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LAS VEGAS -- The 11th annual Mountain West Conference preseason football meetings are wrapping up Wednesday in Las Vegas. The day is highlighted by Commissioner Craig Thompson's "State of the Mountain West" address, which is squarely focused on the BCS.
Utah's historic Sugar Bowl win against Alabama brought an additional $8.5 million into the Mountain West Conference schools' budgets, but that's a rare treasure in the world of the Bowl Championship Series and their six automatic qualifying conferences that divvy up the booty every year.
"You try not to get into the money game, but it is about money, huge money." MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson
The BCS Rings up nearly $19 million for each of those conferences, every year guaranteed. While the "wanna-be's," like the MWC, are only guaranteed $2 million from the BCS system every year.
"You try not to get into the money game, but it is about money, huge money," Thompson admits. "The only way the BCS changes, is if 10 conferences, four bowls and ESPN agree to a change. We've got a contrarian position. We need to get everybody involved or there won't be change."
Congressional hearings in July continued to spotlight the gross inequities, but real change is way down the field.
"If you perform and you win games, you're playing quality opponents and you're beating Oklahoma, the Alabama's and the UCLA's and the Michigan's and all the people we've beaten, that should be our statement," Thompson professes.
"We can still play our way into BCS situations, and we're grateful for that," says University of Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. "The exposure and the national platform that it has given our program, has been invaluable, but by the same token we just want equity."
Even with last year's great Sugar Bowl win, after expenses Utah only brought home about $1.6 million in profit.