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USC Trojans football
Usc football logo.gif
First season 1888
Athletic director Mike Garrett
Head coach Lane Kiffin
1st year, 0–0–0  (–)
Home stadium Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Stadium capacity 92,500
Stadium surface Grass
Location Los Angeles, California
Conference Pac-10
All-time record 772–306–54 (.706)
Postseason bowl record 32–16
Claimed national titles 11
Conference titles 38
Heisman winners 7
Consensus All-Americans 78
Current uniform
Colors Cardinal and Gold            
Fight song Fight On
Mascot Traveler
Marching band The Spirit of Troy
Rivals Notre Dame Fighting Irish
UCLA Bruins
California Golden Bears

The USC Trojans football program, established in 1888, is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I FBS and the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10). The Trojans have been a football powerhouse throughout NCAA history with 11 national championships.[1] In recent years, USC has consistently ranked in the top 5 of the final BCS and AP Polls.



The first USC football squad (1888). Before they were nicknamed the "Trojans", they were known as the USC Methodists.


USC first fielded a football team in 1888, playing its first game on November 14 of that year against the Alliance Athletic Club, gaining a 16–0 victory. Frank Suffel and Henry H. Goddard were playing coaches for the first team which was put together by quarterback Arthur Carroll; who in turn volunteered to make the pants for the team and later became a tailor.[2] USC faced its first collegiate opponent the following year in fall 1889, playing St. Vincent’s College to a 40–0 victory.[2]

In 1893, joined the Intercollegiate Football Association of Southern California (the forerunner of the SCIAC), which was composed of USC, Occidental College, Throop Polytechnic Institute, and Chaffey College. Pomona College was invited to enter, but declined to do so. An invitation was also extended to Los Angeles High School.[3]

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, Caltech, Whittier, Pomona 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 (Stanford dropped football for rugby union during the intervening years), this was also USC's first game against a future Pac-10 conference opponent and the beginning of its oldest rivalry. During this period USC also played its first games against other future Pac-10 rivals, including Oregon State (1914), California (1915), Oregon (1915) and Arizona (1916).

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 roundly defeated by more experienced programs while the school itself experienced financial reverses; however, it was during this period that Owen R. Bird, a sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times, coined the nickname "Trojans", which he wrote was "owing to the terrific handicaps under which the athletes, coaches and managers of the university were laboring and against the overwhelming odds of larger and better equipped rivals, the name 'Trojan' suitably fitted the players."[2]


After several decades of competition, USC first achieved national prominence under head coach "Gloomy" Gus Henderson in the early 1920s. 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.


Mike Garrett's Retired Jersey

The program entered a new golden age upon the arrival of head coach John McKay (1960-1975). During this period the Trojans produced two Heisman Trophy winners (Mike Garrett and O.J. Simpson) and won four national championships (1962, 1967, 1972 and 1974). McKay's influence continued even after he departed for the NFL when an assistant coach, John Robinson (1976-1982), took over as head coach. Under Robinson, USC won another national championship in 1978 (shared with Alabama; ironically, USC defeated Alabama, 24–14, that same season) and two more players won the Heisman Trophy (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 fully integrated team to play in the state of Alabama.[4] The game, scheduled by Bryant, resulted in a dominating 42-21 win by the Trojans. More importantly, all six touchdowns scored by USC team were by African-American players, two by USC running back Sam "Bam" Cunningham, against an all-white Crimson Tide team.[5] After the game, Bryant was able to persuade the university to allow African American players to play, hastening the racial integration of football at Alabama and in the South.[4][6]


Marcus Allen's Retired Jersey

In the 1980s, USC football did not realize a national championship, though it continued to experience relative success, with top-20 AP rankings and PAC-10 Conference Championships. Under head coaches Ted Tollner (1983–1986) and Larry Smith (1987–1992), each winning the Rose Bowl once, USC was recognized among the nation's top-ten teams three times. However, some alumni had grown accustomed to the programs' stature as a perennial national championship contender. In 1993, Robinson was named head coach a second time, leading the Trojans to a victory in the 1996 Rose Bowl over Northwestern.

However, the winless streaks of 13 years (1983–1995, including the 1993 17–17 tie) to intersectional rival Notre Dame and 8 years (1991–1998) to crosstown rival UCLA were unacceptable to many USC supporters. In 1998, head coach Paul Hackett took over the team, but posted an even more disappointing 19–18 record in three seasons. By 2000, some observers surmised that USC football's days of national dominance were fading; the football team's record of 37–35 from 1996 to 2001 was their second-worst over any five-year span in history (only the mark of 29–29–2 from 1956–1961 was worse), and the period marked the first and only time USC had been out of the final top 20 teams for four straight years.


In 2001, athletic director Mike Garrett released Hackett and hired Pete Carroll, a former NFL head coach. Carroll went 6–6 in his first year, losing to Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl, 10–6. Since then, his teams have been highly successful, ranking among the top ten teams in the country, with the exception of 2009 in which the team lost four regular season games. With the recently announced departure of Pete Carroll for the NFL, and the potential for NCAA sanctions, the future of the program is unclear.


USC opened 3–2 in 2002, suffering losses to Kansas State and Washington State. However, the Trojans went on to win the rest of their games, completing the regular season 11–2 on the strength of senior quarterback Carson Palmer's breakout performance. After struggling for most of his collegiate career, Palmer excelled in the West Coast offense installed by new offensive coordinator Norm Chow. In fact, Palmer's performance, particularly in the season-ending rivalry games against Notre Dame and UCLA, impressed so many pundits that he went on to win the Heisman Trophy, carrying every region of voting and becoming the first USC quarterback to be so honored. Despite tying for the Pacific-10 Conference title (with Washington State), having the highest BCS "strength of schedule" rating, and fielding the nation's top defense led by safety Troy Polamalu, USC finished the season ranked No. 5 in the BCS rankings. Facing off against BCS No. 3 Iowa in the Orange Bowl, USC defeated the Hawkeyes 38–17.


Carson Palmer's Heisman Trophy

In 2003, highly touted but unproven redshirt sophomore Matt Leinart took over for Palmer at quarterback. Although his first pass went for a touchdown in a win over Auburn, the Trojans suffered an early season triple-overtime loss to conference rival California in Berkeley. Nevertheless, Carroll guided the team to wins in their remaining games and they completed the regular season 11–1. Before the postseason, both the coaches' poll and the AP Poll ranked USC number #1, but the BCS - which also gave consideration to computer rankings - ranked Oklahoma first, another one-loss team but one that had lost its own Big 12 Conference title game 35–7, with USC ranked third.

In the 2003 BCS National Championship Game, The Sugar Bowl , BCS #2 Louisiana State defeated BCS #1 Oklahoma 21–14. Meanwhile, BCS #3 USC defeated BCS #4 Michigan 28–14 in the Rose Bowl. USC finished the season ranked #1 in the AP poll and was awarded the AP National Championship; LSU, however, won the BCS National Championship title for that year, prompting a USC claim to a split national title between LSU and USC. In the wake of the controversy, corporate sponsors emerged who were willing to organize an LSU-USC game to settle the matter; nevertheless, the NCAA refused to permit the matchup.


Matt Leinart's Heisman Trophy

In 2004, USC was picked preseason #1 by the Associated Press, thanks to the return of Leinart as well as sophomore running backs LenDale White and Reggie Bush. The defense—led by All-American defensive tackles Shaun Cody and Mike Patterson, as well as All-American linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Matt Grootegoed—was considered to be among the finest in the nation. Key questions included the offensive line, with few returning starters, and the receiving corps, which had lost previous year's senior Keary Colbert and the breakout star of 2003, Mike Williams. Williams had tried to enter the NFL draft a year early during the Maurice Clarett trial, only to be rebuffed by the NFL and subsequently denied eligibility by the NCAA.

Despite close calls against Stanford and California, the Trojans finished the regular season undefeated and headed for the 2004 BCS Championship Game at the Orange Bowl. USC was the second team in NCAA football history to have gone wire-to-wire (ranked first place from preseason to postseason since the AP began releasing preseason rankings); the first was Florida State in 1999 (three other schools went wire-to-wire before the existence of preseason polls - Notre Dame in 1943, Army in 1945 and USC in 1972). Quarterback Leinart won the Heisman Trophy, with running back Bush placing fifth in the vote tally. The Trojans' opponent in the Orange Bowl, Oklahoma, were themselves undefeated and captained by sixth-year quarterback Jason White, who had won the Heisman in 2003; the game marked the first time in NCAA history that two players who had already won the Heisman played against each other. Most analysts expected the game to be close—as USC matched its speed and defense against the Oklahoma running game and skilled offensive line—but the reality proved to be far different. USC scored 38 points by halftime, and won by the score of 55–19. USC won the BCS and AP national championships, despite both Auburn's and Utah's finishing their regular seasons and bowl games undefeated.


The 2005 regular season witnessed a resuscitation of the rivalry with Notre Dame, after a last second play in which senior quarterback Matt Leinart scored the winning touchdown with help from a controversial push from behind by running back Reggie Bush, nicknamed the "Bush Push". The year climaxed with a 66–19 USC defeat of cross-town rival UCLA. Running back Reggie Bush finished his stellar year by winning the Heisman Trophy, while Leinart finished third in the Heisman voting. Several other players also earned accolades, being named All-Americans (AP, Football Coaches, Football Writers, Walter Camp,,, CBS,, These include QB Matt Leinart, RB Reggie Bush, RB LenDale White, S Darnell Bing, OT Taitusi Lutui, OT Sam Baker, WR Dwayne Jarrett, C Ryan Kalil, OG Fred Matua, and DE Lawrence Jackson. Additionally, OL Winston Justice did well enough to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL draft. The regular season ended with two clear cut contenders facing off in the Rose Bowl to decide the national championship. Both USC and Texas were 12–0 entering the game, with USC the slight favorite.[7] USC lost to Texas 41–38.[8]


For the 2006 football season, USC tried to rebuild its strength following the loss of offensive stalwarts Leinart, Bush, and White, defensive leader Bing, and offensive linemen Matua, Justice, and Lutui. The Trojans developed their offense using unproven QB John David Booty and returning star receivers Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith along with second-year wide-out Patrick Turner. Mark Sanchez, the highly-touted recruit from the class of 2005 (Mission Viejo High School, CA) was widely viewed as a dark horse to win the starting job from Booty, although Booty was named the starter at the end of fall training camp. The starting tailback position was initially a battle between returning players Chauncey Washington and Desmond Reed (both recovering from injuries) and heralded recruits Stafon Johnson (Dorsey High School in Los Angeles), C.J. Gable, Allen Bradford and Emmanuel Moody.

The Coliseum during a 2006 USC game

USC had many experienced players as well, including linebacker Dallas Sartz and wide receiver Chris McFoy, who had already graduated with their bachelor's degrees and were pursuing master's degrees. Fullback Brandon Hancock would have been part of that group as well until an injury ended his collegiate career. Additionally, fifth year (redshirt) senior linebacker Oscar Lua, running back Ryan Powdrell and offensive lineman Kyle Williams were expected to either start or play frequently in 2006.

The 2006 Trojans came out strong, easily defending their top-10 status throughout the year. However, USC began to display marked inconsistencies, as their margins of victory began to slip. The first setback proved to be a 31–33 loss to unranked Oregon State, in which the Beavers were able to repeatedly capitalize on several Trojan turnovers.[9] Surprisingly, though USC dropped initially in the polls, they worked their way back up to the No. 3 spot by the final week of the season. After defeating both Notre Dame and Cal, the Trojans were considered to be a virtual lock for the National Championship Game against Ohio State. However, USC was shocked in the final game of the season, losing to crosstown rival UCLA 13–9. This eliminated the Trojans from championship contention and opened the door for Florida to become Ohio State's opponent.

On January 6, 2007, 6 days after the 2007 Rose Bowl Game, USC kicker Mario Danelo was found dead at the bottom of the White Point Cliff near Point Fermin Lighthouse in San Pedro, California.[10]


In July 2007, named USC its #1 team of the decade for the period between 1996 and 2006, citing the Trojans' renaissance and dominance under Coach Carroll.[11][12]

The 2007 Trojans were the presumptive #1 pick before the season.[13][14] However they lost two games, including a major upset to 41-point underdog Stanford, and they did not get into the National Championship game. However, the Trojans did win their sixth conference championship and defeated Illinois in the 2008 Rose Bowl Game.

Under Carroll, USC has been known to attract numerous celebrities to its practices, including USC alumni Will Ferrell, George Lucas, LeVar Burton and Sophia Bush as well as Snoop Dogg, Henry Winkler, Kirsten Dunst, Nick Lachey, Dr. Dre, Spike Lee, Alyssa Milano, Flea, Wilmer Valderrama, Jake Gyllenhaal and Andre 3000.[15] The Trojans have also benefited from LA's lack of NFL teams (with the LA Rams and Raiders having left in the early 1990s), combined with the Trojans 21st century success, leading them to sometimes be called LA's "de facto NFL team."[16]

During Pete Carroll's first eight years as head coach, USC has lost only one game by more than seven points, a 27–16 loss at Notre Dame in his first season, until the second half of the 2009 season. The 21st century has also seen the rise of USC football's popularity in the Los Angeles market: without any stadium expansions, USC has broken its average home attendance record four times in a row: reaching 77,804 in 2003, 85,229 in 2004, 90,812 in 2005 and over 91,416 with one game to go in 2006 (the capacity of the Coliseum is 92,000). As of 2009, USC is one of only four of the 119 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) teams to have never played a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) team since the division was made in 1978.[17]


After beating Penn State in the Rose Bowl, USC finished the season 12–1, and ranked #2 in the Coaches' Poll and #3 in the AP Poll. The 2008 season culminated in USC's seventh straight Pac-10 Championship, seventh straight BCS bowl appearance and seventh straight finish in the top 4 of the AP Poll. This also marked seven consecutive seasons where USC has not lost a game by more than 7 points. Their only loss was on the road against Oregon State, which was mentioned in the preseason as a possible upset.[18][19]


After beating Boston College in the Emerald Bowl, USC finished the season 9–4, and ranked #20 in the Coaches' Poll and #22 in the AP Poll. USC ended its seven-year streak of Pac-10 Championship, BCS bowl appearance and top 4 finish of the AP Poll. The Trojans started the season strong beating #8 Ohio State at The Horseshoe. But they would lose to four Pac-10 teams (Washington, Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona). After the season concluded, head coach Pete Carroll resigned to accept a head coaching position with the Seattle Seahawks.


In the first 30 years of USC football, the school maintained rivalries with local Southern California schools like Occidental and Pomona, but these ended by the 1920s when USC joined the Pac-10 and grew into a national caliber team.

A "Perfect Day"

A "Perfect Day" (a phrase created by the school's football announcer Peter Arbogast) to any USC fan is a USC win coupled with losses by Notre Dame and UCLA.[20] The last regular season "Perfect Day" occurred on November 28, 2009, when USC beat UCLA, and Notre Dame lost to Stanford.

Notre Dame

The First Jeweled Shillelagh

USC plays the University of Notre Dame each year for the Jeweled Shillelagh. A majority of Trojan alumni and fans consider the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to be USC’s greatest gridiron rival (needs source). The intersectional game has featured more national championship teams, Heisman trophy winners, All-Americans, and future NFL hall-of-famers than any other collegiate match-up. The two schools have kept the annual game on their schedules since 1926 (except 1942–44 because of World War II travel restrictions) despite the fact that it enjoys neither the possibility of acquiring regional “bragging rights” nor the import of intra-league play that drive most rivalries. Notre Dame leads the series 42 wins to 34 wins. The game is often referred to as the greatest intersectional rivalry in college football.[21][22][23][24][25]


USC currently possesses the Victory Bell.

USC's rivalry with UCLA is unique in that they are the only two Division I-A programs in a major BCS conference that share a major city. Both are within L.A. city limits, approximately 10 miles (16 km) apart. Until 1982 the two schools also shared the same stadium: The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The crosstown rivals play each year for city bragging rights and the Victory Bell; and often for the right to go to the Rose Bowl. The UCLA rivalry tends to draw the focus of student supporters since many USC students have friends or family members attending "that other school" (of course, many UCLA students refer to their USC friends in the same way) and many Southern California families are evenly divided between Trojan Cardinal and Bruin Blue.

USC UCLA Lexus Gauntlet.

The USC/UCLA rivalry runs so deep that when the Trojan Marching Band plays one of their most famous tunes Tusk at any of their games...the crowd will be heard singing along "u-c-l-a- sucks."


Stanford is USC's oldest rival,[26] in a series that dates to 1905. In the early years of football on the West Coast, the power sat in the Bay Area with the Stanford-Cal rivalry and USC rose to challenge the two established programs. During the early and mid-20th century Stanford football occasionally enjoyed periods of great regional success on the gridiron. USC and Stanford, being the two private universities with major football teams on the west coast, naturally drew the ire of one another. During the early 2000s, however, Stanford had not maintained their earlier success and the rivalry has faded to many USC fans; although many Stanford fans retain a hatred for SC.[26] The rivalry was renewed with the arrival of Jim Harbaugh at Stanford in 2007, with Harbaugh defeating Carroll 2-1 in their three matchups (both victories occurring in the Coliseum), including USC's worst loss in 43 years (and most ever points surrendered), and even led the Los Angeles Times to declare that Stanford was "at the top of the USC 'Must Kill' list."[27][28]


Like Stanford, the University of California, Berkeley also had an early rivalry with USC.[26] USC lost in triple overtime to California in 2003, and some began to suggest that a new more intense rivalry between the Trojans and the Golden Bears was taking shape within the Pac-10. A close 2004 game between the two teams furthered feelings of an intense rivalry. Talk diminished with USC's 35-10 victory in Berkeley in 2005; however, the importance of the 2006 USC-Cal game, which decided the Pac-10's BCS berth, rekindled rivalry talk.


Tailback U

Reggie Bush's Heisman

"Tailback U" is a nickname that emerged when Hall of Fame college football coach John McKay ('60–'75) and successor John Robinson ('76–'82) began producing a number of top-rated players at the tailback position such as Mike Garrett, O.J. Simpson, Anthony Davis, Ricky Bell, Charles White, and Marcus Allen. Coach Pete Carroll continued the trend in recent years with Heisman Trophy winning tailback Reggie Bush and current NFL players LenDale White and Justin Fargas.

Coach McKay's play calling emphasized and refined the run, taking full advantage of his quality backs-a trend followed by his former offensive coordinator and immediate successor, John Robinson. Carroll had success and Heisman winners, both at Quarterback and Running Back.


A recent tradition has a selected linebacker wearing the number 55. The number cannot be taken but is assigned by the head coach. Pete Carroll had, at times, refrained from assigning the number if he did not think any player was worthy of it. The linebacker wearing #55 is typically regarded as the anchor of the defense.

Notable players who have worn #55 for USC include Junior Seau, Willie McGinest, Markus Steele, and Chris Claiborne; Seau, McGinest and Claiborne were all top-10 picks in the NFL Draft.[29]. Senior Keith Rivers is the most recent #55 to be selected in the top ten. The Cincinnati Bengals made him the ninth overall selection in the 2008 draft. The last non-linebacker to wear #55 was offensive center John Katnik in 1989.

Fight On

A phrase commonly used by Trojan fans to greet one another or show support for the team, which is borrowed from the fight song of the same name (i.e., "Fight On for ol' S.C./Our men Fight On to Victory..." The two finger "V" salute for Victory is often given in accompaniment.


Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

The peristyle and Olympic Torch of the Coliseum

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is one of the largest stadiums in the U.S. USC has played football in the Coliseum ever since the grand stadium was built in 1923. In fact, the Trojans played in the first varsity football game ever held there (beating Pomona College 23–7 on October 6, 1923). The Coliseum was the site of the 1932 Summer Olympics and hosted the opening and closing ceremonies and track events of the 1984 Olympic Games. Over the years, the Coliseum has been home to many sports teams besides the Trojans, including UCLA football, the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and Raiders, the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960 of the AFL, and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball, including the 1959 World Series. The Coliseum has hosted various other events, from concerts and speeches to track meets and motorcycle races. The Coliseum has a present full-capacity of 92,000 seats (almost all are chair-back seats). The Coliseum is located on 17 acres (69,000 m2) in Exposition Park, which also houses museums, gardens and the Los Angeles Sports Arena [1].

Howard Jones Field/Brian Kennedy Field

The University of Southern California football team practices on campus at Howard Jones Field, which was expanded in the fall of 1998 to include Brian Kennedy Field. In early 1999, Goux's Gate - named for the popular long-time assistant coach Marv Goux - was erected at the entrance to the practice field.

Records and results

Results versus AP Top 10 opponents

USC's record against AP Top 10 opponents under Pete Carroll (2001–present)

Season Opponent Result Game
2009 #10 Oregon L 20-47 regular season
2009 #8 Ohio State W 18-15 regular season
2008 #8 Penn State W 38-24 Rose Bowl
2008 #5 Ohio State W 35-3 regular season
2007 #7 Arizona State W 44-24 regular season
2007 #5 Oregon L 17-24 regular season
2006 #3 Michigan W 32-18 Rose Bowl
2006 #6 Notre Dame W 44-24 regular season
2005 #2 Texas L 38-41 Rose Bowl*
2005 #9 Notre Dame W 34-31 regular season
2004 #2 Oklahoma W 55-19 Orange Bowl*
2004 #7 California W 23-17 regular season
2003 #4 Michigan W 28-14 Rose Bowl
2003 #6 Washington State W 43-16 regular season
2003 #6 Auburn W 23-0 regular season
2002 #3 Iowa W 38-17 Orange Bowl
2002 #17 WASHINGTON STATE L 30-27 (OT) regular season
2002 #7 Notre Dame W 44-13 regular season
2001 #7 Oregon L 22-24 regular season
* Designated BCS National Championship game

NCAA, conference, and school records

Wins Type of Record
Consecutive Wins vs. Notre Dame: 8 School record
Consecutive Conference Championships: 7 Pac-10 record (Note: the 2002, 2006, and 2007 titles were shared.)
Consecutive BCS bowl appearances: 7 FBS (I-A) record
BCS bowl wins: 6 FBS (I-A) record
Consecutive 11 win seasons: 7 FBS (I-A) record
Weeks at #1 in AP poll: 33 NCAA record
Consecutive Rose Bowl Championships: 3 All-time record

Season records


Team awards

National titles

USC's 2004 BCS National Championship Trophy

USC holds 11 national titles, including seven from wire services (AP and UPI). Two of the championships - 1928 and 1939 - have been challenged by some sports historians. In both cases USC bases its claim on winning the Dickinson System, a formula devised by a University of Illinois professor that awarded the only championship trophy between 1926 and 1940. In both these years, Dickinson was the only poll or system to rank the Trojans number one. USC's stance, however, is in keeping with that of most other schools that won the Dickinson title; only Notre Dame, which won the Dickinson crown in 1938, does not claim a major national title for that year. Since at least 1969, USC had not listed 1939 as a national championship year; but in 2004, USC once again began recognizing the 1939 team as national champions after it determined that it qualified.[31][32][33]

Here are the years USC recognizes a national championship:

Year Coach Selector Record Bowl
1928 Howard Jones Dickinson System 9-0-1 -
1931 Howard Jones Helms, CFRA, NCF 10-1 Won Rose
1932 Howard Jones Helms, CFRA, NCF 10-0 Won Rose
1939 Howard Jones Dickinson System 8-0-2 Won Rose
1962 John McKay AP, FWAA, NFF, UPI 11-0 Won Rose
1967 John McKay AP, FWAA, NFF, UPI 10-1 Won Rose
1972 John McKay AP, FWAA, NFF, UPI 12-0 Won Rose
1974 John McKay FWAA, NFF, UPI 10-1-1 Won Rose
1978 John Robinson UPI 12-1 Won Rose
2003 Pete Carroll AP, FWAA 12-1 Won Rose
2004 Pete Carroll AP, BCS, FWAA, NFF, USAT/ESPN 13-0 Won Orange
National Championships 11

USC teams have also been selected as national champions in six other years (1929, 1933, 1976, 1979, 2002, 2008) by various nationally published ratings systems or voters. These ratings systems are not generally viewed as part of process of selecting the national championship. USC does not claim to have won titles in any of these years.

Pacific-10 conference titles

The Trojans have suffered only three losing seasons since 1961 and have captured 37 Pac-10 titles. This gives them the 4th most conference championships of any NCAA school, and twice as many as any other Pac-10 member team. From 2002 through 2008, the Trojans won or shared an unprecedented seven consecutive Pac-10 titles.

Bowl games

The Trojans have played in 49 bowl games–-second most behind Alabama's leading 56. USC has the most bowl wins with 33. USC also has the highest winning percentage in bowl games - winning 67% of the time - among those teams with at least 15 bowl appearances. Finally, USC's 33 Rose Bowl appearances and 24 victories are the most of any school in a single bowl. No other team is even close to making 24 appearances in the Rose Bowl.

Individual awards

Individual players have won numerous accolades with seven Heisman Trophy winners, 34 College Football Hall of Fame inductees, and 151 All-Americans. USC's first consensus All-American was offensive guard Brice Taylor in 1925, who notably excelled despite missing his left hand, and who was one of USC's first black players.

National award winners

Heisman Trophy winners and retired numbers

The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious award in college football. Seven USC players have won the award, which is tied for the most with Ohio State and Notre Dame. All of their jersey numbers have been retired by USC.

Year Position Name Class Jersey Number
1965 TB Mike Garrett SR. 20
1968 TB O.J. Simpson SR. 32
1979 TB Charles White SR. 12
1981 TB Marcus Allen SR. 33
2002 QB Carson Palmer SR. 3
2004 QB Matt Leinart JR. 11
2005 TB Reggie Bush JR. 5
Heisman Trophy Winners / Retired Numbers 7

All-century Trojan football team

selected by fan vote, published in the Orange County Register, November 17, 1999

QB: Pat Haden, 72-74
FB: Leroy Holt, 85-88
RB: O.J. Simpson, 67-68
RB: Marcus Allen, 78-81
WR: Keyshawn Johnson, 94-95
WR: Lynn Swann, 71-73
TE: Charles Young, 70-72
OL: Ron Yary, 65-67
OL: Brad Budde, 76-79
OL: Tony Boselli, 91-94
OL: Ron Mix, 57-59
OL: Bruce Matthews, 80-82
3rd WR: Johnnie Morton, 90-93
PK: Steve Jordan, 81-84

DL: Tim Rossovich, 65-67
DL: Marlin McKeever, 58-60
DL: Mike McKeever, 58-60
DL: Aaron Rosenberg, 31-33
LB: Junior Seau, 88-89
LB: Richard Wood, 72-74
LB: Chris Claiborne, 96-98
DB: Ronnie Lott, 77-80
DB: Dennis Smith, 77-80
DB: Dennis Thurman, 74-77
DB: Mark Carrier, 87-89
P : Desmond Koch, 51-53
KR: Anthony Davis, 72-74

All-time USC football team

Chosen by Athlon Sports in 2001 [2]

WR: Lynn Swann 71-73
WR: Keyshawn Johnson 92-95
TE: Hal Bedsole 61-63
OL: Ron Yary 65-67
OL: Tay Brown 30-32
OL: Tony Boselli 91-94
OL: John Baker 29-31
OL: Brad Budde 76-79
OL: Anthony Munoz 76-79
OL: Bruce Matthews 80-82
QB: Pat Haden 72-74
RB: Mike Garrett 63-65
RB: O.J. Simpson 67-68
RB: Charles White 76-79
RB: Marcus Allen 78-81
PK: Quin Rodriguez 87-90

DL: Ernie Smith 30-32
DL: Tim Ryan 86-89
DL: Harry Smith 37-39
DL: Aaron Rosenberg 31-33
LB: Chris Claiborne 96-98
LB: Richard Wood 72-74
LB: Jack Del Rio 81-84
LB: Junior Seau 88-89
DB: Ronnie Lott 77-80
DB: Morley Drury 25-27
DB: Mark Carrier 87-89
DB: Tim McDonald 83-86
P: Des Koch 51-53

Other Individual Player's and Coach's Awards


O.J. Simpson, TB (1968)
Charles White, TB (1979)
Marcus Allen, TB (1981)
O.J. Simpson, TB (1967)
O.J. Simpson, TB (1968)
Charles White, TB (1979)
Marcus Allen, TB (1981)
Matt Leinart, QB (2004)
Reggie Bush, TB (2005)
Chris Claiborne, MLB (1998)
Brad Budde, OG (1979)
Rey Maualuga, LB (2008)
Matt Leinart, QB (2004)
Reggie Bush, RB (2005)
Matt Leinart, QB (2004)
Ron Yary, OT (1967)
Mark Carrier, FS (1989)
Rodney Peete, QB (1988)
Carson Palmer, QB (2002)
Matt Leinart, QB (2005)
Reggie Bush, TB (2005)
Fred Davis, TE (2007)


John McKay, Head Coach (1962), (1972)
Pete Carroll, Head Coach (2003)
Norm Chow, Offensive Coordinator (2002)

College Football Hall of Fame inductees

Other notable individual accomplishments

Heisman finalists

Notable former players

Trojans in the NFL

USC has more 1st Round NFL Draft picks (71)[34] than any other college football team. 162 Trojans have been selected to the NFL Pro Bowl, while a Trojan has managed to play in all but two Super Bowls.

Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees

Current players



Tony Boselli, OT (Westwood One Radio Network) Keyshawn Johnson, WR (ESPN)



Radio flagship: KSPN 710-AM in Los Angeles
Broadcasters: Pete Arbogast (play-by-play), Paul McDonald (analyst) and John Jackson (sideline reporter)
Past broadcasters: Tom Kelly, Lee Hacksaw Hamilton, Tim Ryan, Larry Kahn, Mike Walden, Chick Hearn, Petros Papadakis, Fred Gallagher, and Mike Lamb, among the most recent USC radio broadcasters. Until 1995, radio station KNX AM-1070 in Los Angeles was the school's football flagship station. From 2001 to 2006, KMPC AM-1540 was the Trojan's flagship station. Pete Arbogast, who has called Trojans football for 14 of the last 20 seasons, will call his sixth Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2009. Arbogast also called the Rose Bowl game for USC for the university's campus radio station, KSCR, in 1978 and 1979
Public address announcer: Dennis Packer

See also

  • Giles Pellerin, who attended 797 consecutive USC football games from 1925 until his death during the USC - UCLA game in 1998


a. ^  Hawaii invited PCC teams to play in the Poi Bowl at the end of the season from 1936 to 1939. Although the College Football Data Warehouse lists the game as a "College Division/Minor Bowl Game", the NCAA as well as USC's own official records list it as simply a regular season game at the end of the season.[35][36][37] Thus, in this article the game is not counted in USC's bowl record.


  1. ^ Traditions: USC National Titles,, Accessed March 22, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c Mal Florence et al., The Trojan Heritage, 2004 USC Football Media Guide, USC Athletic Department, pp. 201-209.
  3. ^ "Intercollegiate Football: The U.S.C. Beats Throop By a Score of 22 to 12 at Pasadena". Los Angeles Times. 1893-11-22. 
  4. ^ a b Yaeger, Don; Sam Cunningham , John Papadakis (September 1 2006). Turning of the Tide: How One Game Changed the South. Center Street. ISBN 1931722943. 
  5. ^ Lenn Robbins, Trojans Have Horses, New York Post, August 26, 2007
  6. ^ Pat Forde, The Dash is off and running,, August 28, 2007
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Three and out: Beavers stun USC; BCS race wide open, Associated Press, October 28, 2006, Accessed October 15, 2008.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Ivan Maisel, Carroll's coaching propels USC to top of decade ranking,, July 27, 2007.
  12. ^ Storied programs dominate Ladder 119's top rungs,, July 27, 2007.
  13. ^ Stewart Mandel, Early look at '07,, January 16, 2007.
  14. ^ Mark Schlabach, Trojans, Wolverines top revised look at 2007,, January 22, 2007.
  15. ^ Dave Albee,Carroll Chronicles: Celebrities love to practice with Pete, Marin Independent Journal, August 29, 2007.
  16. ^ Christine Daniels, They're No. 1 on this list too, Los Angeles Times, September 28, 2007.
  17. ^ Chris Dufrense, UCLA victory is crucial for Dorrell, Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2007.
  18. ^ Anne M. Peterson, Oregon State beats top-ranked USC 27-21, AP, September 26, 2008
  19. ^ Mark Schlabach, Keep up-to-date on the best the 2008 season has to offer,, August 25, 2008, Accessed August 25, 2008
  20. ^
  21. ^ John Walters, Does it get any better than this?,, October 13, 2005, Accessed March 24, 2009.
  22. ^ Dave Revsine, Michigan, Ohio State set bar high for other rivalries,, November 24, 2006, Accessed March 24, 2009.
  23. ^ The Greatest Intersectional Rivalry: Top 10 Moments from Notre Dame-USC,, October 12, 2005, Accessed March 24, 2009.
  24. ^ Adam Rose, The Color of Misery,, October 20, 2007, Accessed March 24, 2009.
  25. ^ This Week in Pac-10 Football, Pacific-10 Conference, November 20, 2006, Accessed March 24, 2009.
  26. ^ a b c Beano Cook, Longstanding West Coast rivalry, ESPN Classic, September 26, 2001, Accessed Sept. 9, 2006.
  27. ^ Mike Rose (November 16, 2009). "Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll: What's the deal?". Newsday. 
  28. ^ "Jim Harbaugh Incites Rivalry, Pete Carroll Finds New Enemy". Los Angeles Times. November 17, 2009. 
  29. ^ Chris Harry, Rivers lives up to No. 55, Orlando Sentinel, February 25, 2008.
  30. ^ All information in the Awards section (and the rest of the article) can be crosschecked in the 2006 USC Trojans Football Media Guide.
  31. ^ This Just In: USC Also Is a 1939 Champion . Washington Post, July 28, 2004
  32. ^ USC 1939 National Champions. Washington Times, August 27, 2004
  33. ^ USC Now Will Recognize Its 1939 Football Team As A National Champion. Trojan have 10 national champs in the sport. USC Trojans Athletic Department, July 24, 2004.
  34. ^
  35. ^ Poi Bowl Games, College Football Data Warehouse, Accessed January 31, 2008.
  36. ^ All-Time USC Record, 2004 USC Football Media Guide, USC Athletic Department, pp. 156.
  37. ^ Official 2007 NCAA Division-I Football Records Book, National Collegiate Athletic Association, August 2007.

External links


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