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College Football: Urban Meyer still doesn't like BCS

LAKE BUENA VISTA — It doesn't matter where he coaches, Utah or Florida, Urban Meyer feels the Bowl Championship Series is flawed.

On Thursday at Disney's Boardwalk, Meyer was named college football's Coach of the Year for his efforts at Utah this season. This, just two days after being introduced as the Florida Gators' new head coach.

Either way, at either school, he hopes the system which decides college football's national champion changes.

"Absolutely not," Meyer said when asked if his opinion of the BCS has changed because he's now coaching at a BCS school.

"If the BCS is what it is, the best teams should go play," he added. "And how do you evaluate the best teams? That is the question. The answer is they go play each other, but I don't think that will ever happen. There is always going to be a flaw unless you have a playoff."

Meyer earned the top coaching award presented by Home Depot for guiding the Utes to an 11-0 record and a Bowl Championship Series berth. Even though Utah crashed the BCS party, he doesn't think his team is the best in the country.

He gives that nod to one of the other three undefeated teams — USC, Oklahoma and Auburn. But only two of them, USC and Oklahoma, will be playing for the ADT National Championship trophy on Jan. 4 in the FedEx Orange Bowl Classic. Auburn has been left out, playing Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

Meyer also disliked the situation surrounding California being knocked out of the Rose Bowl, a BCS game, in the final week.

"I was outspoken against (the BCS) before and probably still am," Meyer said. "I'd hate to be (Cal coach) Jeff Tedford and have to stand in front of my team and tell them we aren't going because of ... You really can't explain it. "

USC's Matt Leinart knows that feeling. Last season, the Trojans were in the same situation as the Tigers. Leinart even showed his displeasure by wearing a derogatory T-shirt — which had an expletive spelled out above BCS — during an ABC television interview at half-time of the Florida State/Miami Orange Bowl game.

The T-shirt now is in his closet.

But the junior quarterback feels for a team like Auburn.

"It's a tough situation," said Leinart, who was shutout of any awards Thursday night but received the Walter Camp Award given to the nation's top player earlier in the day. "We were in the same situation, where we felt if we did all we could, we would be sitting right where we wanted to be. Unfortunately, we were snubbed out of that. (Auburn) can make a strong argument for finishing undefeated in a tough conference and they are much deserving. But there isn't much to do about it."

Auburn defensive back Carlos Rogers, who earned the Jim Thorpe Award, feels that there is something that can be done. He'd like to see the elimination of the preseason polls. The Tigers started the season 19th in the polls and worked their way up to No. 3.

"They set the rules to start the season so there is nothing we can do," Rogers said. "At the same time, I think they should start the polls later in the season because that really hurt us. Maybe we can beat Virginia Tech and at least get a share of the national title"

Even though he'd like to see a playoff, Meyer stayed politically correct when asked if he'd like to see Utah play Auburn instead of Pittsburgh — setting up a scenario where all four undefeated teams where playing in two games.

"I have to be careful how I answer that one," Meyer said. "I'm looking forward to playing Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl. You almost got me on that one."

NOTES: Meyer said he will announce part of his Florida coaching staff today. He said it will be a combination of both Utah and Florida coaches.

Meyer will be with both a new offensive and defensive coordinator. Wednesday, Kyle Whittingham, the Utes' defensive coordinator, was named to replace Meyer at Utah. Last week, Mike Sanford, the Utes' offensive coordinator, was named the head coach at UNLV, replacing a retiring John Robinson.

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