LOS ANGELES – As many USC Trojans fans prepare to watch Oregon and Ohio State have at it in tonight’s College Football Playoff title game in Dallas, you’ll have to forgive them for being a tad melancholy.
The Trojans and their fans have been to the promised land of collegiate football. They have seen it, felt it and reveled in it. It is not foreign territory, as their last two forays into the national championship conversation took place in 2004 and 2005.
Albeit the previous BCS system, the Trojans last two championship appearances have provided the thrill of a dominating victory and the agony of a heartbreaking defeat. These two games are etched in the hearts and minds of Trojans fans forever.
It’s not hard to forget the 2005 Orange Bowl, a national championship game, a contest in which the Trojans completely destroyed the Oklahoma Sooners 55-19, and provided the Men of Troy their 11th national championship and lone BCS title trophy.
The 2006 Rose Bowl for the BCS national championship is one of college football’s all-time games, despite the fact the Trojans lost, 41-38, in a dramatic ending to Texas and quarterback Vince Young. Young’s two gut-wrenching touchdowns in the final minutes saw the Trojans surrender a seemingly insurmountable 12-point lead late in the final stanza.
In case you’ve forgotten, the heartbreaking loss to the Longhorns prevented the Trojans from an oh-so-close three consecutive national championships.
Having defeated the Michigan Wolverines, 28-14 in the 2004 Rose Bowl to claim the AP National Championship, the Trojans had cemented the foundation for a potential the national championship hat trick, which would have made college football history.
Although the Trojans were unable to accomplish a “three-peat,” it was certainly the best of times to be a USC Trojans football fan. The Coliseum was selling out, the Trojans rosters were littered with all-time greats and Heisman Trophy winners, and Pete Carroll’s name was rapidly being compared with some of college football’s all-time coaching legends.
Yes, it was a special time at the University of Southern California, and those memories of the “good old days” still burns brightl inside the hearts and minds of Trojans fans everywhere.
As for the Trojans CFP future, the main hope and goal of all USC fans is that instead of watching the title game in the warm and friendly confines of a living room, the time will come - sooner rather than later - when they are in a CFP championship stadium watching their cardinal and gold heroes play live for a 12th national title.