Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee has backed off his comments regarding college football scheduling and who deserves to play for the national championship, saying he's better off staying away from gridiron talk.
Gee set off an uproar last week after telling the Associated Press that TCU and Boise State didn't deserve a national title shot. He said those opportunities should be reserved from schools from power conferences like the Big Ten and the SEC because, "We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor." That particular comment didn't go over well and Gee received a ton of criticism, especially because Ohio State's strength of schedule ranks just below Boise State's this season.
Gee wisely apologized Wednesday, telling The Columbus Dispatch that he should "keep my mouth closed."
"I'm very blessed to have the best athletic director [Gene Smith] and best football coach [Jim Tressel] in the country. They run the athletic program and I run the university, and I should have stayed out of there. What I should do is go over to the surgical suites and get my foot extricated from my mouth. What do I know about college football? I look like Orville Redenbacher. I have no business talking about college football."
A little self-deprecation never hurts in this case, and Gee does a good job of standing down.
No one expected him to start advocating for a college football playoff or anything that would decrease Ohio State's access to BCS games, including the championship. That's simply not in the best interest of the institution he represents.
But it serves no purpose to take shots at programs like Boise State and TCU, who face difficulties scheduling top opponents. The big guy picking on the little guy always looks smug and arrogant, even if the big guy looks like Orville Redenbacher. Again, not a smart move by a very smart dude.
Here's the best part of Gee's mea culpa: He reached out to a local Little Sisters of the Poor home in Ohio.
"I sent a [personal] check to the Mother Superior up there and invited her to a ballgame," Gee said.
One tidbit lost in the Dispatch story is that Gene Smith expects to finalize several scheduling contracts that "people will be excited about." These will be home games against teams not from the MAC.
Any guesses on who will be coming to Columbus?