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Last updated: 04/22/2011 7:32 PM

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The Week That Was
By Tony Gerdeman

Disclaimer: I am not the only person that can write this column, and in no way do I have a monopoly on this piece. That being said, Indiana would deserve to write it more than Utah.


The state of Utah's attorney general Mark Shurtleff says that he is going to file suit against the BCS because it is "an illegal monopoly".

Per the article linked, Shurtleff has been "investigating the BCS" since the undefeated Utah Utes were shut out of the national championship in 2008.

What this guy really needs to do, however, is investigate Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, because he voted his own team fifth in the final regular season poll in 2008.

This means that Shurtleff thinks he knows the Utah and national football scene better than the coach who actually works it.

It certainly makes you wonder who, between Shurtleff and Whittingham, has the most to benefit from the Utes being ranked in the top two. Clearly it should be Whittingham, but Shurtleff is certainly putting up a fight.

One of the fun parts of this ongoing saga of unfair practices for non-automatic qualifiers is the fact that you'd think the teams on the outside looking in would give eachother a little bit more credit than everybody else does, but they don't.

Boise State, who was also undefeated in the regular season, was voted ninth by Whittingham. Boise coach Chris Peterson voted Utah eighth--one spot below his own Broncos.

It's pretty clear that either these coaches don't want to see other non-AQs succeed, or they simply know their place and they didn't deserve to play for a national championship.

Let's not forget that the 2008 Utes started the season unranked and finished the regular season with just two wins over ranked opponents (TCU and BYU).

Remember their 25-23 win over the worst Michigan team of all time to open the season?

By the way, in 2008, Florida beat five ranked opponents and Oklahoma beat six.

It's also comical to me that the 2004 season wasn't brought up because Utah was again undefeated and on the outside looking in.

Why wasn't it brought up? Because the same thing happened to Auburn that season. They finished 12-0, including a win in the SEC Championship Game. Sometimes there are other undefeated teams ahead of you and simple math dictates that more than two teams just can't play in the same game.

The identical thing happened to TCU last year. Oregon and Auburn were at the top of the BCS standings from the first week they were released until they played for the championship.

Weaker schedules generally dictate that teams with better schedules will have to lose at least once to allow you passage. The same thing holds true for the Big East. Do you see them suing?

My absolute favorite aspect of this entire unfairness argument is the fact that these schools that Shurtleff is fighting on behalf of have been helped tremendously by the BCS.

Boise State would be playing in the Humanitarian Bowl every year if it wasn't for the BCS. How much exposure have they gotten because of it? They're probably still cashing checks from their win over Oklahoma.

The Big Three--Boise State, TCU and Utah--are all moving to new conferences because of the BCS. Do you think they'd be going anywhere if it wasn't for the exposure and success they've had thanks to the BCS?

As much as I would like to see a small playoff, I still fail to see where the BCS is holding non-AQs back. They're making more money than they ever have before. They're getting more exposure than ever. They have their own networks and cable deals, and all since the advent of the BCS.

Playing for the BCS National Championship is extremely hard to do. Ask anybody who's been there-and everybody who hasn't. It's nearly impossible. Maybe we should turn this into a class-action lawsuit?

Do you deem a goal unfair if you voluntarily set that goal and then fail reach it? The Utah attorney general apparently does.


While we're tangentially on the topic of Boise State, new San Diego State head coach Rocky Long spoke during a MWC spring teleconference and said that Boise State should get rid of its blue turf because it's unfair.

"I think they ought to get rid of that blue turf. I think it's unfair," said Long, the former New Mexico coach who is in his first season as the Aztecs' head coach.

When asked to expand, Long said, "it takes the visiting team a quarter or two to get used to that different field."

Long said players "track the ball differently" on the blue turf, particularly since Boise State traditionally wears all-blue uniforms on the blue turf.

Long was the head coach at New Mexico in 1999 when Boise State defeated the Lobos 20-9 at Bronco Stadium.

Boise State installed the blue turf in 1986. The Broncos are 69-2 at home since 2000, the highest home winning percentage in the country. Boise State went 40-0 at home in conference games during its 10-year WAC tenure.

While I don't disagree with Long, it does make you wonder that if playing on blue is so distracting for opponents, why isn't playing on green distracting for Boise State?

That being said, Boise State would never be permitted into a BCS conference with their Fisher-Price football field coming with them.

It was done to gain attention. Now that they have everybody's attention, they should do away with it.


SEC Commissioner Mike Slive spoke recently on a variety of topics, including oversigning.

In the interview, he was asked if the SEC would take a look at the Big Ten's rule for oversigning, which allows for three over the 85 limit, as opposed to the SEC's three over the 25 limit, regardless of where they stand on their 85 scholarships.

His answer: "I don't think there's any particular model out there that we would care to emulate..."

Of course there isn't. There has to be more elasticity given. Like spandex for oversigning.

Though Slive's comments sort of contradict--or supercede--those of Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity from a couple of months ago.

According to McGarity, “I think it [oversigning] will be a topic for discussion (at SEC meetings) in Destin this year.”

“I think you will see controls in place,” McGarity said. “Now what that model will look like will be determined later -- sooner than later. … I think you'll see it being dealt with at the conference level much like the Big Ten (Conference) deals with it currently.”

Though, surprisingly, Slive did add "I actually anticipate that we would do something more than we have done up to now."

They'll just have to figure out how to do that and still allow repeated classes of 27+ recruits.

It's pretty comical that the Houston Nutt Rule (the 28 limit) has been around for exactly two recruiting classes and the SEC already has to go back to the drawing board.

Either they realized that nobody buys it anymore, or they've decided that they have to combat the coaches who are feverishly working in and out of the loopholes like a frenzied Byzantine weaver.

Regardless, it's a move in the proper direction. It will be fun to see the new ways in which certain coaches try to work around it.

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