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Two was company and three was a crowd in the race for 2004 BCS National Championship.
At season's end, and for the first time in the seven year history of the BCS, three college football programs from BCS conferences wrapped up the regular season undefeated.
Ruh-roh raggy! Now what?
USC, Auburn and Oklahoma were all competing in an intense round of musical BCS berths. When the music faded out in early December 2004, Auburn was left without a chair.
Hit the fast-forward button five years later, USC is about to take a seat again: in the NCAA timeout chair.
After so many seasons riding free and easy on their high Trojan horse, the USC football program got smacked with severe sanctions by the NCAA on Thursday.
The punishments include a reduction in scholarships, a two year ban from any post-season bowl games and forfeiture of wins from the 2004 season.
It's hard to find a seat at the table when your regular season record reads: 0-12.
With that said, Whatifsports.com wondered what-if, five years later, Auburn was granted a spot in the BCS National Championship Game against Oklahoma.
Using our college football simulation engine, we simulated Auburn versus Oklahoma 1001 times. The computer provided us both teams' winning percentage and average points per game.
NCAAFB Simulation Results
|Matchup||Win%||Avg Score||WIS Interactive|
|Auburn Tigers||25.7||18.4||Simulate Game|
It's right about now that Bob Stoops wished Doc had sold him that DeLorean.
The Sooners dominated the 1001 simulations, winning by an average of nearly 10 points a game.
An end result that's hard to fathom when you consider the make-up of the two rosters. Granted, Oklahoma's backfield boasts a young man by the name of Adrian Peterson (in addition to wide outs Mark Bradley and Mark Clayton), but Auburn had future pros Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown and trigger man Jason Campbell.
The Sooners quarterback, Jason White, now runs a college memorabilia store and a The Athlete's Foot shoe store. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.
A slow start to the 2004 BCS National Championship Game as both defenses held the offense in check in the first quarter. A John Vaughn field goal with 20 seconds remaining put the first points on the board for Auburn.
The Tigers took a 6-0 lead late into the second quarter when Oklahoma finally decided it would be a good idea to play some football. The Sooners go-to-guy, Adrian Peterson found room off left tackle, 12 yards to the house with seconds remaining before the half.
Oklahoma took a 7-6 lead into halftime.
Future Miami Dolphin, Ronnie Brown, answered the bell in the third with a 7-yard touchdown rush on a draw play to hand the lead back to the Tigers, 13-7. The Sooners put together a late 3rd quarter drive after starting on their own 18-yard line; White and OK moved the pigskin into the redzone. The Heisman Trophy winner hit James Moses as he parted the defense on his way to the zone. The Sooners, up 14-13, would never trail again.
Trailing by eleven, 24-13, Auburn scored a last minute touchdown (Campbell to Ben Obomanu), but the Sooners booted a 48-yard field goal to put the game out of reach.
Given the chance to play for a National Championship, the Tigers bark was bigger than their bite.
Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.