UPDATED 1/19: CONGRATS TO ONE PEAT.COM. THEY HAVE MET THEIR GOAL. WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS BILLBOARD IN SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES SOMETIME SOON - N
Here is the update from OnePeat.com as of yesterday. They are at $4,631 + $2,000 in pledges, which will kick in if the figure reaches $8,000. So you can see if they are more than half way through. Needless to say this effort alligning Tigers, Longhorns, and Bruins fans together have the Trojans all riled up. Our UnderBruin has a must read perspective on all the bruhahaha in the blogosphere:
Now, I'm not a southerner, but I'm going to take a stab and say that THIS is actually the reason the billboard is going up. It's this attitude, which seems particularly common amongst USC fans (not surprisingly - usually you overrate your own team, no matter who you're rooting for), that somehow USC was better than LSU.
It was the way that Pete Carroll named the Rose Bowl "*the* National Championship game." He didn't call it "*a* National Championship game." You may feel like I'm arguing semantics, but there's a sizable and important difference between the two. This attitude, which started to feel like it was spreading pretty deep into the national media, somehow feels like it's invalidating the Tigers.
You can sit there and say, "oh, no, it's because the Tigers aren't important to the discourse regarding 3 consecutive AP titles..." But that's not really the root of the problem. It's the way in which the media and fans seem to approach that 2003 season -- like somehow LSU is unworthy of the title that they did get (claim away all you want that's not the case, but I know WAAAAAAY too many Trojan fans who loudly proclaim otherwise whenever we talk football).
USC was a great team in 2003 - I have no problem saying that they deserved a shot at that title game, and if the AP wants to grant them an AP national title, I'm fine with that. What I am not fine with is somehow assuming that LSU is unworthy.
The Tigers were a very good team in their own right, that managed to lose only one game despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the country. Like it or not the SEC really is a tough conference most of the time. They handled Auburn just as easily as USC did, beat Eli Manning's very good Ole Miss team, and just rolled over a solid Arkansas unit.
For some reason, there has grown this perception that LSU was unfit to even take the field with 'SC, and that the Trojans would have dominated any and all comers (as long as they weren't, y'know, a 6-loss team from Berkeley). That's the whole point of the BCS - and claiming that it's a failed, flawed system and awarding an AP title to the Trojans doesn't somehow INVALIDATE the very good LSU team that very well might have beaten USC. I don't know if they could have, but LSU's avg margin of victory was about 25 and USC's avg margin of victory was about 23, so it's not like USC was demolishing teams while LSU squeaked by or something.