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Conferences coming together on BCS plan

By Shannon Ryan, Chicago Tribune –

CHICAGO — For college football fans hoping to hear a plan has been reached for a postseason playoff, keep waiting.

But maybe not for long.

Eleven conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick described their positions as growing ever closer after their BCS meeting Wednesday in Chicago, where they discussed the details of creating a four-team playoff.

“We had a very productive meeting,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “We are reaching consensus slowly but surely on several issues.”

The commissioners and Swarbrick now will report to their presidents, who ultimately make the final decision on a plan.

While the commissioners declined to divulge details from the meeting, they agreed the talks are moving in a positive direction with some room for further debate.

“There’s a focus, as there has been, on a four-team playoff and trying to find a consensus as to the best way that can work, that our conferences can be comfortable with, that our presidents can consider,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. “But I don’t think you cut off all conversation about other models. The presidents certainly have every right and opportunity to talk about what they may want to talk about when the time comes.”

The Big Ten’s previous hope of maintaining the current structure is no longer an option. Commissioner Jim Delany previously had said the conference’s second choice would be a plus-one model but would maintain an open mind about other options.

“A lot of things are still on the table,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said. “Status quo is not on the table.”

Efforts to reach Delany for comment were unsuccessful.

The commissioners discussed elements of playoff implementation such as how teams will be selected and where games will be played but declined to provide information on their ideas.

More details — and maybe even a concrete plan — will be hammered out June 20 in Chicago at the FBS commissioners meeting in Chicago and on June 26 at the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee in Washington.

“It’s hard to predict what (the presidents) will decide,” Hancock said. “Obviously, if it’s a four-team tournament, it will be a seismic change. If it’s not, it’ll be something good for the game also.”

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