Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How should we track the Trophy through USC's sanctions?

USC has vacated 14 wins between 12/4/2004 and 1/4/2006. Unfortunately this affects the All-Time College Football Trophy.

On 1/1/2004 USC beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl to take possession of the trophy. They reeled off 25 consecutive wins before losing to Texas in the Rose Bowl in 2006. However the final 14 of those wins have been vacated.

I've thought of a few different scenarios (see poll below).

  1. USC keeps the trophy throughout the vacated wins - but are given credit for only 11 wins not 25. The most similar precedent to this is when Auburn did not field a football team in 1943 do to WWII. In the official record they maintained the trophy throughout their hiatus. I like to think the importance of the trophy is the main reason they started a team again in 1944.
  2. The team USC played in their first vacated game takes possession of the trophy as this is the first game USC officially "cheated". In this case UCLA would be given the trophy (praeter emendatum in) and we would track forward from there.
  3. The first game played/completed after USC's last non-vacated victory would be determined to be the new "Trophy Game". We would go back and determine which school was the next team to win a game after USC's victory over Notre Dame on 11/27/2004 and track forward from there.
  4. Other ideas? Leave suggestions in comments.

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  1. USC maintaning the trophy (without any victories) seems the most logical/consistent. The games were not officially played, so the holder keeps the cup until they lose.

    For UCLA to get the trophy (and so on) I think there needs to be some indication SOMEWHERE that the game was actually forfeited and UCLA gets the win. In Michigan High School, that is the way it is done, but I haven't seen any indication that is what is happening here.

    I don't think using a winner of the first game scheduled from that point would be good because it basically devalues everything that came before. This is the All-Time Cup, not the Starting When USC Vacates Games Cup.

  2. Interesting perspective from the ByLaw Blog about vacated victories that probably applies here.

  3. Darn. I saved that post and never got around to commenting on it.

    It doesn't really give an opinion, but it lays some interesting options.