Lexus Gauntlet Trophy Could Be Decided This Weekend
April 29, 2009
The recipient of the 2008-09 Lexus Gauntlet Trophy, which is given annually to the winner of the all-sports competition between USC and UCLA, could be decided this weekend.
Points are awarded to the winner of each Trojan-Bruin contest throughout the year and the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy is presented to the school with the most points at year's end. A minimum of 57.5 points is required to win the trophy outright.
USC currently holds a 50-45 edge over UCLA. There are three Trojan-Bruin regular-season head-to-head competitions remaining and all are this Saturday (May 2): women's rowing in Marina del Rey, men's track and field and women's track and field at USC. The winner of each gets 5 points and the loser gets none.
Here are the three scenarios:
--USC needs to win at least two of those three events to guarantee that it retains possession of the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy after winning it last year. That would give USC at least 60 points in the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy race and there would be no chance for USC to surrender enough points in any potential post-season head-to-head meetings to allow UCLA to tie or go ahead.
--If USC wins only one of those events on Saturday, the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy competition will be tied at 55-55. Unless USC recaptures points in any potential post-season head-to-head meetings, UCLA would hold the first tiebreaker over USC (most head-to-head regular season wins), 13-12, and the Bruins would reclaim the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy.
The possibility exists for USC to recapture at least 2.5 points if it were to meet--and beat--UCLA in the NCAA women's tennis and/or baseball championships. If USC recaptured any points in that scenario, the Trojans would win the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy.
In the regular season, the teams split a pair of matches in women's tennis (so each claimed 2.5 points), while UCLA beat USC twice in three tries in baseball to win all 5 points. (The only other chances for a Trojan-Bruin meeting in the NCAA post-season would be in men's tennis, but that outcome would not affect the point scoring because UCLA won both regular season matches, and in women's water polo, but that outcome also would not affect the scoring because USC won both regular season contests.)
--A UCLA sweep of Saturday's three contests would give the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy to UCLA, regardless of whether the Bruins surrendered any post-season points to USC.
If the scoring ends in a 55-55 tie, it would be the third time the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy scoring ended up tied. USC won the inaugural competition in 2001-02 by going to the first tiebreaker, then UCLA won the next year's competition by going to the second tiebreaker (most head-to-head post-season wins).
If USC were to win this year's Lexus Gauntlet Trophy, it would mark the first time since the trophy was first awarded in 2001-02 that a school won it two consecutive years.
So far, the winner has alternated every year. After USC captured the inaugural trophy in 2001-02 and UCLA won it in 2002-03, USC then recaptured it in 2003-04, UCLA won it back in 2004-05, USC claimed it in 2005-06, UCLA won it in 2006-07 and then USC claimed it last year.