The Crosstown Gauntlet is a competition between the two prominent institutions of higher learning in Los Angeles covering not just the big football showdown in November, but all the sports in which the Bruins and Trojans field a team.
Started in 2001 and sponsored by Lexus until 2009, ten points are awarded for wins in football, men’s and women’s basketball, and women’s volleyball, while all other sports are worth five points.
110 points are up for grabs every year, and the first school that reaches 55 points wins the Gauntlet Trophy.
Of the 12 Gauntlet Trophies awarded, USC has won eight, including five in a row from 2007-2012 before UCLA, on the strength of their 38-28 win in football and their sweep of baseball, track and field, and men’s volleyball, won last year with 65 points.
As for this year’s competition, things are heating up as the standings, as of April 23, are thus:
UCLA – 45 points
USC – 40 points
Among the highlights for the Bruins in 2013-14 to date are their second straight victory over ‘SC in football and first at the Coliseum since 1997, as well as sweeping both men’s basketball games and all three women’s tennis matches.
Meanwhile, the Trojans swept UCLA in women’s basketball and all things women’s volleyball, both the indoor kind and the new sand volleyball kind, dominating those sports as the outcomes were never that much in doubt.
Things will be decided one way or another over the next two weekends, as the Bruins and USC will clash in three separate events:
1. Baseball at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Westwood, where a much improved Trojan team will try to not only ruin UCLA’s chances for a Pac-12 title and a regional berth – not to mention a chance to repeat as national champions – but also try and reclaim the baseball bragging rights that had long been theirs until the last few years.
A three-game series will be played from Thursday through Saturday
2. Men’s golf on Saturday, April 27, where the two teams will clash at the Pac-12 Championships in Marana, AZ.
UCLA and USC have met once this season on March 3 in Santa Barbara, the two teams tying in their match.
3. The final athletic meeting between the Bruins and Trojans will come at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus on May 4, when the annual dual meet will commence for both the men and the women.
This is a historic part of the rivalry, the mens’ teams having their first meet in 1934 while the women have been meeting since 1984.
The Trojan men dominated in this sport for three decades before their Bruin counterparts finally broke through in 1966; the series has been pretty much been all UCLA since then.
As for the women on the track and in the field events, the series stands at 22-8 in favor of the Bruins, but ‘SC has won five of the last six.
To say that this is an exciting time as far as seeing who earns sports superiority in SoCal is a understatement, as the baseball players, golfers, and track and field athletes who call Westwood and University Park – just south of Downtown L.A. – home, will decide which school can say that they rule Los Angeles.
At least for the 2013-2014 school year.
For more information and a history of this rivalry and the Gauntlet Trophy, feel free to check out this website: