Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee added some extra gravy to Thanksgiving dinner conversation.
He spoke Wednesday about the college football bowl season, arguing that TCU and Boise State, at the time ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, did not deserve to play for the national championship. His reasoning mostly revolved around the teams’ weak schedules. Gee also said teams that play in the Southeastern and Big Ten conferences face “murderer’s row every week.” That drew criticism from just about everybody.
Boise State president Bob Kustra referred to the “murderer’s row” comment as the “biggest exaggeration I think we’ve heard this year in college football” in an interview with the Associated Press.
TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte told press that Gee made his argument using “erroneous information” and is doing a poor job of “standing for fairness, equity and truth.”
Perhaps Gee should have loosened his bow tie a notch when talking about his own conference, but everything he said about Boise State and TCU was accurate. Those teams do not face tough competition. Neither team plays in a competitive conference and neither faced a very stiff non-conference schedule.
Of course, we will no longer have to worry about Boise State playing for a national title. The Broncos lost to No. 19 Nevada on Friday night.
Nevertheless, the public outrage about Gee’s comments is yet another example of people bowing down to political correctness, which encourages old, rich, white guys to forever act just like old, rich, white guys.
I feel as though talking about Boise State or TCU is like playing a game in which the participants must do their best to avoid the truth. It is like we are expected to keep a secret and not mention the teams’ flaccid schedules. We are supposed to blindly accept their excuses that they “beat the teams put in front of them every single week.”
Regardless of whether these teams purposely avoid stiff competition or if big schools refuse to play them, we must look at what’s in front of us. If we are to put so much emphasis on having the best teams playing for the national championship, then I don’t see how Boise State or TCU could be selected. When it comes to determining these things, schedules matter.
Gee’s most ill-advised statement had nothing to do with Boise State or TCU. When speaking of Big Ten teams, he said, “We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor.”
Well, no, but OSU did play such lightweight equivalents as Marshall, Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Purdue and Minnesota. The toughest team OSU played this season was Wisconsin, who beat the Buckeyes by two touchdowns. But then again, Gee never said the Buckeyes deserved to play for a national title.
It’s no surprise that Gee’s comments inspired animosity from tight sphincters all across the country. People are free to react however they please, but I for one enjoy speech that stirs the pot.
As for Gee, I’m sure it won’t be long before he makes an apologetic commercial in which he asks the question, “What should I do?”