I've just tweeted Reggie Bush, who today saw his 2005 Heisman trophy sent back to the NCAA when he was a young, very gifted running back at the University of Southern California.
I said: "Damn shame about that Heisman of yours—you were the best player in the NCAA in 2005."
And it's a fact.
He WAS the best player in 2005—and quite possibly one of the best you've ever seen. You can talk about taking away his Heisman (and murals and shirts), his alleged agent relationships (he actually hasn't talked about what actually happened to the press), and maybe his records, but you can't escape this fact: if Reggie Bush HAD NOT played for USC, they probably would have been an afterthought in the National Championship conversation (we can only hope that Penn State would then have played—and beaten—Texas for the National Championship that no one expected them to win).
Bush was sensational.
Reggie Bush was the "best of the best." He put up 2,611 all-purpose yards and flew/ran/jumped into the end zone 18 times. Heck, he also gets an assist for the Notre Dame game, when he pushed in Matt Leinart for the game winner with about zero seconds on the clock. It wasn't his fault that the USC Trojans couldn't stop Vince Young in the National Championship game, even though the silly lateral probably lives long in the memory.
Now, he's being declared retroactively ineligible for the 2005 season for accepting thousands from an agent (something we're absolutely not condoning - he probably should have been caught quicker), and the 14 wins that Bush had with the team have also been vacated.
But thankfully, we have the memories.
And they are damned good, too.