Today marks the 81st meeting between college football's two most stories programs, with Notre Dame holding a 42-33-5 all time lead. Both teams enter the game with only loss, so the winner keeps their BCS and National Championship hopes alive, while the loser all but seals their fate.
#5- Mutual Respect. While both teams of course have their bad apples, these are two of the classier fan bases in the game, and a rivalry that was built upon the premise of mutual respect has certainly been filled with it throughout its history. While both teams are rivals, at the end of the day, each school respects the opponent, and recognizes its significance to the continuing history of this great game.
#4- The Stadiums and the Atmospheres. The Coliseum and Notre Dame Stadium. The Peristyle and Touchdown Jesus. Downtown Los Angeles/Hollywood against Midwestern hospitality, the CFB Hall of Fame, and the birthplace of college football.
#3- The Players and Coaches. 11 National Championships for each school (most in the NCAA), 7 Heisman Winners a side (most in the NCAA), this rivalry has produced more legends both in the college game, and in the NFL than any other rivalry. From Gifford, to OJ, Anthony Davis, John McKay, Marcus Allen, Ronnie Lott, Pete Carroll Matt Leinart, and Reggie Bush USC has held up their end, with Notre Dame countering with the ghosts of the 4 Horsemen, Knute Rockne, Ara Parseghian, Paul Hornung, George Gipp, Joe Theismann, Tim Brown, and of course Joe Montana.
#2- The Games: The rivalry started out with close competitive games, and that trend continued through the 60's, including 1964's thriller that cost ND a national title, classics throughout the 70's, including '73, the comeback in '74, and the green jersey/trojan horse game of '77. While no game can ever match the hype and living up to the hype of the 2005 game, these two teams throughout the rivalry have played so many times with everything on the line for one or both teams. Whether it's the 3rd Saturday in October in South Bend, or a Thanksgiving Day weekender in Los Angeles, this game is sure to draw national attention.
#1- Throw out the records, throw out what's happened in the past, it's USC and Notre Dame, anything can and will happen. Big time rivalry games are what makes college football the great sport that it is, and are what give birth to legends whose names will never be forgotten. No Trojan fan will ever forget AD, 4th and 9, and the Bush Push, and no Irish fan will forget Erick Penick, the original Green Jersey game, and #1-#2.
Fight On and Beat the Irish!