanford 13–9
7 October 30, 1926 Los Angeles Stanford 13–12
8 October 15, 1927 Stanford Tie 13–13
9 November 3, 1928 Los Angeles USC 10–0
10 October 26, 1929 Stanford USC 7–0
11 October 25, 1930 Los Angeles USC 41–12
12 November 7, 1931 Los Angeles USC 19–0
13 October 22, 1932 Stanford USC 13–0
14 November 11, 1933 Los Angeles Stanford 13–7
15 October 27, 1934 Stanford Stanford 16–7
16 November 9, 1935 Los Angeles Stanford 3–0
17 October 24, 1936 Stanford #6 USC 14–7
18 November 6, 1937 Los Angeles Stanford 7–6
19 October 22, 1938 Stanford USC 13–2
20 November 11, 1939 Los Angeles #4 USC 33–0
21 October 26, 1940 Stanford #9 Stanford 21–7
22 November 8, 1941 Los Angeles #9 Stanford 13–0
23 October 24, 1942 San Francisco Stanford 14–6
24 October 26, 1946 Stanford USC 28–20
25 November 8, 1947 Los Angeles #5 USC 14–0
26 October 23, 1948 Stanford USC 7–6
27 November 5, 1949 Los Angeles Stanford 34–13
28 November 4, 1950 Stanford Tie 7–7
29 November 10, 1951 Los Angeles Stanford 27–20
30 November 8, 1952 Stanford #6 USC 54–7
31 November 7, 1953 Los Angeles #17 USC 23–20
32 November 6, 1954 Stanford #10 USC 21–7
33 November 5, 1955 Los Angeles Stanford 28–20
34 October 27, 1956 Stanford Stanford 27–19
35 November 9, 1957 Los Angeles Stanford 35–7
36 November 1, 1958 Stanford USC 29–6
37 October 24, 1959 Los Angeles #5 USC 30–28
38 October 29, 1960 Stanford USC 21–10
39 November 11, 1961 Los Angeles USC 30–15
40 November 10, 1962 Stanford #2 USC 39–14
41 November 9, 1963 Los Angeles USC 25–11
42 November 7, 1964 Stanford USC 15–10
43 October 16, 1965 Los Angeles #6 USC 14–0
44 October 15, 1966 Stanford #5 USC 21–7
45 October 7, 1967 Los Angeles #1 USC 30–0
46 October 12, 1968 Stanford #2 USC 27–24
47 October 11, 1969 Los Angeles #4 USC 26–24
48 October 10, 1970 Stanford #12 Stanford 24–14
49 October 16, 1971 Los Angeles #15 Stanford 33–18
50 October 7, 1972 Stanford #1 USC 30–21
No. Date Location Winner Score
51 November 10, 1973 Los Angeles #8 USC 27–26
52 November 9, 1974 Stanford #11 USC 35–10
53 November 8, 1975 Los Angeles Stanford 13–10
54 November 6, 1976 Stanford #4 USC 48–24
55 November 5, 1977 Los Angeles #16 USC 49–0
56 November 4, 1978 Stanford #6 USC 35–10
57 October 13, 1979 Los Angeles Tie 21–21
58 November 8, 1980 Stanford #4 USC 34–9
59 October 17, 1981 Los Angeles #7 USC 25–17
60 October 16, 1982 Stanford #14 USC 41–21
61 November 5, 1983 Los Angeles USC 30–7
62 November 3, 1984 Stanford #18 USC 20–11
63 October 19, 1985 Los Angeles USC 30–6
64 October 25, 1986 Stanford USC 10–0
65 November 7, 1987 Los Angeles USC 39–24
66 September 10, 1988 Stanford #6 USC 24–20
67 October 28, 1989 Los Angeles #10 USC 19–0
68 October 13, 1990 Stanford #16 USC 37–22
69 October 19, 1991 Los Angeles Stanford 24–21
70 November 7, 1992 Stanford #21 Stanford 23–9
71 November 6, 1993 Los Angeles USC 45–20
72 October 15, 1994 Stanford USC 27–20
73 November 4, 1995 Los Angeles #14 USC 31–30
74 November 9, 1996 Stanford Stanford 24–20
75 November 8, 1997 Los Angeles USC 45–21
76 November 7, 1998 Stanford USC 34–9
77 October 23, 1999 Los Angeles Stanford 35–31
78 October 21, 2000 Stanford Stanford 32–30
79 September 29, 2001 Los Angeles Stanford 21–16
80 November 9, 2002 Stanford #10 USC 49–17
81 October 11, 2003 Los Angeles #9 USC 44–21
82 September 25, 2004 Stanford #1 USC 31–28
83 November 5, 2005 Los Angeles #1 USC 51–21
84 November 4, 2006 Stanford #9 USC 42–0
85 October 6, 2007 Los Angeles Stanford 24–23
86 November 15, 2008 Stanford #6 USC 45–23
87 November 14, 2009 Los Angeles #25 Stanford 55–21
88 October 9, 2010 Stanford #16 Stanford 37–35
89 October 29, 2011 Los Angeles #4 Stanford 56–483OT
90 September 15, 2012 Stanford #21 Stanford 21–14
91 November 16, 2013 Los Angeles USC 20–17
92 September 6, 2014 Stanford #14 USC 13–10
93 September 19, 2015 Los Angeles Stanford 41–31
94 December 5, 2015 Santa Clara #7 Stanford 41–22
95 September 17, 2016 Stanford #7 Stanford 27–10
96 September 10, 2017 Los Angeles #6 USC 42–24
97 December 1, 2017 Santa Clara #11 USC 31–28
Series: USC leads 61–32–3
† USC vacated this win after NCAA sanctions.
Pac-12 Football Championship Game

References[edit]

  1. ^ "USC Football Heads To Bay Area To Face No. 16 Stanford". USC Trojans. October 3, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Tradition: Great Moments in the First Fifty Years of Cardinal Football". The Stanford Review. XXXVII (8). December 1, 2006. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ Greg Katz, "Coaches long a part of USC-Stanford rivalry", ESPN.com, September 4, 2014.
  4. ^ Scott Wolf, "USC-Stanford football game always seems to include some ill will", Los Angeles Daily News, September 3, 2014.
  5. ^ Whittingham, Richard (2001). "6", Rites of autumn: the story of college football (in English). New York: The Free Press, 148-183. ISBN 0-7432-2219-9.
  6. ^ David Wharton, "Riding a High Horse : Saukko, Better Known as Tommy Trojan, Saddles Up Traveler for 25th Season at USC", Los Angeles Times, September 19, 1985.
  7. ^ McGarry, Tim (November 15, 2012). "Stanford band leader dresses as USC Trojan". USA Today. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ Lombardi, David (December 4, 2015). "The epic recent history of the Stanford-USC rivalry". ESPN.com. 
  9. ^ Miller, Ted (2012-09-25). "USC-Stanford: Still spicy after all the years". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  10. ^ Tim Kawakami, "Stanford-USC football rivalry more friendly", The San Jose Mercury News, September 12, 2012.
  11. ^ George Schroeder, "Southern Cal, Stanford a real rivalry", USAToday, September 14, 2012.
  12. ^ Jack Blanchat, "The Absurdity of Rivalry: A history of Stanford and USC's insane 7-year battle", Yahoo! Sports, September 4, 2014.
  13. ^ "Pac-12 divisions split Calif. schools". ESPN.com. October 21, 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  14. ^ Josh Dubow, "No. 11 USC beats No. 14 Stanford 31-28 for Pac-12 title", Associated Press in San Francisco Chronicle, December 2, 2017.

External links[edit]