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Football Writers Association Of America Vacates USC's 2004 National Championship

On Thursday, in an unprecedented move, the Football Writers Association of America voted to vacate USC's 2004 national championship, and asked that the university return the Grantland Rice Trophy that goes along with the title.

The decision of the FWAA, one of four major recognized championship selectors, stems from sanctions handed out by the NCAA to the Trojans in June for violations made by the school, which included Reggie Bush playing while ineligible. Among the punishments imposed is a two-year postseason ban and the loss of scholarships.

The FWAA has awarded the Grantland Rice Trophy to its national champion since 1954.

USC has appealed the NCAA's ruling, but in the meantime, they will not be included in 2010's Coaches' Poll. The BCS has also already gone on record saying that if the appeal is unsuccessful, then USC will lose its 2004 title.

And we know what you're thinking, Auburn fans, but sorry, no dice: the FWAA will not select a new 2004 champion. Neither Auburn, who finished 13-0, nor Oklahoma (12-1) received a majority of the votes.

"I think it becomes more difficult on the replacement because you're trying to go back and recreate the situation, and it's always hard to do that," [[FWAA Executive Director Steve] Richardson said. "There was some support for Auburn, but it wasn't the majority.

"If you look at it from a situation of, 'OK, Auburn was undefeated at the end of the season,' OK. But you can say what if they played Oklahoma? What if they played USC if that would have happened? I don't know. Are you penalizing Oklahoma? There's all sorts of things there with that."

Expect plenty more reaction to this at our USC blog, Conquest Chronicles, and our Auburn blog, Track Em Tigers.