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Chris Petersen is done believing the BCS bowl system will take care of Boise State

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Chris Petersen isn't that outspoken of a coach.

He's not the guy who gets involved in wars of words and he's certainly not the guy who complains about anything football related. He does his best to stay above the fray, especially when it comes to the BCS, which has both given and taken away in regards to Boise State several times during the past half decade.

But after No. 7 Boise State was passed over for a BCS bowl bid for No. 11 Virginia Tech, Petersen had had enough.

"Everybody is just very tired of the BCS," Petersen said. "I think that's the bottom line. Everybody is frustrated. Everybody doesn't really know what to do anymore. It doesn't make sense to anybody. I don't think anybody is happy anywhere.

"The whole thing needs to be changed, there's no question about it. I think (change) is coming, I really do."

Petersen is mistaken, the SEC is happy, Virginia Tech is happy, but the four teams in the top 10 — Arkansas, Boise State, Kansas State ad South Carolina — that were passed over for Virginia Tech certainly have a legitimate beef. While Petersen acknowledged that he voted Boise State in a favorable position to make a BCS bowl (No. 5), he said the other three teams in the top 10 should have gotten in even if his Broncos didn't.

"Why are we even voting if they're all left out of games like that?" Petersen said. "It doesn't make any sense. … I don't know who it makes sense to. I haven't heard anybody say, 'This is pretty good.' Everybody goes, 'This is really bad.' "

Bowls, especially BCS bowls, have never been shy about why they choose certain teams for certain games. Rarely does the strength of the matchup outweigh the strength of the fanbase and the allure (see: dollar signs) of selling out the game. In 2007, Missouri was ranked No. 6 in the BCS standings but was passed over for Kansas by the Orange Bowl because athletic director Lew Perkins promised to sell the school's allotment of 17,500 tickets (though rumors surface that the school promised to sell even more than that).

Sunday evening, Sugar Bowl chief executive Paul Hoolahan said Virginia Tech's history of bringing fans to New Orleans was "extremely important."

"They certainly are one reason we're coming there," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer confirmed. "We do have great fan support. They're serious about Virginia Tech football. I know there are going to be a lot of those people down in New Orleans."
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That had to be the biggest selling point considering the Hokies lost to Clemson by 28 points in the ACC championship game and hadn't defeated any teams in the current AP Top 25.

Petersen said he wouldn't object to using a committee — similar to the one that picks the NCAA basketball tournament field — to select the BCS bowl participants. And Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, whose team narrowly missed a spot in the BCS title game, said he's an advocate of a four-team playoff.

Boise State is no stranger to being left out of a BCS bowl. Since the BCS bowls expanded to five games, Boise State has been ranked in the top 10 five out of the past six years and has been to just two BCS games. In 2006, the Broncos made their splash onto the national stage with a win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. In 2009, the Broncos defeated TCU in the same bowl.

In 2008, Utah was picked over the Broncos and last year, TCU got the nod for the Rose Bowl. After last year's snub, Petersen surprisingly took the high road.

"You've just gotta keep believing," Petersen said. "The last few years, it has worked out well for the Broncos. That's really the message that we've preached to our guys — we take care of what we can control and good things will happen."

That belief has officially run out.

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