Subway Domer posed the question to everyone yesterday in the Monday Pipes post and it got me thinking. Who is Notre Dame’s biggest rival. I think you can tell by the image of the Shark that its clearly the USC Trojans. USC provides the Irish with a formidable opponent every year and its the game I circle on my calendar as the one I want we have to win (I’ve been angry at my calendar the past 8 years). iving in Southern California it makes sense for me to hate the Trojans as an Irish fan, but lets take a look at why the Irish should hate USC…
When it comes to the Irish biggest rival its an easy one. The U$C Trojans. The Trojans are not an instate rival like a Michigan VS Michigan State. They aren’t a proximity school from the same conference like Cal is to Stanford. What they are is historic institutions that are the face college football. Song Birds, The Colosseum, a dude on a white horse with a sword. Notre Dame and USC have combined for 22 national championships and 14 Heisman trophy winners. When these two teams clash, it usually means fireworks.
The Irish began playing the Trojans back in 1926 thanks in part to Knute Rockne. Rockne had heard about the fancy team playing out on the west coast and loaded his boys up on the train to play in LA. Rockne appreciated a trip to sunny California every other year in the winter time. The Irish won the opening battle 13-12. From then on the Irish continually played the Trojans every year except for the 3 years during World War II. 81 games have been played between these two teams with the Irish coming out on top 42-35-5 in the overall standings.
The Irish and Trojans share some pretty legit college football history with their successes but thats not what makes these teams such great rivals. The players involved have taken the USC vs Notre Dame rivalry to the next level. Countless games have gone down to the wire and will be remembered as some of the best. Joe Theimsann’s 526 passing yards in a loss, The ’71 brawl, Pat Haden and Anthony Davis’ comeback in 1974, the Trojan horse in 1977 and the 38-0 loss in 2007. What sums up the rivalry to me in recent years is the game we all point to. The game that may have defined the Charlie Weis era good or bad, and that’s 2005 and the Bush Push. That game goes to show how relevant this rivalry still even after 83 years of playing. This rivalry trumps Michigan and Boston College as the passion and desire to win this game is unbeatable.