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Al Borges says Tigers should be 2004 national champs


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Auburn football: Ex-offensive coordinator Al Borges says Tigers should be 2004 national champs over USC

Clint Buckley

4 minutes

Late Kick Blitz: Assessing Auburn's QB battle exiting spring

The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era in college football, which preceded the College Football Playoff and lasted from 1998-2013, had no shortage of controversies when it came to determining a national champion. One of the biggest occurred in 2004, when an undefeated SEC champion in the Auburn Tigers were locked out of the BCS title game in favor of USC and Oklahoma. Former Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges, during a recent appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show, said Auburn should be the national champions. He told Finebaum he did not believe either USC or Oklahoma could have beaten that Auburn team.

“With all due respect to Oklahoma, Oklahoma did not match up well with us,” Borges said. “I don’t believe Oklahoma could’ve beat us, and I don’t think SC could’ve beat us for that matter. And Utah was the other one, and I don’t think they could’ve beat us, either.”

Auburn, led by future first-round NFL Draft picks Jason Campbell at quarterback and the running back duo of Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown, finished 13-0 in 2004. The Tigers, denied a chance to play for a national title, instead took down ACC champion Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, 16-13.

USC, buoyed by the likes of quarterback Matt Leinart and running backs Reggie Bush and LenDale White, bludgeoned an Oklahoma Sooners team that included running back Adrian Peterson in the BCS championship game, 55-19. It was a championship that was later vacated by the NCAA because of recruiting violations involving Bush.

“So, why would you vacate a championship when you have a champion? I mean, we won every single game, we did not have any recruiting violations, we had no issues,” Borges argued. “Did Reggie Bush’s playing for USC, is that the difference in 55-19? I don’t know. Maybe it is but I doubt it. So we should be the national champions. I see no rational reason why we shouldn’t be, but ya know, my version’s a little slanted.”

Auburn has since won a national championship. The Tigers, led by Heisman winner, future No. 1 overall pick and NFL MVP Cam Newton, defeated Oregon for the 2010 title. The Tigers also played in the final BCS title game in 2013, losing to Florida State, 34-31.

During Auburn’s unbeaten run in 2004, Campbell completed 69.6% of his passes for 2,700 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Washington selected Campbell with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Williams and Brown combined to rush for more than 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns that season as well. The Miami Dolphins made Brown the No. 2 overall pick in 2005, while Williams went three picks later to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Posted (edited)

I just had an idea let's get the 2004 team together and play the 2004 Oklahoma team and see who wins if we do we get the trophy 🤣 that would be great television.

Edited by autiger88
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1 minute ago, Cardin Drake said:

It's beyond ridiculous that this hasn't already happened. 

Just curious, is there precedent for another team being named NC after one has been stripped?

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There are precedents all over. If the Olympic gold medalist is disqualified due to a drug test, the gold is awarded to the silver medalist.  We were a clear #2 and #1 forfeited all their games. Who else would be #1?  It chaps me to no end to see all the bogus claims out there, and this one is completely legit, and we don't claim it.

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1 minute ago, Cardin Drake said:

There are precedents all over. If the Olympic gold medalist is disqualified due to a drug test, the gold is awarded to the silver medalist.  We were a clear #2 and #1 forfeited all their games. Who else would be #1?  It chaps me to no end to see all the bogus claims out there, and this one is completely legit, and we don't claim it.

I know OK got killed but wouldn't they still be #2? technically. 🤷 

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4 hours ago, Cardin Drake said:

Why would the team who finished #3 in all the polls be #1?

No sir. Today there is the "eye test". Everyone at the SEC championship game against UT knew that ESPN was totally pushing OU vs USC for viewers on TV. I was in Atlanta. I am not looking up the score, but every SEC fan knew that OU couldn't stay on the field with the TOP 2, AU and USC. OSU put 50 or high 40s on an OU team in the championship game that wouldn't have scored 20 on AU or USC , but OU won. And when it was shown on the big screen in Atlanta, the air went out of the arena, on the field and in the stands There was no freaking way in hell OU beats that AU team. And I don't think USC could, either. USC cheated, and was stripped of the title. If we claim that one, I got no problem with it. And you wouldn't either if you had watched football in that era. I don't know if I made that as clear as it was back in 2004, but it was chrystal clear then. 

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16 hours ago, autiger88 said:

I know OK got killed but wouldn't they still be #2? technically. 🤷 

If that were the case, then I'd think they would have just given them the title as referenced in the Olympics metaphor. 

They should have sent it back to a vote. No guarantee the voters do the right thing with a second opportunity but it would have been the fair thing to do. 

Semi-random thought: I wonder what Oklahoma fans think about it? I wonder if they feel like they should get that title, or if they'd rather people just forget about how they got dragged in that game.

God, it still makes me so made that they got voted in. I understand why it happened but it was such a blatant disregard for the purpose of the BCS system. 

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I think we would have beaten USC, personally, but it would have been close. Both teams had a pair of first round running backs, as well as a first round quarterback. Ultimately, I give it to that 04 defense of ours, which was superb, as the deciding factor.

BTW, seems like I remember something about one of VA Tech's losses being to USC, and how Tech came close to beating them even without a couple of big pieces they had back in place by the time we played them in the bowl game. I don't feel like doing the research to back that up, but I'm pretty sure I'm remembering correctly.

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2 minutes ago, Rednilla said:

I think we would have beaten USC, personally, but it would have been close. Both teams had a pair of first round running backs, as well as a first round quarterback. Ultimately, I give it to that 04 defense of ours, which was superb, as the deciding factor.

BTW, seems like I remember something about one of VA Tech's losses being to USC, and how Tech came close to beating them even without a couple of big pieces they had back in place by the time we played them in the bowl game. I don't feel like doing the research to back that up, but I'm pretty sure I'm remembering correctly.

It would have been nice to get a shot after they beat the absolute **** out of us at Jordan hare in one of our more embarrassing losses that I remember.

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1 minute ago, McLoofus said:

Even the hype video that season has yet to be equaled. 

My cousin covered football for the MSU student paper that year. He was on the Auburn sideline pregame visiting with someone on the team when Caddy walked by. He still talks about what an absolute physical specimen he was. Said he looked like he was chiseled out of granite.

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32 minutes ago, ThurstontheWelshCorgi said:

It would have been nice to get a shot after they beat the absolute **** out of us at Jordan hare in one of our more embarrassing losses that I remember.

We certainly deserved the shot. We'd beaten the defending national champs, and we gave Tennessee 2 of their 3 losses that season, once on Rocky Top and once in Atlanta (the other loss was, I believe, given by Notre Dame...but I could be remembering that wrong). Our strength of schedule, as always, was through the roof, despite USC having the designer wins. The GameDay crew being shocked at who had the tougher road between us and the Trojans. Seems like we were at #4, while USC was 27th or so.

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5 hours ago, McLoofus said:

If that were the case, then I'd think they would have just given them the title as referenced in the Olympics metaphor. 

They should have sent it back to a vote. No guarantee the voters do the right thing with a second opportunity but it would have been the fair thing to do. 

Semi-random thought: I wonder what Oklahoma fans think about it? I wonder if they feel like they should get that title, or if they'd rather people just forget about how they got dragged in that game.

God, it still makes me so made that they got voted in. I understand why it happened but it was such a blatant disregard for the purpose of the BCS system. 

I agree was just pointing out they were technically#2 is why I said that and played In the title game. We should have definitely been able to atleast share it with Ok after USC was caught cheating IMO.

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2 hours ago, ThurstontheWelshCorgi said:

It would have been nice to get a shot after they beat the absolute **** out of us at Jordan hare in one of our more embarrassing losses that I remember.

Yeah I was at that 2002 game. My very first Auburn home game😡 still mad about it. Lol 

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1 hour ago, autiger88 said:

Yeah I was at that 2002 game. My very first Auburn home game😡 still mad about it. Lol 

I was pretty hype for the game thinking "alright this is sec vs west coast and we played good against them the year before (or after) in Southern cal but regardless this is about pride!" and then we just got suffocated and demolished by what was clearly a more complete and better team. 

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On 5/5/2022 at 11:57 AM, aubiefifty said:

Auburn, led by future first-round NFL Draft picks Jason Campbell at quarterback and the running back duo of Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown........

Many writers tend to forget that AU cornerback Carlos Rogers was also a 1st round NFL pick. Four 1st round picks off one team!

That championship paring was rigged from September on, it's what the media wanted and it's what they got. I was talking to some Tennessee fans before the SEC game in Atlanta. They asked if Auburn was going to try to pour it on because of the situation. My reply was that AU could win 60-0 and it wouldn't matter. Unless Okie lost, Okie was going to be in the BCS game.

I think AU would have beaten Oklahoma handily. USC/AU would have been a dogfight!

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On 5/5/2022 at 9:15 PM, Cardin Drake said:

Dude, we're on the same side.  We were #2 in all the polls post bowl games. OU was #3.

Sorry. I was thinking of the poll before the bowl games. I will always be as pissed about 2004 AU football getting screwed as I am about AU basketball and the double dribble that nobody in a striped shirt saw. 

I beg your pardon, sir. 

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