Antitrust and access will be part of the agenda this week when Bowl Championship Series commissioners gather in Pasadena. The annual spring meetings are being held here in conjunction with the Rose Bowl's staging this season's BCS title game, but are not expected to produce major headlines. Last spring, at meetings in Florida, BCS officials rejected a modified "plus-one" playoff proposal introduced by the Southeastern Conference.
Last season's controversy involving Utah, however, has stirred more BCS backlash. Utah finished as major college football's only undefeated team but failed to qualify for the BCS championship game after finishing No. 6 in the final standings. Oklahoma and Florida ended up No. 1 and No. 2, with Florida claiming the BCS title with a win at Dolphin Stadium. Utah beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and finished 13-0 and No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has called for congressional hearings to examine the legality of the 12-year-old BCS system, a formula using polls and computers to choose the title-game participants. The BCS, composed of the 11 major football conferences and independent Notre Dame, maintains it is not a monopoly. "Our collective belief, based on our legal advice, is that our current structure is within antitrust regulations," John Swofford, current BCS coordinator and Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner, said in a phone interview last week.