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Title games, worst to first: No. 17, USC-Oklahoma (2005)

Throughout the season, the Tampa Bay Times will rank all 18 previous college football national title games (dating to the start of the BCS era), from worst to first. Today, we look at another snoozer in South Florida.

It's ranked here because …

Ashlee Simpson's halftime performance was woefully off-key, USC later was forced by the NCAA to vacate the win and BCS national title (see Bush, Reggie), and — oh yeah — the game wasn't competitive. OU scored on its opening possession, but Trojans QB Matt Leinart responded by going 5-of-5, capped by a 33-yard touchdown pass to Dominique Bird. From there, USC converted three consecutive Sooner turnovers into touchdowns. Oklahoma committed four of its five turnovers in the first 30 minutes, leading to 24 Trojans points and a 38-10 lead at intermission.


Leinart, who had won the Heisman Trophy a month before, threw an Orange Bowl-record five touchdown passes — three of them to Steve Smith. Trojans tailbacks LenDale White and Reggie Bush teamed for 193 rushing yards.

The goats

The Sooners defense, which had allowed only six points in its previous 12 quarters, set a program record for points allowed in a bowl game. (In fairness, the offense put it in some horrendous situations.) Quarterback Jason White threw three interceptions.

They said it

"You could tell early (that) we could do what we did." — USC coach Pete Carroll