Right now, it seems to be only Oregon who's a bigger beaten-up program than USC in college football.
Oregon are beaten up because their starting quarterback couldn't keep his hands to himself, while USC has been beaten up over incidents where people couldn't keep their hands on the green.
As outlined by probably every news outlet in the United States, the Trojans have been given a two-year postseason ban, been told to vacate the 2004 postseason and all of the 2005 season victories, and had 30 scholarships removed over the course of the next three years. In other words, the good ship Los Angeles is listing (unless you're at UCLA, then you're celebrating!).
Bill Hancock, BCS executive director, said: "In accordance with the findings released today by the NCAA, the University of Southern California's 2005 Orange Bowl game victory has been vacated. We take the integrity of NCAA rules seriously. As a procedural matter, the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee (POC) must meet to formally consider vacating USC's championship title and the game records. If the POC takes such action, there would be no BCS champion for the 2004-05 season."
Bugger. That makes the BCS just soooooo much better, doesn't it - when your champion's a cheater!!
The question is is: should we feel sorry for them?
As much as I want to put a crying Song Girl's head on my shoulder and comfort her, it's hard to feel sorry for the program.
1) It's hard to feel sorry for Lane Kiffin, who's betrayal of Tennessee would probably have made Nick Saban - or even Judas himself- proud.
2) USC has been one of the most successful programs in recent years. It's nice to break up the monotony of consistent Trojan victories in the Pac-10. In other words, it makes things exciting.
3) The postseason bans are only for two years. Can you imagine how psyched they'll be when that ban's over. Some teams will be in for a kicking when 2012 comes along.
4) They might win their appeal. So let's not cry any tears yet.
What we'd like to see is a financial hammering given out to Pete Carroll, who's scuttled off to Seattle. If running back's coach Todd McNair was as guilty as the report indicates, then why wasn't he given a five-year ban from coaching? And more's the case, why the Heisman committee remove Bush's Heisman and Bush himself completely erased from all NCAA record books (although his highlights will remain etched on the memory, thank God) and declared ineligible.
But that's unlikely.
Oh, and here's Pete Carroll's response: