CHRIS DUFRESNE / COLLEGE FOOTBALL MAILBAG

USC vs. USC? U Simply Can't find a football rivalry … so far

Chris Dufresne takes time out (he gets three per half) each Friday during the season to answer questions on college football. This week's topics include USC — the real one(s), confusing acronyms and a variety of 'dogs and 'cats.

Unbuckling the mailbag:

Question: USC vs. The USC: What's it going to take to have a real rivalry going?

Greg Diamond

Los Angeles

Answer: Let's go right to the expert in this field, Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney. I think everyone would agree he has no agenda here.

Swinney tweaked South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier this week for referring to Louisiana State as the real "Death Valley," knowing Clemson's home field also shares that nickname.

Swinney responded there was only one "Death Valley" and only one "USC…and it's in California."

We also have the real Death Valley.

I may have stirred this pot a bit in my Monday column explaining how the University of Southern California won the legal battle for "USC." Specifically, the case involved the interlocked "SC" used by South Carolina on its apparel and equipment.

The lawyer representing the Los Angeles-based school argued the letters were more deservedly linked to the Trojans' than to "a goofy little chicken."

That would be South Carolina's "Gamecocks."

There hasn't been a football rivalry between USC and USC because the schools haven't played since 1983. The team from Columbia also hasn't been very good, winning only one conference title — the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1969 — in its history.

The USC in California clams 11 national titles and 37 conference championships, many of which the NCAA has allowed the Trojans to keep.

Spurrier has turned South Carolina into a powerhouse and it would be great fun to see these schools interlock their logos at midfield. How about at this year's Bowl Championship Series title game?

Q: The University of South Carolina was founded in 1801. When was the state of California admitted?

Cullen Stone

USC '92

A: California was admitted to the Union in 1850. South Carolina seceded from it in 1860.

Q: What legally prohibits a school from referring to itself by its own acronym?

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