Notre Dame Football welcomes the USC Trojans to Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday in America's greatest college football rivalry. The winner will likely enter the BCS conversation, while the loser will remain in obscurity, on the outside looking in at the Top 25 BCS Standings.
This week's long and storied Notre Dame/USC rivalry offers a substantial number of facts, but did you know...
...the Notre Dame/USC Rivalry was started after the Big Ten’s precursor, the Western Conference, restricted its member football programs from playing the Irish? The legend, however, is that USC Athletic Director Gwynn Wilson’s wife persuaded Knute Rockne’s wife that a trip to sunny Los Angeles once every two years was a better option than visiting the snowy plains of Nebraska.
...the reason USC fans celebrate by placing their fingers in a “V” stems from an old Trojan tradition of amputating the index finger and middle finger of the conquered to hinder their ability to shoot a bow and arrow? Afterwards, the Trojans would taunt their victims with the two-fingered “V,” as if to say, “Look what I have, and you don’t…”
...between the two programs they have the most Heismans (Notre Dame 7, USC 6), players in the NFL Hall of Fame (Notre Dame 10, USC 11), and players drafted by the NFL (Notre Dame 469, USC 472) than any other rivalry in the country?
How many of these facts did you know?
...before USC’s seven game winning streak, beginning in 2002, the Irish led the rivalry 42 games to 25? Now, the Irish hold the lead with an overall record of 43-33-5, which compensates for the vacated win in 2005 – the infamous “Bush Push” game.
...while USC’s longest winning streak is seven games from 2002 until 2009, Notre Dame has posted a longer streak from 1983 until 1993 of 11 games? The Trojans, however, won two National Championships during their stretch, though 2004 is now vacated, while the Irish only won one, finishing second to FSU in 1993.
...in the original Die Hard which takes place on Christmas Eve, the security guard is watching Notre Dame vs. USC? Unfortunately, it’s more probable that the game took place on Thanksgiving, not Christmas, since the two have never met on the December holiday.
That concludes this week's "Did you know?" Don't forget to pass along these tidbits to your friends as you enjoy the annual rematch between the Trojans of USC and Notre Dame's Fighting Irish.