Although the official records of the NCAA would tell you it never happened, 10 years ago today, on October 15, 2005, USC running back Reggie Bush pushed Matt Leinart into the end zone to give USC a win over its rival Notre Dame in the final seconds.
The play was immediately christened "The Bush Push," and man did it tick me off.
You see, I grew up a Notre Dame fan, and I hated USC because of it. The Trojans came into the game at 5-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country, while Notre Dame was 4-1 and ranked No. 9. The Irish were going through some lean years at the time, and it was Charlie Weis' first year at the school.
The Trojans, on the other hand, were on a 27-game winning streak, and had won the last three meetings with Notre Dame by an average of 31 points.
Weis' arrival, along with Notre Dame's 4-1 start to the season, had provided me with a hope that I hadn't felt in a while. Beating the defending champions, and ending their win streak, would only cement this feeling.
And Notre Dame would have done just that* if not for Bush's illegal push of Leinart into the end zone. Unfortunately for me, the referees chose not to enforce Section 3, Article 2b of the NCAA rule book, which clearly states that "[t]he runner shall not grasp a teammate; and no other player of his team shall grasp, push, lift or charge into him to assist him in forward progress."
But he did, and USC won.
Now, I was angry about this for a while, but I would get over it a few months later. You see, had the refs actually done their jobs, and enforced the rules -- OK, maybe I'm still a little bitter -- then there's a good chance USC doesn't go on to play Texas in the Rose Bowl at the end of the season.
If that had happened, I would have missed out on a chance to see the Trojans lose to Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns in the greatest college football game of all time.