USC vs. ASU: A Primer to the Sun Devils


Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

After a three-game homestand that the Trojans offense would like to forget for the most part, USC heads to the Tempe for an evening bout with Todd Graham’s 2-1 Arizona State Sun Devils, on Saturday. To ease ourselves into ASU week, let’s get to know ASU a little more.

Six cool things you didn’t know about ASU:

  • Like many major universities, UCLA included, Arizona State was founded as a normal school, or an institution that was designed to educate educators. The school was branded as Tempe Normal School, and under that name, their athletic teams were naturally called the Normals.  Had the internet been invented when the Normals won their first league title in 1931, you probably would have been able to read all about it on a blog called “Keeping Up With the Norm”.
  • While under the Normal School name, ASU was formally called the Bulldogs until students called for a change in 1946, which coincided with a name change for the school. The result was the Arizona State College Sun Devils. They swapped ‘college’ for ‘university’ in 1958, and became recognized as a legitimate research institution 36 years later.
  • With more than 60,000 students on campus, ASU is the most-populated university in the United States.
  • The Sun Devils, along with big brothers to south Arizona, left the WAC and joined the Pac-8 in 1978, to form the Pac-10. ASU had outgrown the WAC, winning seven titles in nine years under legendary coach Frank Kush. Under Kush, ASU had four Top-10 finishes, with their best season coming in 1975. The Sun Devils swept through the WAC and finished the regular season 11-0, then beat No. 6 Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl, to finish the season ranked No. 2 in both polls.
  • Since joining the Pac-10 in 1978, ASU has gone to more Rose Bowls (2) than California, Oregon State, Washington State and Arizona combined.
  • USC and Arizona State have always had a peculiar relationship. Both schools have similar colors, similar tastes in fraternities, sororities and controversial head coaches, yet before ASU entered the Pac-10, they never played each other. USC’s first game against the Sun Devils came in 1978, when the No. 2 Trojans lost in Tempe 20-7, to give ASU their first ever Pac-10 victory.

Factoids on ASU:

Full name: Arizona State UniversityFormer names: Tempe Normal School, Arizona State CollegeLocation: Tempe, AZFounded: 1885Enrollment: A LOTEndowment: $500 millionCampusus: FourAcceptance Rate: 89%*School colors: Maroon and GoldHome stadium: Sun Devil Stadium (c. 71,706)Uniform outfitter: NikeBest local gastropub: Four Peaks Brewing CompanyBest local burger: ChuckboxBest local food truck: Luncha Libre

Most iconic ASU alum:

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Most famous ASU grad:

Wonder Woman…errrr Lynda Carter.

Most famous ASU dropout:

Jimmy Kimmel

Most unusual ASU highlight ever:

ASU’s Fight Song: “Maroon and Gold”

Fight, Devils Down The FieldFight With Your Might and Don’t Ever YieldLong May Our Colors Outshine All OthersEcho From The Buttes, Give ‘Em Hell Devils!Cheer, Cheer For A-S-UFight For The Old MaroonFor it’s Hail, Hail, The Gang’s All HereAnd It’s Onward to Victory!

ASU Tweeps:

Blogs and Sites to Follow:

* Seriously.