Slive hopes to progress toward 4-team plan

CHICAGO -- BCS commissioners have made it clear since last week that more than one postseason model will be presented June 26 to the presidential oversight committee.

But the momentum remains strong for a four-team playoff over a plus-one format.

"Our goal is to really take all the work that we’ve done over all these days and hours and months and put it in a comprehensive form for them to fully understand what a four-team playoff would look like," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said before entering Wednesday's meeting to discuss college football future postseason structure.

Slive doesn't know how many models will be presented to the presidents next week in Washington D.C.

"Clearly, I'm sure there will be more than one model presented," Slive said, "but hopefully our goal coming out of here is to present a comprehensive four-team playoff model to them."

Leagues like the SEC have been set on a four-team model from the start. Slive and ACC commissioner John Swofford proposed a plus-one format to the BCS group in 2008, although their plan essentially amounted to a seeded four-team playoff. What leagues like the Big Ten and Pac-12 have discussed this time around is to have two teams selected after all bowls are played to meet for the national title.

A plus-one likely would keep the Rose Bowl more relevant, which is of chief concern to both the Big Ten and Pac-12.

Asked he could still support a plus-one at this stage, Slive smiled and said, "It'd be pretty hard for me to reverse my view after four years."

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said that while momentum had built toward a four-team model coming out of April's BCS meetings in Florida, the plus-one came back into focus after certain commissioners (i.e. Pac-12's Larry Scott and Big Ten's Jim Delany) talked to their respective presidential groups.

"Knowing the way the principles and the occupants that have spoken," Thompson said, "not to get down to specific people, but you know who I'm talking about, people have said, 'I like this model. I've always been there.' So they're going to want to speak to that in front of their 11 peers."

Translation: the plus-one might be discussed next week just to be discussed. Or it might be used as a negotiating tool by leagues, as if to say, "Look what we're giving up here."

But it appears as though the commissioners are too far down the road to a four-team model to look back now.

"My hope," Slive said before the meeting, "is we come up with a consensus on a four-team playoff model and what it looks like."

Stay tuned.