At the turn of the decade, it seemed Oklahoma and Ohio State were on their ways to winning multiple national titles.
Bob Stoops' super Sooners stunned Florida State in the 2000 season Orange Bowl, then began recruiting among the elite programs.
Jim Tressel's brilliant Buckeyes shocked Miami two years later in the Fiesta.
Both programs, however, have yet to win that second title since, and each losing a key player to scandal this decade has not helped.
The summer after the 2002 season, Ohio State star running back Maurice Clarett was the center of an academic scandal, then later was suspended after filing a false police report.
Clarett was eventually booted off the team, and Ohio State didn't possess the same offensive firepower the next season.
OU. meanwhile, signed the No. 1 QB in the nation in 2004 in Rhett Bomar, who also brought trouble to his school.
Bomar quarterbacked the Sooners to a Holiday Bowl victory in 2005. But days before the start of the 2006 season, he was tossed off the team for accepting payment for work he didn't do at a local car dealership.
The Sooners were forced to swing wide receiver Paul Thompson back to QB. With the change, OU struggled with two early losses, but did rebound in time to win the Big 12 Championship.
By Jake Trotter