Shocking headline out of Columbus this morning: Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee believes TCU and Boise State do not deserve a shot at the BCS title game.
Gee told The Associated Press that neither school faces a difficult enough schedule to qualify.
"Well, I don't know enough about the X's and O's of college football," said Gee, formerly the president at West Virginia, Colorado, Brown and Vanderbilt universities. "I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it's like murderer's row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day.
"So I think until a university runs through that gauntlet that there's some reason to believe that they not be the best teams to [be] in the big ballgame."
His comments come on the heels of remarks made by Les Miles last week in which the LSU coach said a one-loss SEC team deserved a spot in the title game more than a non-AQ. Alabama coach Nick Saban made similar comments earlier this season.
It is understandable that Gee and both coaches feel this way. Neither TCU nor Boise State plays in a conference as difficult as the SEC or the Big Ten. Nobody is arguing they do.
But what exactly should Boise State and TCU do about their schedules? Yes, I have heard the complaints that they need to beef up their nonconference scheduling. But even if they did that, there would still be complaints that they do not play the "brutal" stretch the SEC has to play year in and year out. Both teams play the schedule laid out ahead of them. They cannot just pick up and move into one of the six automatic qualifying conferences. Nobody in the Big Ten extended an offer when the league was going through this latest round of expansion.
Both schools are as eligible as anybody in FBS to compete for a national championship, even if the power conferences want to keep them down. As for their schedules this season, Gee should take a look at the computer average, which factors in strength of schedule. TCU and Boise State have a higher average than any Big Ten team. TCU is at No. 3 this week, though that is expected to drop after playing 1-10 New Mexico. Boise State is at No. 5, and that is expected to go up after playing No. 19 Nevada. LSU is the only one-loss team with a higher computer average than Boise State.
The Ohio State president has long been a proponent of the BCS. So how can he argue that neither team is worthy when the system he backs has both teams ranked ahead of one-loss teams? Perhaps this is reality setting in. When the BCS added the provision allowing a non-AQ team that finishes in the top 12 into a BCS game, nobody could have envisioned one would be so close to breaking the glass ceiling and getting into a title game generally reserved for only the "elite."