The Half Decade of Dominance: USC vs. Notre Dame Rivalry

Jim Cowan@jimicowanCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2009

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 17:  Braxston Cave #52 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish prepares to snap the ball against the USC Trojans during the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium on October 17, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

188-85, sounds like I'm talking basketball again right...I wish!

After the eighth blunder against USC, I decided to take a look at how Notre Dame, specifically, the Charlie Weis era, has fared against USC's other annual opponents. While I understand numbers don't really mean squat, it is a just a reminder how inept the our beloved Irish have been in this rivalry.

Since this was Weis's fifth consecutive loss to USC during his entire tenure, I've taken the last five games played against USC and their Pac-10 opponents and crunched a few numbers.

I'll start top down...

Oregon State - For whatever reason, if there was a team who could claim to have stinky Pete's number, it's the Beavers. Of course, that just means they've squeaked out a couple of wins over the last five! They've been the closest though as the numbers show. Score: USC 156 – 111 OSU (Edge USC by 45)

UCLA - It's certainly no surprise that the fellas across the street would be somewhere near the top. I'm not sure, but my guess would be that UCLA holds the status as being the top rival? Either way they're 0-5, but a second best 0-5. USC 156 – 85 UCLA (Edge USC by 76)

California - With the success Cal has had over the past few years, it's easy to forget they haven't beaten USC...0-5. They have shown the ability to stop the bleeding though with only allowing just over 25 points per game. USC 129 – 42 Cal (Edge USC by 87)

Washington - The Huskies have probably been one of the closest save the 0-56 score last season. For whatever reason, UW has been a forgettable rival and this year the Trojans got bit! 1-4. USC 173 – 84 UW (Edge USC by 89)

Arizona - Maybe a surprise middle-of-the-packer here in the Wildcats, but not a surprise they're 0-5. They've just kept it respectable over the past few years. USC 148 – 56 UA (Edge USC by 92)

Oregon - Certainly did not expect Oregon to be on the bottom side of this spectrum even with a win in '07. I also didn't realize there was a few season hiatus where they didn't play so I had to go back to 2002 to get the first of five...that was a loss too. 1-4. USC 185 – 90 UO (Edge USC by 95)

Stanford - Probably considered “that other California team” over the past few years, but again, they did pull out the one point victory two years ago! Sans that game, it's been pretty dismal. 1-4. USC 192 – 96 Stanford (Edge USC by 96)

Arizona State - The Sun-Devils are getting better under Erickson; maybe not as fast as some would have liked, but they are a worthy opponent, except when playing USC. Nearing the bottom now, they're 0-5. USC 183 – 80 ASU (Edge USC by 103)

Notre Dame - And there they are. I'll relate some thoughts below. As we're well aware of, they're 0-5. Of course save the Bush-push and the last eight minutes on Saturday, it's been absolute murder. But do not jump off that ledge just yet...they're not as bad as Wazzu and tied with ASU! USC 188 – 85 UND (Edge USC by 103)

Washington State - I don't think this will blow anyone's lid here. The Cougars are bad...real bad. Whether or not they've improved under Wulff is debatable but they did survive this season with only a three TD loss, which given recent history may be as good as a win in Pullman! USC 226 – 55 WSU (Edge USC by 171)


The point the these numbers are few but I believe they are significant. One, well, the Irish are not as sucky as Washington State so that's pretty cool. In this category, they are 68 points from being as bad as the 18-36 Cougars (over past five including this year).

Point two, which is kind of a multi-point point, in this rivalry, how can anyone affiliated with Notre Dame, fans included, accept these numbers? Look at any five-year span in any major rivalry in college football, has there been such a difference in scores whilst posting a lopsided 0-5?

I actually have not looked, but I'd bet money on no. A point was made a while back by someone on the Bleacher Report, whom I would never agree with, but she said that any coach worth their salt would NEVER get their ass kicked by a rival and survive. Of course, the point is not factual as their have been plenty of beat-downs by rivals where coaches were not immediately fired.

But taken as a whole, over five seasons now, a 103-point difference by arguably your biggest rival! Is that acceptable? And the other point just pointing out how bad Notre Dame's D has been. I mean, only Stanford and Wazzu have given up more to USC.

Let me say that I actually believe they can win out. Do I think they will, no, but I believe they certainly can would kill to see it. That would make for a 10-2 record this year and probably a “guaranteed” BCS berth.

Joke or not, that = success by the standards we're given. Success or not, there's still something amiss when you not only do not beat your rivals, you get creamed by them.

Sure, I'm a Weis hater, call me out. “But it was a moral victory...look at the positives...bla bla bla." Moral victory = bollocks in my book. That crap only flies when you can make it a close game for 60 minutes. Maybe next year yes...maybe next year.