Southern Cal isn’t the 2004 BCS champ, but neither is Auburn

"Unhand that crystal, Mr. Carroll!" (AP photo)

"Unhand that crystal, Mr. Carroll!" (AP photo)

File this under Empty Gestures: Six and a half years after the fact, the BCS has determined that Southern Cal was not its national champion. (Thank Reggie Bush and his benefactors.) Indeed, the BCS has decreed that, from this day forward, it will have no national champion for 2004.

Which will make Auburn folks mad, seeing as how the Tigers finished undefeated but was shut out of the BCS championship game because …  well, because then as now we don’t have a bona fide playoff. But it really wouldn’t have been fair to name Auburn the national champ over Oklahoma, which was likewise undefeated until it lost to Southern Cal 55-19 in the BCS title game.

Can we debit the Sooners for a loss that now, at least in BCS eyes, didn’t happen? And do we know for sure that Auburn, with Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown and Jason Campbell, would have beaten Oklahoma, which had Adrian Peterson and Jason White and the fabulously named Mark Bradley?

(My question: Does this mean Mark Bradley’s silly fumbled punt against the Trojans is now expunged from the record book? All us Mark Bradleys can only hope.)

For all of those who aren’t Auburn fans, you now have a timetable. If the many investigations into the Tigers’ 2010 season turn up something damaging (and provable) — I’m on record as guessing they won’t, but let’s play what-if here — will it be June 2017 before the BCS reclaims its crystal football?

More to the point, should we care? As noted above, I’m no fan of the ex post facto title-stripping. Didn’t like it when the SEC did it to the 1984 Florida Gators. Don’t like it anytime. Once a game is played and a champion crowed, there’s no real way to take it back.

Southern Cal played for the title. Southern Cal beat Oklahoma by 36 points. That’s how I’ll always recall the 2004 season, and the Associated Press, which names a champion of its own, agrees. So far as the wire service is concerned, the Trojans remain the 2004 titlists. So far as I’m concerned, SC of ‘04 remains the finest collegiate team I’ve ever seen in person.

By Mark Bradley

137 comments Add your comment

Bodda Getta

June 6th, 2011
6:49 pm

Congratulations Auburn Tigers!

1957, 2004, and 2010 National Champions!

josh

June 6th, 2011
6:49 pm

Bodda Getta

June 6th, 2011
6:53 pm

Now we can put a statue of Jason Campbell next to Cam Newton!

WDE!

Benjamin

June 6th, 2011
6:54 pm

What good does this do, exactly? Seven years after they got all the perks of being national champions, with Pete Carroll and the team all long gone, they “strip them” of the title?

You show ‘em, BCS folks. You show the world!

headley lamar

June 6th, 2011
6:55 pm

Takes NCAA 7 years to vacate one. Guess that means AU will lose theirs around 2018

coloradobulldog

June 6th, 2011
6:59 pm

Uh Bodda Getta… until NCAA takes away the 2010 from AU one for paying Cam.

headley lamar

June 6th, 2011
7:01 pm

I got news for the Auburn folks. AU wouldn’t have been able to beat that USC team either.

dawg4u

June 6th, 2011
7:01 pm

Welcome back Mark. I was almost starting to get worried that you had flown the coup on us and headed for greener, cooler pastures.

Not Don Waddell

June 6th, 2011
7:03 pm

Oh the irony, Auburn fans will be whining about this, then someone else (Oregon? TCU?) will be whining when Auburn’s sham title is stripped in a couple of years.

Wonder why the NCAA doesn’t go back to Ohio St’s sham in ‘02, now? We know that Clarett never should have been eligible and his play on the fumble recovery won that game for them, along with an egregiously bad P.I. penalty.

How depressing to look at the state of college football now. A game I grew up loving has been reduced to televangelist-style cheating and political corruption. It is absolutely disgusting.

Kind of makes me look back on Miami fondly. Those guys did not give a crap, put it all out in the open and just did what they did. Now all the cheating is done behind closed doors and denied in conspiracy form by everyone from the peons in the compliance department to the university presidents. It’s absolutely appalling and disgusting.

GTBob

June 6th, 2011
7:05 pm

An organization that no one likes decides 7 years later to make a statement that no one even cares about anymore. What a waste of time.

ted williams head

June 6th, 2011
7:05 pm

regretfully I have to agree Mark

Mark Bradley

June 6th, 2011
7:09 pm

Thanks, dawg4u. But I’m afraid y’all are stuck with me a while longer.

Worm

June 6th, 2011
7:11 pm

Enter your comments here

Worm

June 6th, 2011
7:16 pm

How bout we auction the crystal and pay down the national debt?

Mark Bradley

June 6th, 2011
7:33 pm

Thanks, jeffrey d.

jeffrey d

June 6th, 2011
7:35 pm

Thanks Mark. Welcome back!

AU

June 6th, 2011
7:56 pm

Being an avid AU TIGER I agree the game was played and move on. Not certain Oklahma deserved to play in the game in the 1st place, but old news now! The 2004 Tiger team was a great team no less!

jeffrey d

June 6th, 2011
7:56 pm

How’d you know I was gonna say that, Mark??

War Eagle

June 6th, 2011
7:58 pm

Always throwing Auburn under the bus, is it because your beloved UGA can`t get a smell of a NC game?? It will never happen as long as CMR keeps his current position.
Why don`t all you bama and dawg fans wait and see the results and slow down the blogs on Newton, as if you know what really happen. I do agree with you Mark, nothing will become of this . Saban, and Chizik in 5 years and 2 years respectively have accomplishment more than Richt in 10 years.

Georgia Tech Sucks

June 6th, 2011
7:58 pm

The USC ‘04 team was seriously good however, cheating is still cheating. You know what they say in the SEC, ” If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying hard enough.” AU better hope the NCAA lets sleeping dogs lie.

Max Sizemore

June 6th, 2011
7:59 pm

You hit the nail on the head, Not Don Waddell. Especially on that pass interference penalty. Never did see a replay on that; I wonder why.

Dhal

June 6th, 2011
8:00 pm

When will the Auburn fans remember their 2003 season, which started with them highly ranked but ended with them barely ranked. They started the 2004 season in the rankings where they belonged, somewhere in the bottom of the barrel. Whereas USC and OU started the 2004 season ranked #1 and #2. How do Auburn fans think they deserved a shot at the title game that year? Auburn showed the pollsters that they couldn’t handle a high ranking and were justifiably ranked well below USC and OU. In other words the problem started the year before. Gripe at the 2003 team not the pollsters in 2004.

Mark Bradley

June 6th, 2011
8:03 pm

ESP, jeffrey d. Or ESPN.

War Eagle

June 6th, 2011
8:07 pm

Mark, I agree with you Auburn should not be given 2004 title, its fact you always have to bring out Cam Newton name…You know nothing as what really happen.

Concern

June 6th, 2011
8:08 pm

Maybe we should wait x number of years before officially crowning a team The National Champion. What happened to the text book investigation of the 2010 National Champs. Lots of investigations ongoing obviously.

War Eagle

June 6th, 2011
8:09 pm

Dhal, When last time UGA has been 14-0 NEVER)? Auburn twice 2004, 2010? you speak of where they statred in ranking, thats nuts? Its a know fact if you SEC Champs you belong in the BCS, ask Bama, Florida(twice) and LSU. They deserved to play for title just as Auburn, no matter what your preseasond ranking!!!

Mark Bradley

June 6th, 2011
8:11 pm

Did I mention Cam Newton?

toddd grantham

June 6th, 2011
8:23 pm

all is right in the world now: USC stripped of a title, the Braves are playing to par, no arrests lately for UGA football team, the inevitable shoe will fall on Auburn and Mark’s back.

Tell The Truth

June 6th, 2011
8:26 pm

The way it looked on HBO Auburn and USC prescribed to the same payment plan.
Auburn will not be named 2004 champions and after Bingogate is over they will not have the 2010 title either.

Pr1sonMike

June 6th, 2011
8:26 pm

War Eagle, for what it’s worth Auburn went 13-0 in 2004. Auburn didn’t make it to the national championship because USC and Oklahoma were national powerhouses at the time. USC’s resounding beatdown in the Orange Bowl compared to Auburn’s 3-pt victory over the ACC Champion in New Orleans didn’t really help Auburn’s case for a share of the title.

toddd grantham

June 6th, 2011
8:28 pm

…Katie’s leaving CBS, Weiner has signed a lucrative endoresment contract with Oscar Mayer, and Eddie long is taking his act to Alabama. What more could one ask for?

War Eagle

June 6th, 2011
8:35 pm

Mark, what does your 5th paragraph mean about hopeful 2017 findings?? “lets play what if -here”.. who are you referring too ???”?

Beast from the East

June 6th, 2011
8:35 pm

“So far as I’m concerned, SC of ‘04 remains the finest collegiate team I’ve ever seen in person.”

Yeah, the best money could buy.

Mark,
That was not a collegiate team. They had a PAID PROFESSIONAL playing for them. This was proven, thus the stripping of the Heisman and the BCS Trophy.

War Eagle

June 6th, 2011
8:38 pm

Prison Mike, you are correct 13-0, VA Tech would have played SC or Oklahoma a good game, they were a very good team, well coached.

Mark (another one)

June 6th, 2011
8:43 pm

When will a school like USC sue the hell out of the players that violate their contracts with the University? The NCAA itself doesn’t have standing but the University does. These players caused them harm and financial damage. They should be held accountable or the agreement means nothing. As do NCAA rules.

Not Don Waddell

June 6th, 2011
8:45 pm

Auburn also went undefeated in 1957, but had been caught cheating, so it is moot.

Auburn also went 11-1 in 1983, and wound up on probation.

Auburn also went undefeated in 1993, but had been caught cheating, so it is moot.

Auburn has had some historically good seasons, but only when they cheat. They are simply a bunch of moron cheaters who have never had any legitimate success. Now, we all know that it is probably painful to suckle from the hind teet in not one, but two states, but that is the plight of the War Eagle/Tiger/Plainsmen.

I say congrats on your 2010 season, and please enjoy it while it lasts. Yes, it’s true, you will always be the 2nd citizen in your own state, and you will always be where folks from Georgia go when they get denied entry into Athens, but hey, someone has to be the tail. If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying, so kudos to Auburn. Bobby Lowder is a latter-day saint.

Tell The Truth

June 6th, 2011
8:49 pm

NDW…….NICE

Mark Bradley

June 6th, 2011
8:50 pm

I see toddd grantham has added an extra “d” to his first name. Guess that’s why he coaches D.

jdawg

June 6th, 2011
8:50 pm

Auburn actually came closer to “legitamately winning” the championship in 04 than this year. That was a great team, that wasn’t as paid for as last year’s team was. Oh well, big time CF is what it is. Look at OSU, USC, Texas, etc…. No way TCU, Boise, Alabama, Florida, FSU, and the countless other “suprises” have done so without cutting corners as well. I love college football, but it is a complete mess. To not see it, is to be in total denial.

War Eagle

June 6th, 2011
8:57 pm

Not Don Waddell, I was born and raise in Georgia, live in Georgia today and not 2nd rate citizen. Played on the Auburn 1957 National championshipo team, Auburn gradfuate and was recrited by Wally Butts(UGA) and Bobby Dodd(GT)to play football and run track…, , retired,paid my taxes, in church on Sunday gave to charity every year in Georgia and I amm 2nd rate, what`s your resume`??

Radney

June 6th, 2011
8:57 pm

Take head Aubarn, you will be stripped next and I will smile.

Radney

June 6th, 2011
9:00 pm

Aubarn didn’t win doodly in 57. They lost two games and were on probation then. Cheater champs maybe.

Tim E

June 6th, 2011
9:00 pm

Auburn will be hit just as hard as USC. This is going to take some time and when the smoke clears…Auburn will look just as bad as USC does right now.

Andrew

June 6th, 2011
9:00 pm

Give it to Utah. Auburn has had one of the most corrupt college football programs for decades.

Not Don Waddell

June 6th, 2011
9:02 pm

@Jdawg…..pretty sure that Troy Reddick and Stanley McClover would disagree with you about Auburn’s 2004 team…

Juuurdun Hay-ur

June 6th, 2011
9:03 pm

WDE!

We
Deny
Everything!

Not Don Waddell

June 6th, 2011
9:04 pm

Paying taxes is for suckers…The ability to reason the un-reason which has afflicted by reason saps my ability to reason, so that I complain with good reason of your infinite loveliness.

Andrew

June 6th, 2011
9:06 pm

Auburn should be stripped next. And then the Heisman will be taken away from Scam Newton.

mark

June 6th, 2011
9:07 pm

Hey Mark,
Whats up with you hiding on memorial day? Still waiting for your “annual memorial day” college football predictions?

War Eagle

June 6th, 2011
9:09 pm

Radney, check your scores again, 10-0, only 28 points scored on Auburn the entire season, beat UGA 6-0 And Alabama 42-0. I gvuess UGA basketball program has been sneakney clean all these years. Lets be fair, bama, Auburn, UGA, Tenn and others have been on probation especially Auburn and Alabama.