The BCS has the power to vacate one of its championships should USC be found guilty violating of NCAA bylaws. The question is, what form would that take?
USA Today reported Wednesday that a little-known BCS rule added in January 2007 allows the BCS to vacate the championship of a team if it has found to be guilty of major rules violations. USC is awaiting penalties -- if any -- regarding the Reggie Bush case. Bush is alleged to have taken money and extra benefits from would-be agents while at the school. If he is ruled by the NCAA to have competed while ineligible, the association could strip USC victories while he was at the school. Only, then would the BCS step in.
But the NCAA doesn't sponsor a championship in football so it essentially has no jurisdiction on USC's '04 title. How the BCS would strip that title isn't clear.
The BCS can't compel the American Football Coaches Association or the Associated Press to take back trophies from the Trojans' 2004 championship season. In other sports besides football, the NCAA typically only removes references of championships in media guides and record books of teams that have vacated wins.
In the case of the BCS, what record books? What media guides? The BCS runs a website, bcsfootball.org, and puts out a small pamphlet-like media guide each season.
Since 1998, the AFCA has awarded a trophy to the winner of the BCS title game. The AP awards a trophy to a team that finishes No. 1 among the voters in its final poll. AP told the BCS to drop it from its formula a few years ago, in part due to a conflict of interest among its voters.
A college football national championship has never been forfeited or vacated (in the wire service era since 1936).
"The NCAA will do whatever we do," one BCS official said.
The NCAA has section in its record book recognizing BCS champions.
The NCAA has vacated those records and championships in basketball and other sports. That typically involves removing a teams' wins and championships of record books and media guides. In the case of Florida State's Bobby Bowden, it would have involved no reference its former coach being the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history.
Prior to his retirement, the veteran coach was within reach of catching Joe Paterno for No. 1 on the all-time list. The NCAA then forced Florida State to vacate 12 of his victories. Bowden finished with 377 career victories.