Grab scissors and clip out this page; save it for posterity. It will serve as evidence when future generations ask what was the greatest college football season ever played. When the season concludes on Jan. 4, there will be none better in the sport's history than what we have witnessed from August through January.
We will make the argument that this year featured the following: the best team ever assembled (Southern California); the most exciting player of the modern era (USC running back Reggie Bush); the best game in recent years (USC at Notre Dame); the best college football Saturday of all time (Oct. 15); and the quintessential fearless and formidable underdog (Fresno State).
This season also included a college football renaissance at storied programs such as Penn State, Notre Dame and Alabama; a 78-year-old coach (Penn State's Joe Paterno) coming within a whisker of being in position to win the national title; and two highly qualified men turning their backs on the NFL (Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis and South Carolina's Steve Spurrier) for success on campus instead.
But perhaps more than anything, the season stands alone because there will be neither controversy nor chaos come Jan. 5. Only two schools, USC and Texas, will finish undefeated. They will meet in the most fitting of cathedrals, the Rose Bowl, for the national title. USC, not a computer, will decide whether the Trojans can win an unprecedented third consecutive national title.
Thirty years from now, when they ask when the sport was at its best, only one answer will suffice: 2005.
-- Eric Prisbell