One of the most intriguing games of next weekend’s college football slate, features Texas and USC. The two will face each other for the first time since the 2006 Rose Bowl. You may remember it, Vince Young and the Longhorns shocked the world by beating the Trojans 41-38. However, if you listen to USC, they’ll tell you it never happened.
That’s because, due to the penalties against Trojan running back Reggie Bush, for accepting impermissible benefits, USC was forced to vacate the final two wins of the 2004 National Championship season, and all 12 of their wins in 2005. But wait, there’s more, USC is also now claiming that the vacated losses include the 2006 Rose Bowl against Texas. In fact, the school literally calls it a “vacated loss” in their game notes. The notes explain, “USC is 4-0 in it s series with Texas (not including one loss vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record, 4-1).”
So yeah, we’re 4-0 against Texas, you know, as long as you don’t count the only game that anyone remembers or cares about.
The Sporting News went back and found the BCS’ original ruling on the subject in 2011. Here’s how BCS Executive director Bill Hancock explained it at the time:
“The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are showcase events for postseason 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.”
That ruling applied to USC’s appearances in the 2005 Orange Bowl, the national championship game in 2004, and, of course, USC’s loss to Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl. So, while Texas gets the win, the committee basically held a giant Men in Black memory eraser up to USC’s face, and told them to stare into the light.
Still though, “vacated loss?” Sounds like the “Men of Troy” need to man-up and take their “L.”