How much better is USC than UCLA? I was so determined to be a Trojan that in the spring of 1999 I passed up a full ride scholarship to UCLA to go to a school in South Central L.A. Was it the right choice? It was the only choice. Here’s 25 reasons why.
1) Their mascot is a bear? That’s so every team in the UC system.
Ok, not every school, but UniversityofCalifornia.edu lists both Cal and UC Riverside as having bears for mascots making the Bruin as unoriginal as every director that comes out of their film school.
2) 20 years.
That’s the head start USC athletes had on UCLA when tallying the gold medal streak at the Summer Olympic games. Yahoo Sports reports the USC streak is now at 100 years.
3) Without the USC film school, there would be no Star Wars.
Legit. Without the professors of USC to guide him, George Lucas might have started in chronological order with Epidode 1 (The Phantom Menace, aka The one with Jar Jar Binks). You’re welcome, world.
4) USC is UCLA’s only rival.
Probably because they’re so close we can’t ignore them completely. Everyone else in the country, however, understands they are a non-threat.
5) The Heisman trophy. Singular.
UCLA’s only Heisman was produced in 1967 by Gary Beban, according to Heisman.com. He played with the Washington Redskins until 1970 and then became a real estate agent. USC’s Heisman winners may be (alleged) murderers and lovers of the Kardashians, but at least there’s been more than one.
6) With regards to their mascot, they apparently believe quantity trumps quality.
The UCLA History Project details how Joe and Josephine, the Bruin mascots, evolved from a tradition of having live bears perform at home football games to entertain the crowd. Fitting seeing as their football program often bears an uncanny resemblance to a circus.
7) One of their school colors is powder blue.
The only good thing about that color is the awful tuxedo craze it spawned. And UCLA doesn’t have nearly enough hipsters to appreciate that ironically, the way it was meant to be done.
8) They don’t have the Lost Angeles blog.
What? You haven’t read the best piece of sarcastic bloggery on the entire world wide web? You must fear what they say about UCLA football is true. Arrogant.
9) The victory bell, the trophy held by the winner of each year’s crosstown showdown, only became a trophy after UCLA threatened kidnapping to get it back.
It’s true! The storied prank war revolving around the yearly crosstown showdown football game started when some USC students stole the 295-pound bell, a gift to UCLA from its alumni association, and refused to give it back . When UCLA threatened to kidnap USC’s student body president if the bell wasn’t returned, its captors agreed to return it only if it became a travelling trophy. This according the UCLA’s History Project.
10) There’s not a single place in Westwood to get a decent taco.
11) It is impossible to stumble from campus housing to a football game.
Unless, of course, you want to take the 405 to the 10 to the 110 to the Rose Bowl on foot. In which case, game on.
12) USC’s tuition may be expensive, but at least it’s the same for everyone.
The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at UCLA is a whopping $22,878 a year (according to their financial planning page). That means it only costs $8,158 more a year for a resident of 49 out of the 50 states to attend a private university (USC) over a state school.
The number has many meanings to many people but for Trojan football fans, it’s the number of unanswered points tallied in the rivals’ final regular season game of 2011. USC 50, UCLA 0.
14) You literally need a map to find the fraternities and sororities at UCLA.
At USC they are concentrated on 28th street (The Row) where you can always be entertained by a dizzying amount of young men and women parading up and down the street to one party or another.
15) Speaking of parties, if you have one at UCLA, the cops will show up.
It’s Westwood; they have nothing better to do. Throw a party in South Central, the cops are probably too occupied with real crime to care about your kegger.
16) You want to get a drink in the area around UCLA? Better put on your anti-scumbag jacket.
According to Complex.com, 5 of the 25 Douchiest Bars in all of Los Angeles are located within spitting distance of the UCLA campus.
17) Football coach Rick Neuheisel gets into some trouble, he’s fired mid season and goes on to coach…no one.
Pete Carroll gets into some trouble and goes on to take the Seattle Seahawks to the playoffs in his first season as an NFL head coach. Pro-football-reference.com recorded them as first in the NFC West.
18) UCLA’s football players are physically disabled and must use handicap parking spots. Remember? Sports Illustrated does.
USC’s football players can hold up women impaled on fences at 1am after a long day of practice (check out the video).
19) Want to park at UCLA? Good luck snagging one of the, oh, nine available meters surrounding the campus.
Almost makes #18 seem downright understandable, but not quite.
My keyboard doesn’t even have a cents symbol to replace UCLA’s “C” with. That’s how little it cares about UCLA.
21) Brand recognition.
Ever go to the east coast and tell someone you went to UCLA? No, because you don’t want to be embarrassed when your college draws a blank stare.
22) The UCLA football team recruits players based on their parents’ celebrity.
No offense, sons of P Diddy and Snoop Dogg/Lion, but when the Los Angeles Times reported the Bruins were scouting a high school sophomore, I called shenanigans. Take it as a compliment that you’re essentially the only way to get the media to pay attention to the program.
23) UCLA doesn’t teach kids to deal with real world problems.
Character is not built from having decide which of the myriad movie theaters in Westwood you want to visit on a Friday night; it’s built trying to see a movie at the UV (the sketchy shopping center to the north of USC’s campus) without getting hepatitis.
24) The only way UCLA could win a conference title in football was for the division to split into two during a time of USC bowl sanctions.
And they still finished the season with a losing record (6-8). CollegeFootballPoll.com records the Bruin’s last division title win as happening in 1998.
25) UCLA Sucks.
Cal follows. Sing it to the tune of “Tusk” for full effect.
Danielle Dauenhauer is from Sacramento, California, and attended USC. She works primarily in Bruin territory, has many fine friends who attended UCLA, and understands that this is a fun rivalry for both schools (especially since USC tends to come out on top).