|College football's power brokers have reached a consensus on a four-team playoff. (AP)|
CHICAGO -- BCS commissioners will recommend a seeded-four team playoff that will feature the "best four teams" as chosen by a selection committee to the Presidential Oversight Committee, sources told CBSSports.com Wednesday.
The Presidential Oversight Committee meets Tuesday in Washington D.C. and ultimately must approve the playoff, which will begin after the 2014 regular season.
|More on BCS meetings|
Following Wednesday's four-hour meeting in the Intercontinental Hotel, the BCS commissioners emerged together and announced -- in the "Camelot Room" of all places -- they had "developed a consensus behind a four-team seeded playoff."
That model, multiple sources told CBSSports.com, would be the "best four teams" chosen by a selection committee with the committee putting emphasis on conference champions.
The preference of the commissioners is to play the semifinals around Jan. 1 among the existing BCS bowl sites (Sugar, Rose, Fiesta and Orange) with the championship game played less than two weeks later on the Monday following the NFL wildcard round (around Jan. 9-11). There is already unanimous support to have the championship game bid out to any city or venue in the same fashion as the Super Bowl is awarded.
Sources said the emphasis on conference champions by the selection committee was enough for the Pac-12 and Big Ten, which preferred a two-team, plus-one model, to compromise its position and join the other leagues in supporting a four-team playoff.
"We've had some differences," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said about the entire process, involving at least six in person meetings and hundreds of hours of discussion in the past six months.
How the selection committee will be chosen, how many individuals it will consist of and who will make up the committee (media, former coaches and/or athletic directors, current university personnel, etc.) has not been determined.
Specifically how the committee will give more weight to conference champions also is unknown. However, Swofford said it can be done.
"A lot of times there's a tendency to say if it's [the number] one, two, three, four [teams], it's not the conference champions," Swofford said. "I think you can reasonably mesh those two issues in the sense of however that's selected. If you have a strong part of criteria that has to be considered -- winning conference champions, I think you can fit that into taking one, two, three, four. They don't have to be exclusive of each other."
Even though the commissioners preferred model involves four teams, Delany said other models would be discussed by the Presidential Oversight Committee.
"The presidents will discuss this model and other models they choose to bring up," Delany said. "The plus-one will clearly come up and will be discussed and dissected."
However, with such a strong backing by the commissioners of a four-team playoff, it would be surprising if the Presidential Oversight Committee did not approve that.
Back in 2008, SEC commissioner Mike Slive and ACC commissioner John Swofford were the first to propose a college football playoff. "That conversation lasted about 10 minutes," Swofford said.
A lot has changed in the past four years -- and especially the past six months.
"I am delighted, very pleased," Slive said of the consensus by the commissioners on a four-team playoff.
With the "best four" teams selected, that means it's possible two teams from the same conference would be chosen for the four-team playoff. And, if that happens, then college football could have a final between two teams from the same conference, like last season.
However, Georgia president Michael Adams said that scenario is rare.
"Are two SEC teams going to play for the national title each year?" Adams said last month. "I doubt it, as much as I would like. If you look at the whole scope of the last 30 years [two SEC teams playing in the final], that's the aberration instead of the norm.
"The way to deal with it: whether it's Texas, Oklahoma, Boise State or UCLA, if they're one of the top four in the country, let them play."
Yes, let them play. The best four, the top four. Whatever you want to call it (just don't call it the BCS, by the way): a four-team college football playoff will be here in 2014.