alsaconfig isn't on my system. I did a package scan with yum and concluded it is an out-dated utility (I'm using alsa drivers V1.0.10). Prior to scanning with yum, I found alsaunmute on my system and gave it a try and that's all it took to make my sound card work
In order to make this permanent, I added:
to the final line in the start section of my /etc/init.d/alsasound init script (My card is card 0. I imagine in a 2-soundcard system, second card is card 1, adjust for your configuration). I now have sound following a reboot without running system-config-soundcard.