How USC and UCLA has held up against Ohio State Football

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: Sam Darnold /

As the Ohio State football program and other members of the Big Ten get ready for the upcoming Fall schedule, it is natural for one to peek ahead to the following schedules. Tell a Big Ten fan around five years ago that UCLA and USC would be on their conference schedule and they would laugh at you. Now? Just last week the Big Ten announced the 2024-2025 conference schedules for every school.

Ohio State has played schools from all across the country, and the two new friends from Los Angeles are no exception. Today we will be looking at each of these programs’ records versus the world-famous Ohio State Buckeyes! We will also be looking at how each program has been and what to expect from these schools when they make the jump.

Ohio State Football vs UCLA

Fellow Scarlet and Game contributor Eric Boggs has done a recap of these two schools’ historical matchups, and I would recommend you give it a read. The Bruins of UCLA have faced off against Ohio State nine times. They are tied in the all-time series, 4-4-1.

How fitting that their first Big Ten meeting next fall will be the tie-breaker. It will be in the famous Rose Bowl, for a Big Ten Conference game. The last time these two schools faced was in 2001, when Jim Tressel’s squad lost in Pasadena, 13-6.

UCLA seemed to have fallen into the same old routine. Under now UConn head coach Jim Mora, while he had some very good seasons, He had back-to-back ten-win seasons. However, after that, the program gradually got worse and worse. So they fired Mora and went to a new regime under Chip Kelly.

Kelly doesn’t need much of an introduction, he is an offensive genius. Kelly took the job, and it took him a few years to get it back, but these last two years it has looked like prime Chip Kelly offenses from Oregon. They were ranked as high as nine this past year, they should do fine in the Big Ten, as long as Kelly is there. They just lost a multi-year starter in Dorian Thompson-Robinson so it will be interesting to see who takes over as Kelly’s new QB1.

Ohio State Football vs USC

The Trojans of Southern California join the Big Ten with big expectations. The Ohio State football team and the Trojans have much more history than the Bruins. According to Winsipedia, The Trojans lead the all-time series, 13-10-1. They last played in 2017, when Ohio State defeated USC, 24-7.

The scoreboard does not do it justice as it was never in doubt as the Ohio State football team dominated Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans. These two will face in 2025 when USC will make a trip to Ohio Stadium to face Ohio State. The last time USC made a trip to Columbus was in 2009 when Ohio State lost in a heartbreaker 18-15.

USC had fallen from the golden ages of Pete Carroll to the dark ages of Clay Helton. It was a slow decline, and it seemed like Helton may have had some momentum with an 11-win season in 2017, but things fell out after that. After getting beaten by Stanford, the Trojans decided it was time for the Helton era to end. Just two games into the 2021 season.

The Trojans swung big and landed a big fish in Lincoln Riley. Many thought Riley would only leave Oklahoma for an NFL job, let alone a college job. He rebuilt the program through the transfer portal and 11-3. However, there are questions about his defense.

The defense is led by former Ohio State defensive coach Alex Grinch. Fans were surprised he was retained after their defense allowed three 500+ yard games in a span of four games. If the defense struggles again, Grinch could be looking for a new job.

USC should do well in the Big Ten, however, they will want to fix their defense before joining the conference. Or else it isn’t hard to imagine their defense becoming the Achilles heel of their team.

Ohio State Football: Who has the easiest Big Ten schedule?. dark. Next

Overall both of these schools were massive pick-ups for the Big Ten, and it won’t be long before one of these schools is competing for a conference title.