Meyer: Utah, Texas, USC should fight to be No. 1

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida coach Urban Meyer believes Utah, Texas and Southern California should fight for their teams to be recognized as national champions.

Meyer said at a news conference Wednesday that Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, Texas’ Mack Brown and USC’s Pete Carroll would be bad coaches if they didn’t lobby to be ranked No. 1.

“That’s absolutely what they should do,” Meyer said. “I’ve got news: I’m representing University of Florida, and I’m an employee of the University of Florida and I represent my players, most of all I’m going to fight like a dog to take care of them.”

Carroll has proclaimed his Trojans the best in the country. Whittingham and Brown have made it clear they will vote their teams No. 1 in the coaches’ poll regardless of what happens when the No. 1 Gators play No. 2 Oklahoma in the Bowl Championship Series national title game Thursday night.

Meyer did similar lobbying two years ago when he said his one-loss Gators should play in the BCS title game over Michigan. It seemingly worked. Florida jumped the Wolverines in both polls and in the BCS standings, then thumped the Buckeyes in the championship game.

“I simply said that we belonged in the game,” Meyer said. “But I’m an employee of the University of Florida. More importantly, I love my players and represent my players.

“You don’t really understand the whole mechanics, investment and passion that these coaches have,” he said. If a coach didn’t argue for his team “that’s not a good coach.”

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wasn’t nearly as forthcoming about his thoughts on the subject.

“That’s not for me to do,” said Stoops, who spoke with reporters before Meyer. “They’re all good football teams; everyone realizes that. So again, that’s for you guys to choose.”

Utah’s attorney general is investigating the BCS for a possible violation of federal antitrust laws after the undefeated Utes were left out of the national title game for the second time in five years.

Attorney General Mark Shurtleff contends the BCS unfairly puts schools like Utah, which is a member of a conference without an automatic bid to the lucrative bowl games, at a competitive and financial disadvantage.

Meyer, meanwhile, said college football could be heading toward a playoff.

“I think at some point in time it might happen,” Meyer said. “I didn’t believe that a few years ago, but I feel now the discussion is out of control. I can’t imagine any guy that enjoys football not discussing that wherever he’s at. So I imagine at some point that might happen now.”

When asked to elaborate, though, Meyer said he had no idea how a playoff system would be implemented.

“It’s not my job to figure that out,” he said. “I think it would be hard. I don’t know how you do it.”

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