Notre Dame vs USC: 5 Reasons to Hate the Trojans

Notre Dame vs USC is one of the most historic rivalries in all of sports. Because of it, there’s plenty of reasons why you should hate the Trojans.

There isn’t a day that goes by without at least one Notre Dame fan saying, “Ugh, I hate USC.” And if you’re around the person saying it, it’s one of the most sour words in the English language.



To Irish fans, the Trojans are pure evil. They’ve sold themselves to a forbidden temple called Southern Cal. and cannot be accepted by outsiders. When they leave this temple, it takes a lot of hard work and convincing to turn people’s mindsets towards them.

These Trojans are some of the most disliked people in South Bend. Without them, Notre Dame would never have suffered some of it’s most painful memories. Memories that leave any Notre Dame fan with a clenched fist and a head shake.

Rivalry Weekend is filled with hatred. It’s one of the most intense, hard-nosed, gritty games of the entire college football season. There’s the Ohio State vs Michigan game, the Alabama vs Auburn game, and then your lovely Notre Dame vs USC game. None of which leave any room for love, compassion, or understanding for the other team and it’s fans.

If you’re a Notre Dame fan, though, you know exactly what the feeling is like. USC is the worst group of individuals on Earth. No matter what happens to the school, their football team, or their fans, they will forever be an organization Irish fans hate. And this is just a few reasons why.

5. 1938, 1964, 1970, 1980

It seemed that Notre Dame’s biggest punch in the groin comes when USC somehow finds a way to ruin their National Championship hopes. In 1938, 1964, 1970, and 1980 the Trojans did just that.

One of the worst had to be 1970 when Notre Dame was ranked number two behind Texas. Irish quarterback Joe Theismann threw for a record 526 passing yards, and Notre Dame still lost.

It’s these four games that remind every Notre Dame player and fan why USC isn’t a game you want to miss. At any moment, the Trojans can ruin Notre Dame’s season and vise verse.

These four seasons don’t represent times when Notre Dame was one of the most dominant teams in the country. They represent years Southern Cal. ended our season. Times that the Irish came so close, but fell short to the one team no fan wanted to see win.

It’s always a gut-wrenching loss when it’s to USC. But when you have a chance to play in the National Championship, it hurts so much worse.

4. 2002-2011

From 2002-2011, Notre Dame fans felt almost numb watching rivalry week. During this stretch, USC beat Notre Dame nine out of ten times. Including eight straight victories. It’s easy to see why this stretch of games is one of the harshest memories in all of Irish fans’ heads.

These games weren’t a stretch of unfortunate events. Although one game may be the biggest reason you should hate the Trojans. They were just pure humiliation for the Irish.

If South Bend can eliminate a stretch of years from their timeline, it’d be these nine years. It wasn’t like Notre Dame was headed to the National Championship each year. But it doesn’t erase the fact that for eight straight years everyone had to watch the Trojans celebrate a win over Notre Dame.

During this span, USC had three (including Reggie Bush) Heisman Trophy winners. These teams weren’t just beating Notre Dame. They were competing for Rose Bowls and National Championship spots. Which, honestly, hurt just as bad as watching them beat Notre Dame.

3. Pete Carroll

From 2001-2009 Notre Dame was stuck with the worst human being on the planet. Pete Carroll literally makes me cringe whenever I hear the name.

He was it. The coach that just won and won and won. It was like watching Nick Saban and Alabama. Every time they played anyone you just think, “well, this one is over.”

Carroll was just so good. Too good. He recruited well, competed with solid teams, and at the end of the day still pulled off two National Championship and four Rose Bowl. That’s six bowls in the course of nine years that no Notre Dame fan could feel good about watching.

This man was the root of all evil in Southern Cal. Without him there are no eight straight years of Notre Dame losses. No Carson Palmer. No “Bush Push.” No anything or anyone that ruined Notre Dame’s seasons for nine years.

It’s hard to say whether Pete Carroll being in the NFL takes any of the pain away. Watching him win a Super Bowl surely didn’t help the cause. But he’s out of Notre Dame’s hands and the world is a better place because of it.

2. The Quarterbacks

Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez, Vince Evans, Paul McDonald, Matt Leinart, and so many more. These are the names on the endless list of successful USC quarterbacks. If having great coach after great coach and some of the best recruits weren’t bad enough, their gunslingers always seem to be some of the best.

It seems like every season the one thing you can rely on is USC having a top quarterback on their roster. Even when the team is bad, you always have to worry about who’s running that team. It gets annoying.

No one wants to have to worry about USC. When the team is bad, you really shouldn’t have to worry about them. But for some reason, fans are constantly on edge about if the Irish can beat their quarterback because USC always has that guy.

It’s even worse when they’re always being talked about as a Heisman contender. It may not be happening right now, but for awhile, USC was just Heisman central for quarterbacks.

It’s so bad that Notre Dame fans still consider Jimmy Clausen a recruiting victory. Not because he won Notre Dame a bunch of games, or because he was one of the top play callers in the country, but because he was from California. Don’t get me wrong, Clausen was a good QB during his time at Notre Dame. But don’t you just wish Notre Dame had a few more quarterbacks from California instead of them all going to USC.

1. The “Bush Push”

I don’t know about you, but the “Bush Push” is the worst day of my college football fandom. A day filled with disappointment I hope I never feel again. To sum it up, it was one of the worst days of my football watching career.

For those of you who don’t know what the Bush Push is – In 2005, Notre Dame was finally in a close game with USC after losing by 30-plus each of the last three years. With two minutes remaining, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn ran for a go-ahead touchdown. With seven seconds remaining in the game, USC quarterback Matt Leinart fumbled the ball out of bounds on the goal-line and time expired. As Irish fans rushed the field to celebrate, officials decided to place the ball on the one-yard line and put seven seconds back on the clock. Instead of trying to tie the game, USC ran the ball. As Leinart tried to fight through the line, USC running back, Reggie Bush, pushed Leinart from behind and forced him into the end zone.

The only problem is that is was against the rules. Yep, the referees were willing to put seven seconds back on the clock in a game they already ruled over, but they weren’t willing to throw a flag on an illegal play.

This is the worst memory in all of Notre Dame football. There are select games that really eat at you as a fan, but none worse than the Bush Push. To everyone that calls themselves a Notre Dame fan, the Bush Push is the cream of the crop as to why we hate USC.

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