Pac-12: Grantland Rice

Football Writers release national poll

August, 22, 2011
The Football Writers Association (FWAA) 16-team preseason Grantland Rice Poll slots Oregon No. 3 and Stanford No. 7, just like the Associated Press.

Oklahoma is No. 1 and Alabama is No. 2, also just like the AP.

You can view the entire poll here.

The Sooners garnered seven first-place votes to Alabama’s five. LSU, Stanford and South Carolina each received one first-place vote.

The Grantland Rice Trophy, given to college football's national champion since 1954, is named in memory of the legendary sportswriter. It was the first national championship awarded presented after college football's postseason.

While the FWAA will not conduct a weekly poll this season, it will present the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week each Monday, as selected by a panel of select FWAA members.

USC will return its 2004 title trophy

August, 26, 2010
The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) notified USC on Thursday that it has vacated the Trojans' 2004 national championship, and USC announced shortly thereafter that it is in the process of returning the Grantland Rice Trophy it was given after that title-winning season.

Here's a statement from USC athletic director Pat Haden:

"Due to the NCAA penalties, we understand the actions taken by the Football Writers Association of America, and we will abide by that ruling. While we know that some fans and former student-athletes may be disappointed, our central priority at this time is our overall commitment to compliance, and this action is in line with the standards we have set for our entire athletic program."

You can read the statement from the FWAA here.

Three quick points.
  • As a member of the FWAA, I can tell you this decision was made after much debate and deliberation.
  • It makes sense: Whatever you feel about the severity of NCAA penalties, the Trojans used an ineligible player -- Reggie Bush -- that season.
  • But USC fans should take solace in this: After all the symbolic slings and arrows are thrown, everyone knows that USC walked away from the 2004 season as the consensus national champion, at least in terms of the football part of football. Nothing it did wrong -- by any measure -- gave it a competitive advantage.



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