The USC Trojans have won 11 National Championships and have produced a lot of NFL talent. Picking five of the best USC football teams is quite a challenge. There have been so many great USC teams, and some of the best didn’t even win a National Championship!
Top 5 USC Trojans Football Teams Of All-Time
5. 1980 Trojans
The 1980 team did not win a National Championship, but they had three future Hall Of Famers on the team. Ronnie Lott, Marcus Allen, and Bruce Matthews led the way for the Trojans. USC also had other notable players on the roster in Dennis Smith, Chip Banks, Joey Browner, Don Mosebar, and Roy Foster.
USC posted an 8-2-1 record that season, two of the losses came in the last three weeks of the season. Marcus Allen had 2,683 all-purpose yards and 23 touchdowns. Lott led the defense with eight interceptions and 86 tackles.
4. 2005 Trojans
The 2005 team could easily be in the top 3, but they did not win the National Championship. This team was stacked with talent with Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Lendale White. Reggie Bush rushed for 1,740 yards with 16 touchdowns and added 478 receiving yards.
White had a fantastic season as well, adding 26 total touchdowns, 1,302 yards on the ground, and 219 receiving yards.
Quarterback Matt Leinart passed for 3,815 yards and 28 touchdowns.
USC came up short to the Texas Longhorns in the championship game. Texas quarterback Vince Young put on a star performance to lead the Longhorns to victory.
3. 2003 Trojans
Finally, a team that won a title, the AP title that is. The 2003 Trojans were led by solid defense, as the front seven led the way. Mike Williams (WR), Kenechi Udeze (DL), Jacob Rogers (T), and Tom Malone (P) were All-Americans. Linebacker Lofa Tatupu and defensive end Shaun Cody were also crucial players to the Trojans’ defensive success.
Matt Leinart threw for 3,556 yards, 38 touchdowns, and Lendale White led the team in rushing with 754 yards. Reggie Bush was a freshman and showed the ability to run and catch the ball out of the backfield. Receiver Mike Williams was Leinart’s go-to receiver catching 95 passes for 1,314 yards and 16 touchdowns.
LSU defeated Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, which secured the BCS National Championship, as they were the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll #1. However, USC was the AP poll #1, and when they beat #5 Michigan in the Rose Bowl, AP kept them in the number one spot, securing the AP Title for the Trojans. A faulty system obviously. If only there was one more game to truly decide the Championship…
2. 1972 Trojans
Head coach John McKay led the 1972 team, and USC finished the season undefeated. The Trojans outscored opponents 467-134. Running back Anthony Davis led the rushing attack on the ground with 1,191 yards and 17 touchdowns. Sam Cunningham, Davis’ backup ran for 13 touchdowns on the season.
USC was a running team first that liked to control the clock and depend on a strong defense. The Trojans defense gave up just 240 yards a game and 11.2 points per game.
They finished as PAC-8 champs, Rose Bowl victors, and the Consensus National Champion.
1. 2004 Trojans
The 2004 Trojans were a fantastic team; they were ranked No.1 throughout the entire season. USC outscored there opponents 496-169.
Matt Leinart led the way with 33 touchdown passes and 3,322 passing yards. Leinart won the Heisman Trophy and the AP Player of the Year Award.
Lendale White ran for 1,103 yards, and Reggie Bush ran for 908 yards. Bush also added 509 receiving yards.
There was nothing the Trojans couldn’t do; they could run the ball, and if you stopped that, then the Trojans were able to pass the ball downfield.
USC also had a stout defense with Frostee Rucker, Lawrence Jackson, Shaun Cody, and Lofa Tatupu. The USC defense just gave up 13 points per game and ran through the Oklahoma Sooners 55-19 in the BCS National Championship.
The Championship and all accolades were eventually vacated due to the USC Athletics Scandal, but there is no denying the greatness of this team and what they were able to accomplish on the football field.