After USC's 55-19 pounding of Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl to cap its perfect season, it all seemed so clear -- the Trojans were undoubtedly the 2004 national champions.
But on Monday, the Bowl Championship Series said, forget it.
The BCS confirmed Monday that it has stripped Southern California of its 2004 title. The decision stems from NCAA sanctions handed down last year for rules violations committed during the 2004 and '05 seasons.
In that game, Reggie Bush -- the player at the center of the scandal -- rushed for 75 yards and caught two passes for 31 yards.
USC appealed the sanctions, which included a two-year ban from postseason play and a loss of 30 scholarships over three seasons. The NCAA denied USC's appeal on May 26.
The BCS waited until the NCAA ruled on the appeal to make a decision about its championship.
So, who was the 2004 champion? No one -- the season will be left without a champion.
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said the BCS decision was anticipated.
"The BCS alerted us today that their presidents have voted to vacate USC's 2005 BCS Championship victory," Haden said. "This was not an unexpected outcome. We will comply with all requirements mandated by the result of this BCS vote.''