With USC Out, Oklahoma Should Be 2004 National Champs

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When Ben Johnson was stripped of his 100-meter gold medal in the 1988 Olympics, it was awarded to second-place finisher Carl Lewis.

When Carter High School was ripped of its 1988 Texas State 5A Football Championship, it was given to the team it beat in the title game -- Converse Judson (officially, by the wacky score of 1-0.).

When Floyd Landis was yanked out of his 2006 Tour de France yellow title jersey, it was handed to second-place rider Oscar Pereiro.

When President Richard Nixon was impeached out of office in 1974, he was replaced by Vice President Gerald Ford.

And when mayor Tom Leppert resigned earlier this year, unfortunately we replaced him with Dwaine Caraway.

My point is, "vacated" sucks. In sports and in life, there needs to be a No. 1. Even if it started out as No. 2.

I don't have a problem with the BCS formally stripping Southern Cal of its 2004 National Championship, but how can the organization not replace the Trojans with an alternate "winner"?

USC has already given back Reggie Bush's Heisman from 2005. Bush gave his trophy back to the Heisman Trust.

He's guilty. He lied. And the school has been punished via two-year probation and loss of 30 scholarships.

Doesn't mean USC wasn't the best team in college football in 2004. Just means the Trojans weren't eligible for the championship.

So who should get the vacated title in the official record books? Both Auburn and Utah went undefeated that season. But, duh, the answer is Oklahoma.

I know the Sooners were dominated and routed by USC in the 2005 Orange Bowl, 55-19. But by qualifying for the BCS National Championship Game they earned the silver medal. And now they get the gold.

Some folks say they'll always consider USC the '04 champs and Bush the '05 Heisman winner. I think it should go down as OU in '04 and Vince Young in '05.

Just as long as we don't act like neither season happened.

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