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The Trojans who defined the decade

Updated: December 31, 2009, 7:46 PM ET
By Steve Mason | ESPN Los Angeles

USC's football program was a ramshackle mess when the millennium began. In California real estate terms, it was a "tear-down." The land under it was valuable, but it was time to demolish the structure and build something shiny and new.

With USC finishing the 2000 season at 5-7 and failing to scratch to bowl eligibility for a second straight year, Trojans athletic director Mike Garrett had to do something. Coach Paul Hackett was fired, and the Heisman Trophy-winning AD turned to the logical ...

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