- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- The BCS commissioners and Notre Dame's athletic director say they made progress Wednesday on formulating college football's future postseason model, but emphasized the final decisions will come from school presidents who will consider multiple options.
Wednesday's detail-oriented BCS meeting at an O'Hare Airport hotel produced no definitive conclusions on playoff structure, access and location of games, although a four-team model continues to receive the most attention. The commissioners will report to their presidents before meeting again June 19-20 in Chicago. The BCS presidential oversight committee meets June 26 in Washington.
"Ultimately, our presidents decide," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. "They'll have options, plural. And it'll be up to them to decide what they want to decide [in Washington], if anything."
Rather than present one unified recommendation to the presidents on June 26, the commissioners likely will outline the options they've discussed and the evolution of the negotiations.
The only thing off the table, according to BCS executive director Bill Hancock, is the "status quo." And while neither Hancock nor the commissioners ruled out a plus-one model, which some presidents prefer, their focus is on a four-team playoff.
"The First Amendment will be alive and well when the presidents meet, as it always is," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. "There will be discussions with different models, and obviously my focus has been on a four-team playoff. That will continue to be the Southeastern Conference's full concern."
Added Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick: "We continue to focus as a group on four-team models."
ACC commissioner John Swofford said the goal remains to have "some general consensus and a narrowing of the possibilities" for the presidents on June 26, but he and others noted that the discussions could extend far beyond the date.
The BCS television negotiations are viewed as the ultimate deadline for a proposal, and those discussions don't take place until the fall. The Rose Bowl's negotiations likely will take place in mid-to-late summer.
Despite some strong statements from leagues coming out of their spring meetings about their desires -- or, in some cases, demands -- for the postseason model, Hancock called Wednesday's meeting "collegial, cordial and productive" and saw a "spirit of compromise," which he called refreshing.
"There will be something for everybody," he said, "but there won't be everything for anybody."
Hancock called Wednesday's meeting an opportunity for commissioners to share feedback they received from their respective presidential groups after spring meetings. He hopes for "further refinement" of ideas and details next week during the Division I Conference Commissioners Association meetings.
"Today was all about drilling down the details," Swarbrick said. "This meeting had as much or more progress to it, and more got done, than any of our meetings to date. ... No one's going to foreclose the presidents' ability to make the final decision."
4hTristan H. Cockcroft