For the first time since 1985, the Alabama Crimson Tide and USC Trojans go head-to-head on the football field.

The two programs have contributed to the history of college football in major ways.

Crimson Tide fans are well aware of the numerous national championship teams and All-American players that have passed through Tuscaloosa.

For Southern California, they have totaled 821 wins, five AP and UPI national championships, one BCS title and seven Heisman Trophy winners.

Let’s take a deeper look into the Trojans with three things you should know about USC football.

Tailback U

A position that USC has been able to count on for consistent play making ability through the years has been at running back. Five of their seven Heisman Trophy winners including Marcus Allen, Reggie Bush, O.J. Simpson, Mike Garrett and Charles White were running backs.

While Alabama was perfecting the wishbone in the 1970s, USC mastered the simple rushing concept known as “Student Body Right” or the toss sweep. Backs like Simpson, White, Allen, Anthony Davis and Sam Cunningham engineered championship teams of the 1960s and 1970s under John McKay and John Robinson.


John Wayne

One of USC’s most favorite players of all-time didn’t necessarily make his mark on the gridiron but made a lasting impression with millions of Americans on the movie screen. Born Marion Robert Morrison, John Wayne attended USC on an athletic scholarship after an unsuccessful attempt to enter the United States Naval Academy. Wayne played tackle for the Trojans under Coach Howard Jones. A broken collarbone during a bodysurfing accident ended his athletic career.

Wayne received his first taste of acting as an extra while on the USC football team. His acting career spanned over four decades including his Academy Award winning performance in True Grit.


No. 55

Similar to No. 54 at Alabama, No. 55 carries special meaning with the Trojans. In most cases, players get to choose which jersey number they want to wear. With No. 55, the head coach at USC has chosen who gets to wear that number. With few exceptions, the best defensive player has worn that number. Past Southern California players who have worn No. 55 include Junior Seau, Chris Claiborne and Willie McGinest. On the 2016 roster, no USC player is wearing No. 55.