Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Thursday asked President Barack Obama to invite the undefeated Boise State University football team to the White House, even though they did not win the national title.
Hatch -- an outspoken critic of college football's Bowl Championship Series (BCS) -- asked that the Broncos appear alongside the undefeated University of Alabama Crimson Tide, the winners of the BCS national title game on Jan. 7.
Hatch has long been in favor of instituting a playoff system in college football to replace the BCS, which selects the two top-ranked teams of the national championship game based on a complex ratings system.
Hatch's home state Utah Utes went undefeated in 2008 but were not selected to play in the national championship game. Obama did not invite the Utes to the White House in April 2009 when national champion Florida appeared.
Obama has also called for the creation of a college football playoff system.
Hatch noted Obama's support, claiming that "inviting both these great football teams to the White House would be one particularly effective way to [show your support for a playoff]."
Obama might be discouraged from inviting Boise State could be a seen as a swipe at Alabama, who won the sport's officially sanctioned championship.
BCS proponents point out that the system now matches up the top two teams to play for the national championship at the end of the season, a match-up that used to occur rarely in the sport.
Boise State vanquished previously undefeated Texas Christian in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 4 to finish the season as the only other undefeated squad besides Alabama. Boise finished fourth in the final college football rankings.
BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said the decision was up to the president, but cited polling numbers and the sentiments of Boise's own coach in saying Alabama is the only national champ.
"Really, doesn’t Congress have more important things to do?” Hancock asked in an e-mail.
This post was updated at 6:21 p.m.