Lexus Gauntlet Trophy Will Come Down To Final USC-UCLA Competitions of Season|
May 14, 2002
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- As proof of how competitively balanced USC and UCLA are in athletics, the battle for the first annual Lexus Gauntlet trophy-a season-long all-sports competition between USC and UCLA-will come down to the final Trojan-Bruin competitions of the 2001-2002 athletic season.
The schools have upcoming meetings in women's tennis and baseball, with the possibility of battling in men's tennis.
Currently, USC leads UCLA by a slim 55-52.5 point margin, with the Lexus Gauntlet trophy winner needing 57.5 points to clinch the victory outright. If both schools end up with 55 points, a tiebreaker is implemented based on head-to-head regular season meetings in all sports.
The Trojans and Bruins compete against each other in 18 sports. Five points are awarded to the winner of the each sport's season series or, for those sports that don't meet head-to-head, the team that places higher in the conference championship (10 points are awarded in football, men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball).
This Thursday (May 16), the women's tennis teams meet in the NCAA's Round of 16 at Stanford. The Trojans and Bruins have split their two regular-season meetings this season, earning 2.5 points each. The winner of this week's NCAA match collects another 2.5 points, while the loser forfeits the 2.5 points it already has.
If USC wins that NCAA women's tennis match, it clinches the Lexus Gauntlet with 57.5 points.
However, if UCLA wins, the Bruins would take a 55-52.5 lead and one of two things would have to happen for USC to capture the Lexus Gauntlet trophy.
In the first scenario, USC would have to beat UCLA in the NCAA men's tennis championship match May 21 at Texas A&M (but both squads would have to beat three opponents to even reach the final) and then the Trojans would have to win just one of the three games in the upcoming May 24-25-26 USC-UCLA baseball series at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium. Troy would recapture 2.5 points in men's tennis while UCLA forfeited 2.5 (currently, UCLA owns all 5 men's tennis points after beating USC in twice in three regular season matches) and USC would capture the remaining 2.5 baseball points (USC won three earlier-season baseball games against the Bruins). That would give the Trojans the necessary 57.5 points.
In the second scenario, in which either UCLA beats USC in men's tennis or the teams don't meet again in the sport, then USC would need to sweep the three-game baseball series to capture the Lexus Gauntlet trophy. The sweep not only would give Troy 2.5 more points to force a 55-55 tie, but would give USC the tiebreaker since it would have a 16-15 edge in head-to-head regular season meetings in all sports. If USC wins just two of the three baseball games in this scenario, UCLA would hold the tiebreaker edge and would win the Lexus Gauntlet trophy.
The Southern California Lexus Dealer Association is the title sponsor of every USC-UCLA athletic competition. This is the first time the two universities have partnered with a corporate entity for complete rivalry sponsorship. In the fall of 2001, the schools signed a 4-year contract of undisclosed terms with Lexus, America's best-selling luxury automotive manufacturer for two years in a row.
Up-to-date releases and point standings can be found at www.gauntlettrophy.com.