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Boise State president blasts BCS mixup

by Todd Dvorak
| December 8, 2010 8:00 PM

BOISE - Boise State President Bob Kustra is taking another swing at the Bowl Championship Series, this time condemning the system that determines the national championship and other postseason games for being allowed to operate under a shroud of secrecy.

Kustra dashed off an e-mail to fellow university presidents and conference commissioners Tuesday, one day after analysts discovered an error in the final BCS rankings. The glitch caused BCS officials to revise the computer rankings, moving Boise State up one spot to No. 10 and dropping LSU to No. 11.

The adjustment didn't have any impact on the Broncos' postseason date in the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas with No. 20 Utah. But it gave Kustra, a vocal and persistent BCS critic, an opportunity to blast officials from the BCS and the NCAA for the system's lack of public accountability.

"How many times have we heard calls for transparency on our campuses and how many times have we shared our governance and communicated with our faculties and other constituencies in transparent fashion," Kustra wrote in an e-mail obtained by The Associated Press. "Yet, in intercollegiate athletics, with the NCAA standing silently on the sidelines, we allow the BCS to work its magic with no idea of how accurate its rankings are on a week to week basis."

The discrepancy was discovered by Jerry Palm, who runs the websites and, in the Colley Matrix computer ratings, one of six used by the BCS.

Wesley Colley said Palm, who verifies the Colley Matrix ratings, noticed the results of an FCS playoff game involving Appalachian State and Western Illinois had not been included in the data base used to generate the ratings.

BCS executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement that he was "deeply disturbed" when he learned of the mistake.

"This error should not have happened and is unacceptable. The final standings have been corrected. Fortunately, it had no effect on any team's eligibility for the BCS games. But the simple fact that it could have means this issue will be near the top of the agenda for the conference commissioners' annual review next spring," Hancock said.

Kustra would prefer to see more significant changes in college football's method for ranking teams and declaring a national champion, and the recent BCS mistake rekindled aggravation with a system he complains treats schools from smaller conferences like second-class citizens.

The Broncos (11-1) were a hot topic of debate all season as they moved up the rankings in a bid to play for the national title or at the very least a berth in one of the other four BCS games. An overtime loss to Western Athletic Conference rival Nevada squelched those plans and left the Broncos to lobby for a berth in a lower-tier game.

Last month, Kustra stoked anti-BCS sentiment after Ohio State President Gordon Gee defended the system, saying teams from power conferences like the Big Ten and SEC deal with tough, competitive schedules that are superior to those from smaller leagues

"We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor," Gee said.

Kustra accused Gee of exaggerating the strength of schedule argument and said it is unfair to demean teams like Boise State.

"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.

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