This one really doesn't make any sense, and it's perhaps the best argument for some sort of playoff system.
“We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day.”
Such were the words spoken by E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State.
“I think until a university runs through that gauntlet [of an AQ conference schedule] that there's some reason to believe that they're not the best teams to be in the big ballgame.” Well, we now know that Gee was nothing more than a front man for the slimy cheater known as Jim Tressel. Gee should have been fired then for such disparaging comments, and it's likely he'll be fired before too long for his similarly ill-advised comments about his hope that Jim Tressel wouldn't fire him in the midst of the “Tattoogate” scandal.
Bob Kustra, the president of Boise State, responded. “The BCS has finally found someone to stand up and defend the indefensible and Gordon Gee proved it—he not just proved that it's indefensible, but he did so with facts that are simply wrong.” TCU's athletic director Chris Del Conte also got in on the act, saying, “To start throwing stones at your house, they must be jealous.”
Del Conte also pointed to Ohio State's non-conference schedule, which included Marshall, Ohio, and Eastern Michigan. “I had no idea they were going out and testing themselves week in and week out,” Del Conte said ironically.
It should also be noted that programs like Ohio State are the exact same programs that refuse to put Boise State on their schedule—even when Boise State offers up a one-year deal that would have the Broncos traveling (a la Virginia Tech and Georgia). “It's easy for the presidents to talk, but ask the ADs when's the last time that they seriously entertained taking requests or inviting Boise State,” Kustra said. He also eluded to phone records that could prove Boise State had been in contact with several top AQ programs, but all had refused to play the Broncos. At least Michigan State finally stepped up to the plate and has since schedules a home-and-home with BSU.
Del Conte actually went so far as to call out Gee and Ohio State. “Anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Buckeyes against the Horned Frogs. Tee it up. Let's go.” Predictably, Ohio State has yet to respond by actually scheduling a non-conference game against a non-AQ program that could actually result in a Buckeyes loss.
In the end, it's terribly ironic and a little tragic that Gee's perspective is way off the mark. Each year, Boise State, TCU and Ohio State (and every other team in the country) have a set conference schedule. Ohio State does't choose to play Michigan, they are scheduled to play Michigan. The Ohio State athletic department has nothing to do with the scheduling of that game, or any other game against a Big Ten opponent. The conference decides those schedules. The same goes for Boise State and TCU and everyone else.
Where the programs have some say is in the non-conference schedule. In that realm, Ohio State plays the weakest of the weak. Boise State at least attempts to play some top programs (Virginia Tech, Georgia, Michigan State) from outside their conference every season. Ohio State plays one or two games like that every half decade and calls it a day.
You shouldn't blame Boise State for playing their conference schedule, just like you shouldn't reward Ohio State for playing theirs. Until Boise State is invited (because they can't choose) to join the Big Ten or Pac-12 or SEC or whomever, Gordon Gee should simply stop talking, because it's clear he has no idea what he's talking about.
In fact, there are many reasons Gordon Gee should stop talking, but this one is a really good one. You would think someone in his position would be a little better as selective vocalization.
The best part of this whole scenario was the billboards around Columbus, Ohio after TCU topped Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl congratulating the Horned Frogs on their victory over the Badgers (who had beaten the Buckeyes earlier in the season). The billboards were signed from “The Little Sisters of the Poor.”