Sunday, November 15, 2009

For the first time in Coach Pete Carroll's nine years on the job, his University of Southern California football team has lost a game played in November, with yesterday's 55-21 shellacking by Stanford. As noted in the linked L.A. Times article, "The November win streak, which reached 28-0 with last week's victory at Arizona State, began in 2001, when the Trojans finished fast and wound up in the Las Vegas Bowl."

November is arguably the toughest month for a team, as it plays some of its biggest traditional rivals with placement in as good a bowl game as possible often at stake. USC's 28 consecutive November victories are shown in the following list, by opponent (@ = road game). Indeed, one sees games against cross-town rival UCLA (although the Bruin-Trojan battle was later moved to early December) and national rival Notre Dame (only in the even-numbered years, as the teams play in South Bend, Indiana, in the middle of October in odd-numbered years, supposedly because USC does not want to play in the cold of November).

2001 Oregon State, @California, UCLA
2002 @Stanford, Arizona St., @UCLA, Notre Dame
2003 Washington St., @Arizona, UCLA
2004 @Oregon St., Arizona, Notre Dame
2005 Stanford, @California, Fresno St.
2006 @Stanford, Oregon, California, Notre Dame
2007 Oregon St., @California, @Arizona State
2008 Washington, California, @Stanford, Notre Dame
2009 @Arizona State

In one sense, the 28-game win streak survived on a bit of a technicality; in 2006, USC lost to UCLA, but game was played on December 2. USC's game-by-game logs from 2002-2009 can be found here, whereas the 2001 log can be found here.

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