28. USC 40, Colorado 3 (2002)
Among the pantheon of dominant USC wins, you’ll find the Trojans’ 40-3 dismembering of the defending Big 12 Champion Colorado Buffaloes in 2002.
The Buffs, fresh off of a Fiesta Bowl berth and a notable national championship game snub, limped into their Week 3 meeting with USC after an opening week loss to rival Colorado State.
Carroll’s Trojans were the most unruly of visitors, holding a Chris Brown-led offense to just 61 yards of total offense in Boulder. In fact, Colorado had just four first downs.
Meanwhile, Carson Palmer continued his strong start to his eventual Heisman Trophy winning campaign, throwing for 244 yards. USC led 20-0 at the half and added on in the third quarter, seeing Folsom Field turn into a cavernous array of empty benches.
With the win, the Trojans went to Manhattan, Kan. the following week to play Kansas State with a No. 11 next to their name.
Though they lost twice in the next three games, USC’s display at Colorado was far more indicative of what was to come. They won the season’s final eight games to finish 4th in the AP Poll.