SALT LAKE CITY – BYU and Utah continue to agree on at least one thing: the BCS system still stinks.
Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham and BYU athletics director Tom Holmoe participated in a panel discussion Friday at the Marriott City Center, along with Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, as part of the national convention of the Associated Press Sports Editors.
Each panelist reiterated support for a national playoff system. None said he had a specific plan as to how many teams would be involved, but according to Shurtleff, the current system is illegal under U.S. antitrust laws.
He noted the unfairness of a system that favors certain teams, though all are part of the NCAA.
"I believe it violates the law," said Shurtleff. "Unless there is a playoff, I believe there will be litigation. Somebody has to enforce the law."
Whittingham, whose Utes were admitted to the Pac-10 last week, has remained steadfast in his resolve to force a national playoff. His team went undefeated in 2008 but was denied the chance to play for the national championship.
"There's no reason why they can't get a playoff in place," he said.
Whittingham added that he didn't know which format would be best ("that's not my job"), but "from everything I know about football, championships should be awarded by a playoff."
He added, "To have to do everything right and still not have a shot (at a championship) is fundamentally wrong."
Holmoe called the system "very complex and very simple." While he said he understands the BCS argument, "we'll keep fighting from our end to gain access."19 comments on this story
He added, "From my standpoint, we'll fight for what is right."
Shurtleff said he would like to see the NCAA mandate a playoff system, but if things stay as they are, "there will be a lawsuit."
Whittingham and Holmoe admitted the dynamics of the BYU-Utah football rivalry could change, due to scheduling conflicts and conference affiliations. But both said they intend to keep the long rivalry going.
"It is our intention and desire to have it happen," Whittingham said. "There are plenty of nonconference rivalries that are flourishing."