USC vs. Stanford: An Opening Primer to the Cardinal


USC vs. Stanford, a dueling of private school bros since 1905, will continue on Saturday for the 93rd time. The schools meet with both teams ranked in the Top 15 for the first time since 1972 and it should be a Pac-12 conference opener to remember.

The Trojans lead the all-time football series with an overall record of 60-29-3, and come onto the Farm having won last year’s affair 20-17 on a game-winning field goal by Andre Heidari.

Stanford, the two-time defending Pac-12 champions have won five of the last seven meetings between the schools dating back to 2007, making the rivalry one of the nation’s most hotly contested.

But there’s more to the rivalry than Harbaugh’s deal and Heidari’s leg.

Allow us to get USC-Stanford week started with


a few things you need to know about Stanford.

Six semi-cool things you didn’t know about Stanford:

  • Stanford might be the first university named after someone who was never able to attended college. Leland Stanford, one of California’s most influential men, founded the school in son’s honor who died at the age of 15 due to an awful bout with typhoid.
  • Speaking of names, Stanford is also dubbed “The Farm”. It comes from early on in the school’s history when the campus was built upon the Stanford family ranch on the outskirts of Palo Alto. The name makes Stanford one of two schools for which USC does not use their official nickname during the ‘beat’ chant of the Spirit of Troy’s Conquest. “Beat the Farm” is the rallying cry against Stanford, while “Beat the Rainbows” is for Hawaii.
  • The One, The Only, The Truly Incomparable Leland Stanford Jr. University Marching Band is not only the world’s biggest rock band, but they’re the most polarizing musical group in the world, just ahead of Rush, Bruce Springsteen and the Dave Matthews Band. Loved by many, hated by many more, the LSJUMB is the face of Stanford’s student body for better or worse. They scatter instead of march, paint marijuana plants on their tubas and dress up their drum major like Wonder Woman. They’ve mocked O.J. Simpson and UCLA football players who pretended to be handicapped. They’ve been banned from Disneyland, Notre Dame, Stanford itself and possibly even your local McDonalds.
  • Cal loves to mock UCLA over stealing their fight song “Sons of California” and turning it into “Sons of Westwood”. But how about Stanford? Technically, their fight song is “Come Join The Band”, but you’ll be hard pressed to find the LSJUMB playing it on Saturday, even if Kevin Hogan finds the end zone. Instead, you’ll hear a rock tune from one-hit wonder Free, entitled “All Right Now”. The most ironic part? It’s a traditional piece of the Spirit of Troy’s in-game repertoire, played when the Trojans force a turnover. So, if Hogan throws a pass to Su’a Cravens in the end zone, it’ll be the TMB that plays it.
  • If you want to be a billionaire, try getting into Stanford first. Per Forbes, only Harvard puts out 10-figure men and women at a higher clip than Stanford. Hewlett and Packard went to Stanford. As did the founders of Yahoo!, Paypal, Logitech, Instagram and even Snapchat. Oh, and you know where Phil Knight learned to turn Nike into one of the world’s biggest brands? Stanford Graduate School of Business. Worth mentioning however, that Stanford grads can’t claim American cultural staples Star Wars, Kinkos, Trader Joe’s, Girls Gone Wild, Myspace or well…getting to the moon first.
  • UCLA has the most NCAA team championships and USC owns the Olympics. But it’s Stanford that has the NCAA’s best athletic program. The Cardinal have won the Director’s Cup a record 20 times. It’s probably worth noting that the cup has only been around for 21 years and Stanford only failed to not win the very first one in 1994. They finished second to North Carolina that year because of someone named Mia Hamm. Stanford’s run of dominance in athletics is incredible given that the university has the most strenuous academic requirements of any major NCAA-participating school, yet are still able to win championships across many sports and go to four successive BCS bowls.

Factoids on Stanford:

Full name: Leland Stanford Junior UniversityFormer nickname: IndiansLocation: Stanford, Calif.Founded: 1891Enrollment: 15,877Endowment: $18.7 billionAcceptance Rate: 5.1%School colors: Cardinal and WhiteHome stadium: Stanford Stadium (c. 50,000)Uniform outfitter: NikeDistance from Stanford to Google: 5.8 milesDistance from Stanford to Apple: 12.9 milesDistance from Stanford to HP: Hella closeBest local shake: Peninsula CreameryBest place for a Stanford student to find a date: A Stanford-Notre Dame football game

Stanford alumni you probably know of:

Most respected Stanford grad:

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Most awkward Stanford grad:

Most loved Stanford dropout:

Most hated Stanford grad:

Most powerful Stanford grad:

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Least powerful Stanford grad:

Most vulgar Stanford grad:

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Most vulgar Stanford dropout:

Best fictional detective that graduated from Stanford:

Worst fictional detective that graduated from Stanford:

Most popular Stanford dropout:

Most famous Stanford dropout:

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Most infamous Stanford grad (RIP):

Stanford’s Fight Song:

Uh, see above.

Stanford Tweeps:

Where to read about Stanford: