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Originally published Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 7:04 PM

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Steve Kelley

BCS needs to ignore the idiots dogging on Boise State

Why can't a team from outside the BCS's protective bubble get a shot to shock the world?

Seattle Times staff columnist

Don't you love it when the great football minds like Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee lets us know exactly how they feel about the BCS-worthiness of teams like little ole' Boise State and TCU?

Gee said this week that he didn't believe either Boise State or TCU deserved a shot at the BCS championship game. He sounded like an effete parent who didn't want his entitled children hanging on the same playground with the less-fortunate, other-side-of-the-tracks kids.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gee said, "Well I don't know enough about the X's and O's of college football, but 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 those schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor."

No they don't. In fact, I believe L.S.P. dropped football back in the 1950 after a stunning loss in the Tangerine Bowl.

But Ohio State did play Marshall, Eastern Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota this season.

Auburn played Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe and Chattanooga. Alabama defeated mighty San Jose State, Duke and Georgia State. And two of Oregon's wins were against New Mexico and Portland State.

All of those losing schools would have had trouble dispatching L.S.P.

Gee's gee-whiz interview came on the week of "For Real Friday," or "Find Out The Fraud Friday," or whatever name ESPN is choosing to hype another "showdown" day in college football.

On "Fallout Friday," Auburn — with its is-he-or-isn't-he eligible, did-he-or-didn't-he-take-money quarterback Cam Newton — plays Alabama. Oregon is home to Arizona. And the dreaded would-be kings from little ol' Boise State play at Nevada.

When these games are decided the BCS picture will be much clearer.

Or not.

The Ohio State president is a firm believer in keeping the BCS system the way it is, unless of course Boise State plays for a championship.

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He believes the bowl system, as it now is structured, is just fine. For all I know he believes so passionately, he even has 50-yard-line seats to the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, the Little Caesar's Bowl and the Fight Hunger Bowl this season.

Gee is a defender of college football's plutocracy. Football for the rich. He doesn't believe that Boise State ever should get a chance at a national championship. He doesn't believe that college football should produce a Butler the way college basketball did last March and April.

My question, as this debate-with-no-answer continues, is why doesn't Boise State deserve the same chance Butler got?

Why can't a team from outside the BCS's protective bubble get a shot to shock the world?

Of course Boise has an easier road to January than teams from the elite conferences. Butler had an easier road than eventual champion Duke to the NCAA basketball championship.

The Broncos don't have to be emotionally supercharged through their conference the way teams from the Southeastern, Big 12, Pac-10 and Big Ten do. They can beat 75 percent of the teams on their schedule with 60 percent of their effort.

And I'm sure that playing Boise State in January, for the prestigious conferences, doesn't have the same feeling as playing Alabama or Ohio State or Oklahoma.

Do you think Oklahoma was thrilled to meet Boise State in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl? The Sooners were flat that night and a very good Boise team stunned them in a classic overtime game.

But this season, Boise State just might be the best football team in the country. And the Broncos shouldn't be punished just because of their remote geography or the fact they don't have the rich history of Gee's Ohio State.

If there were a legitimate playoff system (I doubt there ever will be), instead of the current elitist BCS, Boise would get its chance.

The Broncos are very, very good. Their defense is ornery and opportunistic. Their wide receivers might be the most talented group in college football. And quarterback Kellen Moore is remarkably accurate and clutch.

Butler, which resides in the Horizon League, a conference to which Gee probably would give the Little Sisters designation, was one Gordon Hayward almost-miracle-shot away from upsetting Duke in the NCAA championship game last season.

Like Butler in basketball in 2009-10, this season's Boise State team can beat anybody.

And since we don't have a playoff system, if Auburn loses to Alabama or, less likely, Oregon loses to Arizona, and if the Broncos beat Nevada, an undefeated Boise State should be given the chance to prove its worth.

If Butler can, why can't Boise?

Steve Kelley: 206-464-2176 or skelley@seattletimes.com

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About Steve Kelley

Steve Kelley covers all sports, putting his spin on matters involving both the home team and the nation.
skelley@seattletimes.com | 206-464-2176

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