WASHINGTON (AP) — The commissioner of the Mountain West Conference met with congressional aides, lobbying for changes to the Bowl Championship Series.
In the debate over how to best decide college football's national champion, commissioner Craig Thompson said he plans to present a proposal to BCS coordinator John Swofford. He declined to offer details. The league also has hired a Washington lobbying firm.
Conference member Utah has been shut out of the title game despite an undefeated record twice in the last five seasons.
"Technically, yes, we have access to the national championship game," Thompson said Friday during a conference call. "Realistically, we don't."
The Mountain West also is not among the conferences with an automatic bid to BCS bowls.
"We're going to take our stand, state our case and propose change," Thompson said. "You can't change something if there's nothing to look at to compare it to."
Thompson said he met with senior staffers for seven members of the House of Representatives on Thursday and expected to talk to several senators' aides Friday. He would not identify the members of Congress.
Aides for Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, who have both spoken out against the BCS, confirmed that their staffs met with Thompson.
"Certainly we're not the most popular kid in the room," Thompson said, referring to efforts to persuade the other conferences to change the BCS system. "I understand that. We're trying to help college football fans and institute a more equitable system."
Thompson said the Mountain West had yet to sign the BCS's new contract with ESPN for 2011-14. It's the only conference that has not signed, BCS administrator Bill Hancock said. Representatives for the other conferences have not discussed what would happen if the Mountain West continues to hold out, Hancock said.
Said ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz: "We're just hearing about this like everyone else so we are trying to get a better understanding of it."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.