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USC Fallout

Good grief a lot of news today! USC got hit pretty hard for the whole mess up with Reggie Bush & OJ Mayo. All I really care about is the football side of things so this is what basically happens for the Trojans:

1. Two year bowl ban

USC can’t play in a bowl game for the 2010 & 2011 seasons. How does that break down for players? The juniors & seniors are screwed. Neither have the opportunity to play in the postseason unless a junior were to redshirt in the next two years which means an additional year of eligibility and the chance for a bowl in 2012. The sophomores only get one more shot and the freshman basically are not playing in any bowls for their first two seasons but will be able to go bowling in their junior & senior years.

Because this is USC the big deal here is national championships. Obviously USC won’t be an integral part of the championships for the next two seasons, but what about 2012 & beyond? It’s tough to say. USC has a swagger right now that is pretty crazy. Will kids agree to come to USC despite knowing there is no championship in sight? Note that the Trojans can still win the Pac 10 championship. They can still win all their games. Is that enough for recruits?

One interesting caveat to all this is that it’s a 2-year postseason ban. That would seem to be bowl games, BUT if the Pac 10 expands to 16 then the changes would take effect maybe as early as 2011. If that’s the case then USC could not participate in a “Pac 16” championship game either. Unless a championship game wouldn’t be considered a postseason game.

2. Loss of 30 scholarships

They lose 10 scholarships per year for 2011, 2012 & 2013. Basically USC is relegated to 15 scholarships over the next 3 years for each class. That’s a pretty significant hit, but then again USC if it can keep getting top shelf talent will only get hammered with their depth. They’ll still get top line players, but the depth might take a pretty sizable hit.

3. Forfeit the 2004 BCS title game & games from the 2005 season

The 2005 season isn’t a huge deal I suppose. That’s the year USC went 12-1 and lost the Rose Bowl to Texas in the BCS Championship game. Oregon that year was 7-1 to USC’s 8-0 so if you take games away it makes sense that Oregon would then be proclaimed Pac 10 champion. The 2004 season is a lot more dicey. USC actually did win a BCS Championship that season when they hammered Oklahoma. Pete Thamel of the New York Times has some interesting tweets about the subject. Here Thamel tweets that the BCS championship is not the NCAA’s jurisdiction so the BCS will have to review it. It seems likely the BCS will strip it. Thamel tweets as much here saying unofficially handing back the trophy is a mere formality. Thamel also tweets that the BCS won’t name Auburn or Oklahoma as champion. I don’t know you don’t name Auburn as national champions. It would be a great story and I think Auburn deserves it. If they take more games away from USC in 2004 then you could also throw in another Pac 10 title as California was 7-1 to USC’s 8-0.

4. Heisman’s & Transfers

From what I can tell so far, the Heisman committee hasn’t made any definite decisions regarding the Heiman trophy Reggie Bush was awarded. That’s pretty tough. I don’t know how they necessarily take it back, but then again who knows? As for transfers, apparently any junior or senior that wants to transfer out of USC can do so without sitting out a season. As for players who have come in this year and have signed LOIs then USC would have to release them from their scholarships in order for them to avoid the requisite year of sitting due to transferring. If USC doesn’t release any players who are incoming freshman and they still want to transfer, then those players would have to sit out a year.

Obviously this was a pretty big hit for USC. Now it’s more of a waiting game. How will it all end for the Trojans? Will they keep on recruiting top shelf talent and keep on wining despite no bowl opportunities? Will they pick up in 2012 right where they left off? I think USC getting hammered helps at least two schools:

1. UCLA: I really like Neuheisal at UCLA and he’s doing a great job recruiting already. Now that USC takes a hit, I think the Bruins are in a position to take over the football landscape in SoCal and possibly never give it back. If UCLA grabs the momentum then they could make it even more difficult for USC. Remember that those 10 scholarships lost add up to 30 over 3-years. If players are hellbent on playing in Los Angeles, going to UCLA isn’t necessarily a bad deal.

2. NOTRE DAME: Notre Dame recuits California pretty hard to begin with and a lot of times things get down to Notre Dame or USC. I really believe with Brian Kelly as HC it’s a mere formality that the Irish will be back to double-digit win seasons on an annual basis with BCS games every year. Kelly is that good a coach in a fantastic situation. If he gets ND back to where the Irish belong, then ND wins a lot more recruiting battles with USC now they they have sanctions.

It’s interesting to say the least. How does USC deal with this? How long before they are back on top? Can UCLA, Notre Dame and other schools take advantage during this hit? Those are basically the issues.

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June 10, 2010 - Posted by | USC

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