Saturday marked every Trojan’s least favorite part of the year: the end of football (and thus tailgating) season. Fortunately, this season finale was a big W over USC rival(ish) Notre Dame.

While we mourn the game day drought until next season, we must remember that school is not only about football, it’s also about the whole game-day experience. With that in mind, it seemed like a perfect time to go over some of the many reasons that USC is a far superior school. 

1. Our Team

Football still matters. Objectively, USC rules the board there. While the season started off rough due to coaching transitions and a stacked schedule (seriously, it’s not even fair to start with an away game vs. Bama), the Trojans recovered and are currently on a 7-game win streak.

Looking at Notre Dame’s season this year, it seems charitable to award them the honor of rivals; generally, the opponent must represent a significant challenge. Our players get drafted every year, and our coaches go on to win Super Bowls. USC is one of the only teams ever to not put names on the back of the jerseys; we don’t need to, everyone already knows who we are. 

2. Weather

Photo courtesy of Trevor Sochocki

USC students enjoy the luxury of being personally offended every time the temperature dips below 65ºF. Sunny skies lead to picture perfect game days and Instagrammable tailgates. Additionally, the mild climate affords a much broader and more stylish range of game day garb.

3. Style

While it is primarily about the school spirit, we Trojans also dress up to represent our school beautifully when we inevitably end up on national television. Tube tops, overalls, miniskirts, thigh highs—'SC game day has it all. When it’s 80ºF, you can even opt to skip out on clothing entirely and just coat yourself in cardinal and gold paint.

As proven by TV shows, movies, and music videos, most of which were based on or filmed at USC, song girl skirts > scarves and mittens. Period. Being really attractive is kind of our thing. 

4. The Row

ice, beer
Photo courtesy of Trevor Sochocki

Notre Dame doesn’t even have Greek life. Even if they did, it wouldn’t hold a candle to USC’s. Partying on the row is part of the quintessential college experience. The Row is physically impeccable; the houses are pristine mansions straight out of a movie scene. Literally. What do Legally Blonde, Greek, and Scream Queens all have in common? They’re all based on USC. We do it better than the movies. 

5. Campus

If you’re not feeling the frat scene, never fear because we deck out our entire campus to rally. We don’t do parking lots. Well, we do those too, but only when everywhere else fills up. We have that many fans. Tents set up from edge to edge, every part of campus comes together. BBQ smoke fills the air, the fight song is blasted, and victory signs abound. And it’s not just students who show up.   

6. Trojan Family

For SC game day, the whole city comes out in full splendor. Generations of Trojans congregate to revel together. From grandpas all the way to grandchildren, everyone enjoys a good tailgate. There’s nothing funnier than watching dads reliving their glory days playing beer pong. Also, does Snoop Dogg come hang out at ND games? No. Does Will Farrell lead Notre Dame onto the field? No. All the big names know the right team to root for. 



While many of the activities are the same, beer pong, corn hole, bbqs, etc., the SC execution is simply unparalleled. There’s just something that feels right about the sight of care-free, sun-kissed SoCal girls dancing on tables. Huddled up pretending to be drinking for fun and not to stay warm just doesn’t warrant the same satisfaction. And when it’s time to go to the game, there’s nothing like mobbing en masse to the Coliseum.

8. The Coliseum

After you’ve kicked the flag poles for good luck and made the long walk across the street, you get to bask in the glory of the coliseum. Our football stadium was made for the Olympics. THE OLYMPICS. Although most folks don’t usually stay that long (because why would you when you have such a huge lead by half time?), we light the Olympic torch at the beginning of every fourth quarter as a reminder of our dominance and Olympic caliber.

When you’re there, be sure to check out all of the retired jerseys displayed in the stands (you know, from all the Heisman winners we have). Also, our card stunts are next level. 

9. The Spirit of Troy

Photo courtesy of Trevor Sochocki

USC hands down has the best college marching band ever. Who else has multi-platinum records? We’re still confused as to who is buying marching band cds, but that’s not the point. Does the ND band play the Star Wars theme? No. Did the “Band of the Fighting Irish” perform on stage at Coachella? No. There’s no contest. 

10. Our mascot

Photo courtesy of Trevor Sochocki

Honestly, you just can’t compare a glorified leprechaun with one of the mightiest warriors in all of history. It’s just an insult. A little man in green has nowhere near the intimidation factor of an armored Trojan riding around the field on a white horse, mane streaming, sword outstretched. Tommy and Traveler are iconic. Powerful. Invincible.

The leprechaun is more the type of guy whose attack is stopped with a hand on the forehead. Nice try, but stick to finding your pot of gold. This is the big leagues. 

11. The Trophy

The USC-Notre Dame game ended one way: with USC taking home the jeweled Shillelagh once again. It is a trophy specifically designed for this matchup. The club is adorned with a fearsome battle helmet to represent USC and a cute little clover leaf for Notre Dame. SC has a reminder of our prowess, Notre Dame readily admits it relies on luck.

Honorable Mention: Dirty Dogs

meat, barbecue, chicken
Photo courtesy of Trevor Sochocki

Food carts line the pathways to the coliseum selling drinks and the infamous dirty dogs. Bacon wrapped hot dogs covered in sweet grilled onions and smothered in ketchup—there’s nothing better to revitalize you after a day of tailgating.  

With their record, Notre Dame tailgates are like Saint Patrick’s Day as a holiday; sure it’s fun, but is there really anything to celebrate? 

Here’s an answer to the question I’m sure is on every little leprechaun’s mind: yes, we take transfers. The deadline to apply is February 1st. Set yourself a reminder; we’ll forget because February feels like July here.