The rivalry game has been played every year since 1926, with the absence of three seasons during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. As a result, it is one of college football's oldest rivals. The winner of this series has won or competed for the college football national championship on several occasions. Notre Dame is 33-20-1 against Southern California.
Notre Dame and Southern California first met on November 18, 1926, in South Bend, Indiana. The game was originally scheduled for October 6, but was postponed due to rain delays that prevented the field from being ready in time. The final score was 12-0 in favor of Notre Dame. This remains the only meeting between these two schools until they renewed the rivalry in 1975.
In their first four meetings, Notre Dame dominated the series 3-1. However, from then on out, it was all Southern California until 2012 when Notre Dame defeated USC 49-47 in South Bend on September 9. The last five meetings have all ended in split decisions with each team winning by seven points or less.
Looking forward, there are no set dates for the games because they are scheduled based on what day it is on the calendar at both universities. However, you can expect to see them played around Thanksgiving each year.
USC leads the all-time series 31-27-1.
It is the longest rivalry that is unrelated to league affiliation or geographical location. Notre Dame first faced USC in 1926. Notre Dame and USC have played every year since, with the exception of 1943, 1944, and 1945, when the series was interrupted due to World War II.
Notre Dame's home stadium is called Notre Dame Stadium. The stadium is located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. It has a capacity of 80,000 people and was built in 1910. The university's basketball team plays its home games at Purcell Pavilion. They moved into their new facility in 2003 and it has a capacity of 10,000 people.
USC's home stadium is called Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It opened in 1923 and has been the home of the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and the NHL's Los Angeles Kings since 1994 and 1995 respectively. The Coliseum can seat up to 90,000 people and has a total capacity of around 100,000 including temporary seating. It is one of only two stadiums still in use by an original NFL team (the other being Chicago's Soldier Field).
The all-time series between Notre Dame and USC is tied at 9 wins each.
The University of Southern California is Notre Dame's major adversary. The Notre Dame-USC football rivalry has been contested annually since 1926, with the exception of 1943–1945, and is widely recognized as the best intercollegiate series in college football. According to legend, the rivalry originated when USC was seeking for a national opponent. When Notre Dame refused to play them, the Trojans decided to create their own team by taking players from other schools. This story is not true but it does not matter because both universities have always considered themselves enemies.
Notre Dame and USC meet every year during football season, with the exception of years when one school is banned from playing Division I-A football (1943–1945; 2017). They also compete in several other sports including basketball, baseball, and hockey. The Fighting Irish and Trojans are among only four remaining I-A teams that still play each other annually. The others are Michigan State vs. Ohio State, Pennsylvania vs. Pittsburgh, and Wisconsin vs. Illinois.
They first met on December 6, 1926, in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame won that first game 21-0. From then on, it was never again until 2009 when USC defeated Notre Dame for the first time in South Bend. The last five meetings have all ended in victories for Notre Dame.
There have been many famous athletes who have played for both schools.
This is a list of the most popular NCAA Division I college football series. With 155 games, the Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry, dubbed "The Rivalry," is the most played in Division I. The Mountain West Conference has the second most played with 139 games while the Mid-American Conference leads all leagues with 144 games.
Each year since 1990, some members of one team have refused to play against their rivals. Known as "non-conference games", these contests are typically scheduled when there is no conflict with another conference game. In this case, either school can be at a disadvantage because they cannot use their preferred scheduling strategy (i.e., rotating non-conference games).
There have been many cases where one team has refused to play until later in the season. Most recently, this occurred in 2017 when then-no. 1 USC refused to play Oregon until after Thanksgiving for what the Ducks called "the world's greatest game". The two teams finally met on November 24th in Los Angeles with USC winning 42-14.
USC and Oregon were not the only ones to skip their annual meeting. In fact, no Pacific-12 team will ever again meet up with an Oregon opponent until 2037 at the earliest.
The football rivalry between Notre Dame and USC
|All-time series||Notre Dame leads, 47–36–5 (.563)|
|Trophy series||Notre Dame leads, 32–29–3 (.523)|
|Largest victory||Notre Dame, 51–0 (1966)|
|Longest win streak||Notre Dame, 11 (1983–1993)|
In terms of Notre Dame's rivalries with USC and Stanford, the Irish have beaten both in the previous two years, with the Irish not losing to USC since 2016. That means it will be five years since the Irish last fell to the Trojans when they meet again in October 2021. The 2020 matchup is scheduled for South Bend on Saturday, September 5.
Notre Dame and Stanford have never met on the field, but the schools have been annual opponents from 1879 until 1905 when Stanford dropped football due to financial difficulties. The teams have played every year since then with the exception of 1918 when Germany's entry into World War I forced most of the country's universities to close their sports programs.
The Fighting Irish have won nine out of ten meetings with Stanford, including a 45-0 victory in South Bend in 2019. ND has also defeated USC eight times, most recently by a score of 43-14 in 2018.
The longest victory streak since the establishment of Notre Dame Stadium is 28 games from 1942 to 1950. During that period, only one undefeated and untied season was missed because of World War II.
Notre Dame went 12-0 in 1941 under coach Joe Bernardi. The team's last loss came when they traveled to Pittsburgh for a game with Carnegie Tech on November 24, 1950. The game was canceled due to weather conditions; no winner was declared by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
In addition to being at the time the longest win streak in college football history, the team's 1942 season is also considered the first perfect season in NCAA Division I football history. The Fighting Irish went 12-0 during their regular season before defeating Princeton 20-7 in the Orange Bowl.
Notre Dame's next undefeated season came in 1973. That year's team is still regarded as one of the greatest teams in school history. Led by quarterback Dan O'Brien and tailback Tony Hunt, the Fighting Irish went 11-0 during the regular season before beating Michigan 30-12 in the Fiesta Bowl.