Last Updated: 4:54 AM, June 21, 2012
Posted: 1:20 AM, June 21, 2012
CHICAGO — The BCS commissioners are backing a playoff plan with the sites for the national semifinals rotating among the major bowl games and a selection committee picking the teams.
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 yesterday.
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. Yesterday’s meeting 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.
The commissioners refrained from providing specifics of the plan in their announcement.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott did say 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 said 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 last six BCS titles. “I am pleased with the progress we have made. There are some differences, but we will work them out. We’re trying to do what is in the best interest of the game.’’