The 24 greatest months in USC’s Pac-12 history

We are saying goodbye to the Pac-12. USC makes the big transition from the dying Pac-12 to the expanded, 18-school Big Ten later this summer. When we reflect on USC’s sports history in the Pac-12, let’s ask the question: What was the golden age, the best of the best, the time when USC’s revenue sport programs were ascendant and all flourishing at the same time? The answer is not hard to arrive at.

From early January in 1971 through early January in 1973, USC was elite in all three revenue sports: football, men’s basketball, and baseball. You could extend that 24-month period to 48 months and include January of 1975, but if you had to focus on just two years — 24 months — it’s 1971 through 1973 for a few basic reasons.

USC won a football national championship in January of 1975, but the 1974 team was not unbeaten the way the 1972 team was when it hammered Ohio State in the 1973 Rose Bowl to seal a national championship. The 1972 team was USC’s very best football team.

The 1971 USC basketball team and the 1974 team were both great, but the 1971 team was better, going 24-2 and losing its only games to the John Wooden UCLA dynasty. The 1974 team was great, but it was 24-5, slightly worse than the 1971 team which is regarded as USC basketball’s best ever.

From 1970 through 1974, USC baseball won the College World Series. The Trojans were the dominant No. 1 team on the diamond. In the 1971-1973 period, however, football and basketball had their all-time best teams. 1973-1975 was therefore slightly behind the 1971-1973 standard. The 24 best months for USC athletics at the revenue-sport level are clear.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire