Skip to content

Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly on USC: This is our rivalry game

Notre Dame USC Getty Images

There was a lot made of how Notre Dame and Michigan are bringing a close to their rivalry after meeting next year in South Bend, Indiana. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke accused Notre Dame of chickening out of the series, while Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly suggested the rivalry was more of a regional rivalry than anything else. Kelly did back off those comments slightly later on, but now Kelly is focusing on this weekend’s game against USC.

As a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday Kelly addressed a question about handling the game compared to other games by suggesting USC is Notre Dame’s rivalry game. Suggesting every team Notre Dame views the Irish as their rival, Kelly said the USC game is the one game his players look forward to, even saying the fight songs for both schools will get played to play in to the preparation during the week.

Kelly also talked about how USC will be a different team this week compared to the beginning of the season, with the Trojans looking to be a new team under interim head coach Ed Orgeron following the dismissal of Lane Kiffin. Kelly also shared his thoughts on the idea of strength of schedule being a factor in the college football playoff selection process and the committee. As usual, Kelly has a good amount to say about the various topics.

What do you think Notre Dame fans? Is Notre Dame’s biggest rival USC, or might it be some other program?

Permalink 14 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Independents, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Pac-12 Conference, Rumor Mill, Top Posts, USC Trojans
14 Responses to “Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly on USC: This is our rivalry game”
  1. classyjacklambert says: Oct 16, 2013 10:12 PM

    Because they are both not very good right now?

  2. polegojim says: Oct 16, 2013 10:40 PM

    Nailed it Classy… Kelly trying to rally the troops.

  3. drummerhoff says: Oct 16, 2013 11:15 PM

    If you have to announce its your rivalry games, it’s not a rivalry.

    Maybe ND can find a new rival in the ACC … BC is a natural fit.

  4. tuckfexas says: Oct 16, 2013 11:41 PM

    Notre Dame is irrelevant. I love watching them lose.

  5. Anoesis says: Oct 17, 2013 12:33 AM

    USC/ND has been a rivalry for longer than I’ve been alive, and I started watching in the 60s.

    It doesn’t matter whether or not those outside those two schools think it’s a rivalry or not. Ask anyone who has backed either school for any amount of time and they’ll tell you it’s one of the biggest games every year.

    Coaches have been dismissed on both sides over the years for not being able to win this game. Even in seasons when one or both teams have been down, a win in this game is considered essential. Many players have been recruited based on playing in this game. If that’s not a rivalry then there is no such thing.

  6. drummerhoff says: Oct 17, 2013 8:05 AM

    Name one coach who has been fired because they can’t beat the other.

    I’ve been to this game in South Bend and nothing about it, including the attendance says rivalry.

    Like most things coming from ND, it’s pure propaganda that fits the stubborn need to remain independent. In ND’s mind it makes the place special if they can claim a rival in LA.

  7. thefightinfloyds says: Oct 17, 2013 8:27 AM

    Yes, this is NDs biggest rival. BC, Pitt, Navy, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State and Stanford are all rivals too but USC is the biggest rivalry game on NDs schedule. If anyone knows anything about college football then they know that this is a huge rivalry game.

  8. irishdodger says: Oct 17, 2013 10:00 AM

    Anoesis is correct. Most of the posters on these blogs don’t remember what happened 5 years ago…much less the history of CFB. ND/USC is the biggest intersectional rivalry in the nation. Coach Larry Smith may argue that this game doesn’t cost a head coach their job when his solid teams were beaten every year in the 80s when ND had Holtz. Coach Ty Willingham’s firing was partly due to the three 31 pt blowouts the Irish were victims of to Pete Carroll’s dynasty. If it’s not a big game, then why are all these non-ND/SC fans taking time out of their day to post about a meaningless game? These are the same fans who decried ND’s ending of the Michigan series despite the fact that the teams didn’t play for 42 straight years (I’m including Mark May & Skip Bayless in this clueless group). Know your history b/c your precious team will fall on hard times sooner or later…

  9. Anoesis says: Oct 17, 2013 10:22 AM

    Notre Dame and USC have traditionally been counted among the elite programs in college football, with each school having won 11 national championships and 7 Heisman Trophies. This football rivalry, which began in 1926, is considered one of the most important in college football, and is often called the greatest intersectional rivalry in the game.

    Several times the winner of this series has gone on to win or play for the college football national title. Both schools combined have produced the most national titles (22), Heisman trophy winners (14), All-Americans, College Football Hall of Famers and future NFL Hall of Famers (21) of any collegiate football rivalry series.

    These rivals account for the highest numbers of players taken in the NFL Draft of any school; both are tied with 479 players taken. Also of note is that ND and USC games count for five of the ten most-watched college football games in television history.

    Any other questions?

  10. Anoesis says: Oct 17, 2013 10:44 AM


    Both Ted Tollner (’83-’86) and Larry Smith (’87-’92) were fired for, in part, being unable to beat the Irish. USC lost 13 straight games from ’83-’95.

    In ’93 the school even brought John Robinson back in an attempt to reverse that trend.

    Paul Hackett had a forgettable three year run (19-18) just before Pete Carroll took over.

    On the Irish side coaching during Carroll’s tenure were Tyrone Willingham, Kent Baer, and Charlie Weis. They had lots of problems during their tenures, but rest assured that being unable to beat (and sometimes even compete) with USC certainly sealed their fates.

    By the way, Lou Holtz lost the last game he ever coached at Notre Dame. To USC. No, he wasn’t fired for that. He walked away from a lifetime contract because he knew ND was about to get penalized by the NCAA for violations on his watch.

    Fun fact: Although Holtz is a die-hard Trojan-hater, he did in fact coach at USC. The University of South Carolina that is.

  11. normtide says: Oct 17, 2013 10:51 AM

    This is about recruiting as much as rivalry. I’m sorry but no one is trying to get into the Michigan market. Sure, they produce a great player or two, but you can’t field a great team with just Michigan athletes. Southern California provides a rich recruiting ground. Smart coaches know, to build a competitor you must be able to reach into at least one of the places. California, Texas, our the South. The great lakes region just isn’t what it used to be. I will kind if make an exception for Ohio. But, even Ohio can’t field a top tier team with their athletes.

    Kelly knows this. Playing more upper Midwest teams won’t help recruiting. Partying USC will.

  12. teambringitstrong says: Oct 17, 2013 11:59 AM

    drummerhoff says: Oct 17, 2013 8:05 AM

    Name one coach who has been fired because they can’t beat the other.

    I’ve been to this game in South Bend and nothing about it, including the attendance says rivalry.

    Like most things coming from ND, it’s pure propaganda that fits the stubborn need to remain independent. In ND’s mind it makes the place special if they can claim a rival in LA.
    I haven’t seen such a bald face lie of a statement since Marie Gil, Barbara Torian, Hanif Sarangi or anyone inside the Beltway spoke.

  13. metalhead65 says: Oct 18, 2013 12:16 PM

    it is their rivalry game because they can beat USC now that the program is in down cycle. trust me if the trojans had kept on beating them they would have found an excuse to end the series like they did with michigan and miami who they dropped because they could not beat them on a regular basis like do they do the service academies. and if Navy had continued to beat dame like they did during fat boys career they would have ended that rivalry to.

  14. scbaby2013 says: Oct 18, 2013 3:05 PM

    It’s a classic rivalry that is one of the best. Fight on Trojans

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!