CHICAGO — Following an impasse between the Pac-12/Big Ten and the SEC/Big 12 last week at the BCS meeting in Chicago, could BCS officials be on the verge of coming to agreement on a four-team playoff model after all?
According to Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com, ACC commissioner John Swofford believes that the 11 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick have made "considerable progress" on a four-team playoff model with the next scheduled group meeting in Chicago on Wednesday. Swofford believes that compromise on the terms could even be completed as soon as this week.
The hope originally was for the commissioners and Swarbrick to present a four-team playoff model to the Presidential Oversight Committee in Washington, D.C., next week. The committee will ultimately determine the future of college football's postseason. That timetable, however, came into question after the group seemingly failed to make significant progress at their meeting last week. But Swofford believes that BCS officials are within striking distance of coming to an agreement.
The group still needs to determine when and where the two semifinals and a national title game will be played as well as how the four teams will be selected. The existing BCS bowl games are expected to be used as semifinals, while the national championship game is expected to be bid out. Also to be determined is how the conferences will divide the TV revenue, which could be roughly $450 million annually.
After last week's meetings there was considerable chatter that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany were holding out for a Plus-One system to be enacted despite all of the previous momentum toward a four-team playoff. However, based on Swofford's comments, perhaps we are trending again toward the four-team model that everyone envisioned throughout the offseason.
If this playoff model gets put into place, expect a selection committee to choose the four teams, although criteria such as winning a conference as well as strength of schedule could come into play. However the teams are selected, transparency must be prevalent. But it will be interesting to see which individuals are on a committee because there is certainly concern about bias coming into play.
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