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ACC’s John Swofford thinks a four-team playoff will be decided this week

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(Jeremy Brevard/US Presswire)

ACC commissioner John Swofford said he thinks the 11 BCS commissioners and Notre Dame might be able to agree on a new college football playoff plan this week.

Swofford told ESPN that the group has made "considerable progress" in its discussions about the future of college football and that the commissioners could reach a consensus for a four-team playoff by Wednesday. The commissioners then hope to present the plan to the BCS Oversight Committee next week.

"I have some hope and a certain level of confidence," Swofford said. "When we left Florida, that was a big step to have a consensus in the room to go to a three-game, four-team playoff. I said the devil was in the details and that would be just as challenging. We're finding that to be true, but I think a lot of people have put their heads into this. I think we've made considerable progress on it. I think we're within striking distance on most of it."

But before the group can present anything, it needs to iron out the very basic details of a four-team playoff: How the teams are selected, where the semifinal and final games are played, how the current BCS bowl games fit into the equation and how to divvy up the money.

[Related: Playoff and bowl system can co-exist, BCS executive director says]

All of these details have been hot-button topics among the conference commissioners as they have been throwing out their different ideas. The biggest decision will be whether the group decides to use polls or a selection committee to determine the teams involved in the playoff and then they either have to decide the criteria by which those polls are conducted or the members of a new committee.

Where the games will be played also has caused much debate. Keep the existing bowls or use home fields? Will the group decide to sell the championship game to the highest bidder?

"Our preference is that the semifinals be incorporated into the bowl system, which seems to be in good shape," Swofford said. "We're comfortable with the championship game being bid out."

The Pac-12 and Big Ten have been adamant about preserving the tradition of the Rose Bowl, though it will probably fall in line with the new Champions Bowl between the SEC and Big 12 and pit the best remaining teams from each conference in a game outside of the playoff.

So, while a four-team playoff might be declared on Wednesday, the details of the game will probably take the entirety of the Chicago meetings to figure out, but Sowfford is confident it will get done.

"I think we can get there on most of it," he said.

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