2003 USC Trojans football team

2003 USC Trojans football
AP national champion
Pac-10 champion
Rose Bowl champion
Rose Bowl, W 28–14 vs. Michigan
Conference Pacific-10 Conference
Coaches No. 2
AP No. 1
2003 record 12–1 (7–1 Pac-10)
Head coach Pete Carroll
Offensive coordinator Norm Chow
Captain Keary Colbert
Captain Melvin Simmons
Home stadium Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (c. 92,000, grass)
2003 Pacific-10 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#1 USC $   7 1         12 1  
#9 Washington State   6 2         10 3  
Oregon   5 3         8 5  
California   5 3         8 6  
Oregon State   4 4         8 5  
Washington   4 4         6 6  
UCLA   4 4         6 7  
Arizona State   2 6         5 7  
Stanford   2 6         4 7  
Arizona   1 7         2 10  
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2003 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California in the 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season. They were named the Associated Press and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) National Champions but were denied a spot in the BCS National Championship Game by the BCS selections for the national championship game.

The regular season ended with three one-loss teams in BCS contention: Oklahoma, LSU and USC. USC ended the regular season ranked #1 and LSU #2 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll. USC lost one triple-overtime game at California, which finished 8–6; LSU had a 12-point home loss against a Florida team that went 8–5; Oklahoma, which had been ranked #1 for most of the season, fell to #3 after suffering a 35–7 defeat in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game to Kansas State, which finished 11–4. Controversy erupted when the BCS computers selected Oklahoma–LSU as the BCS title game. During the bowl games, USC had a convincing 28–14 win over #4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl while LSU beat Oklahoma 21–14 in the Sugar Bowl (designated the BCS title game). USC remained #1 in the final AP Poll with 48 of the 65 votes, and LSU was ranked, by contractual obligation, #1 in the final Coaches' Poll, though three coaches did not follow instructions and voted USC #1 in that poll as well.[1] Their offensive players include QB#10 Matt Cassel (JR), QB#11 Matt Leinart (SO), RB#40 Brandon Hancock (SO), RB#34 Hershel Dennis (SO), WR#7 Sandy Fletcher (SR), WR#19 Greig Carlson (SO), WR#31 William Buchanon (SO), WR#83 Keary Colbert (SR), WR#82 Chris McFoy (FR), WR#15 Jason Mitchell (SO), WR#2 Steve Smith (FR), RB#23 Chauncey Washington (FR), RB#35 Lee Webb (JR), RB#21 Lendale White (FR), WR#1 Mike Williams (SO), RB#28 Andre Woodert (FR), TE#44 Gregg Guenther (SO), and RB#37 David Kirtman (SO).


With the late arrival of highly touted quarterback John David Booty, who left high school a year early to attend USC, the Trojans' 2003 recruiting class was considered by some to be the best in the country.[2][3]

Its legacy included many NFL Draft picks over several years, including five first-round picks.[4]

2004 NFL Draft:

2006 NFL Draft:

2007 NFL Draft:

2008 NFL Draft:


The Trojans finished the season with a 12–1 record, 7–1 in the Pac-10.[5]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
August 30 3:00 PM at No. 6 Auburn* No. 8 Jordan-Hare StadiumAuburn, AL CBS W 23–0   86,063
September 6 5:00 PM BYU* No. 5 Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles, CA ABC W 35–18   75,315
September 13 1:00 PM Hawaii* No. 4 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA FSN W 61–32   73,654
September 27 3:30 PM at California No. 3 California Memorial StadiumBerkeley, CA FSN L 31–34 3OT  51,208
October 4 12:30 PM at Arizona State No. 10 Sun Devil StadiumTempe, AZ ABC W 37–17   56,527
October 11 7:00 PM Stanford No. 9 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA FSN W 44–21   68,341
October 18 11:30 AM at Notre Dame* No. 4 Notre Dame StadiumNotre Dame, IN (Battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh) NBC W 45–14   80,795
October 25 12:30 PM at Washington No. 4 Husky StadiumSeattle, WA ABC W 43–23   72,015
November 1 4:00 PM No. 6 Washington Statedagger No. 3 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA ABC W 43–16   82,478
November 15 4:00 PM at Arizona No. 2 Arizona StadiumTucson, AZ TBS W 45–0   39,201
November 22 12:30 PM UCLA No. 2 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA (Battle for the Victory Bell) ABC W 47–22   93,172
December 6 1:30 PM Oregon State No. 2 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA ABC W 52–28   73,864
January 1, 2004 1:30 PM vs. No. 4 Michigan* No. 1 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) ABC W 28–14   93,849
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Pacific Time.

Game notes


1 234Total
USC 10 067 23
Auburn 0 000 0

USC opened the season visiting Auburn University: the Tigers were also ranked in the top 10 and had been named a pre-season favorite to be the national champion by at least one major news organization. In his first start, quarterback Matt Leinart led the Trojans on a dominating 23–0 performance.[6]


  1. Miller, Ted (May 20, 2008). "BCS system leaves long trail of wounded victims". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
  2. Newberg, Jamie (May 22, 2003). "Upon further review ...". SI.com. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
  3. "USC wins on recruiting trail by grabbing California talent". USA Today. February 6, 2003.
  4. 2003 USC FOOTBALL SIGNEES, USC Trojans - Official Site, Retrieved April 30, 2008.
  5. "2003 FINAL USC Football Statistics - University of Southern California Official Athletic Site". Usctrojans.cstv.com. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  6. Forde, Pat (August 28, 2007) The Dash is off and running, ESPN.com.
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