College football would not be complete without the traditions and rituals of the teams' loyal fans. Students and alumni from both USC and UCLA have a certain way they spend their game days.


Trojan football is rich with traditions and on game day, students and alumni alike come out to support the team. Tailgating is a must for any USC football game.

Even in the early morning hours, campus is brimming with fans adorned in cardinal and gold. Dedicated alumni arrive hours before game time to snag the best spots on campus to set up their TVs, bars and food trays.

McCarthy Quad is always filled with students cracking open beer cans and warming up their voices by singing 'SC's fight song. Another hot spot is Traditions, the on-campus bar, where you can find current students, parents and alumni alike sipping on beer and preparing for the game.

Before marching over to the coliseum, the Trojan Marching Band performs on campus for those who just can't wait until game time. Their instruments sound around campus as fans loyally put up their V's for victory. Band members have a few traditions of their own, including a superstitious practice to never shave on game day.

During the walk to and from the coliseum, Trojans make sure to kick the flagpoles that line campus located on Exposition Boulevard. This ritual is said to ensure good luck for the season.

The rituals don't stop once the game begins. After every touchdown that the Trojans score, Traveler the horse (USC's mascot) gallops around the field in a victory lap.

Also, at the start of the fourth quarter, the Olympic torch (from the 1984 Summer Games) that sits atop the coliseum is ceremonially lit by Tommy Trojan.


Even though UCLA home games are held miles away at the Rose Bowl, fans are not without their game day traditions. While still on campus, it is good luck to rub the Bruin statue's back-right paw when you pass by.

Then, it's off to the Rose Bowl! Students and fans pile into cars and buses for the trek to the Pasadena stadium and even though it's a hassle to get there, UCLA games are usually packed.

The activities of the day are led by The Den, a student spirit group dedicated to pumping up the fans for the game. The Den publishes a newsletter called “The Dirt” before each home game (and for each USC away game) that's filled with insults and lyrics to use against the opposing team. Students can scoop up the paper to read up on their opponents and prepare themselves for the game ahead.

During the game, the blue and gold UCLA student section stays lively. The Bruins' signature cheer is the 8-clap chant, when fans get on their feet to show their support for the team.

A longstanding tradition at UCLA football games are the card shows in the student section. Before the game, members of The Den lay out cards on selected seats, which will turn into displays of student spirit during the game and at half time.