BCS changes needed before new TV pact

College football » Utah senators fire off letter seeking equity
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Utah's senators continued the congressional offensive against college football's Bowl Championship Series on Friday, sending a letter to the system's brass demanding changes that would spread money and championship opportunities to smaller universities.

The letter, signed by Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett, demands that BCS leaders use the pending negotiations over a new four-year TV contract to retool the system that determines who plays for the national championship. If a new TV contract is signed, it would be more difficult to make changes in college football's postseason.

"We have serious concerns about what appears to be an attempt to preserve the status quo for the foreseeable future," stated the letter sent to BCS Commissioner John Swofford and Chairman David Frohnmayer.

Swofford participated in a hearing during a House subcommittee last week when Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton equated the BCS to communism and called for a playoff to determine the champion.

The BCS now relies on two polls and six computer programs to rank teams. The top two play for the title, but almost every year sports commentators and coaches complain that legitimate contenders are left out.

The University of Utah football team won every game it played last season. No other Division One college football team can say that. But Utah received no serious consideration to play for the title.

Hatch and Bennett criticize what they called "the continued denial of a fair opportunity" for all teams to vie for a championship. They also ripped the revenue split that benefits six conferences in the BCS and leaves out more than 50 schools that are not members.

"Those schools that do not hail from the BCS's preferred conferences begin each season at competitive and financial disadvantage," the senators wrote. "We wish to know how an extension of the current system can be justified in light of its demonstrated inequities. "

None of Utah's universities is in a BCS-aligned conference.