Last week's BCS meetings ended with a note of uncertainty, with dueling sources alternately saying the group of commissioners was close to a four-team playoff model and also hitting an impasse. Yesterday, the ACC's John Swofford lent more credence to the former with his comments to ESPN.com:
"I have some hope and a certain level of confidence," Swofford said. "When we left Florida, that was a big step to have a consensus in the room to go to a three-game, four-team playoff. I said the devil was in the details and that would be just as challenging. We're finding that to be true, but I think a lot of people have put their heads into this. I think we've made considerable progress on it. I think we're within striking distance on most of it."
He's saying that the consensus was in favor of staging a four-team playoff. That implies that even the Big Ten and Pac-12 are on board with at least that much.
The details do indeed house many devils, though, but ESPN has some sources saying that a few of those will get hammered out soon. Interestingly, one of those sources is saying that the semifinal sites are likely to be chosen ahead of time among the current BCS bowls. This would allow what seems to be the situation that the rest of the country loves to flog as unfair, that being a higher-ranked team having to play LSU in the Sugar Bowl. Why that gets singled out instead of USC and the Rose Bowl or Florida/FSU/Miami and the Orange Bowl I don't know, but that's the first one that people go to.
In any event, Swofford seems to be in favor of a selection committee. He does mention that there would have to be "compromise" with that selection format. He seems to define "compromise" here as forcing the committee to consider things like strength of schedule and conference championships. I think those are complete red herrings, because any committee worth its weight in salt would consider both of those things naturally. Any committee that wouldn't be mindful of conference championships and especially strength of schedule would be a sham.
Ultimately, any four-team proposal is unlikely to be the only one given to university presidents to consider. As we found out last week, the conference commissioners have no interest in being the ones to blame if the final postseason format is one that fans don't like. Here's the catch, according to Kirk Bohls: by having it in the presidents hands, the process might take until September to complete. I hope you don't mind hearing more about this over the rest of the summer.