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BCS commissioners agree to four-team playoff plan

Defending BCS champiAlabamwith coach Nick Saban figures have different path title 2014. | Getty Images

Defending BCS champion Alabama, with coach Nick Saban, figures to have a different path to a title in 2014. | Getty Images

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Updated: July 23, 2012 7:39AM

The 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conference commissioners, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Bowl Championship Series executive director Bill Hancock announced their agreement on a four-team seeded playoff for college football after meeting Wednesday at the Intercontinental Hotel Chicago.

The next step is to present the model to the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, a group of 12 presidents from BCS schools, on Tuesday in Washington.

Although the group unanimously agreed on the format, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said that isn’t necessarily going to be the only model the presidents will discuss next week.

The “plus-one” concept is still on the table, whereby a national-title game is played after the bowl games are over.

“For the last six months, we’ve discussed all varieties of formats,” Delany said. “There’s a unanimous belief that the presidents will discuss this model as well as other models they chose, and ‘plus-one’ will clearly come up. Our preferences were for a ‘plus-one’ and a 1-4 seeded playoff.”

Preserving the importance of the regular season was key to hammering out the playoff model.

The 11 commissioners, Swarbrick and Hancock stood on a stage together as Swarbrick made the announcement. The impact of having the group together as the announcement was made was not lost on SEC commissioner Mike Slive.

“The fact that we’re all here together is an important statement for college football,” he said.

As far as independent Notre Dame, Swarbrick thought the proposal was fair and is eager to move forward.

“Our interest all along was making sure if we put ourselves in a position competitively that we earn the right to compete for a national championship,” Swarbrick said. “I’m confident that where we’re headed will give us that opportunity.”

There still are questions regarding how the four teams would be selected for the postseason, where the games would be played and how it would affect the bowl system.

Delany said he was happy with how the Rose Bowl would fit into a playoff model.

“I’ve been clear from the beginning that I would be open and listen but that the Rose Bowl should be treated fairly and its traditions be respected,” Delany said.

Hancock said he wasn’t sure if the playoff format would retain the BCS name.

“We have two more years to go on the current contract, and we will decide who will administer the new event,” Hancock said. “If the presidents decide to go down this path, then we will start working on those kinds of details. The result of that decision will determine the name of the event. I don’t think it will be called [the BCS].”

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