Automatic Bowl Bid?

McLean, VA - The Mountain West Conference is pushing for an automatic annual entry into the Bowl Championship Series' postseason lineup, USA Today reported on its Web site Monday night.

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The newspaper said that presidents and chancellors of the league's nine schools, along with commissioner Craig Thompson, will press for a meeting with BCS coordinator John Swofford, to discuss an automatic berth into the BCS.
``I would not be optimistic,'' Thompson said. ``As I explained to them (the Mountain West presidents), it's a series of legal contracts among 11 conferences, four bowls, two TV partners with yet another TV partner coming in. I would not see much of a relaxation.''
Conference champion Utah finished second in the AP Top 25, earning 16 of 65 first-place votes after it finished an undefeated season by beating Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl.
But the Utes had to force their way in to the four big-money games, which also include the Fiesta, Orange and Rose Bowls.
ons of the six BCS conferences - the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC automatically qualify.
Two other successful Mountain West teams this season, TCU (11-2) and BYU (10-3), had to settle for lesser bowls. TCU beat then-undefeated Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl and BYU lost to Arizona in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Utah was the first team from one of the five non-BCS leagues to qualify for the BCS a second time. The Utes beat Big East champion Pittsburgh 35-7 in the Fiesta Bowl after an undefeated 2004 season.

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Posted: 1/28/09 1:00AM ET

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