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Broncos on defensive

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Boise State’s president said Wednesday the claim by his counterpart at Ohio State that Big Ten and Southeastern Conference teams play a “murderer’s row” schedule “is the greatest exaggeration I think we’ve heard this year in college football.”

Bob Kustra angrily responded to Ohio State president Gordon Gee’s statement that Texas Christian and Boise State don’t deserve to be in the Bowl Championship Series title game even if they run the table.

Gee said of the power conferences’ schedules: “We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor.”

Kustra had Ohio State’s past two schedules in front of him — the Buckeyes have played Southern California and Miami, in addition to several midmajors and directional schools — and said, “If they’re not playing the Little Sisters of the Poor, they’re playing the Little Brothers.”

He added: “Maybe President Gee doesn’t go to the games of the teams that are not in his Big Ten, but he’s playing some easy marks.”

TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte also stepped into the fray, defending the Horned Frogs’ unblemished record.

“We only worry about our house and what we do at TCU,” he said. “I’ll put our record up against anybody.”

Kustra said he had to speak up after hearing Gee’s comments.

“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.”

The controversy began when Gee defended the BCS and the current bowl system in an interview earlier Wednesday.

“I don’t know enough about the Xs and Os of college football,” said Gee, formerly the president at West Virginia, Colorado, Brown and Vanderbilt. “I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it’s like murderer’s row every week for these schools.”

Referring to TCU and Boise State, he said, “Until a university runs through that gantlet that there’s some reason to believe that they not be the best teams to (be) in the big ballgame.”

That left TCU and Boise State angry. “We go through the gantlet every day,” Del Conte said.

Kustra said it was hypocritical of Ohio State and all the major BCS conferences to demean teams such as Boise State. He said most of those conferences refuse to schedule his school.

“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.”

He said he had phone records that would prove that Boise State had tried to schedule home-and-home games with Top 25 teams from the BCS conferences but that they would not play the Broncos anywhere but at their home stadium.

Gee, long a proponent of the BCS and the bowl system, said the current format to decide a national champion is superior to other options.

“If you put a gun to my head and said, ‘What are you going to do about a playoff system (if) the BCS system as it now exists goes away?’ I would vote immediately to go back to the bowl system,” he said.

Kustra said most teams from the power conferences follow a simple blueprint when scheduling these days.

“The formula these days for BCS teams is get seven or eight home games, play one nonconference game against a team from another BCS league, schedule three or four patsies and try not to leave the state if you can help it,” he said.

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