|2003 USC Trojans football|
AP Poll national champion
Rose Bowl champion
|2003 record||12-1 (7-1 Pac-10)|
|Offensive coordinator||Norm Chow (3rd season)|
|Home stadium||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (c. 92,000, grass)|
|2003 Pacific-10 Conference football standings|
|No. 1 USC $||7||–||1||12||–||1|
|No. 9 Washington State||6||–||2||10||–||3|
Rankings from AP Poll
The 2003 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California in the 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season. They were named the Associated Press and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) national champions but were denied a spot in the BCS National Championship Game by the BCS selections for the national championship game.
The regular season ended with three one-loss teams in BCS contention: Oklahoma, LSU and USC. USC ended the regular season ranked #1 and LSU #2 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll. USC lost one triple-overtime game at California, which finished 8-6; LSU had a 12-point home loss against a Florida team that went 8-5; Oklahoma, which had been ranked #1 for most of the season, fell to #3 after suffering a 35-7 defeat in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game to Kansas State, which finished 11-4. Controversy erupted when the BCS computers selected Oklahoma-LSU as the BCS title game. During the bowl games, USC had a convincing 28-14 win over #4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl while LSU beat Oklahoma 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl (designated the BCS title game). USC remained #1 in the final AP Poll with 48 of the 65 votes, and LSU was ranked, by contractual obligation, #1 in the final Coaches' Poll, though three coaches did not follow instructions and voted USC #1 in that poll as well.
USC's offensive players included:
With the late arrival of highly touted quarterback John David Booty, who left high school a year early to attend USC, the Trojans' 2003 recruiting class was considered by some to be the best in the country.
The Trojans finished the season with a 12-1 record, 7-1 in the Pac-10.
|August 30||3:00 p.m.||at No. 6 Auburn*||No. 8||CBS||W 23-0||86,063|
|September 6||5:00 p.m.||BYU*||No. 5||ABC||W 35-18||75,315|
|September 13||1:00 p.m.||Hawaii*||No. 4||FSN||W 61-32||73,654|
|September 27||3:30 p.m.||at California||No. 3||FSN||L 31-34 3OT||51,208|
|October 4||12:30 p.m.||at Arizona State||No. 10||ABC||W 37-17||56,527|
|October 11||7:00 p.m.||Stanford||No. 9||FSN||W 44-21||68,341|
|October 18||11:30 a.m.||at Notre Dame*||No. 4||NBC||W 45-14||80,795|
|October 25||12:30 p.m.||at Washington||No. 4||ABC||W 43-23||72,015|
|November 1||4:00 p.m.||No. 6 Washington State||No. 3||ABC||W 43-16||82,478|
|November 15||4:00 p.m.||at Arizona||No. 2||TBS||W 45-0||39,201|
|November 22||12:30 p.m.||UCLA||No. 2||ABC||W 47-22||93,172|
|December 6||1:30 p.m.||Oregon State||No. 2||ABC||W 52-28||73,864|
|January 1, 2004||1:30 p.m.||vs. No. 4 Michigan*||No. 1||ABC||W 28-14||93,849|
USC opened the season visiting Auburn University: the Tigers were also ranked in the top 10 and had been named a pre-season favorite to be the national champion by at least one major news organization. In his first start, quarterback Matt Leinart led the Trojans on a dominating 23-0 performance.