NCAA sanctions might force USC to vacate its Bowl Championship Series title-game victory over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, but the Trojans will remain national champions of the 2004 season in the Associated Press poll.
"The 2004 poll stands," AP Sports Editor Terry Taylor confirmed in an e-mail to The Times. "The poll is intended to measure on-field performance. If teams are allowed to play, they're allowed to be ranked and USC certainly played in 2004."
There was speculation the AP might reconsider USC's title because it recently called for a re-vote for NFL defensive rookie of the year. Brian Cushing, a former USC linebacker who plays for the Houston Texans, won the award but it was later announced that he had tested positive for a banned substance. Cushing kept his award after a second vote.
Taylor said USC's 2004 national title was different.
"It would be impractical to revote," Taylor said. "It's been six years. Memories have faded and the poll board from that year is no longer intact."