Maybe they want a fresh approach. The year system makes it sound too sporty like Madden. UT3 makes it sound more like a sequel in some great line of games, which it basically is.
Hopefully it won't be too much like unreal championship for the Xbox though.
I thought both Unreal Championships were great, especially the second one. The first one had framerate problems, but it was still a lot of fun. It was essentially Unreal Tournament 2003 Lite with some exclusive content.