Calvin Thibodeaux, a defensive end on Oklahoma’s 2004 team, believes Auburn should be given the national title if the NCAA decided to replace USC, which was stripped of the title earlier this week.
The Trojans defeated the Sooners 55-19 in the Orange Bowl, the national title game. The NCAA announced the 2004 title will be vacated with no national champion.
“They beat us fair and square,” Thibodeaux said. “If anything I feel bad for Auburn. That Auburn team went undefeated. I really didn’t have a reaction because they beat us.”
Thibodeaux is focused on his new job, defensive line coach at Dartmouth after coaching at a junior college last season. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Houston, which ended a 28-year bowl draft that season.
“I’m really enjoying it,” Thibodeaux said. “We have 18 returning starters off a 6-4 team so I think we have a chance (to win the Ivy League) this season.”
Ivy League schools don’t offer scholarships but Thibodeaux said that isn’t an issue filling out a roster.
“I’ve been surprised how many guys we’ve had to turn away,” Thibodeaux said. “We recruit nationally. (Recruits) know the value of an Ivy League education so we have a lot of players interested, especially on the West Coast. Out there they’re crazy about the Ivy League.”
Thibodeaux helped lead the Sooners to three Big 12 titles and four trips to BCS bowl games, including two national championship games. He signed with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League but began his coaching career after he was cut following two preseason games.