Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 30 January 2007 18:00"Stop! Hold the presses! I can't take it anymore. Don't pick up a pen or hit a key on the computer until I have a word with you."
My agent I.M. Slick was even more irritable and irate than usual, so I looked up to see what the problem was.
Slick: "You need to write a column about the Boise States of the world."
Joe: "Sounds good to me. I'd say Boise's upset win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl equates to George Mason making the Final Four in the NCAA Basketball Tournament last year."
Slick: "Whoa. You're missing the point. I want you to write that Boise State doesn't belong in a BCS game anymore than George Mason and other mid-majors belong in March Madness."
Slick: "It's time for all BCS schools to come together before the sports world is completely out of whack. The power schools need to protect the status quo. They need to adopt the no-more-mister-nice-guy approach."
Slick: "Let me break it down so even you can understand. Who recruits the best athletes?"
Joe: "I suppose it's the BCS schools for the most part."
Slick: "And why do you suppose that's true?"
Joe: "The BCS schools have the biggest athletic budgets, most tradition, etc."
Slick: "And which schools have the best coaches?"
Joe: "Well, that's hard to say because-"
Slick: "Stop right there. In basketball, the BCS schools have Bobby Knight at Texas Tech, Coach K at Duke, Roy Williams at North Carolina, Bill Self at KU, Bob Huggins at Kansas State. In football, the BCS schools have Bobby Stoops at OU, Joe Paterno at Penn State, not to mention Pete Carroll, Steve Spurrier and Jim Tressel, just to name a few. Need I say more?"
Joe: "Yes, those are all very good coaches, but not all coaches at BCS schools are as successful as those you mentioned."
Slick: "Never mind. Do you know why BCS schools usually have the best coaches?"
Joe: "They've got more money?"
Slick: "Yes. Money talks."
Joe: "What do you propose?"
Slick: "The BCS schools should refrain from playing non-BCS schools."
Joe: "Why? Fans enjoy seeing if the underdog can compete with the big dog."
Slick: "Maybe so, but the BCS schools have nothing to gain and everything to lose. OU had nothing to gain playing Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. Why bother playing the game? Losing to Florida, Notre Dame, USC and Ohio State isn't embarrassing. Losing to Boring State is."
Joe: "That's Boise State."
Joe: "Following your logic, Kansas State and KU shouldn't play Wichita State in basketball either."
Slick: "Precisely. I'm going to advise Bill Self that whenever the subject comes up he should say, 'We'll schedule games in the best interest of the KU basketball program.'"
Joe:"I guess it's in KU's best interest to play Emporia State, Washburn and Oral Roberts?"
Slick: "You're right. They should stop playing Oral Roberts. But there's no chance they'll lose to Emporia State and Washburn. However, we digress. Which football team had the most talent, OU or Boise State?"
Joe: "On paper, OU easily had the best talent. That's not to say Boise State didn't have talent. It's just that their student athletes were not heavily recruited by BCS schools. But the beauty of sports is that a team with less talent can, on occasion, beat teams with more talent."
Slick: "There you go again."
Joe: "Whatever happened to the guy I used to know who stood up for the underdog, who believed that competition makes everyone better, that it's not who wins but how you play the game? Why have you sold out to those who have made major college athletics all about fame and fortune?"
Slick: "Why? I'll tell you why. It pays better."