2004 AP poll won't change, and shouldn't
The Associated Press has determined Southern California will retain its 2004 national championship even though the NCAA declared Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush ineligible during that season.
“The 2004 poll stands,” AP sports editor Terry Taylor confirmed in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times on Friday. “The poll is intended to measure on-field performance. If teams are allowed to play, they’re allowed to be ranked and USC certainly played in 2004.”
The NCAA ruled the Trojans must vacate victories in which Bush played. As a result, former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said his Tigers should be proclaimed 2004 national champions.
“We never complained when they went by the process the last time, and they should go by the process this time,” said Tuberville, who is now at Texas Tech. “If they were ineligible, I think they should have a revote and let people vote on it and decide who they think was the best team that year. If everybody thinks it was Oklahoma, that’s fine. If everybody thinks it was Auburn, that’s fine.”
USC finished unbeaten in 2004 and destroyed Oklahoma 55-19 in the BCS Championship at the Orange Bowl. The Tigers went unbeaten and finished No. 2 in the country after defeating Virginia Tech 16-13 in the Sugar Bowl.
I was an AP voter in 2004 and had Auburn No. 2 in my weekly poll (behind USC and ahead of Oklahoma) until Nov. 21, when I swapped OU and Auburn.
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