In just under two years from now the Big Ten Conference is officially expanding once again when the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans join the league in August of 2024. That surprise and shocking announcement broke on June 30.
With the latest expansion of the traditionally midwestern conference, Nebraska Cornhuskers fans might be interested to know what the new members bring to the table in terms of history specifically against the Huskers.
With that interest in mind, I have taken a deep dive into the record books to see what the University of Nebraska-Lincoln holds on the fields and courts versus the University of Southern California in select team sports.
Unfortunately for Nebraska fans, the Huskers have the worst record against the USC Trojans of any Big Ten team at 0-4-1 all-time. The series dates back to 1969, a 31-21 UNL loss in Lincoln that was followed by a 21-21 tie in Los Angeles in 1970. After that the series took a hiatus until a home-and-home in 2006 (28-10 loss in Los Angeles) and 2007 (49-31 loss in Lincoln). One neutral site bowl game matchup in the 2014 Holiday Bowl was the closest loss by the Huskers, falling 45-42.
As for the rest of the Big Ten, the Michigan State Spartans are the only program that does not hold a losing record against the Trojans at 4-4 all-time. Ohio State is far and away the leader in the Big Ten in sheer number of matchups at 24, but holds just a 10-13 record (42 percent win percentage). That sits just ahead of Michigan and Penn State in win percentage, as both hold a 4-6 mark. Illinois is just behind Ohio State in number of games played against USC with 13 total matchups, but holds a 2-11 record. Meanwhile, Rutgers and Maryland have never played USC.
The full series history of Nebraska versus USC in football is below:
UNL-USC Football Series History
|12/27/2014||2014||San Diego, Calif.||Neutral||L 42 - 45|
|9/15/2007||2007||Memorial Stadium||Home||L 31 - 49|
|9/16/2006||2006||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||L 10 - 28|
|9/19/1970||1970||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||T 21 - 21|
|9/20/1969||1969||Memorial Stadium||Home||L 21 - 31|
Besides the head-to-head competition, USC claims the following program achievements:
- 856-360-54 All-time record (eighth in FBS)
- 11 National Championships (second in FBS)
- 37 Conference Championships (fifth in FBS)
- 53 Bowl game appearances (34-19-0 record)
- 82 Consensus All-Americans
- 6 Heisman winners
- 520 NFL Draft picks (second in FBS)
- 787 Weeks in AP Poll (91 at No. 1)
By comparison, Nebraska claims the following:
- 908-409-40 All-time record (10th in FBS)
- 5 National Championships
- 46 Conference Championships
- 53 Bowl game appearances (26-27-0 record)
- 54 Consensus All-Americans
- 3 Heisman winners
- 366 NFL Draft picks (10th in FBS)
- 730 Weeks in AP Poll (70 at No. 1)
Nebraska is 5-5 all-time versus the Trojans on the hardwood and is quite symbiotic in its wins and loss patterns. The series dates back to 1962, but curiously was played two days/nights in a row in December 1962 in Lincoln and against that was repeated in Los Angeles in December 1963. The Huskers lost all four matchups by an average of eight points, but only one game was by double-digits.
The teams did not play against until 1991 when UNL hosted USC at the Devaney Center and notched the first victory in the series for the Huskers, a 93-84 win snapping a four game losing streak. The following season, USC returned the favor with a 10-point win on its home court.
Since then, the programs played four straight seasons from 2009-2012 alternating home and away with the Huskers rattling off four straight wins to even the series (winning by an average of five points), including a double-overtime win in Los Angeles in 2011.
UNL-USC Basketball Series History
|12/3/2012||2012-13||Devaney Center||Home||W 63 - 51|
|11/14/2011||2011-12||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||2 OT W 64 - 61|
|11/27/2010||2010-11||Devaney Center||Home||W 60 - 58|
|11/29/2009||2009-10||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||W 51 - 48|
|12/23/1992||1992-93||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||L 64 - 74|
|11/25/1991||1991-92||Devaney Center||Home||W 93 - 84|
|12/21/1963||1963-64||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||L 64 - 79|
|12/20/1963||1963-64||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||L 73 - 79|
|12/22/1962||1962-63||Lincoln, Neb.||Home||L 53 - 55|
|12/21/1962||1962-63||Lincoln, Neb.||Home||L 49 - 58|
As for the two programs all-time achievements and how they stack up against one another, here you have it.
- 2 Final Four appearances (None in modern era, 1940 and 1954)
- 19 NCAA Tournament appearances
- 7 Conference Championships (Last in 1985)
- 1 Conference Tournament Championship
- 7 NCAA Tournament appearances (0 wins)
- 6 Conference Championships (None since 1950)
- 1 Conference Tournament Championships
Nebraska holds a 5-3 record over USC in a series that dates back to 1977. The teams have met just three times in the 20th century with UNL losing all of those matchups, including an overtime loss in the series opener.
The first four games in the series were also all played at USC, while the most recent four games in the series include just two home games for the Huskers, one game at USC, and a neutral court matchup as the most recent game, occurring in Las Vegas in November 2019.
UNL-USC WBB Series History
|11/29/2019||2019-20||Las Vegas, Nev.||Neutral||W 67 - 54|
|11/23/2012||2012-13||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||W 74 - 65|
|11/18/2011||2011-12||Devaney Center||Home||W 68 - 50|
|12/8/2007||2007-08||Devaney Center||Home||W 87 - 69|
|11/26/2006||2006-07||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||W 72 - 65|
|3/21/1993||1992-93||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||L 60 - 78|
|3/19/1988||1987-88||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||L 82 - 100|
|1/12/1977||1976-77||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||OTL 70 - 72|
UNL Volleyball, unfortunately, holds a losing record 7-2 in the series against USC. The programs have not played since 2008, but the series dates back to 1976. The most recent matchup, an early season game at the Qwest Center in Omaha, was a 3-1 victory for the Huskers, though.
UNL-USC Volleyball Series History
|8/31/2008||2008||Qwest Center Omaha||Neutral||W 3 - 1|
|12/11/2004||2004||Louisville, Ky.||Home||L 2 - 3|
|9/2/2002||2002||Muncie, Ind.||Neutral||L 0 - 3|
|12/12/1997||1997||Long Beach, Calif.||Neutral||W 3 - 2|
|11/13/1992||1992||Los Angeles, Calif.||Neutral||L 1 - 3|
|12/14/1985||1985||NU Coliseum||Home||L 1 - 3|
|11/5/1977||1977||Los Angeles, Calif.||Neutral||L 0 - 2|
|11/6/1976||1976||Los Angeles, Calif.||Neutral||L 0 - 2|
|11/5/1976||1976||Los Angeles, Calif.||Neutral||L 0 - 2|
Nebraska is 0-2 all-time against USC in baseball. The programs played in Round Rock, Texas in 2005 and at USC in 2013.
UNL-USC Baseball Series History
|2/17/2013||2013||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||L 3 - 4|
|3/6/2005||2005||Round Rock, Texas||Neutral||L 4 - 5|
The Cornhuskers are 3-2 all-time against the Trojans in a series that dates back to 1995.
UNL-USC Women’s Soccer Series History
|9/8/2019||2019||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||L 0 - 2|
|9/9/2001||2001||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||W 3 - 2|
|9/20/1998||1998||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||W 2 - 0|
|8/31/1997||1997||Abbott Sports Complex||Home||W 2 - 1|
|10/27/1995||1995||Los Angeles, Calif.||Away||L 0 - 4|
The Huskers have never played the Trojans in softball.