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“Ultimately, our presidents decide,” Scott also said.

All signs point toward the major bowls being involved in some way as the setting for national semifinals and the championship game to be bid out like the Super Bowl.

One option is to use a rotation, which would set the semifinal sites in advance. Another would essentially tie conferences to their traditional bowls, so the top-seeded teams would “host” games at the bowl sites where their leagues usually send teams. For example, a Pac-12 or Big Ten could host a semifinal game in the Rose Bowl. SEC teams could host games in the Sugar Bowl.

The “anchor” bowl format has the benefit of providing some regionality to the semifinal matchups. There is concern among the commissioners that a semifinal pitting, say, Oregon and Texas played in Miami, home of the Orange Bowl, could lead to a less-than-full stadium. Especially with fans of each team hoping it advances to another neutral site to play for the national title a week later.

But there are issues that come with bowls not knowing if they will be hosting a semifinal or a bowl game until the first weekend of December. Because of that, the rotation system is more likely to be used, a person familiar with the talks told the AP on condition of anonymity because the commissioners have tried to limit public comments about the meetings.

As always, the Rose Bowl has to be worked around. The Granddaddy of bowls wants to be involved in college football’s new era, but also wants to hold on to its traditions as much as possible.

More than anything, it wants Big Ten vs. Pac-12 kicking off around 2:15 p.m. local time on New Year’s Day as much as possible.

There are also differences of opinion about how those final four team should be picked, with the Big 12 and SEC preferring top four ranked regardless of conference, the Pac-12 preferring to emphasize conference winners and the Big Ten sort of in between.

There’s been plenty of positioning and posturing over the last month, but ultimately the commissioners have come too far and there is enough common ground for them NOT to reach their goal.

Just don’t expect perfection.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at