Sugar Bowl picks strike at BCS' credibility

NEW YORK -- Kansas State athletic director John Currie asked a simple question. If the BCS bowls don’t use the BCS ratings to pick the BCS teams, then why have the standings?

Kansas State finished No. 8 in the final BCS standings. The Wildcats (10-2) got passed over by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in favor of No. 11 Virginia Tech and No. 15 Michigan. Currie, speaking on a panel with four other athletic directors at the IMG Intercollegiate Athletic Forum, said, “We don’t necessarily have to have labels that designate this group of games better than all the other games, unless we’re going to objectively put the people into the games.”

Kansas State will play No. 6 Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. It joins the Rose, the Fiesta and the Allstate BCS National Championship Game in matching up top-10 teams. Currie is thrilled that Kansas State is going to Dallas. Wildcat fans bought every ticket and filled every hotel room they could find the last time Kansas State played in the Cotton Bowl. They would have done the same in New Orleans.

The Sugar Bowl took Virginia Tech and Michigan, expecting them to do those things, too. The selection struck at the credibility of the BCS.

“We have to be in control of how we’re presented, in terms of whether we’re ethical and following some explainable scenario,” Currie said. “That’s our responsibility.”

He clarified after the forum that he didn’t intend to suggest that the Sugar Bowl had done anything unethical. He met Sugar Bowl executive director Paul Hoolahan in New York on Monday afternoon. Hoolahan explained to him the fact that the Hokies had been to the Sugar Bowl twice before played into the decision.

Asked who let Kansas State down, Currie said, “I let us down, because I didn’t know the people well enough to do whatever we’re supposed to do. If that’s what we’re going to be about, whoever had a relationship 40 years ago, I don’t think that’s the thing to stand up and tell student-athletes. ‘Hey, you get to do this or this because of somebody else’s relationship.”

Gotta love the system. In a completely unrelated note, athletic directors Bob Bowlsby of Stanford and Scott Woodward of Washington, also on the panel, said they believe a plus-one is inevitable.