Utah's senators are worried that the Bowl Championship Series is looking at extending its TV contract by four years, which would lock in a system they say is unfair.

So Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett, R-Utah, wrote to the BCS Friday to complain. "We have serious concerns about what appears to be an attempt to preserve the status quo for the foreseeable future," they said.

They complained that exploring extending the current TV contract comes despite "growing concern among elected officials regarding the BCS system, not to mention the complaints of millions of college football fans and consumer throughout the country."

The senators come from a state that believes the undefeated University of Utah football team should have played for a national championship in January. Instead, the honor went to two one-loss teams from more prestigious conferences that have automatic BCS berths.

Hatch has already vowed to hold hearings in the Senate about whether the BCS violates antitrust laws, and the House recently held similar hearings. Hatch has said he may push legislation to encourage or mandate a true playoff system to determine college football championships.

The Utah senators have complained that the BCS excludes about half of all college football teams — all those in conferences without automatic BCS bowl berths — from a realistic shot at the national championship even before the first game is played each year.

"The financial ramifications of these inequities are very significant," they wrote.

"As you know, many, if not the majority, of schools rely on the profitability of their football programs to fund other athletic programs, enhance their facilities, offer scholarships and improve their academic programs," they wrote.

"A fairer system would significantly raise the revenue received by all participating universities and it is our hope that such a system can be created," they added.

The senators said they want "to learn whether, prior to seeking to extend the current system, other alternatives were considered."

The added, "In addition, we would like more information regarding the process by which any potential changes to the system were discussed and considered among the membership in the BCS. Finally, we wish to know how an extension of the current system can be justified in light of its demonstrated inequities."

E-mail: lee@desnews.com