Among the penalties levied against USC by the NCAA is that the Trojans must vacate all wins from the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Of Course the Trojans won its second straight National Championship in 2004, and lost the Championship Game to Texas in 2005. If all of its wins in 2004 are to be vacated then what happens to that National Championship?
Bill Hancock, who is the chairman of the BCS says that the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee will decide on whether or not to strip USC of the '04 championship, but if that is done, then there simply won't be a BCS Champion for 2004. That makes sense because the BCS Champion is decided on the field, however, there is the Associated Press, which votes on its National Champion, and is free to ignore what happens in the BCS, as it did in 2003, when It awarded a clean USC team the National Championship when LSU won the BCS Championship.
This year, the AP has already set a precedent of having a re-vote when it did that with the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, so why wouldn't they re-vote its 2004 National Champion? Lets be honest, people in the media like to make news, and like to make statements, and this would be huge news, and it would make a big statement.
So if the AP were to have a re-vote, who should come out #1? There are 2 choices: Auburn and Oklahoma. Remember, at the end of the regular season there were three undefeated teams, and Auburn got left out. Oklahoma was clobbered by USC, and Auburn beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl to remain undefeated, but since the OU loss technically doesn't count, what do you do? I think the best solution is to have Auburn and Oklahoma split the championship, but how would a championship voted on over 5 years after the fact be viewed? Its a very strange and unfortunate situation, but I think one thing is for certain- USC will be stripped of its 2004 championship.
One other interesting note on this- Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville, who was the coach at Auburn in 2004, has not surprisingly said that his team should be declared the 2004 champs. What's interesting about this is that in his Auburn contract, Tuberville was to receive a a $300,000 bonus for winning a national championship, and I'm quite positive that Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops has a similar clause in his contract. If one or both schools is delcared the national champion, do those coaches cash in on those bonuses?