Consensus reached on four-team playoff plan

CHICAGO — The BCS commissioners are backing a playoff plan with the sites for the national semifinals rotating among the major bowl games.

They said Wednesday that under the plan, a selection committee would help pick the schools involved in a four-team playoff.

The plan will be presented to university presidents next week for approval.

Once the presidents sign off – and that seems likely – major college football’s champion will be decided by a playoff for the first time starting in 2014.

“We are excited to be on the threshold of creating a new postseason structure for college football that builds on the great popularity of our sport,” Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said Wednesday.

All 11 commissioners stood shoulder-to-shoulder behind Swarbrick, who read the BCS statement from a podium set up in a hotel conference room.

The commissioners have been working on reshaping college football’s postseason since January. The meeting Wednesday was the sixth formal get-together of the year. They met for four hours and emerged with a commitment to stand behind a plan.

“I think we’re very unified,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the two semifinals would be worked into the existing major bowls and the site of the national championship game will be bid out to any city that wants it the way the NFL does it with the Super Bowl.

People with firsthand knowledge of the decision tell The Associated Press the semifinals of the proposed plan would rotate among the major bowls and not be tied to traditional conference relationships.

They also said that under the plan a selection committee would choose the schools that play for the national title.

“I am delighted,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, who has supported a four-team playoff for years and whose league has won the past six BCS titles.

The 12-member BCS Presidential Oversight Committee meets Tuesday in Washington. The commissioners and Swarbrick all stressed that ultimately the decision lies with the presidents.

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