IRVING, Texas -- There will probably be no official Bowl Championship Series champion for 2004 if the NCAA upholds its sanctions on Southern California, BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Tuesday.
"If USC loses the appeal, the championship will be vacated," Hancock said at the Big 12 media days. "Well, let me back up. The presidents could decide to do something else, but I think it's most likely they will vacate it."
USC has received several sanctions because of a relationship between an agent and running back Reggie Bush that season. The school has appealed some of the sanctions.
Hancock's pronouncement upset new Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville. His undefeated Auburn team did not get a chance to play in the 2004 championship game. Utah also went undefeated that season.
Oklahoma faced USC in the title game and lost, 55-19.
"Why in the world would you not give it to anybody, whether it's Oklahoma or us or Utah?" Tuberville said. "Everybody played that year. Why would you not give it to somebody? We had a heck of a football team that year. There is no reason to keep a group of players who say, 'Hey, I was a national champion.' I'm not saying it was us, but somebody."
Hancock said the BCS cannot manufacture a result. The point of the BCS is that the championship is decided on the field, he said
"The feeling here is that there was not a game; no game happened," Hancock said. "Most people would think Auburn would be the team, but how would they have done against Oklahoma? I don't know."
Hancock took the opportunity to reinforce the BCS and say that it is the best way to decide a national champion.
"Here's what's right about the BCS: the regular season," he said. "We have to protect this regular season, and the bowl system is cherished in the country. Ninety-three percent of the coaches, according to the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) survey, prefer this system over any other."
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe backed Hancock's claim and reiterated his support for the bowl system.
"I think we're in a great situation with bowls and the experiences those provide to the student-athletes as a reward for great regular seasons or even seasons where their programs are building, " Beebe said.