Washington » The University of Utah's inclusion in the Pac-10 makes Sen. Orrin Hatch proud, but it won't stop his campaign against college football's Bowl Championship Series.
"It is a move that the University of Utah has to make given the realities of college sports, there is just no way they could turn that down," Hatch said. "But look, Utah moving to the Pac 10 doesn't mean the BCS has suddenly become a fair and equitable system."
Hatch supports a college football playoff, instead of the current system of computer rankings and human polls that determine the teams that play in the nation's top bowl games. He has pressed the Justice Department to conduct an antitrust investigation into the BCS, which gives preferential treatment to six BCS-affiliated conferences. The Mountain West Conference, which the Utes are leaving, is not one of those BCS conferences.
Utah athletic director Chris Hill said he would continue to support the non-BCS schools as well.
"I hope that my values don't change on things just because we are on the inside looking out," he said. "My view didn't change since yesterday."
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham admitted it was 'peculiar' to be celebrating a move to a BCS conference after Utah has established a reputation as a BCS buster, but that his view remains the same as well.
"I'm a proponent of the playoff system and always have been," he said. "With the structure of the BCS in place now, hopefully we can find a way to hammer it out."
The senator said he wished the U. didn't have to leave the Mountain West, but he doubts it will diminish the rivalry between the U. and Brigham Young University.
"I think they are going to be just as much after each other's throats as they have been in the past," he said.
He also said while the MWC will miss the U., it won't decimate the conference, particularly because of the strong recent play of the football teams at BYU, Texas Christian and MWC newcomer Boise State.
"As for the Mountain West, I don't think anybody should feel sorry for the conference," he said. "The Mountain West is going to continue to be a formidable conference and it will still be worthy of better treatment by the BCS and I intend to get them that."
Reporter Lya Wodraska contributed to this story
Hatch proud of Utes, but campaign against BCS continues