Utah football made a name for itself by busting the current BCS system. There is little doubt that a program of Utah's stature benefited from the Fiesta & Sugar Bowls. While I am in no way condoning the current system, it's hard to ignore the influence its had on Utah football - from its coming out party in 2004 to its eventual invitation to the join the Pac-12.
To compare, BYU, during its glory years, was almost always regulated to the Holiday Bowl, even when they were undefeated (1984). The Big Bowls kept them out of the system and because of it, they were often paired with mediocre Big Ten teams, as was the case when they won their national championship - Michigan finished 6-6. The Cougars certainly had records worthy of