Shortly after the NCAA handed down sanctions on USC last June and it was rumored that the Trojans would be forced to vacate it’s 2004 BcS title, Tommy Tuberville began stumping for his 2004 Auburn team to replace the Trojans as BcS champions even as he’s currently the head coach at Texas Tech. In July, Tuberville continued his stumping.
In the wake of the BcS official decision Monday to strip USC of its title, Tuberville has, you guessed it, continued his stumping for that Auburn team to be recognized as the champs.
“Yes,” Tuberville said. “Someone should be awarded (the) title. If not, the team that had to forfeit is not really punished.”
Of course, that “someone” Tuberville is referring to in his “yes” answer is his ’04 Tigers. In the sixth of his 10 seasons at the school, AU went 13-0 but lost out on a shot at the title when USC and Oklahoma finished 1-2 in the final BcS standings.
“That was a great team and a great year for us and it always will be here at Auburn. And I was blessed to be a part of that. That’ll never be taken away,” current Tigers head coach Gene Chizik, the defensive coordinator of that ’04 team, said as he tiptoed around the issue.
It should also be noted that, that season, Utah went a perfect 12-0 in what was Urban Meyer‘s final year with the Utes. Oddly, though, I’ve yet to hear Meyer chirping about this “situation”.
Regardless, Tuberville can stump
and whine and cry all he wants, and it won’t change the fact that the BcS’ stance hasn’t moved an inch since USC’s sanctions were first announced: if USC were to be stripped of its title, there would be no official champion that year.
“If USC loses the appeal, the championship will be vacated,” BcS executive director Bill Hancock said last July. “The feeling here in the commissioners group is that there was no game. Yeah, most people think Auburn would be the team, but how would they have done against Oklahoma? We don’t know. …
“The presidents could decide to do something else. but I think it’s most likely they would vacate it and there would be no title that year.”
In the release announcing their decision Monday, the BcS reiterated that stance.
“As a result of the [Presidential Oversight Committee’s] decision, there will be no BCS national champion for the 2004-05 season,” the release read.
For what it’s worth, both USC and Auburn played Virginia Tech in 2004. The home-standing Trojans beat the Hokies 24-13 in the season opener, while the Tigers beat the Hokies 16-13 in the Sugar Bowl. Additionally, USC played Auburn in the 2003 season opener and shutout the Tigers 23-0 — at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
So, what does all of that mean? Absolutely nothing, much like Tuberville’s continued, fingernails-on-a-chalkboard claims at what would be a tainted title “won” under bogus circumstances. Or, as USC athletic director Pat Haden put it, “We’ll still say it was a national championship season.”
As will anyone else with a lick of common sense, to be blunt.