Saturday, December 11, 2010

Making the Sisters of the Poor Poorer.

Ohio State President Gordon Gee: classic conservative jackass. While most recognize him as the originator of some idiotic statements regarding non-BCS schools' legitimacy, he's displeased the masses before. He lasted for 2 years at Brown before being run out, accused of treating the school more like a Wall Street corporation than an Ivy League university. He then went to Vanderbilt, where he came under criticism for lavish personal spending and running up a huge tab renovating his university-provided home. There are other reasons to contend he's not a good person. Serving on the board of coal company Massey Energy, he stepped down in 2009 after the company caused toxic coal sludge spills and oversaw multiple mining accidents resulting in the deaths of their workers.

To be honest, most of the above doesn't really tug at my heart strings. The Boise State/TCU jabs, however, make him sound like a trust fund kid opposed to the inheritance tax. His contention, that Ohio State should be able to bowl for national championships but not outside schools, is like saying it's not fair the government is gonna take your money. Well, no, they're not. If your parent's estate is worth $50 million, that's their money. You never worked for it. You never did anything to earn it. You, yourself, have failed to make a contribution to society entitling you to 100% of what someone else earned.

Same for OSU. You think OSU is entitled to something others aren't because of the conference they play in? Well, let's examine three schedules according to the Sagarin rankings: OSU: 68th most difficult; TCU: 82; Boise: 70th. Gee's specific comment was that unlike TCU, Ohio State isn't playing the little sisters of the poor. So what about god-awful teams Marshall, Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota (or even 7-5 Miami)? Are we expected to simply overlook the fact Ohio State's schedule had exactly one ranked team (Wisconsin, who steamrolled OSU 31-18). A rule that dictated any team playing for the national championship to exhibit a strength of schedule ranked at least in the top 50% of the nation would leave Ohio State on the outside looking in. Ohio State isn't playing the little sisters of the poor, just their inbred cousins.

Back to the tax thing, this reeks of the unearned sense of entitlement so prevalent in today's society. Ohio State has done nothing to justify why being in a BCS conference means they should be allowed to play in the national title game. The Big East and ACC have been horrible - Virginia Tech is the only redeemable school out of either conference. They simply fail to bring anything to the table that the WAC (with three ranked teams) can't. Except for legacy. And now we've gone full circle about twice. I have something and you don't. Regardless of our respective actions, this system shall remain. My school is historically powerful, ergo, it should be granted privileges yours isn't - even if you've worked harder and accomplished more. My family is historically powerful, ergo, I should be granted more privileges than you - even if you've worked harder and have accomplished more. I received an artificial head start, and will be damned if the government takes a dime of money I didn't earn.

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