CHICAGO -- The BCS commissioners are backing a playoff plan with the sites for the national semifinals rotating among the major bowl games and a selection committee picking the teams.
The plan will be presented to university presidents next week for approval.
Once the presidents sign off -- and that seems likely -- college football's champion will be decided by a playoff starting in 2014.
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"We are excited to be on the threshold of creating a new postseason structure for college football that builds on the great popularity of our sport," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Wednesday.
All 11 commissioners stood shoulder-to-shoulder behind Swarbrick, who read the BCS statement from a podium set up in a hotel conference room.
The commissioners have been working on reshaping college football's postseason since January. The meeting Wednesday was the sixth formal get-together of the year. They met for four hours and emerged with a commitment to stand behind a plan.
"I think we're very unified," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said.
The commissioners refrained from providing specifics of the plan in their announcement.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott did say the two semifinals would be worked into the existing major bowls and the site of the national championship game will be bid out to any city that wants it, the way the NFL does with the Super Bowl.
People with firsthand knowledge of the decision tell The Associated Press the semifinals of the proposed plan would rotate among the major bowls and not be tied to traditional conference relationships.
There are still major details to be worked out, such as who exactly makes up the selection committee, but college football will take a page from college basketball, which uses a committee of athletic directors and commissioners to pick the teams for its championship tournament.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press