The UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans not only have the best crosstown rivalry here in Los Angeles but the best rivalry in all of college football.
When the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans take the field Saturday in the 89th edition of the Crosstown Rivalry a tradition unlike any other will be showcased once again as the best rivalry in college football.
Those on the east coast don’t have anything like it, Southerners would like to tell you Alabama and Auburn is worth you’re time but like the rest of the SEC, that’s an over-inflated assessment. Midwesterners will tell you it’s Michigan-Ohio State, nobody wants to freeze their privates watching that game.
No, logically minded fans of the sport know that the game to watch during rivalry week is that between the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins, here are three reasons why.
The campuses of both schools sit just a few miles away from each other, meaning it’s the closest rivalry in all of college football. Students, alumnus, and fans interact with each other every day, meaning the second largest city in America is the hotbed for rivalries on the field and off.
Players on both teams come from the football rich high schools of Southern California, players who were once teammates now oppose each other on opposite sidelines. The rivalry isn’t just two teams, it’s a family affair that crosses freeways and streets all across LA.
No rivalry can match the venues the Bruins and Trojans provide. Last year’s game was at the Rose Bowl, the “Granddaddy of them All”. Not only is the Rose Bowl home to the Bruins but it has hosted NFL Super Bowls, Olympic events, and both the men and women’s version of the FIFA World Cup.
This year’s edition is at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the one venue to have hosted the International Olympic Games, the first NFL Super Bowl and the World Series. Both venues offer the country a glimpse of the sunshine and palm trees as the ultimate venues of the American Pacific giving the game a wonderful backdrop.
Over the years this game has been a “real” rivalry where bragging rights and prizes went to the winner. Throughout the history of the rivalry the stakes of the game where supremacy in the city but also conference titles and a berth in the New Year’s Day Rose Bowl game.
Even this year, when both teams are between mediocre and craptacular depending on the game, there are huge ramifications. A Bruins win and they get one game closer to bowl eligibility and salvage a season where they started 1-5.
A win for the Trojans and the chances dwindle that coach Clay Helton is fired and the school ushers in the Urban Meyer era. Even when the prize isn’t that big, this game still means more.