Southern California, often abbreviated as SoCal, is a megaregion or megapolitan area in the southern portion of the US state of California. Large urban areas include the Greater Los Angeles, and Greater San Diego. The region stretches along the coast from about Santa Barbara to the United States and Mexico border, and from the Pacific Ocean inland to the Nevada and Arizona borders. The heavily built-up urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura, through the Greater Los Angeles Area, the Inland Empire and down to San Diego. Southern California is a major economic center for the state of California and the United States.
Southern California's population encompasses eight metropolitan areas, or MSAs: the Los Angeles metropolitan area, consisting of Los Angeles and Orange counties; the Inland Empire, consisting of Riverside and San Bernardino counties; the San Diego metropolitan area; the Bakersfield metropolitan area; the Oxnard–Thousand Oaks–Ventura metropolitan area; the Santa Barbara metro area; the San Luis Obispo metropolitan area; and the El Centro area. Out of these, three are heavy populated areas: the Los Angeles area with over 12 million inhabitants, the Riverside-San Bernardino area with over 4 million inhabitants, and the San Diego area with over 3 million inhabitants. For CSA metropolitan purposes, the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura are all combined to make up the Greater Los Angeles Area with over 17.5 million people. With over 22 million people, southern California contains roughly 60% of California's population.
College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.
The Association of American Universities (AAU) is an international organization of leading research universities devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research and education. It consists of 60 universities in the United States (both public and private) and two universities in Canada.
The University of Southern California (known as USC or SC[a]) is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university founded in 1880 with its main campus in Los Angeles, California. As California's oldest private research university, USC has historically educated a large number of the region's business leaders and professionals. In recent decades, the university has also leveraged its location in Los Angeles to establish relationships with research and cultural institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim. Reflecting the status of Los Angeles as a global city, USC has the largest number of international students of any university in the United States. In 2011, USC was named among the Top 10 Dream Colleges in the nation.
As of 2011, USC enrolls 17,414 students in its four-year undergraduate program. USC is also home to 20,596 graduate and professional students in a number of different programs, including business, law, social work, and medicine. The university has a "very high" level of research activity and received $560.9 million in sponsored research from 2009 to 2010. USC sponsors a variety of intercollegiate sports and competes in the NCAA Pacific-12 Conference. Members of the sports teams, the Trojans, have won 98 NCAA team championships, ranking them third in the nation, and 361 NCAA individual championships, ranking them second in the nation. Trojan athletes have won 287 medals at the Olympic games (135 golds, 87 silvers and 65 bronzes), more than any other university in the world. If USC were a country, it would rank 14th in most Olympic gold medals.
American football (known as football in the United States and gridiron in some other countries) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football) down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the football to the opposing team. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown, kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal or by the defense tackling the ball carrier in the offense's end zone for a safety. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sport of rugby football. The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under rules resembling rugby and soccer. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, eleven-player teams and the concept of downs, and later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone and specified the size and shape of the football.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In August 1973, the current three-division setup of Division I, Division II, and Division III was adopted by the NCAA membership in a special convention. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. Division I football was further divided into I-A and I-AA in 1978. Subsequently the term "Division I-AAA" was briefly added to delineate Division I schools which do not field a football program at all, but that term is no longer officially used by the NCAA. In 2006, Divisions I-A and I-AA were respectively renamed the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
The Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) was a college athletic conference in the United States which existed from 1915 to 1959. Though the Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12) claims the PCC's history as part of its own, the older league had a completely different charter and was disbanded in 1959 due to a major crisis and scandal. The name Pacific Coast Conference is now used by a San Diego area community college league established in 1982.
Established on December 2, 1915, its charter members were the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University).
Cardinal and Gold
The USC Trojans football program, established in 1888, represents the University of Southern California in college football. USC is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I FBS and the Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12). The Trojans are a football powerhouse, and have been throughout NCAA history, claiming 11 national championships. As of 2013, 480 Trojans have been taken in the NFL Draft, more than from any other university.