Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport
There's no debate as to who Notre Dame's most hated rival is.
Each and every season, the intensity level is ratcheted up when the Irish and USC do battle. Thus, defeating the Trojans possesses an added significance.
And the current senior class did an excellent job delivering positive results in the rivalry, as it won three of its four matchups against USC. Beginning in 2010, the Irish traveled to Los Angeles and earned a hard-fought 20-16 victory that was, essentially, Tommy Rees' first memorable victory of his career.
The following season's meeting didn't exactly go as planned, as Notre Dame stumbled out of the gates en route to a disheartening 31-17 loss in front of a packed house of elite prospects.
Following the embarrassing loss, Kelly nearly divided the team by drawing a line between the players he had recruited and those who were recruited by Weis.
However, the teams' meeting in 2012 will live on in Irish lore, as then-No. 1 Notre Dame defeated USC at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to advance to the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.
And while this season's 14-10 victory against the Trojans didn't have the same type of fanfare, the victory, at the time, kept the Irish's BCS hopes alive.