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4 commissioners talk BCS, expansion, other issues

Associated Press Modified: April 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm •  Published: April 16, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive and Conference USA head Britton Banowsky agree that change is likely coming in the method of crowning college football's national champions.

Banowsky expects more than just cosmetic changes to the system.

"It's my sense that there's an interest in change, some meaningful change going forward," he said Monday. "I don't know how dramatic that will be, but I don't think that means making tweaks to the current system."

Banowsky, Slive, the Sun Belt's retiring Wright Waters and Atlantic Sun chief Ted Gumbart spoke at the Associated Press Sports Editors Southeast regional meeting across from Southeastern Conference headquarters.

Discussions on changing the BCS, conference realignment, agent rules and paying college athletes were among the topics.

BCS leaders are scheduled to meet for a fourth time April 24-26 in Hollywood, Fla., when the Football Bowl Association holds its annual meetings.

"We're all trying to do what's good for college football," said Slive, whose league has captured the last six football national titles. He has previously pushed for a plus-one model with a title matchup decided after the bowl games.

The All-SEC BCS championship game matchup of LSU and Alabama in January helped spark the movement for change.

A new BCS format must be in place before television negotiations with ESPN open in the fall. The current four-year deal runs through the 2014 season.

The commissioners have acknowledged a four-team playoff is among the options being considered.

USA Today has reported that the potential plans also include a "plus one" format, an amended version of the current system, and a four-team playoff proposal that would ensure a Big Ten/Pac-12 Rose Bowl semifinal pairing.

The last model prompted a smile from Slive.

"It's not one of my favorites," he said. "What we're trying to do is simplify in many ways. I don't think that adds to the simplification of the postseason."

The commissioners also weighed in on other hot issues.

— Slive doesn't mince words on the current rules governing agent dealings with college athletes.

"The rules we have are more part of the problem than the solution," said Slive, who pointed out there are ongoing discussions to address what has become a major issue. "I don't think those rules work. I don't think they're realistic."

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