LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12: The USC Trojans marching band performs before the game with the Washington Huskies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. USC won 40-17. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The battle between USC and Stanford doesn't only take place on the field.
There isn't a name for the rivalry between the USC Trojans and Stanford Cardinal, but one only needs to see it once to know it exists. While any matchup between two good California based football programs can get labeled a rivalry (remember the Cal-USC rivalry of two years?), there's a long history of the two California major private institutions taking the piss out of each other.
When USC hosts Stanford, this fun making takes the form of Countermarch. Stanford is known for their Ivy League style scatter band, and USC likes to remind them how marching works. One foot in front of the other and such. With a little bit of funky scatter fun thrown in for good measure.
Which means that when Stanford gets their turn every other year, they usually take the chance to return the favor. Now, you might be saying to yourself, so what that the bands take a go at each other? The game takes place on the field, and what happens between the bands is just geeks being geeks.
Well Tommy Trojan and the Stanford Tree are also band members. Tommy Trojan of course is a drum leader, who can be seen conducting the band during the game. He of course also is the one who stabs the field pregame. He's a pretty big part of the USC identity, which is why this was kind of a big deal, and which is why it was a big deal when a member of the Stanford band dressed up as a Trojan on Saturday night.
For more USC football news and notes, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.