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Originally published August 13, 2011 at 4:59 PM | Page modified August 14, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Pac-12, Big Ten commissioners deny ADs agreed on "plus-one" plan

Commissioners of the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences denied Saturday that athletic directors in their leagues found consensus on a proposal for a "plus-one" format that would change the mechanics of the Bowl Championship Series.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Commissioners of the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences denied Saturday that athletic directors in their leagues found consensus on a proposal for a "plus-one" format that would change the mechanics of the Bowl Championship Series.

The Seattle Times reported that the directors, meeting early last week in Newport Beach, Calif., discussed several scenarios for input into the next BCS contract, including the status quo, and in a nonbinding straw vote, expressed interest in a plus-one proposal.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told the Chicago Tribune the report was "erroneous" and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said "the characterization was incorrect."

Scott, speaking Saturday with The Seattle Times, wouldn't elaborate on the nature of the discussions at Newport Beach, Calif., saying, "We meet regularly with our athletic directors and our partners in the Rose Bowl. This was one of those routine discussions. It's certainly not my policy to describe the nature of those discussions."

Multiple sources told The Seattle Times the directors, beginning the process of information-gathering and discussion before negotiation of the next BCS contract, were in accord on more consideration of a plan in which four teams would be seeded annually into semifinal games, with the winners playing in a title game.

In this scenario, the Rose Bowl wouldn't host semifinals, in exchange for the right to have an annual Big Ten-Pac-12 matchup.

There was considerable sentiment, a source said, to preserve the status quo. But the same source said there was "consensus almost unanimously on the plus-one," among several options to tweak the system.

"There's an enormous amount of pressure (nationally) right now to do something a little different," the source said. "And a plus-one within the current bowl structure might be that type of compromise."

With approval of conference presidents required, and with more discussion to come, any action by the athletic directors would be nonbinding and not even a recommendation. But it could represent a possible future shift in position of two conferences that have traditionally opposed any form of playoff.

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