Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

USC Football: Three Trojans Make Athlon's Top 50 Players of the BCS Era List

Death to the BCS was ultimately realized when Florida State’s Jameis Winston found Kelvin Benjamin in the dying seconds of January’s final BCS National Championship Game.

With it now in the past, it’s time to reflect on the era, as Athlon Sports did on Thursday, with their release of the Top 50 Players of BCS Era list.

The list, which actually features a total of 100 players, included three USC Trojans.

Matt Leinart ranked 15th, while Reggie Bush came in at No. 32 and Troy Polamalu found himself at No. 41.

For Leinart and Bush, both Heisman Trophy winners and two-time Heisman finalists, a serious argument could be made that their ranking was too low.

Leinart quarterbacked USC to two national championships and was 20 seconds away from a third-consecutive title. As for Bush, he owns/owned a slew of school and conference records while being billed as “the most electric player in college football”.

Interesting finishers ahead of both Leinart and Bush include Arizona State’s Terrell Suggs at No. 13 and Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson, who was listed at No. 7.

Notable USC omissions include three-time All-American offensive lineman Sam Baker, Heisman Trophy quarterback Carson Palmer and Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee.

Vince Young and Tim Tebow took top billing in the list as No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Both won multiple BCS games, with Young having quite possibly the unluckiest Heisman campaign ever, losing out to Bush in 2005.

Other notable USC foes during the BCS era that made the list include Andrew Luck at No. 19, Manti Te’o at No. 43 and Darren Sproles at No. 44. Te’o was the only Notre Dame player to make the list, and UCLA was not represented.

The Oklahoma Sooners led the way with nine players named to the full Top 100 list, highlighted by Adrian Peterson at No. 4.

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Tags: Football Matt Leinart Reggie Bush Troy Polamalu USC Trojans

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