USC says 4-0 mark vs. Texas is correct as NCAA voided Trojans' participation in 2005 season

Updated: September 13, 2017, 12:03 PM ET
By Kyle Bonagura | ESPN.com

USC and Texas will play this week for the first time since the Longhorns, led by Vince Young, beat the Trojans, led by Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, 41-38 in the Rose Bowl to win the BCS national championship after the 2005 season.

It was one of the most memorable college football games in history.

That's why USC's official game notes caused a stir this week: They list the Trojans as 4-0 all time against Texas, while acknowledging that one loss -- in that Rose Bowl -- was vacated because of NCAA penalty.

In 2010, the NCAA found USC committed what it referred to as "agent and amateurism violations" involving Bush, and part of the penalty for the football program included the "vacation of regular and postseason wins" from the 2005 season.

The loss to Texas, of course, does not fit that criteria.

But, according to USC sports information director Tim Tessalone, the program was instructed in 2010 by Jim Wright, then the NCAA director of statistics, not to include participation in any games that year as part of its official records. That edict included the Rose Bowl.

"I have documentation in a letter sent in July 2010 to Wright noting all the changes he instructed us to make, including that losses had to be vacated," Tessalone said in an email. "The letter also states that he had reviewed all our revisions and approved them."

When asked to clarify how the NCAA officially views USC's record from 2005, Jeff Williams, the associate director of media coordination and statistics for the NCAA, provided a link to the organization's list of USC's season-by-season records. It lists the Trojans as 0-0 in 2005 and notes that 12 wins and the Rose Bowl loss were vacated.

From a Texas perspective, the NCAA still includes the game as a win.

Saturday's game will be the first meeting between the schools since the BCS Championship Game and has been announced as a sellout of the 92,348-seat Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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