The Rival Rundown: USC vs UCLA

uclauscWelcome back to The Rival Rundown! If you’ve always wanted to give props to your school on CC, now’s your chance! Shoot us an email explaining what’s awesome and unique about your school (or what stinks about Rival U) at!

This week we hit up the West Coast as we examine the two hottest schools in Los Angeles- the University of Southern California and the University of California- Los Angeles. Amidst the beautiful SoCal climate and a city rife with movie sets and superstars, private USC and public UCLA compete to find out which is most elite in the City of Angels.

1. Superior Sport

USC – The Trojans are known as “the football school” and have been awarded the NCAA national title in football eleven times, including back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004.  They are perennially ranked in the Top 10 football programs in the BCS by ESPN, USA Today, and other publications. And Trojans have taken home the Heisman Trophy seven times.
UCLA – Meanwhile, the Bruins are known as powerhouses in basketball–also earning eleven NCAA titles. Seven of these championships were won consecutively, from 1967-1973.  UCLA is also the all-time leader in total NCAA national titles across all sports.

Meanwhile, the Lexus Gauntlet is an annual all-sports competition between the two schools sponsored by Lexus. Points are awarded for every victory (particularly in head-to-head match ups)  in NCAA-sanctioned competitions, with the school with the most points declared as the winner. (There is also a separate Lexus Gauntlet awarded to the winner of the Stanford-Berkeley rivalry.)  In the eight years of Lexus Gauntlet tradition, USC has walked away with five titles.

Three credits to: TIE.  The two schools pulled a draw in NCAA titles in their respective predominant sport.  On the one hand, the Lexus Gauntlet record gives the Trojans the edge, but UCLA also has the most NCAA titles of any school. Too close to call!!

2. Terrific Traditions

USC – Trojans can’t withhold their affections for Traveler, the magnificent white horse ridden by a student in full Greek armor at every football game, and Tommy Trojan, the iconic statue of the school’s mascot found on campus. But Songfest, an annual talent show in which frats & sororities compete against one another to benefit the charity TroyCamp, is a highlight of the social calendar. When it comes to hatin’ on their crosstown rivals, some USC students once set loose thousands of crickets on the UCLA campus.
UCLA – Like the Trojans, UCLA also has its own child-oriented charity called UniCamp.  Students donning blue and gold love exhibiting card stunts (flashing the university logo, for instance) at basketball games and occasionally dousing Tommy Trojan with UCLA-colored paint.

Three Credits to: USC, for the campus-rockin Songfest.

3. Hottest (LA) Hood

USC – Located in University Park, USC is adjacent to the Los Angeles Coliseum and sits on Figueroa Street, which connects the school to the Staples Center and historic Chinatown.
UCLA – The Bruins are located in the Westwood Village section of Los Angeles, a wealthy and scenic section of town that is home to several vintage movie theaters and stretches of beautiful homes.  Oh, and the Playboy Mansion is just a hop, skip, and jump away!

Three credits toUCLA – who doesn’t want to party with Hef?

4. Ass-kicking Alumni

USC –  Neil Armstrong, Will Ferrell, Whitney Port
UCLA – Lo Bosworth, Francis Ford Coppola, James Franco

Three credits to: Let’s see…Whitney is SO much cooler than Lo on The Hills, and while Will Ferrell can make me pee my pants, I’d rather have James Franco in them. It’s another close one, but I’m going to have to go with UCLA because others have walked on the moon, but only FFC could have directed the masterpiece The Godfather with such genius.

5. Acceptance Rate Agony

USC- 22% of over 35,000 applicants were accepted for the class of 2012.
UCLA–  22.7% for the university with the largest number of applicants in the United States (over 55,000!)

Three credits toUSC…by a nose!!

And the diploma goes to:its a TIE! Seriously, its too close to call who wins this rivalry. Both schools boast terrific academics, athletics, and high-profile alumni–how can you choose? For all of you Angelenos out there, what do you think?

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