National Football League
The National Football League is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, the highest professional level of American football in the world; the NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, held in the first Sunday in February, is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC; the NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League in 1966, the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is among the biggest club sporting events in the world and individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most watched television programs in American history, all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U. S. television broadcasts by 2015. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner; the players in the league belong to the National Football League Players Association. The team with the most NFL championships is the Green Bay Packers with thirteen; the current NFL champions are the New England Patriots, who defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII for their sixth Super Bowl championship. On August 20, 1920, a meeting was held by representatives of the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Dayton Triangles at the Jordan and Hupmobile auto showroom in Canton, Ohio; this meeting resulted in the formation of the American Professional Football Conference, a group who, according to the Canton Evening Repository, intended to "raise the standard of professional football in every way possible, to eliminate bidding for players between rival clubs and to secure cooperation in the formation of schedules".
Another meeting was held on September 17, 1920 with representatives from teams from four states-Akron, Canton and Dayton from Ohio. The league was renamed to the American Professional Football Association; the league elected Jim Thorpe as its first president, consisted of 14 teams. The Massillon Tigers from Massillon, Ohio was at the September 17 meeting, but did not field a team in 1920. Only two of these teams, the Decatur Staleys and the Chicago Cardinals, remain. Although the league did not maintain official standings for its 1920 inaugural season and teams played schedules that included non-league opponents, the APFA awarded the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their 8–0–3 record; the first event occurred on September 26, 1920 when the Rock Island Independents defeated the non-league St. Paul Ideals 48–0 at Douglas Park. On October 3, 1920, the first full week of league play occurred; the following season resulted in the Chicago Staleys controversially winning the title over the Buffalo All-Americans.
On June 24, 1922, the APFA changed its name to the National Football League. In 1932, the season ended with the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans tied for first in the league standings. At the time, teams were ranked on a single table and the team with the highest winning percentage at the end of the season was declared the champion; this method had been used since the league's creation in 1920, but no situation had been encountered where two teams were tied for first. The league determined that a playoff game between Chicago and Portsmouth was needed to decide the league's champion; the teams were scheduled to play the playoff game a regular season game that would count towards the regular season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a combination of heavy snow and extreme cold forced the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Playing with altered rules to accommodate the smaller playing field, the Bears won the game 9–0 and thus won the championship.
Fan interest in the de facto championship game led the NFL, beginning in 1933, to split into two divisions with a championship game to be played between the division champions. The 1934 season marked the first of 12 seasons in which African Americans were absent from the league; the de facto ban was rescinded in 1946, following public pressure and coinciding with the removal of a similar ban in Major League Baseball. The NFL was always the foremost pro
Formation (American football)
A formation in football refers to the position players line up in before the start of a down. There are both offensive and defensive formations and there are many formations in both categories. Sometimes, formations are referred to as packages. At the highest level of play in the NFL and NCAA, the one constant in all formations is the offensive line, consisting of the left and right tackle and right guard, a center; these five positions are referred to collectively as the "line", have the primary role of blocking. By rule there must be two additional players on the line of scrimmage called ends; these players may play near the linemen or farther away. Most teams play additional players near the line of scrimmage to act as extra pass receivers. Up to four players can be behind the offensive line. Upon the snap of the ball, the quarterback becomes the ball carrier; the ball carrier has five options: He may keep the ball and run with it. He may hand or pitch the ball sideways or backwards to another player, who becomes the new ball carrier.
Multiple pitches are permitted on a single play, as long. He may throw a forward pass to an eligible receiver, who becomes the new ball carrier. Only 1 forward pass is permitted per play; the pass must be thrown from behind the original line of scrimmage, while the receiver can be anywhere on the field. A pass to a receiver, behind the line of scrimmage is still a forward pass as long as the pass travels forward. A forward pass is distinct from a pitch, any number of pitches are permitted before or after a forward pass, he may hold the ball for a place-kicker. He may kick the ball himself, either by punting the ball to the other team, or by attempting a drop-kicked field goal; the three other backs can be halfbacks, fullbacks, or they can play near the line of scrimmage to act as extra tight ends or wide receivers. A tight end that fills the role as the 4th back is called an "H-Back" and a wide receiver that fills that role is sometimes known as a "flanker" or a "slot" receiver. Most formations have a "strong" side and a "weak side".
The ends, which may be either wide receivers, or tight ends, may catch a passed ball or receive a handoff. Descriptions and diagrams to display offensive formations use the following symbols: QB = quarterback C = center G = guard T = tackle TE = tight end WR = wide receiver HB = halfback FB = fullback The offense is required to set up a formation before a play, subject to several rules: The formation must have at least 7 players on the line of scrimmage; the 7 players are not required to be next to each other, so they may spread out across the width of the field, but this is rare. Teams may place more than 7 players on the line, but only the player at each end of the line may be an eligible receiver, so this only occurs with the special formations used in kicking and punting situations; the other players not on the line may be positioned anywhere, but all must be at least 1 yard behind the 7 or more players on the line of scrimmage. The traditional saying is "7 on the line, 4 in the backfield" but this is something of a misnomer, as "backfield" refers to the area directly behind the offensive line.
3 of the 4 "backfield" players may line up as wide receivers as long as they are behind the line of scrimmage. Of the 7 players on the line of scrimmage, all except those at either end of the line are ineligible receivers: these players may not touch or catch a forward pass, on a forward pass play, they may not advance downfield before the pass crosses the neutral zone. Ineligible receivers may advance on a running play or after a pass is thrown; these players have uniform numbers in the range 50-79 to indicate they are ineligible. In the NFL, players with numbers 50-79 are considered ineligible by default, they must report to the referee if they line up in a position which would be considered eligible. The referee will relay that information to the defensive captain, he will announce it to spectators as well. After reporting as eligible, those players may line up at any legal position just as if they were eligible receivers. Offenses sometimes use this tactic in a short yardage situation to provide extra blocking, some plays are designed for a designated player to receive a pass.
In high school numbers 50-79 are always ineligible, may not receive. In fact if o
The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference East division. In the 2017 season the team won Super Bowl LII, their first Super Bowl win in franchise history and their fourth NFL title overall, after winning the Championship Game in 1948, 1949, 1960; the franchise was established in 1933 as a replacement for the bankrupt Frankford Yellow Jackets, when a group led by Bert Bell secured the rights to an NFL franchise in Philadelphia. Bell, Chuck Bednarik, Bob Brown, Brian Dawkins, Reggie White, Steve Van Buren, Tommy McDonald, Greasy Neale, Pete Pihos, Sonny Jurgensen, Norm Van Brocklin have been inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame; the team has an intense rivalry with the New York Giants. This rivalry is the oldest in the NFC East and is among the oldest in the NFL, it was ranked by NFL Network as the number one rivalry of all-time and Sports Illustrated ranks it amongst the Top 10 NFL rivalries of all-time at number four, according to ESPN, it is one of the fiercest and most well-known rivalries in the American football community.
They have a bitter rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys, which has become more high-profile since the 1960s, as well as a historic rivalry with the Washington Redskins. Their rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers is another bitter rivalry known as the battle of Pennsylvania dating back to 1933, that arises from the two teams' statuses as being from opposite ends of the same state; the team ranks among the best in the league in attendance and has sold out every game since the 1999 season. In a Sports Illustrated poll of 321 NFL players, Eagles fans were selected the most intimidating fans in the NFL; the Frankford Athletic Association was organized in May 1899 in the parlor of the Suburban Club. The cost of purchasing a share in the association was $10. However, there were contributing memberships, ranging from $1 to $2.50, made available to the general public. The Association was a community-based non-profit organization of local businesses. In keeping with its charter, which stated that "all profits shall be donated to charity", all of the team's excess income was donated to local charitable institutions.
The original Frankford Athletic Association disbanded prior to the 1909 football season. Several of the original players from the 1899 football team kept the team together, they became known as Loyola Athletic Club. In keeping with Yellow Jackets tradition, they carried the "Frankford" name again in 1912, to become the Frankford Athletic Association. In the early 1920s, the Frankford Athletic Association's Yellow Jackets gained the reputation as being one of the best independent football teams in the nation. In 1922, Frankford absorbed the Union Quakers of Philadelphia; that year Frankford captured the unofficial championship of Philadelphia. During the 1922 and 1923 seasons the Yellow Jackets compiled a 6–2–1 record against teams from the National Football League; this led to the Association being granted an NFL franchise in 1924 thus becoming the Frankford Yellow Jackets. Midway through the 1931 season, the Yellow Jackets went bankrupt and were forced to cease operations. After more than a year of searching for a suitable replacement, the NFL granted an expansion franchise to a syndicate headed by Bert Bell and Lud Wray and awarded them the franchise rights of the failed Yellow Jackets organization.
The Bell-Wray group had to pay an entry fee of $3,500 and assumed a total debt of $11,000, owed to three other NFL franchises. Drawing inspiration from the Blue Eagle insignia of the National Recovery Administration—the centerpiece of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal—Bell and Wray named the new franchise the Philadelphia Eagles. Neither the Eagles nor the NFL regard the two franchises as the same, citing the aforementioned period of dormancy. Furthermore no Yellow Jackets players were on the Eagles' first roster; the Eagles, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the now-defunct Cincinnati Reds, joined the NFL as expansion teams. The Eagles played their first game on October 15, 1933, against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York City, they lost the game 56-0. The Eagles struggled over the course of their first decade, their best finish was in 1934, when they finished tied for third in the East. For the most part, the Eagles' early rosters were composed of former Penn and Villanova players who put in a few years before going on to other things.
In 1935, Bell proposed an annual college draft to equalize talent across the league. The draft was a revolutionary concept in professional sports. Having teams select players in inverse order of their finish in the standings, a practice still followed today, strove to increase fan interest by guaranteeing that the worst teams would have the opportunity for annual infusions of the best college talent. Between 1927 and 1934, a triopoly of three teams had won all but one title since 1927. In 1937, the Eagles moved to Shibe Park and played their home games at the stadium through 1957, except for the 1941 season, played at Municipal Stadium, where they had played from 1936 to 1939. To accommodate football at Shibe Park during the winter, management set up stands in right field, parallel to 20th Street; some 20 feet high
Defensive end is a defensive position in the sport of American and Canadian football. This position has designated the players at each end of the defensive line, but changes in formations over the years have changed how the position is played. Early formations, with six- and seven-man lines, used the end as a containment player, whose job was first to prevent an "end run" around his position secondarily to force plays inside; when most teams adopted a twelve-man line, two different styles of end play developed: "crashing" ends, who rushed into the backfield to disrupt plays, "stand-up" or "waiting" ends, who played the more traditional containment style. Some teams would use both styles of end play, depending on game situations. Traditionally, defensive ends are in a three-point stance, with their free hand cocked back ready to "punch" the offensive lineman, or in a "two-point stance" like a linebacker so they can keep containment; some defensive ends play the position due to their size. Other ends play the position due to their agility.
These ends can time the snap of the ball in order to get a jump on the rush, stop the play. Most of the time it is the job of the defensive end in run defense to keep outside or contain, which means that no one should get to their outside; the defensive ends are fast for players of their size the fastest and smallest players on the defensive line. They must be able to shed blockers to get to the ball. Defensive ends are often used to cover the outside area of the line of scrimmage, to tackle ball carriers running to the far right or left side, to defend against screen passes. Since the creation of zone blitz defenses in the late 1990s, defensive ends have sometimes been used in pass coverages, dropping back to cover routes run close to the line of scrimmage. In the 3–4 defense, defensive ends are used as run stoppers and are much larger, they are 285–315 pounds. The position is played by a more agile or undersized defensive tackle; because of the increased popularity of the 3–4 defense, the value of a defensive tackle prospect that can be used in this manner has increased.
They are used to distract the offensive lineman on pass rushing plays to let the outside linebackers get a sack. They are 6'3"–6'8", they block screen are put outside the offensive tackles to get a sack. Glossary of American football
Bruce Smith (defensive end)
Bruce Bernard Smith is a former American football defensive end for the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He was a member of the Buffalo Bills teams that played in four consecutive Super Bowls as AFC champions; the holder of the NFL career record for quarterback sacks with 200, Smith was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility. Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Smith is a native of Norfolk, where he graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. Following an all-state high school career, Smith accepted an athletic scholarship to Virginia Tech. Known as "The Sack Man" at Virginia Tech, Smith finished his college career in 1984 as the most honored player in Hokie history. Foreshadowing his future success in pursuing quarterbacks in the NFL, he had a career total of 71 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, for losses totaling 504 yards. Smith had 46 career sacks, including 22 during a junior season in 1983 that saw him named First-team All-America by the AFCA and Newspaper Enterprise Association.
In 1984, Smith capped off his tenure in Blacksburg with the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's top lineman, a consensus selection to the All-America Team. His accomplishments at Virginia Tech earned him a spot in the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. Following this stellar collegiate career, Smith was drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the first pick of the 1985 NFL Draft. After a rookie season in which his poor training habits limited his effectiveness, inspiration from teammate Darryl Talley and finding love with a college counselor whom he married inspired him to improve his game, he became known as a sack specialist, with 15 in 1986 and a personal season-best 19, just three short of the then-NFL record of 22, in 1990. By 1989, Smith, in notching his 52nd sack, had become the Bills' all-time sack leader, claiming a team record that he was to raise 119 times over the years; some conjecture that his 171 sacks in Buffalo set a standard that "may be unreachable" for future Bills. In 1989, Bruce Smith signed an offer-sheet with the Denver Broncos for $7.5 million over five years, but the Bills matched the offer to retain him.
In 1990, his defensive performance helped bring the Bills to Super Bowl XXV, though they lost to the Bill Parcells-led New York Giants. Still, Smith had an impressive performance in the game, he sacked Jeff Hostetler in the end zone in the second quarter, becoming only the fifth player to record a Super Bowl safety. Smith forced New York to turn the ball over on downs by tackling running back Ottis Anderson for a two-yard loss on a fourth down conversion attempt. Only a failed last-second field goal attempt kept the team from its first NFL championship. In 1991, though Smith's knee problems forced him out for most of the season, the Bills once again reached the Super Bowl. In 1992, in much better health, he was again a First-team All-Pro and was voted to the Pro Bowl while recording a team-leading 14 sacks. By 1996, though the Bills' run of Super Bowl appearances had ended, Smith was still putting up prolific numbers, with 90 tackles and 14 sacks. In 1997, Smith had 65 tackles and 14 sacks and by 1998, although he was getting older he still had a respectable 50 tackles and ten sacks.
Smith, along with Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas, was dumped from the Bills roster in an emergency salary cap measure after the 1999 season. Smith signed with the Washington Redskins as a free agent. In his first season, he posted 58 tackles and ten sacks, although he was now playing in passing situations, he pressed onward in pursuit of Reggie White's all-time sacks record, which he passed in Week 14 of the 2003 NFL season by sacking New York Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer in a 20-7 win at Giants Stadium. Smith finished his career with 200 career sacks, the only person to reach the 200 sack mark. Smith had hinted in interviews that 2003 would be his final season, but never ruled out continuing to play. However, on February 24, 2004, the Redskins released Smith. In his 19 NFL seasons, Smith played in 279 games, amassing 200 sacks, two interceptions, 46 forced fumbles, 15 fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a 33-yard touchdown. Of his 19 seasons in the NFL, 13 of them were seasons where he had at least ten sacks, a testament to his consistency year in and year out.
He was named All-Pro nine times. His 200 sacks give him the record for most career quarterback take-downs; as Smith spent most of his career in a 3–4 defensive scheme, a defensive scheme not geared toward creating sack opportunities for defensive ends, many consider the record impressive. Indeed, Smith's peers elected him to the Pro Bowl every season from 1987 to 1998. In 1987, he was named the Pro Bowl MVP. Smith was twice named the AP's NFL Defensive Player of the Year, twice named the NEA Defensive Player of the Year and four times named UPI's AFC Defensive Player of the Year. 1995, inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. 1999, while still an active NFL player, Smith was ranked number 58 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. 2005, he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, honoring play
Super Bowl XXXVIII
Super Bowl XXXVIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference champion Carolina Panthers and the American Football Conference champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League champion for the 2003 season. The Patriots defeated the Panthers by a score of 32–29; the game was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 1, 2004. At the time, this was the most watched Super Bowl with 144.4 million viewers. The Panthers were making their first Super Bowl appearance after posting an 11–5 regular season record, they made it the second straight year that a team from the NFC South division made the Super Bowl, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning Super Bowl XXXVII. The Patriots were seeking their second Super Bowl title in three years after posting a 14–2 record. NFL fans and sports writers consider this game one of the most well-played and thrilling Super Bowls. Although neither team could score in the first and third quarters, they ended up with a combined total of 868 yards and 61 points.
The game was scoreless for a Super Bowl record 26:55 before the two teams combined for 24 points prior to halftime. The clubs combined for a Super Bowl record 37 points in the fourth quarter; the contest was decided when the Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri's 41-yard field goal was made with four seconds left. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time in his career; the game is known for its controversial halftime show in which Janet Jackson's breast, adorned with a nipple shield, was exposed by Justin Timberlake for about half a second, in what was referred to as a "wardrobe malfunction". Along with the rest of the halftime show, it led to an immediate crackdown by the Federal Communications Commission, widespread debate on perceived indecency in broadcasting. NFL owners voted to award Super Bowl XXXVIII to Houston during their November 1, 2000 meeting held in Atlanta; this was the first Super Bowl. It marked the first time in 4 tries that the Patriots played a Super Bowl, not in New Orleans.
This game marked a six-month stretch for Texas hosting the Super Bowl, NCAA men's Division I basketball Final Four and Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The Final Four was played at the Alamodome in San Antonio and the MLB All-Star Game was played in Houston at nearby Minute Maid Park. Beginning with this game, all Super Bowl games have been played on the first Sunday in February every year; this is based on the 22 weeks necessary from opening week through Super Bowl Sunday, which includes scheduling no games until after Labor Day, granting a bye week to each team during the sixteen-game season, granting a bye week to the teams qualifying for the Super Bowl after each wins their respective conference championship game. The Super Bowl is scheduled no earlier than February 1 and no than February 7; this game set the record for most Roman numerals in a Super Bowl title. This will not be matched until Super Bowl LXXVIII after the 2043 NFL season and Super Bowl LXXXVII after the 2052 season, not surpassed until Super Bowl LXXXVIII after the 2053 season.
The Panthers made their first trip to the Super Bowl after posting a one-win regular season just two years earlier. The franchise was only in their ninth year of existence, joining the league as an expansion team in 1995. In just their second season, they posted a 12–4 regular season record and advanced to the NFC Championship Game, but lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers 30–13, but from 1997 onward, they had just one non-losing season until they suffered through a franchise worst 1–15 record in 2001, winning only the first game of the regular season against the Minnesota Vikings. After that year, head coach George Seifert was relieved of his duties and replaced by John Fox, former defensive coordinator for the New York Giants who helped lead the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV in 2000. With John Fox at the helm and the team taking advantage of the free agent market and the salary cap rules, the Panthers improved in 2002, finishing with a 7–9 record. In 2003, they recorded an 11–5 record and won the NFC South.
One of the free agents that Carolina signed before the 2003 season was quarterback Jake Delhomme. Delhomme was not picked by any team in the NFL Draft, but joined the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 1998. Delhomme then played for the NFL Europe's Frankfurt Galaxy in 1999, along with Pat Barnes, he was part of the "double-headed quarterback monster" that led the Galaxy to a World Bowl victory over the Barcelona Dragons. Although he only played 6 games in his 5 seasons with New Orleans, the Panthers signed Delhomme in 2003 to be the backup to starting quarterback Rodney Peete. However, after the Panthers fell to a 17–0 third quarter deficit in their first game of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars, gaining only one first down and 36 offensive yards, Fox replaced Peete with Delhomme. Delhomme ended up leading Carolina to a 24–23 comeback victory over the Jaguars. Delhomme became the team's starting quarterback for the rest of the season, throwing for 3,219 yards and 19 touchdowns, with 16 interceptions.
The team's main receiving threat was multi-talented third-year wide receiver Steve Smith, who specialized as a kickoff and punt returner. Smith caught 88 passes for 1,110 yards and 7 touchdowns, rushed for 42 yards, gained 439 yards and another touchdown retu
USC Trojans football
The USC Trojans football program represent University of Southern California in the sport of American football. The Trojans compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference. Formed in 1888, the program has over 830 wins and claims 11 consensus Division I Football National Championships. USC has had 13 undefeated seasons including 8 perfect seasons, 39 conference championships. USC has produced 7 Heisman Trophy winners, 81 first-team Consensus All-Americans, including 27 Unanimous selections, 500 NFL draft picks, most all-time by any university, the Trojans have had more players drafted in the first round than any other university, with 80 as of the 2017 draft. USC has had 34 members inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, including former players Matt Leinart, O. J. Simpson, Ronnie Lott and former coaches John McKay and Howard Jones; the Trojans boast 12 inductees in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, the 2nd-most of any school, including Junior Seau, Bruce Matthews, Marcus Allen, Ron Yary.
The Trojans have 52 bowl appearances. With a record of 34–18, USC has the highest all-time post-season winning percentage of schools with 25 or more bowl appearances; the Trojans play their home games in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, located across the exposition Park Rose Garden from USC's University Park, Los Angeles campus. The stadium is known as "The Grand Old Lady", having been built 100 years ago. USC first fielded a football team in 1888. Playing its first game on November 14 of that year against the Alliance Athletic Club, USC achieved a 16–0 victory. Frank Suffel and Henry H. Goddard were playing coaches for the first team, put together by quarterback Arthur Carroll, who in turn volunteered to make the pants for the team and became a tailor. USC faced its first collegiate opponent the following year in fall 1889, playing St. Vincent's College to a 40–0 victory. In 1893, USC joined the Intercollegiate Football Association of Southern California, composed of USC, Occidental College, Throop Polytechnic Institute, Chaffey College.
Pomona College declined to do so. An invitation was extended to Los Angeles High School. Before they were named Trojans in 1912, USC athletic teams were called the Methodists, as well as the Wesleyans. During the early years, limitations in travel and the scarcity of major football-playing colleges on the West Coast limited its rivalries to local Southern Californian colleges and universities. During this period USC played regular series against Occidental, Whittier and Loyola; the first USC team to play outside of Southern California went to Stanford University on November 4, 1905, where they were trampled 16–0 by the traditional West Coast powerhouse. While the teams would not meet again until 1918, this was USC's first game against a future Pac-12 conference opponent and the beginning of its oldest rivalry. During this period USC played its first games against other future Pac-12 rivals, including Oregon State, California and Arizona. Between 1911–1913, USC followed the example of California and Stanford and dropped football in favor of rugby union.
The results were disastrous, as USC was soundly defeated by more experienced programs while the school itself experienced financial reverses. After several decades of competition, USC first achieved national prominence under head coach "Gloomy" Gus Henderson in the early 1920s. Another milestone came under Henderson in 1922, when USC joined the Pacific Coast Conference, the forerunner of the modern Pac-12. Success continued under coach Howard Jones from 1925 to 1940, when the Trojans were just one of a few nationally dominant teams, it was during this era that the team achieved renown as the "Thundering Herd", earning its first four national titles. USC achieved intermittent success in the years following Jones' tenure. Jeff Cravath, who coached from 1942–1950, won the Rose Bowl in 1943 and 1945. Jess Hill, who coached from 1951 to 1956, won the Rose Bowl in 1953. From 1957 to 1959, the Trojans were coached by Don Clark. Future Hall of Famer Ron Mix was an All American for the Trojans in 1959; the program entered a new golden age upon the arrival of head coach John McKay.
During this period the Trojans produced two Heisman Trophy winners and won four national championships. McKay's influence continued after he departed for the NFL when an assistant coach, John Robinson, took over as head coach. Under Robinson, USC won another national championship in 1978 and USC produced two more running back Heisman Trophy winners in Charles White and Marcus Allen On September 12, 1970, USC opened the season visiting the University of Alabama under legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and became the first integrated team to play in the state of Alabama; the game, scheduled by Bryant, resulted in a dominating 42–21 win by the Trojans. More all six touchdowns scored by USC team were by black players, two by USC running