The big news in college football since last Thursday is that the USC Trojans football team might lose its 2004 BCS Championship if the NCAA rules Reggie Bush ineligible.
My reaction? Who cares?
The removal of the trophy from Heritage Hall might erase the 13-0 season, but will it erase the 55-19 throbbing that the Trojans inflicted on the Oklahoma Sooners? Will Sooner fans raise their hands up and declare themselves victors?
Will it erase the fact that that Trojan team is one of the best college football teams ever assembled (even if one of its key players was paid for)?
Not a chance in hell for any of those things to occur.
Let the Trojans have an 0-13* record for that season. Let the list of BCS Champions read:
- 2003 - LSU
- 2004 - Empty*
- 2005 - Texas
* USC defeated Oklahoma 55-19, but forfeited the game because the NCAA ruled six years later that Reggie Bush's parents accepted extra benefits making their son ineligible.
It's sort of like a husband telling his wife, "It can't be considered cheating. I was drunk!"
Don't get me wrong, I still hope that the NCAA clears USC of any wrongdoing although I think it unlikely. But the loss of the trophy and the memories associated with that team won't disappear. It won't change the fact that every USC team from 2005 on will be judged by the 2004 team.
If USC vacates those victories, the only places it will matter are in the record books, and in the hearts of UCLA and Notre Dame fans everywhere.
But now that we're approaching the end of all this, I've been looking to see what the repercussions have been.
- Top 10 recruiting classes every season since 2004.
- Top five finishes from 2005 through 2009.
- An incredible 2011 recruiting class forming as I write this.
- And an almost guaranteed return to the top five by the end of next season.
Will the NCAA take away TV from the Trojans? Will it take away the chance to compete in bowl games? Will it strip the Trojans of some scholarships?
Only the latter seems likely.
USC should regain its dominance in the PAC-10 this season. The new coaching staff, made up of mostly the old coaching staff, seems to be instilling discipline and taking away the sense of entitlement that the Trojans seemed to feel the last two seasons.
Bring on the sanctions, NCAA. The Trojans will, as they always have, continue to fight on.
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