HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Even a four-game playoff scenario was too much for the BCS.
Bowl Championship Series officials rejected a plan Wednesday to turn the much-criticized system for deciding a national champ into a four-team playoff, starting in the 2010 season.
The BCS format will remain the same until at least the 2014 season.
"After a very thorough, very good discussion among the group, we have decided that because we feel at this time the BCS is in an unprecedented state of health, we feel it's never been healthier during its first decade, we have made a decision to move forward in the next cycle with the current format," Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford said.
During five hours of meetings with the other conference commissioners, Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive presented a plan for a plus-one format, matching the No. 1 team in the nation against No. 4 and 2 vs. 3 in the marquee bowl games. The winners would meet about a week later in the BCS title game. The plan also called for creating another BCS bowl game.
In the end, only the SEC and ACC wanted to even continue the discussion of the plus-one.
"I'm not unhappy," Slive said after those meetings with the 10 other conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White at a resort hotel. "There's no such thing as standing pat. I think we've done a service. We owed the fans and media an explanation as to why we're not moving ahead. I can't say I'm surprised. There is a bit of disappointment."
There was no vote taken, the commissioners said, but the leaders of the Big East, Big 12, Pac-10 and Big Ten made it clear they did not want to move the BCS toward a playoff in any way. Any change would've needed approval by university presidents.