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Dick Harmon: TCU's move to the Big East shows the hypocrisy of the BCS

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 1 2010 11:46 p.m. MST

You know the funny thing about TCU going to the Big East Conference?

A week ago, Ohio State President Gordon Gee pompously, and with a blue-blood elitist choice of words, disrespected TCU.

Gee also ignorantly showed disdain for then-undefeated Boise State when he attacked both the BSU and TCU football programs, saying neither one deserved to play for a national championship.

This week, TCU is headed for the Big East and will be considered one of the good ol' boys in 2012. In the world Gee lives in, TCU will soon be one of the 67 NCAA schools that are entitled to most all the money, the best bowls, an automatic BCS bowl berth and an absolute chance to compete for a national championship.

Last week, undefeated TCU was unworthy. In about 24 months, they will be part of the party.

Go figure the science of this one.

Basically, Gee is selling a college football caste system. TCU is unworthy now because it plays San Diego State, Air Force and Colorado State, but the Frogs will be justified when they face Rutgers, South Florida and Syracuse.

It is this caste system and labeling of non-BCS that is ruining college sports.

As a president of one of the nation's most prestigious universities, Gee's brain function on this one looked a little jilted; surely it skipped a few cycles. Boise State and Utah have proven time and time again, as BCS outsiders, they could handle the peeling of the onions.

TCU is headed for the Big East, where Connecticut will likely reign as champion and get its automatic BCS berth this year. Now close your eyes, envision Boise State and TCU. Now envision UConn or Pitt in football. What do you come up with?

A BCS apologist and protectorate, Gee simply dismissed TCU last week because the Frogs are not in what he described as a "power conference." Gee showed naked contempt for the merits of TCU coach Gary Patterson and his players — simply because they were not in the Big Ten, SEC or the Big East. He spoke for BCS leagues that will do everything in their power to vote down a national college football playoff which would determine the champion on the field.

Dumb. Gee is a bow-tie-wearing academician who aimlessly strayed onto the playground of the debate of our time — the need for a playoff.

Gee's reasoning was TCU and Boise State do not do what his mighty Buckeyes or the Florida Gators do — play a "murderer's row" schedule. "We do not play 'Little Sisters of the Poor,' " Gee said.

Really, Gordon?

Those talking points don't jive with BSU president Bob Kustra.

"I don't mind somebody stating that they don't think we ought to be in the national championship, but to do it with such erroneous information as Gordon Gee has used gets under the skin of all of us who thought university presidents were supposed to be standing for fairness, equity and truth in how we portray our universities," Kustra said. "And he's doing a very poor job of that at the moment."

Fact: Schools like TCU and Boise State cannot get Ohio State and others to play them home and home. They are chicken. They load up with home games and rarely play good non-AQ opponents away from their own bailiwicks.

Fact: The Big Ten and other BCS conferences have plenty of "Little Sisters of the Poor" on their schedules.

"If they're not playing the Little Sisters of the Poor, they're playing the Little Brothers," said Kustra.

"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 to (play them)," Kustra said. "If you're Boise State or TCU, they're going to want to steer way clear of you."

Fact: Kustra has Boise State phone records to prove schedule discussions with AQ Top 25 schools who refuse to play in Boise.

Said Gee: "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."

The formula for BCS football teams is to sign up seven or eight home games, play one non-conference game from another BCS conference and then play as many cupcakes as possible while avoiding leaving the state boundaries, said Kustra.

Urban Meyer's Florida Gators have not left the state to play a non-conference, regular-season opponent since 1991 — more than a decade before he got there.

This year, Ohio State played every non-conference opponent at home (Marshall, Ohio, Eastern Michigan) and defeated struggling Miami from a very average ACC and had gimmes over underwhelming Purdue and Indiana.

As John Feinstein pointed out this week in The Washington Post, Ohio State's Big Ten co-champion Wisconsin defeated UNLV, San Jose State, Austin Peay and beat a 5-7 ASU team at home 20-19. The Big Ten's Michigan State played Western Michigan, Florida Atlantic and Northern Colorado.

Wrote Feinstein in an open letter to Gee:

"So let's get this straight: You and your conference brethren load up with non-conference creampuffs, then count on the BCS apologists to actually have the nerve to question TCU's resume even after the Horned Frogs finished 12-0 for the second season in a row. Boise State lost a great game on the road (last) Friday to a very good Nevada team (a team that crushed California, 52-31, a few weeks before the Bears lost to top-ranked Oregon, 15-13) and will finish 11-1. Where will the Broncos go? Not to a BCS bowl, you can be sure of that."

Here we are now, a week after Gee wandered into the BCS versus non-BCS argument and national championship debate by putting down TCU and Boise State because they didn't match his rule of nobility.

Then a serf gets invited to the castle.

A snap of the finger and the Big East invites TCU to join its AQ league with immediate rights in 2012 to a chance at a national championship, no longer needing to go undefeated to get a BCS bowl berth or jump through other BCS-imposed hurdles.

Good for TCU. And for Pac-10-bound Utah, it is a great move to be included in the BCS wonderland.

But isn't it just more than a little ironic: Gee had nothing but scorn for the Frogs a few days ago?

University presidents who control the NCAA, does any of this make sense to you?

Explain it to me with a straight face. Or do it like Gordon Gee.

e-mail: dharmon@desnews.com

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