A Response to One Writer’s Idea That Snobbery Alone Is Keeping TCU and BOISE STATE Out of First Place

There’s a writer for ESPN.com whom I call Mr. Ignoramus, whom I only read when I want to torture myself.  Not only do I disagree with what Mr. Ignoramus says, but I don’t even think he provides a semi-intelligent explanation or argument for his positions.  His observations and conclusions seem to have been reached with very little thought or research.  I won’t link to his column because I don’t want to put anyone else through the pain of reading it.  But, I do feel the need to rebut his recurring theme regarding Boise State and TCU and their positions in the polls. This controversial issue has sparked countless debates, both intelligent and idiotic.  However, the responsibility of a paid ESPN “journalist” (a term I use loosely) is to present reliable information, facts, and analysis, not to sound like an ignorant observer who just happened to catch the last five minutes of College Football Live and is attempting to form an opinion based on that.  Seeing as we are early into a 13 week playoff[1] called the regular season in college football and there are still 10 undefeated teams, the argument can be made for any of them to be #1 in the standings.  While Mr. Ignoramus is not alone in thinking that destroying one’s opponent on the scoreboard is all that matters, others believe playing high quality opponents is far more significant. These arguments for both sides are well-established, but Mr. Ignoramus ignores the facts and insists that the only thing keeping Boise State and TCU out of the top spots in the polls is snobbery.  In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that The College Football Girl has been called a snob before, but it is usually related to education, shoes, handbags and/or designer dresses.  I suspect Mr. Ignoramus would also take issue with a Harvard grad getting a job over someone from North Dakota State, but I’ll let the career counselors explain that one.   Regardless, is it really that crazy to think that the other undefeated teams might deserve the top ranking more than Boise State and TCU?  And why isn’t Mr. Ignoramus crying for Missouri?  The Tigers are undefeated and yet ranked as low as18th in the AP poll (although I do anticipate that column is coming next from him).  Is that snobbery or rather a lack of convincing wins against quality opponents? Mr. Ignoramus points out that TCU has won its three conference games by a combined 100 points, but that margin is precisely the problem with the Horned Frogs: they’re dominating weak opponents in a weak conference.  Those conference opponents each have a 2-5 record and a combined average that would place them at the 115th worst scoring offense and the 91st worst scoring defense in the country.  So I’m not surprised they couldn’t score against or stop TCU from scoring.  In fact, I think there are at least 15 other teams that could easily go undefeated with TCU or Boise State’s schedule.  But my point isn’t to insist that Boise State and TCU should not eventually play for the National Title, a topic which I think is about as untimely as pre and early season rankings. What I am arguing for is an honest and sharp presentation of the facts and at a minimum a semi-clever discussion for the readers to use in their debates at the office the next day.


[1] While there isn’t a playoff in the Football Bowl Subdivision (once known as Division I in College Football), the regular season is widely regarded as a playoff in itself because each game is critical and a single loss can eliminate a team from playing for the National Championship.

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