Victory Bell (UCLA–USC)

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Victory Bell (UCLA-USC)
UCLA Bruins logo.svg Interlocking USC Logo.svg
Teams UCLA Bruins
USC Trojans
First meeting 1929
Trophy originated 1942
First meeting 1929 (USC 76–0)
Last meeting 2016 (USC 36–14)
Next meeting TBA
Series USC leads, 46–31–7
(2 wins vacated)
Trophy series USC leads, 40–31–4
Longest streak UCLA, 8 (1991–1998)
Current holder USC

The Victory Bell is the trophy that is awarded to the winner of the UCLA–USC football rivalry game. The game is an American college football rivalry between the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans.

The Victory Bell is a 295-pound brass bell that originally rang atop a Southern Pacific railroad locomotive. It is currently mounted on a special wheeled carriage.

History[edit]

The bell was given to the UCLA student body in 1939 as a gift from the school's alumni association.[1][2] Initially, the UCLA cheerleaders rang the bell after each Bruin point. However, during the opening game of UCLA's 1941 season (at the time, both schools used the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for home games), six members of USC's Trojan Knights (who were also members of the SigEp fraternity[3]) infiltrated the Bruin rooting section, assisted in loading the bell aboard a truck headed back to Westwood, took the key to the truck, and escaped with the bell while UCLA's actual handlers went to find a replacement key. The bell remained hidden from UCLA students for more than a year, first in SigEp’s basement, then in the Hollywood Hills, Santa Ana, and other locations. At one point, it was even concealed beneath a haystack. Bruin students tried to locate the bell, but to no avail. A picture of the bell appeared in a USC periodical. Tension between UCLA and USC students rose as each started to play even more elaborate and disruptive pranks on the other. When the conflict caused the USC president to threaten to cancel the rivalry, a compromise was met: on November 12, 1942, the student body presidents of both schools, in front of Tommy Trojan, signed the agreement that the bell would be the trophy for the game.[4]

The winner of the annual football game keeps the Victory Bell for the next year, and paints it the school's color: "True Blue" for UCLA, or cardinal for USC.

Team traditions[edit]

USC[edit]

The bell, painted red, while in USC's possession

Before home games, when the bell is in USC's possession, it sits along Trousdale Parkway for fans to ring as they participate in the "Trojan Walk" to the L.A. Coliseum. During home games, and whenever USC faces UCLA at the Rose Bowl, the Victory Bell is displayed at the edge of the field for the first three quarters of the game. Members of the Trojan Knights ring the bell every time the Trojans score. The carriage is painted cardinal red.

UCLA[edit]

UCLA's possession of the Victory Bell, painted blue.

When the bell is in UCLA's possession, the carriage is sandblasted and painted "True Blue". While in the possession of UCLA, the bell is safeguarded by the UCLA Rally Committee.[5][6] During UCLA home games at the Rose Bowl and whenever UCLA faces USC at the Los Angeles Coliseum, it resides on the field in front of the student section. It is rung by members of the Rally Committee after each score. The Bruins also ring the bell using a rope attached to the handle, swinging the whole bell, as opposed to the Trojan style of attaching a rope to the tongue or clapper on the inside of the bell. The bell also makes special appearances at rallies and athletic events. It has been used to accompany the UCLA Band during halftime shows. In particular the bell will make an appearance at a major gathering if the bell returns to UCLA.[7]

Series record[edit]

The first victory for UCLA in the series occurred after the agreement over the Victory Bell, making the Bruins the first winner of the trophy. The Bruins made their post-season appearance in the 1943 Rose Bowl. The teams played each other twice in the same season in 1943, 1944, and 1945. This was due to travel restrictions during World War II.

UCLA took the bell back following the 38–28 victory over USC on November 17, 2012. The Victory Bell was held by USC during the 1999–2005 and 2007–2011 football seasons. USC leads with an overall record of 48–31–7 in football contests with UCLA (including 2 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty).[8] Before the streak of seven Trojan wins, the Bruins had won the bell for the eight consecutive years from 1991–1998, the longest streak in the rivalry. There have been 7 ties and one overtime game (1996, 2OT) in the history of the series. In the event of a tie, the Victory Bell was retained by the last winner. Since the institution of the overtime rule in college football, the tie rule became obsolete.

Game results[edit]

From 1929 until 1981, the two teams played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. In 1982, the Rose Bowl became UCLA's permanent home.

UCLA victories USC victories Ties Forfeits / Vacated wins
# Date Location Winner Score
1 September 28, 1929 USC USC 76–0
2 September 27, 1930 UCLA USC 52–0
3 November 26, 1936 USC Tie 7–7
4 December 4, 1937 USC USC 19–13
5 November 24, 1938 USC #14 USC 42–7
6 December 9, 1939 UCLA Tie 0–0
7 November 30, 1940 USC USC 28–12
8 December 6, 1941 UCLA Tie 7–7
9 December 12, 1942 USC #13 UCLA 17–14
10 September 23, 1943 UCLA USC 20–0
11 November 27, 1943 USC USC 26–13
12 September 23, 1944 USC Tie 13–13
13 November, 25 1944 UCLA #8 USC 40–13
14 September 21, 1945 UCLA USC 13–6
15 December 1, 1945 USC USC 26–15
16 November 23, 1946 UCLA #4 UCLA 16–13
17 November 22, 1947 USC #4 USC 6–0
18 November 20, 1948 UCLA USC 20–13
19 November 19, 1949 USC USC 21–7
20 November 25, 1950 UCLA UCLA 39–0
21 November 24, 1951 USC #18 UCLA 21–7
22 November 22, 1952 UCLA #4 USC 14–12
23 November 21, 1953 USC #5 UCLA 13–0
24 November 20, 1954 UCLA #2 UCLA 34–0
25 November 19, 1955 USC #5 UCLA 17–7
26 November 25, 1956 UCLA USC 10–7
27 November 23, 1957 USC UCLA 20–9
28 November 22, 1958 UCLA Tie 15–15
29 November 21, 1959 USC UCLA 10–3
30 November 26, 1960 UCLA USC 17–6
31 November 25, 1961 USC UCLA 10–7
32 November 24, 1962 UCLA #1 USC 14–3
33 November 30, 1963 USC USC 26–6
34 November 21, 1964 UCLA USC 34–13
35 November 20, 1965 USC #7 UCLA 20–16
36 November 19, 1966 UCLA #8 UCLA 14–7
37 November 18, 1967 USC #8 USC 21–20
38 November 23, 1968 UCLA #1 USC 28–16
39 November 22, 1969 USC #5 USC 14–12
40 November 21, 1970 UCLA UCLA 45–20
41 November 20, 1971 USC Tie 7–7
42 November 18, 1972 UCLA #1 USC 24–7
43 November 24, 1973 USC #9 USC 23–13
44 November 23, 1974 UCLA #8 USC 34–9
# Date Location Winner Score
45 November 28, 1975 USC #14 UCLA 25–22
46 November 20, 1976 UCLA #13 USC 24–14
47 November 25, 1977 USC USC 29–27
48 November 18, 1978 UCLA #5 USC 17–10
49 November 24, 1979 USC #4 USC 49–14
50 November 22, 1980 UCLA #18 UCLA 20–17
51 November 21, 1981 USC #10 USC 22–21
52 November 20, 1982 Rose Bowl #11 UCLA 20–19
53 November 19, 1983 Coliseum UCLA 27–17
54 November 17, 1984 Rose Bowl #7 UCLA 29–10
55 November 23, 1985 Coliseum USC 17–13
56 November 22, 1986 Rose Bowl #18 UCLA 45–25
57 November 21, 1987 Coliseum USC 17–13
58 November 19, 1988 Rose Bowl #2 USC 31–22
59 November 18, 1989 Coliseum Tie 10–10
60 November 17, 1990 Rose Bowl #19 USC 45–42
61 November 23, 1991 Coliseum #25 UCLA 24–21
62 November 21, 1992 Rose Bowl UCLA 38–37
63 November 20, 1993 Coliseum #16 UCLA 27–21
64 November 19, 1994 Rose Bowl UCLA 31–19
65 November 18, 1995 Coliseum UCLA 24–20
66 November 23, 1996 Rose Bowl UCLA 48–41(2 OT)
67 November 22, 1997 Coliseum #7 UCLA 31–24
68 November 21, 1998 Rose Bowl #3 UCLA 34–17
69 November 20, 1999 Coliseum USC 17–7
70 November 18, 2000 Rose Bowl USC 38–35
71 November 17, 2001 Coliseum USC 27–0
72 November 23, 2002 Rose Bowl #7 USC 52–21
73 November 22, 2003 Coliseum #2 USC 47–22
74 December 4, 2004 Rose Bowl #1 USC 29–24
75 December 3, 2005 Coliseum #1 USC 66–19
76 December 2, 2006 Rose Bowl UCLA 13–9
77 December 1, 2007 Coliseum #8 USC 24–7
78 December 6, 2008 Rose Bowl #5 USC 28–7
79 November 28, 2009 Coliseum #24 USC 28–7
80 December 4, 2010 Rose Bowl USC 28–14
81 November 26, 2011 Coliseum #10 USC 50–0
82 November 17, 2012 Rose Bowl #17 UCLA 38–28
83 November 30, 2013 Coliseum #22 UCLA 35–14
84 November 22, 2014 Rose Bowl #11 UCLA 38–20
85 November 28, 2015 Coliseum USC 40–21
86 November 19, 2016 Rose Bowl #13 USC 36–14
Series: USC leads 46–31–7
† USC was forced to vacate victories.
Vacated wins and ties have previous winner retaining trophy.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ UCLA Alumni Association
  2. ^ UCLA Alumni Association About the Association. The Post-War Years, 1944 – 1953
  3. ^ "SigEp USC – Victory Bell". 
  4. ^ Gong with the Wind UCLA Magazine, sourced from the UCLA History Project, October 1, 2006
  5. ^ UCLA Rally Committee
  6. ^ UCLA Student Groups – Rally Committee: Statement of Purpose
  7. ^ Tuesday, December 5, 2006, where it was rung by head football coach Karl Dorrell at a home basketball game to celebrate the recent victory over USC.
  8. ^ Complete USC Football records against all opponents, College Football Data Warehouse