Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Oklahoma won't add an eighth national title
By David Ubben
The BCS officially vacated USC's 2004 national title on Monday afternoon, and it's pretty clear how this affects the Big 12.
The Trojans beat Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl to win the title and cap a perfect season, but history has been altered by heavy NCAA sanctions, including bowl bans, resulting from violations during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
That produced an obvious question that at least a few asked via my mailbag in the hours that followed: Does Oklahoma get to claim the title now?
The answer is simple: No.
Just as Vince Young won't be collecting Reggie Bush's vacated Heisman, Oklahoma won't add an eighth national title. Neither will Auburn (led by now-Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville) or Utah, who both went undefeated in the 2004 season but were left out of the title.
Tuberville, though, believes the title should be awarded to his Tigers.
"Yes," Tuberville told ESPN on Monday. "Someone should be awarded (the) title. If not, the team that had to forfeit is not really punished."
I'd disagree with that.
There's validity to the argument that people remember that game, and re-writing the history books with Auburn--or any one else, for that matter--won't change anything.
Vacated means simply that: No one won the title that year, and from now on, that's how the history books will remember the 2004 season. USC's players and fans may disagree, and I'm sure millions recall that game happening, but college football history won't.
What that means is certainly up for debate, but what isn't for debate Oklahoma's trophy case, which won't be adding another title unless it wins one in 2011.