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Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Swofford on playoff: 'Cautiously optimistic'

By Matt Fortuna

ACC commissioner John Swofford is familiar with the four-team, three-game playoff idea that has seemingly emerged as the favorite following last week's BCS meetings in Hollywood, Fla. After all, Swofford, along with SEC commissioner Mike Slive, floated a similar plan four years ago. And that lasted, as he told the Greensboro News & Record's David Morrison, "about two minutes."

It is safe to say that the times and the mindsets of college football's power-brokers are changing in regards to the sport's postseason, as a decision on a new format, beginning in 2014, will be examined and re-examined in the coming weeks, with the hope that a clearer path is agreed upon by early summer.

Swofford discussed the process with the News & Record in a story Wednesday:
"The encouraging part of it is that the commissioners have basically agreed the concept of going forward with a four-team, three-game mini-playoff is the right concept to consider," Swofford said. "There’s been quite a change from four years ago in the belief that concept is one to seriously consider. That’s what we’re working from at this point. If you’re one that likes that concept, I would say you should be cautiously optimistic."

Much of the coming debate will be focused on the sites of potential playoff games, specifically whether or not to hold them on campus sites. Swofford, for one, is in favor of a traditional bowl system, but he knows that, despite the progress made in the past week, the deliberations are far from over.
"We’ve got work to do in terms of making it a reality. The devil is in the details with it," Swofford said. "The more the discussion narrows as to how to do it, the more challenging it will become. The ultimate challenge is in finding the methodology of making the concept work that the major conferences can all agree upon."