Farewell to a certain crystal football in Heritage Hall: Following the denial of USC's appeal of the NCAA ruling in the SC football program's illegal benefits case, the BCS has taken an unprecedented strike against a sanctioned team and moved to formally strip the Trojans of their 2004 college football national championship title. The game itself, a 55-19 shellacking of Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, was vacated last June. BCS executive director Bill Hancock's statement is excerpted below:
The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are showcase events for post-season football. One of the best ways of ensuring that they remain so is for us to foster full compliance with NCAA rules. Accordingly, in keeping with the NCAA's recent action, USC's appearances are being vacated.
This action reflects the scope of the BCS arrangement and is consistent with the NCAA's approach when it subsequently discovers infractions by institutions whose teams have played in NCAA championship events.
Apart from the asterisk in the history books, not much else will change: The Pac-10 keeps its title run money; the players keep their rings, and before you get too excited, Auburn and Oklahoma, know that a new '04 champion will not be crowned. That's really all for the best; I imagine Sooner and Tiger fans can find more recent BCS-related events to hang their prideful hats on.