Table of Contents

    USC has one of the most storied football programs in America. The Trojans have the eighth-best winning percentage in college football (.697), claim 11 national championships, have had six Heisman winners, and have produced some of the best teams the sport has ever seen. A collection of programs have made up most of the opposition the Trojans have faced throughout their history, but who has USC football played the most?

    Nearly every team on this list is a Pac-12 member, but USC will jump to the Big Ten in the coming years with its neighbor, UCLA. So, while these series have existed for varying lengths of long whiles, it appears inevitable that a handful will soon meet their demise.

    Maybe in 70 years, this list will be mostly Midwestern programs. But in 2023, there’s only one of those.

    Who Has USC Football Played the Most?

    Includes all games through Jan. 4, 2023.

    10: Arizona State – 38 Games (24-14-0)

    Arizona State and USC have played almost annually since their first game in 1978 when the Sun Devils joined the Pac-8. The series has been played every season since 1995, aided by the Pac-10 playing a round-robin schedule beginning in 2006 and Arizona State and USC both being placed in the South Division when the conference grew to 12 in 2011.

    USC has control of the all-time series, 24-14-0, thanks to a 10-year run from 2000 to 2010 that saw the Trojans claim every contest between the programs, 11 if you include the vacated 2005 game. The matchup has been more competitive since, with ASU triumphing five times dating back to 2011. USC won the most-recent meeting, 42-25, on Oct. 1, 2022, in Los Angeles.

    9: Arizona – 45 Games (37-8-0)

    USC first played Arizona in 1916, overcoming the Wildcats in all seven of their meetings between then and 1928. The teams didn’t play again until Arizona joined the Pac-8, renewing the series in 1979. They’ve played in almost every season since and annually dating back to 2006.

    The Trojans have dominated their interstate foes, commanding a 37-8-0 record in the series. Since 2001, Arizona has only outlasted USC twice, and the Trojans have won every game against the Wildcats since 2013. Most recently, USC defeated Arizona, 45-37, on Oct. 29, 2022, in Tucson.

    8: Oregon – 62 Games (38-22-2)

    The Ducks destroyed the Trojans in their first game against them in 1915, 34-0, but Oregon wouldn’t beat USC again until 1941, dropping nine-straight games to Southern Cal in between. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Oregon gained a foothold in this series, winning just 10 of the first 44 games between these two dating up to 1993, the main reason behind USC’s 38-22-2 advantage in the series.

    USC dropped four of its five games against Oregon from 1994 to 2001 and lost four of six to the Ducks from 2007 to 2012. Oregon has also won each of the last two meetings with USC, including a 31-24 victory on Dec. 18, 2020, in the Pac-12 Championship Game in Los Angeles. The Ducks have been one of the greatest foils to USC in the Pac-12 over the last 30 years, though the programs no longer play annually since the Pac-12 expanded in 2011 and placed them in opposing divisions.

    7: Washington State – 76 Games (62-10-4)

    This series dates back to 1921 when USC defeated Washington State, 28-7, in Pasadena. The Cougars picked up their first win over the Trojans in 1926 and have managed only nine more victories since. USC has dominated WSU in football, 62-10-4.

    USC’s longest winning streak over Washington State is 16, which came from 1958 to 1985. The Cougars finally broke the streak in 1986, but USC quickly mounted another run, holding Wazzu at bay for nine-consecutive contests from 1987 to 1996. USC is currently riding a four-game positive streak against WSU that started in 2018, including its 30-14 triumph on Oct. 8, 2022, in Los Angeles.

    6: Oregon State – 80 Games (64-12-4)

    As one of the best college football programs in the country, USC has handed its Pac-12 opponents a loss or two over the years. Oregon State has been on the other side of a good number of those beatings.

    The Beavers won the first two meetings with the Trojans in 1914 and 1916, then failed to win in 12-straight contests until finally overcoming USC in 1935. The longest win streak USC enjoyed over Oregon State came from 1968 to 1999 when the Trojans won 26 contests in a row against the Beavers, most of which were pure and total beatdowns, namely the 63-0 game in 1985. Oregon State has put up more of a resistance since, achieving five triumphs over USC since 2000, poisoning a couple of the Trojans’ seasons as the underdog. But USC has had the vast majority of the last laughs in this series, including in the teams’ last meeting, a 17-14 W for the Trojans on Sept. 24, 2022, in Corvallis.

    5: Washington – 85 Games (51-30-4)

    USC came up short in the first meeting between these two in 1923, 22-0, then rattled off six-straight wins to set the tone for this series. The Huskies responded with seven wins in eight tries in the 1930s and early 1940s, which is still Washington’s best stretch in its football history with USC.

    The Trojans have the advantage in this relationship, 51-30-4, mostly having the better of their northern counterparts. From 1965 to 1974, USC won all 10 of the contests, its longest successful streak in the series, and the Trojans have put together several multi-year runs over the Huskies otherwise.

    These teams played every season from 1944 to 1981 and again from 1983 to 1998. This series has not been played annually since the Pac-10 became the Pac-12, and these teams have met only three times since 2013. In their most recent battle, Washington defeated USC, 28-14, on Sept. 28, 2019, in Seattle.

    T-3: UCLA – 90 Games (50-33-7)

    Every year since 1936, USC and UCLA have met in what is one of the biggest rivalries of the West. The series is steeped in tradition and exemplifies the essence of a college football rivalry.

    The teams play for the Victory Bell, which has a fantastic story behind it that features classic old-school collegiate hijinks. Since some jovial theft introduced the trophy to the rivalry, plenty of other pranks have occurred between the student bodies throughout the decades.

    On the football field, USC has had the better of UCLA on the whole, owning the series lead, 50-33-7. The Trojans won the first contest in 1930, 52-0, and rattled off four more Ws before the Bruins got one, outlasting their neighbors, 14-7, in 1943. USC has enjoyed several win streaks of five-or-fewer – enough to have a comfortable cushion in the all-time series – but UCLA boasts the longest successful streak in the rivalry, toppling the Trojans eight times in a row from 1991 to 1998. These two have also had some incredible contests between them, like the 1967 “Game of the Century” in which an iconic O.J. Simpson touchdown gave the eventual national-champion Trojans an insurmountable 21-20 advantage, or UCLA’s 2006 upset over No. 2 USC that spoiled the season for the Trojans at the bitter end.

    Currently, USC holds possession of the Victory Bell after defeating UCLA, 48-45, on Nov. 19, 2022, at the Rose Bowl.

    T-3: Notre Dame – 90 Games (37-50-5)

    This is the only opponent on this list that has the all-time edge over USC.

    This is one of the fiercest, most historic, and most impactful rivalries in all of college football. Notre Dame and USC have met on the football field every year since 1926, sans the interference of World War II from 1943 to 1945 and the pandemic in 2020, and it has been marked largely by individual eras of dominance.

    Things were relatively even in the early days, but the Irish made their mark in the 1940s, winning all but one of the seven contests from that decade, settling for a 14-14 tie in 1948 as the closest thing to a loss. Again in the 1950s and 1960s, Notre Dame had the overall better of USC, though not quite as thoroughly.

    Trojan fortunes turned in 1967 with a 24-7 victory in South Bend. That marked the beginning of a USC-heavy era, with Southern Cal boasting a 12-2-2 record against its cross-country rival from 1967 to 1982. ND put its foot down ferociously in response, amassing the longest winning streak for either team in the series of 11 from 1983 to 1993. A 17-17 tie in 1994 finally ended that run, but the Trojans needed another two years to finally beat the Irish again, ending a 13-year drought in 1996.

    The 2000s swung in USC’s favor – the Trojans built their best positive streak in the series from 2002 to 2009, piling up seven-straight Ws. The 2010s and 2020s have been more kind to Notre Dame, including a four-game Irish win streak from 2017 to 2021.

    But USC is the one who can celebrate the Jeweled Shillelagh right now. The Trojans held off the Irish, 38-27, on Nov. 26, 2022, in Los Angeles to end Notre Dame’s streak and perhaps return momentum to the West Coast in this storied rivalry.

    There have been many classics in this rivalry – the 2005 “Bush Push” game, Notre Dame’s epic fourth quarter comeback in 1986, and plenty more contests with national implications in between. You cannot deny the history and significance of the USC-Notre Dame rivalry in the lore of college football.

    2: Stanford – 100 Games (63-34-3)

    USC first played Stanford in 1905, falling 16-0 to the Cardinal at Stanford. The teams wouldn’t play again until 1919, and the two have met on the gridiron in every year since, excluding 1921, 1924, 1943-1945, and 2020.

    The Trojans have had the better of the Cardinal for the most part. Their decisive 63-34-3 accurately illustrates the level of dominance USC has displayed against one of its oldest opponents. Southern Cal has put together several multi-year victory runs over Stanford, the longest of which came from 1958 to 1969 when USC reached 12 Ws in a row. The Cardinal haven’t managed to win more than four-consecutive contests against their southern foes, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t made their mark on the series.

    In 1979, a late comeback to end the game in a 21-21 tie against No. 1 USC cost the Trojans, who went 11-0-1 that season, the national championship. In 2007, Stanford was 1-3 after going 1-11 in the previous year and entered the showdown with the No. 2 Trojans as 41-point underdogs, but the Cardinal conquered in the Coliseum, 24-23. Since 1991, the series between these two programs is tied at 16-16, and they have played some tremendously important games with conference and national implications.

    USC and Stanford celebrated their 100th anniversary this season with a traditional Trojan triumph, 41-28, in Stanford on Sept. 10, 2022.

    1: California – 108 Games (72-31-5)

    Cal is USC football’s most-played opponent.

    The Trojans and Golden Bears have met more than a century’s worth, first duking it out in 1915 and only skipping three years since: 1920, 1925, and 2020.

    Southern Cal has largely overpowered its upstate opponent. Other than a nine-game unbeaten streak for Cal from 1915 to 1924 – its longest in the series – USC has throttled the Golden Bears more times than not. The Trojans have put together several long-term runs over California, the longest coming from 2004 to 2017 to the tune of 13-straight Ws. USC also beat Cal 11 times in a row from 1959 to 1969 and won 11 of 12 meetings with the Golden Bears from 1978 to 1989.

    Lately, Cal has kept pace with USC, outlasting its intrastate competition in two of their last four meetings dating back to 2018. But the Trojans have bragging rights at the moment after overcoming the Golden Bears, 41-35, on Nov. 5, 2022, in Los Angeles.

    Previous

    Who Has LSU Football Played the Most?

    Next

    LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan: Who is the GOAT?

    College Football Pools

    NCAAF Pick'em

    Featured

    NFL Power Ranking Playoff Pools for 2024

    NFL Pick'em

    Featured

    College Football Pick'Em Pools for 2024

    NCAAF Pick'em

    Featured

    UEFA Euro Soccer Pool

    Soccer Pick'em

    Featured

    Basketball Tournament Survivor Pools for 2024

    Basketball Pick'em

    Featured

    NFL Playoff Bracket Pools for 2024

    NFL Pick'em

    Featured

    Check Also