Aug 21, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the 2004 Associated Press college football national champion trophy at the John McKay center on the campus of the University of Southern California. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn AD Considers Claiming USC’s 2004 National Championship

Ignore the picture of USC’s 2004 AP National Championship trophy sitting in the John McKay Center.

At least, that’s what Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs would like you to do.


Because, according to Jacobs, the Tigers are the true national champions of 2004 and they intend on recognizing that officially, according to 247 Sports.

“The 2004 team are national champions,” Jacobs said. “I just find it hard for us to not recognize teams in the same manner that sister institutions have given the same criteria.”

“There is no national champion in 2004, and I think there should be,” said Skotnicki, who holds two degrees from Auburn and is currently a practicing lawyer in Birmingham.

Currently, Auburn recognizes just two championships: 1957 and 2010. However, the Tigers are seriously considering adding up to seven new banners including the 2004 crown.

Auburn went undefeated in 2003-2004, but were left out of the championship game in favor of the also undefeated USC and Oklahoma. The Tigers beat ninth-ranked Virginia Tech 16-13 in the Sugar Bowl.

The Trojans handily defeated the Sooners 55-19 in the championship game but under NCAA sanctions the Trojans were stripped of that title. That didn’t stop the AP upholding their award of the championship to USC, so the statement that their was no champion in 2004 is a inaccurate.

Of course, the biggest problem for Auburn is that they finished second in all of the major polls behind USC and can only claim a championship through such reputable sources as the “People’s National Championship” poll and GBE College Football Ratings, a computer formula.

If Auburn goes ahead with plans to recognize all seven new titles, they would be tied with Pittsburgh with nine total and fifth all-time.

UPDATE: As Bruce Feldman astutely pointed out, several Auburn players admitted to receiving extra benefits throughout their careers, including that undefeated season. No word on whether Auburn plans to vacate the title after they claim it officially.

Tags: Football USC Trojans

  • Al

    Auburn….no the SEC needs to stop!! It’s a joke and a bad one at that. Your 10years too late!

    • Hank Shaw

      To be fair, USC claimed the 1939 title not too long ago, some sixty-plus years after the fact.

  • TrojanChuck

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahah….[gaaaasp] AAAAAAAAAHHHHH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAHAHA…maaan…

  • Hank Shaw

    If Auburn wants to claim the 2004 title, maybe USC can put in a claim on the 2006, 2007 and 2008 titles, since they ended with the same record as the champions in each year.

    • Michael Castillo

      That 2007 season will never stop getting weird. LSU lost two games including the final week of the regular season and still won a title? Nuts how it played out.

      • Hank Shaw

        West Virginia losing to Pitt…especially the way they did…is the topper of that season. Then again…USC lost to a 40-point underdog.

    • TrojanChuck

      No kidding

  • Pridenpoise

    If I was anyone associated with Auburn I might keep my big mouth shut, because we all know the only reason Cam newton was allowed to play in the championship game was because the NCAA, did not want their big game to be without it’s biggest star. There’s also a great ESPN 30-30 episode that details all of of the shenanigans that went on during their championship season, players getting high, coaches turning a blind eye, and I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Glass houses Auburn.

    • Ben Factor

      If I were associated with Auburn, I’d think it was beneath me to claim a title from 10 years ago. They just played for NC, in a year that they weren’t supposed to do much. They’re doing fine; why get petty and grasping? Probably an inferiority complex to the Tide.

  • Mick Rose

    Oh HELL No!!! SC went to Auburn in 03 and shut them out in their own house 23-0 and had beat them in the Coliseum 24-17 in 02. Auburn was supposed to be the opponent in the 2004 Kick Off Classic, but due to the way SC had already dominated them, they BACKED OUT!!! VA-Tec stepped up and got the whuppin that Auburn would have got in 04. Hey “War Eagle”… you had a chance at the CHAMP… but you wussed out!! Don’t start crying “we’re undefeated…we should be the champ” Real Championships are earned on the football field. If you ever get the chance to step up against the best, next time take it!

    We Are.. SC!!
    2004 AP National Championship

    Fight On!