PROTEST PLAYOFF '04: 2005 FBS National Championship

2004-2

One of the things I am attempting to do with this project is illustrate how unsatisfying the college football postseason really is. I'm doing that by asking this question: What if the football postseason looked like the basketball postseason?

Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician has asked the opposite question: What if the basketball postseason looked like the football postseason? I think it makes for an entertaining read.

Different methods, same conclusion - the BCS sucks.

USCLeftFBS National Championship - 2004 OrangeOklahomaRight

No. 1 USC Trojans (15-0) VS. No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners (15-0)

FedEx Orange Bowl
Pro Player Stadium - Miami Gardens, Fla.
Saturday, Jan. 1, 2004 - 8 PM EST

Precipitation: none
Temperature: 76
Wind: S 13 MPH

Final Score: USC 21, Oklahoma 20

Player of the Game
USC RB Reggie Bush

Box Score

 

MIAMI (AP) - It took seven tries, but No. 1 and No. 2 finally met with a championship on the line, and No. 1 finally came away victorious - you know, the way the system was designed.

USC (16-0) won the Orange Bowl and claimed the Pac-10's first ADT National Championship Trophy in the FBS Playoff era by defeating Oklahoma (15-1) in an instant classic, 21-20.

After a scoreless 1st quarter, the Trojans scored first when Reggie Bush (14 carries, 121 yards, 2 TDs) broke loose for a 78-yard TD run and an early lead. Instead of tying, Oklahoma was forced to answer with a 35-yard Trey DiCarlo (2-4 FGs) FG instead, and thus remained behind 7-3 when Bush scored his second TD with 2:18 left in the 1st half. Again, the Sooners answered with a DiCarlo FG, this one from 40 yards out, and the Trojans led 14-6 at halftime.

The two teams battled back and forth for a majority of the 3rd quarter, until Matt Leinart (11-23, 169 yards, 1 TD) found Steve Smith from 23 yards out for a TD and a 21-6 lead. Things were looking bleak for the Sooners, but they responded in a big way over the next two minutes.

With 1:10 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Adrian Peterson (26 carries, 170 yards, 1 TD) rumbled 55 yards for a TD and cut the deficit to eight points. A quick USC three-and-out then gave the ball back to the Sooners with good field position, and they wasted no time in capitalizing on their good fortune. Jason White (16-34, 222 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) found James Moses open on a screen on the first play of the drive, and 60 yards and a TD later, USC's lead had all but evaporated to a narrow 21-20 advantage.

Bob Stoops' decision to not go for two, however, will come back to haunt him, as the final period resembled the first one - a defensive struggle resulting in no points for either team. Instead of heading to overtime, the Sooners were forced to watch the Trojans celebrate a narrow national championship victory and wonder what might have happened had they rolled the dice on their last opportunity.

 

All helmet images are courtesy of The Helmet Project. Check it out - it's pretty cool.

All bowl logos are courtesy of sportslogos.net.

 

Next Week

The 2005 FBS Playoff field will be unveiled at noon on Sunday, April 12. As usual, I will post the full bracket and assorted statistics tomorrow at noon. I also hope to go back and add in the recaps for the week; I have basically been behind since the power outages and won't have a chance to catch up on things until Saturday, thanks to work.

  • SUNDAY: 2005 field announced
  • MONDAY: First half of the 1st round games played (higher seed hosts)
  • TUESDAY: Second half of the 1st round games played (higher seed hosts)
  • WEDNESDAY: 2nd round games played (bowl sites)
  • THURSDAY: Final Four (bowl sites)
  • FRIDAY: National Championship
  • SATURDAY: Stats and analysis

 

BracketCat's Protest Playoff Archives

1998: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Fiesta | Data | Encore

1999: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Sugar | Data | Encore

2000: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Orange | Data | Encore

2001: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Rose | Data

2002: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Fiesta | Data

2003: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Sugar | Data

2004: Selection Sunday | Sweet 16 (1) | Sweet 16 (2) | Elite 8 | Final 4

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