Tom Pennington, File, Associated Press
TCU head coach Gary Patterson, left, greets Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, right, after TCU beat Utah 55-28 in Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 14, 2009.

SALT LAKE CITY — Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson's take on Saturday's highly anticipated matchup between Utah and TCU at Rice-Eccles Stadium:

"This game has very significant national implications. For the third straight year, the winner of this game will have an opportunity to participate in a BCS bowl game. If either team can finish the season undefeated, it should be in consideration to play in the BCS National Championship game," he said.

"Saturday's matchup has gained a lot of traction across the country, deservedly so, and has ramifications for many programs, far beyond the important battle for a Mountain West Conference championship."

— Dirk Facer