Now that the NCAA has denied Southern California's appeal to reduce sanctions imposed on its football program, Bowl Championship Series officials will consider whether to strip the Trojans of their 2004 title.
BCS executive director Bill Hancock says there is no timetable for that decision, but he expected it to happen "sooner, rather than later."
The championship would be left vacant and not awarded to another team.
Head Coach Lane Kiffin said he and his team have no choice but to look to the future.
"We have been operating with these sanctions for a year now and have felt their effects on multiple fronts. We will continue to execute the plan we have in place to make the most of the hand with which we have been dealt. I am proud of how our players have performed on the field and represented us off the field under very difficult and trying circumstances. I look forward to them continuing to do so as we move on to make the best of our situation,” he said in an official statement.
USC won the 2004 national championship by beating Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl to complete a perfect season. The NCAA later ruled Trojans star Reggie Bush had received improper benefits and was ineligible for that season.
Auburn and Utah also finished the '04 season unbeaten.
The AP will not vacate the championship it awarded USC for 2004.