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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Stop the One-Peat

Wednesday we posted a link (with a follow up Thursday) about an LSU fan who was attempting to raise $10,000 to put up a billboard to show that USC had only won one national title, not two as most college football fans (and those of us here at the M Zone) had always assumed. Mr. One-Peat's thinking was, since LSU won the BCS title in 2003 when they defeated Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, they are considered the national champion in college football for that year.

Of course, he's forgetting that since there is no playoff in college football and two polls that are recognized as having the "power" to declare a champion, it's possible - even with the BCS in place - to have two teams share the mythical title of "National Champion." It's happened many times in the past, and without a playoff, it could very well happen again.

Even the NCAA doesn't seem to think there was only one "Champ" in '03. In its official record book, they list both LSU and USC as champions that year. Both teams won. As Barney and friends illustrate in the picture, they shared the title.

Now, the subject of a shared national title hits home to us here at the M Zone. The most recent football championship that Michigan can claim was in 1997 when the Wolverines shared the designation with Nebraska. With no clear-cut better team and the two teams not playing each other that year either, in a situation similar to LSU/SC in '03, the shared title was probably the best of a bad situation. Do Michigan fans think the Wolverines would have beaten the 'Huskers that year? No doubt. Just as I'm certain Nebraska fans have the same confidence in their '97 squad.

However, I don't think most of the Michigan or Nebraska fans - nor the LSU or USC fans in '03 - still feel in 2006 that their titles were or are diminished in any way because they had to share it.

Except for one glaring exception: Mr. One-Peat.

Evidently this LSU fan was upset at the national media, particularly ESPN and ABC, for continually referring to USC's attempt at a "Three-Peat" this season (even though that's what the media do, particularly the Boo-Yah! Back Back Back network). But who cares? If you're an LSU fan, it's not like they were trying to take away the Tigers' title. No matter what, the Bayou Bengals have their title. Always will. And saying that USC was going for three in a row didn't, nor doesn't, diminish what the '03 Tigers accomplished.

So enjoy it. It was 45 years since your last one. National championships, shared or solo, are often once or twice in a lifetime events. And for cryin' out loud, if you don't like what the GameDay crew is saying, turn off the TV.

Which is exactly what most LSU fans have done. But Mr. One-peat's remote must be broken and it's driven him insane. Because trying to raise ten grand, particularly in Louisiana at this time, just to put up some billboard to compensate for some perceived slight is crazy. It was hilarious as something passed around the Internet. We all got a good laugh out of the guy's point. But to actually try to raise money? Especially when everybody's already heard the joke?

So we at the M Zone have a better idea. We are encouraging everyone to ignore the "One-peat" and instead donate to either the Red Cross or the Bush-Clinton Hurricane Katrina Fund, both of which are accepting donations for the people who are still suffering the effects of Hurricane Katrina. So instead of trying to settle "mythical" slights, pass this on. Then "repeat" as needed.


Anonymous said...

We are in the BCS era. This is not 1997. No split. Go read the BCS contract that all BCS conferences signed.

Let's not even get into the subject of merit, that is, which team showed on the field who was better. USC fans cower at the thought.

Anonymous said...

And that is the actual BCS contract, not a sidepage of the BCS Website, which is hardly official. Go read the document that was signed. Your AD has one. (It is rumored that USC's AD burned the 2003 copy).

Yost said...

Actually, I think SC fans have moved on. Try it.

Yost said...

And this justifies spending 10K on a billboard about a season over two years old because...?

Anonymous said...

Because the truth will set you free.

Yost said...

Ok, that made me laugh. I still disagree. But that was funny.

Anonymous said...

The BCS webpage you reference, which is a sidepage, is not official. It is not binding. The contract explicitly states that there is one national championship game and one national champion. If you have questions regarding this, ask your AD for a copy of the BCS contract.

The AP is self-governing. But to start with the AP or Coaches Poll is to err. Start first with the BCS conferences. They signed a contract with the BCS. That contract recognizes one national championship game, a de facto playoff, and one national champion. That the conferences themselves agreed to a system of ultimate authority relegates the AP to ancillary significance, significance that derives solely from being a component in determining who earns a berth in the national championship game.

The Final AP and Coaches Poll have significance only to non-BCS schools. If one were to wind up #1 in either poll, then there would be legitimate reason to call for a split.

Wangs said...

Good grief.

I'll amend my offer and give you full credit for 2003 IF your billboard says:

2003 National Champs and fourteen 5-or more loss seasons since '70.

Where do I send the check?

skeetskeet said...

Well, that was uncalled for. No need to knock the whole history of their program just because some jackass is spending money on something pointless.

The King said...

Does everyone remember in the show "Friends" how after he hooks up with the hot chick at the copy store, Ross uses the phrase "WE WERE ON A BREAK" for, like, the next six seasons straight? He never lets it go, at all, ever, even though it's in the past and even Rachel has forgiven him?


CapBuck said...


My wife owns all of the friends shows. Yeah, I've heard....



Yost said...

LOL, indeed, King

TrojanRuss said...

Hey, when you win a championship twice every hundred years, you can understand their desire not to share one. What's disgusting is that there are a bunch of idiots for whom this perceived slight trumps all sense of normalcy and decency. I'm sure these people pass hurricane victims daily in the streets of Baton Rouge who have resorted to panhandling to try to survive and don't look twice at them, but they're willing to drop a C-note to post a billboard in another city MAKING FUN of the fact that USC didn't end up winning three national titles in a row. It's so pathetic it's almost funny. Almost.

Yost said...


That's what I don't get and actually bothers me about this. You want to throw up a sign on your campus, fine. But from what I understand, they want (or wanted) to put it up in LA!

Guys, it's from 2+ seasons ago. Time to move on.

Thanks for the comment.

TrojanRuss said...

Hey, Anonymous, why don't you go look at the BCS website and see that even the BCS recognizes that there were two national champions in 2003. Scroll down to 2003 after you click here, and this is what you will find:


For the only time since the BCS was formed, there is a split national champion. LSU finishes atop the coaches' poll by beating Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl in a pairing of the top two teams in the BCS Standings. USC, ranked first in both polls on Bowl Selection Sunday, is left out of the BCS championship game when the Trojans finish third in the BCS standings. But USC wins the Associated Press' championship after beating Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Oklahoma, which spent the season as the top-ranked team in both polls, earns a spot in the Sugar Bowl by finishing first in the final BCS Standings even though the Sooners lose to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game. LSU, the SEC champion, edges USC for second place in the final BCS Standings to advance to the Sugar Bowl.

Don't shoot the messenger, but even after the ironclad contract that every conference commissioner signed, the BCS recognizes that they are not the sole arbiter of determining national champions.

Benny Friedman said...

Trojan Russ, great post. It'd be one thing if the guy did his Photoshop of the billboard and sent it around the Web. Then it's kind of funny. But to actually go out and raise money for this frivolous act is sickening. We all spend money on frivolous things. But to raise money on something like this is really gross.

The King said...

It's APPALLING! It's worse than GENOCIDE!

Anonymous said...

That site (onepeat) and the fund raiser associated with it was started by a UCLA fan, not an LSU fan. Do your homework.

The King said...

Interesting. I had been wondering why it kept getting attributed to an LSU person, when there's no indication of that anywhere on the site.

But still.


Yost said...

Is that true about Bruin starting this? Somebody please send link detailing this. If that's the case, uh, it all becomes so much clearer.

Beaker said...

Sorry to burst your bubble anonymous, but there's nothing official about the BCS. It's a contract between conferences and bowls but there's no NCAA control to it at all other than the NCAA certifies the bowls. The contract doesn't even include everyone.

Speaking as a Cornhusker fan, while we obviously take claim to the '97 championship, i don't know of anyone who objects to the fact that Michigan does as well. We're sure not going to spend 10 cents let alone ten thousand dollars on a campaign against Michigan.

The National Championship is still mythical. Unless you do it boxing style (shameless plug for my site www.heavyweightfootballchamps.com)

Anonymous said...

I can't remember what bowl game Michigan was in this year? Oh yeah, i got it, it was the Mastercard Alamo Bowl. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! And what's that sound, it's Michigan blowing away a 11 point 4th quarter lead. At least USC made it to a January, and National title game. On our way to the number one recruiting class for the third straight year! FIGHT ON!

Anonymous said...

It's not about sharing a title, if that is even possible in the BCS era, but the fact that certain media outlets made out like USC was the ONLY champion in the last 2 years. Why complain it is dwelling on the past when obviously it ESPN IS doing just that with the three-peat talk before the Rose Bowl...and even forgetting part of it.

Unless you are a Trojan fan you had to be sick of all of the "special reports" on who was the best team of all time. The Longhorns proved that it takes defense to win games also and they hung 41 on USC's.

Wangs said...

I'll frickin' settle this once and for all ...

In '03, LSU beat the runner up in the Big 12. Whatever.

USC beat the Big Ten Champ. Happened to be Michigan. This is THE Michigan Football Forum.

Also, USC's cheerleaders are so much hotter than LSU's. So ... they win.

Anonymous said...

Hotter cheerleaders? No way dude. Plus girls in the south are EASY!!!

Wangs said...

Allright. I'll hold my vote pending further review.

Send a picture of a REAL LSU cheerleader. Or even a real LSU coed.

I'm not sure I've ever seen an LSU coed.

Easy? Not sure that means good. Michigan coeds are easy, but ... that's just cause they aren't as hot as USC coeds.

So ... you get my vote if you send a photo of a hot LSU cheerleader, or coed, or fan, or Mary Landrieu.

Yost will tell you how.

Anonymous said...

While USC fans appeal to a WEBPAGE, we use the BCS Contract that all BCS teams agreed to. If that isn't legitimacy and the measuring rod for the true champion, what is?

Don't agree to a system and then trash it because it doesn't give you the results you want.


Anonymous said...

LSU 2005 SEC AP champions by virtue of finishing higher in a poll. forget what happened in the actual championship game. LSU #6, Bama #8, UGA #10

USC the only team to ever win a NC in any sport without playing in that sports NC game. congrats.

Beaker said...

There's been no other team to be declared National Champion, in the history of football, without playing in a National Championship game? Interesting...

Guess that sums up this guy's skills in logic

TrojanRuss said...

Doesn't matter if it was set up by a Bruin because if you go to any LSU message board, they've all kicked in money to see that this gets done, making my point in my first post in this thread.

There are no NCAA national champions in football, Anonymous (effing pussy), because football does not have an NCAA sanctioned playoff, hence there has never been a true national championship game for 1A football.

Yost said...

True, which in my eyes is the beauty of the college game and the reason we're still "debating" the 2003 season.

But to raise 10K to "prove" something that is mythical to begin with is, well, crazy. Anon doesn't realize that you can't prove smack talk.

Lemoine said...

I live in Baton Rouge and I'm an LSU Alum. We have all given our tears, time and money to the rebuilding of our great State. The funds being raised for this billboard started with a LSU Alumnus in Dallas. I think it's a great idea because it was painful to hear over and over again about a 3-peat. All of us as college fans have to belief 100% in the BCS system until there's a better system. I'm just glad I wasn't an Auburn fan last year.

PS> Our girls are the best looking and only half are easy. Also, northern girls love southern men because we treat them right in all the areas.


Crazy Coonass

Beaker said...

If it's painful to hear all the 3-peat talk, that's more a commentary on your own sense of perspective as well as on your own self esteem. If you invest that much emotion into this matter that it hurts to have another team's accomplishments recognized or touted, the problem is with you.

And I don't get the reasoning that we have to be 100% behind this system. In fact, I could easily take the opposite stance, that you are a true fan and the system is flawed and possibly hurting college football, then you should be 100% against the system.

Anonymous said...

I would like to throw my two cents into this argument. First of all I am an LSU grad and present LSU law student. Some LSU fans feel very strongly about the split title but really this billboard thing is all in good fun. It's college football rivalry gone mad. Plus, it is very fun to debate. As I see it, here is the main issue involved here: "In the BCS era, does the #1 team in the final AP poll have a valid claim to the national championsip based solely upon their ranking in that poll?"

It is my belief that the #1 team in the final AP poll does not have a valid claim to the national championship based solely upon that ranking. Of course this is only true for the BCS era. If they did however, I would say that it is certainly less of an "official" campionship. If we were to go back, before the 2003 controversy erupted, and ask any college football fan how we crowned a national champion, they would say that the winner of the BCS would be the champion. Nobody would have said either the BCS winner OR the AP poll winner.
While it is true that a BCS title game may not bring us a controversy free champion, it is the system we have in place. It may not be a playoff but it is certainly better than the old system. Basically, the argument I hear from those who say USC had a valid share of the 2003 title is that since the AP never agreed to the BCS, that they are free to name their own champion. Please, correct me if I am wrong, but that is what I hear. They would be right in their argument as well, but whether the AP agreed to anything or not does not matter. What matters is what the participants of college football, the conferences, agreed to. After all if you are going to play a game you establish the rules with the other players, not the spectators. So the AP can name their own champion but it is not the one the conferences have officially recognized. The difference between the BCS system and every poll that has ever existed is that the BCS was the first and only system that all the major conferences ever collectively and officially agreed to recognize as a national champion selector. That does not make the BCS perfect, it does not make it a playoff, but it does make it something more "official" than any other system we have had.
Further, there are those that would argue that the contract between the BCS and the conferences never specifically excluded the AP poll as a selector, therefore it is valid. I personally think this is the type of argument that is made on playgrounds throughout our country. That is saying, well, since we never said we couldn't do it, it makes it ok. Besides that though, to say that the AP poll is still valid as a national champion selector because it was never specifically excluded is an illogical argument. This is because the nature of a "champion" is a singular nature. The inclusion of one selector (BCS) necessarilly excludes any and all others (AP). The idea of a split title runs counter to the concept of a "champion." The term co-champion is really an oxymoron. When the conferences signed up with the BCS, all other national champion selectors became invalid. Logically you do not need nor can you have multiple ways to select a national champion. That is why the agreement did not need to specifically exclude the AP and it also did not need to declare the BCS the "only" selector. Please let me know if I am wrong.

Yost said...


First off, great comments. That's the sort of intelligent debate we appreciate here.

Here's my point as an outside observer and, I believe, that of many SC fans.

SC only won the AP title that year b/c the Coaches were FORCED to vote for the winner of the OK/LSU Sugar Bowl. Remember, SC wasn't just #1 in the AP poll, they were #1 in BOTH polls heading into the bowl games.

In fact, if you recall, the BCS changed its rules to prevent what happened in '03 from ever happening again -- namely the #1 team (in that case SC in both polls) being left out of the BCS game.

Thus, I think it's only fair and nobody really loses to say it was a split title that year. Nothing wrong and no shame for either side.

Anonymous said...

But that is just the thing, I think it is completely unfair to allow a split title that year. It is not just unfair to LSU, but it is also unfair to Auburn of last year, or Oregon in 2001, as well as any teams in the future that have a similar situation to that of Auburn or Oregon. Yes I understand that USC was different in that they were #1 in the human polls at the end of the season. However, why were they #1 in 2003? It was because they lost two weeks before LSU. Reverse that and at the end of the season LSU is #1. Everybody knows that is how the polls work. The earlier you lose, the better. Is that fair though? Is it fair that Auburn did not get in just because they began the season with a worse ranking? I don't think either of those things are fair, and I certainly don't think it is fair USC got left out of the Sugar Bowl. You see, my point is, in sports, any given rule may or not be fair in and of itself. However, rules achieve their fairness through their equal application. A rule may be completely unfair but if everybody agrees to it and it is applied equally, then the playing field is level and fairness is achieved. To give any team special treatment or unequal application of the rules is the one of the most unfair things to do in sports. It serves a great injustice to the teams that are not given special treatment. It is much more unfair to apply the rules unequally then to apply an unfair rule equally. At least everybody agreed to the unfair rule before-hand. If you do not like the rules then you can change them once the season is over. However, once you decide on a set of rules you stick with them and see them ought. You cannot change them on the fly or retroactively. Changing them on the fly is what happened in 2003. That is why I believe, the fairest thing to do is actually deny USC a share of the title. It is simply the equal application of the rules.

Anonymous said...

Hey LSU.
You didn't even win one/half of a mythical NC.
The BCS is what got in the way of USC winning the MNC outright from both the coaches and the writers. That's the ESPN/USA today coaches poll and the Assosiated Press witers Poll. If you had not lucked into a bowl game that *required* the coaches to vote you number one then you would have nothing at all... everyone who matters knew USC was the best team in the nation. You should feel lucky to even get a taste of the pie, let alone half of it.

Anonymous said...

Ok...the last poster is a idiot.

All evidence shows that LSU was the better team of the two. Just because USC was good in 2004 and 2005 doesn't mean they were good enough in 2003 (and I personally question the validity of that number one ranking: USC and LSU were seperated by a mere 15 points out of 1600 on the AP poll prebowl. But somehow, USC's win against a lower ranked team seemed more impressive than LSU's game against a higer ranked one so as to widen that game by a considerable margin. Something smells personal and political in there). However, we simply will never know for sure. Bitch and moan about the BCS all you want...thats up to you. It its not like their school threatened to the members of the Coach's poll to vote for LSU at the end. An agreement was signed by that poll and all the members of the BCS conferences to accept the BCS national champion as the national champion. Such was the rules preseason. Rules that USC apparently didn't have any trouble with in 2004. (Although to his credit, Carroll did publically denounce the BCS in '04).

If you think their can only be one rightful champion in the age of the BCS or not doesn't matter: LSU has one title one way or another, and obviously they aren't lucky because they missed out on the chance of trying to prove on the field that they were the best.

Anonymous said...

I was planning on staying out of this until this idiot showed up:

"LSU 2005 SEC AP champions by virtue of finishing higher in a poll. forget what happened in the actual championship game. LSU #6, Bama #8, UGA #10"

Um, I'm sorry, but didn't we kick the crap out of LSWHO in the SECCG this year? The Dawgs proved who the real champs were this year. I'm sure they do want to forget what happened. Granted, they were good in '03 - they scorched my Dawgs in the SECCG that year, and we were pretty darn good. But fact is, they split the NC that year. No amount of crying (2 years later? Still?) is going to change that. I guess they call 'em coonasses for a reason...?

Anonymous said...

Uh...your wrong I am a dedicated USC fan but I know that USC is not, rather was not, the National Champion in 2003. The BCS was decided well before the season that it would be the deciding factor for declaring the National Championship team. The decided that team was LSU. AP declared USC the champions, but the AP only makes 1/8 of the all around desicion.

Anonymous said...

Oh and also if you read anything from the onepeat website or in any newspaper than you'll know that the LSU fan is putting up the billboard because of the whole 3peat thing that ESPN and other media markets were saying even before they played the game vs. Texas, not solely because of the split national title.