MIAMI – Matt Leinart (search) and his USC teammates played to perfection, leaving no doubt about this national championship.
Even better, they don't have to share it.
The Heisman Trophy (search) winner threw a record five touchdown passes and Southern California overwhelmed Oklahoma 55-19 Tuesday night in the Orange Bowl, assuring the Trojans will end the season just as they started: No. 1.
The much-anticipated battle of unbeatens, No. 1 vs. No. 2, turned into a coronation for USC, which had to settle for a share of the national championship last year after being left out of the Bowl Championship Series (search) title game.
Unbeaten Auburn, the odd team out of the BCS title game this season, will have to settle for second. The Tigers certainly couldn't have done any worse against the mighty USC.
The Tigers (13-0) finished their perfect season with a 16-13 win over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl on Monday night.
USC surely will become the first team to repeat as AP national champions since Nebraska in 1994-95 and join Florida State in 1999 as the only teams to go wire-to-wire — from preseason to post bowls — as No. 1.
The final media poll was to be released early Wednesday morning.
The Trojans wrapped up their 2003 national title three days before the BCS championship game by beating Michigan 28-14 in the Rose Bowl.
USC won't have to wait for their trophy this season.