Utah Attorney General to Use Boise State in Case Against BCS

Chad ScottCorrespondent IIDecember 7, 2011

BOISE, ID - DECEMBER 03: Gabe Linehan #87 and Kyle Efaw #80 of the Boise State Broncos celebrate Efaw's touchdown against the New Mexico Lobos at Bronco Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

Utah's Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has been on a mission to expose the BCS's "serious antitrust violations" since the Utah Utes were shut out of the BCS National Championship in 2008, according to Legal Newsline

This year the boiling point has been met, as both Boise State and Kansas State were left out of BCS Bowls despite being a higher rank than five of the the 10 teams currently playing in BCS bowls. As a matter of fact, four of the Top 10 teams in the BCS rankings were left out of BCS bowl play. 

Arkansas and South Carolina were not included since the SEC has two teams in BCS bowls already and, by rule, only two teams from each conference can participate. Yet Kansas State and Boise State were passed over on what amounted to better ticket sales and the larger television markets in Michigan and Virginia. AG Shurtleff will be using that as fuel for his anti-BCS fire.

This is not the first year the BCS has snubbed a non-AQ, non-powerhouse team or even Boise State for that matter.

In 2007, Boise State finished the regular season undefeated after beating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. The same situation happened to the Broncos two years later when the Broncos were left out of the BCS picture completely despite going 12-0 and not getting a BCS bowl.  Then in 2009 Boise State and TCU were put against each other with Boise State the victor claiming another undefeated season and BCS bowl win.  

Interestingly, Boise State has finished seven of its last 10 seasons either undefeated or with only one loss and only two BCS bowls to show for it. 

The fact that Utah was left out of the 2008 National Championship after defeating Alabama is what lead Attorney General Shurtleff on his quest to file suit against the BCS. Other examples of unfairness include Utah's 2004 undefeated season, and TCU's Rose Bowl victory in 2010 after a perfect season.


"There are serious antitrust violations in the BCS system that are robbing taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars," Shurtleff has said. "Putting together the strongest legal team from around the country will give us the best chance of bringing equity back to college football."

Shurtleff also claims that teams from the non-BCS conferences are at a competitive and financial disadvantage created by the BCS system. This is a vicious cycle for these teams. Less money means lesser facilities which drives high-level recruits away dropping a teams likelihood of winning against teams that are aided by the system. 

This news coming after Boise State head coach Chris Petersen broke away from his normally humble demeanor in an press conference with The Idaho Statesman where he said "I think everybody is tired of the BCS," he said. "Everybody's frustrated. Nobody really knows what to do anymore. It doesn't make sense to anybody. … I don't think anybody's happy anywhere.

Petersen went on to further criticize the BCS ranking system stating "When I'm voting, I'm trying to make the best case for Boise State to get in there. I probably shouldn't be voting. Why are we voting at all if it doesn't really mean anything?"

I couldn't agree more.

Yet both Utah and TCU have moved on to greener pastures by moving in to BCS conferences, and it seems Boise State may be well on its way to AQ status with a possible move to the Big East in 2013. 

However, that just means teams like Hawaii, Fresno State or Southern Mississippi have the opportunity to experience the BCS unfairness as the new top non-AQ teams. Moving the teams that cause the BCS heartache does not make the system fair, especially when Kansas State, a BCS team, is left out under the same premise of the non-AQ teams.

We will likely see this lawsuit filed well in advance of TCU's and Boise State's moves as Shurtleff plans to file suit in February of next year.