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MWC coach blasts rejection from BCS

By Jake Schaller

The Gazette (MCT)

Published: Friday, June 26 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

A day after BCS presidents rejected the Mountain West Conference's plan for a playoff, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun leaned on his knowledge of history to fire a salvo.

"We basically have a system for college football that too closely resembles the old Soviet Presidium," Calhoun said, referring to the policymaking and governing body of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. "You have a seven-member politburo that's decided if you aren't one of those party members, then you're unable to participate."

The MWC proposed an eight-team playoff that would have given teams outside the six "automatic qualifying" BCS conferences a better shot at reaching the national title game.

The BCS presidential oversight committee rejected the concept during a teleconference Wednesday.

"There was no overall support for the proposal, although some conferences were interested in considering certain elements of it in the future — particularly those related to revenue, access and governance of the BCS arrangement," said University of Oregon president David Frohnmayer, the outgoing committee chairman.

Calhoun disagreed.

"I thought there was a proposal that was put in place that was extremely fair," Calhoun said prior to Thursday's Colorado Sports Corp. Football Kickoff Luncheon at the Colorado Springs Marriott that also featured coaches Dan Hawkins of Colorado, Steve Fairchild of Colorado State, John Wristen of CSU-Pueblo and Scott Downing of Northern Colorado. "It was very reasonable, and it made you earn access.

"You think back to the old Soviet Presidium, and what happened was you told every person, 'Hey, you aren't going to be able to grow a whole lot. We're going to tell you all you can earn.' That was the approach. ... There's a very, very strong resemblance that unfortunately is a part of college football."

Last season, Utah of the MWC was the lone Football Bowl Subdivision team to finish the regular season undefeated, but it was shut out of the title game. It went to the Sugar Bowl instead and thumped Alabama 31-17.

"Utah, in my mind, was the best team in the country last year," Fairchild said. "What they did to Alabama right after Florida struggled with them says it all. And I'm not sure if you play our league over again last year if TCU doesn't win our league. So we've got some extremely talented football teams. It almost seems like a lawsuit in terms of trying to hold revenue back from certain conferences."

Fairchild wants CU/CSU game in Denver Colorado and Colorado State will play this season at Folsom Field in Boulder. Fairchild made it clear he doesn't like the idea of playing on the Buffaloes' home field.

"I think it should be played in Denver every year — I said that since Day 1," Fairchild said. "It's silly to move this game back to Boulder. It makes no sense."

The game was played in Denver from 1998 to 2003, first at Mile High Stadium and then Invesco Field at Mile High. The 2004 and 2005 games were played in Boulder before the game returned to Denver in 2006. The 2010 game is scheduled to be played at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins.

"We've got the contract to move it up to Fort Collins, and I don't think that makes any sense," Fairchild said. "I think it belongs in Denver."

Asked about the site of the game, Hawkins said, "You always love to play at home."

Contributing: The Associated Press

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