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Los Angeles, CA
Current President or Coach Karan Menon
National championships None
NAQT Page link
This article is about the team at the University of Southern California. See South Carolina for the page about the team at the University of South Carolina.

USC or the University of Southern California, is a large private university located in Los Angeles, California.


According to fragmentary evidence available on the Internet, the USC College Bowl Club has been active intermittently since 1953. At that time, members played a televised game against Barnard College. The club reappeared for a short time in the late sixties, but thereafter went dormant for several decades.

USC College Bowl re-emerged in 1998, and (according to the club website, which has been updated sporadically since 2003) enjoyed several competitive years, followed by a rebuilding period during the presidency of Scott Callaghan (2002-2004). Evidence of these rough years can be seen at the 2004 NAQT West Sectionals, where a potpourri team went 0-15 (stats). The most notable event during this time was at 2005 CBI West Regionals, when a seriously outgunned team consisting of Mik Larsen, Andrew Gonzales, Marc Spraragen, Paige Feldman, and Nicholas Polk upset eventual tournament winners (and winners of 3rd place at Nationals) Stanford in the first round of the playoffs. That particular Stanford team included future USC player Yogesh Raut.

USC traditionally is known as a middle-of-the-road team on the West Coast, winning only occasional tournaments, such as the 2006 Aztlan Cup and 2007 CBI Regionals. Oddly, it qualified teams for the NAQT ICT in 2005, 2006, and 2007, but did not attend each time, first because of financial problems, then because of logistical problems resulting in a missed flight, and then a declined invitation.

Certain USC players were known for a fundamental and often misplaced love for trash questions.

After many of the USC players graduated, Dustin Lieu and Sam Deutsch reformed the team in Spring 2014.

USC's team was briefly restored in 2017 by Arcadia player Steven Kurniawidjaja, but quickly fell apart.

In 2019, the team was restarted and became a recognized student organization under the leadership of former John P. Stevens player Karan Menon and competed in ACF Fall, Regionals, and Sectional Championship Tournament. In its first year in its current incarnation, under a strong team composed of Karan Menon, Klaus Neyer, and vice presidents Alice Jiang and Hameedha Khan, USC won the 2020 Division II of the Sectional Championship Tournament (SCT), qualifying for the 2020 ICT, which was canceled due to COVID-19. They also placed second among undergraduates at the 2020 ACF Regionals in San Diego.


USC used to host two annual tournaments: Ghetto Warz late in the year and the HS Trojan Wars in November or December. Ghetto Warz is a packet-submission tournament with a modified, heavier trash distribution; it typically features a surprise trash round after lunch, which becomes less of a surprise each year.

USC also hosted the 2005 NAQT West SCT.

In the 2020 quiz bowl season, USC hosted the Southern California regionals of the National History Bee and Bowl as well as Alex Damisch's WORKSHOP tournament. They are set to host the California division of ACF Winter.

Current Members

Former Players

External Links

Club site