Swarbrick sitting comfortably in BCS talks

Countless questions on college football's future postseason remain unanswered, but Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick need not worry. A founder of the original BCS system, Notre Dame still owns a seat at postseason discussions and can feel comfortable about its future.

Through months of discussion and deliberation, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick has always felt comfortable with his university's position in a new postseason model.

During Wednesday's BCS meeting in Chicago, Swarbrick joined the 11 FBS conference commissioners for further dissertation on a new postseason format. The commissioners were on hand to represent their conference's presidents, to which they will report back. Swarbrick, however, was the only participant standing on behalf of a single school.

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"I've been very comfortable as a participant in the process throughout," Swarbrick said. "Notre Dame was one of the founders of this enterprise, and it couldn't have been formed without us anymore than it could have been formed without one of the key conferences."

Notre Dame has been included in the BCS since the system was formed in 1998. The Fighting Irish receive an automatic berth in a BCS bowl game with a top-eight finish.

Swarbrick is a proponent for change, and has been a key participant in discussions to design a new postseason model. As the lone independent at the table, he has been welcomed by the conference commissioners.

"I don't think it's any different than it has been before, Notre Dame is a valued participant in all of this, and continues to be," said ACC commissioner John Swofford.

An agreement on the new postseason system could be reached at the Presidential Oversight Committee meeting on June 26 -- a committee which Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., serves on -- though any approved plans must be finalized by contracted television networks.

Notre Dame can feel comfortable with its position as progress toward a decision continues to be made.

"I think (Notre Dame) is an important part of college football and deserves to have a place, and they will," Swofford said.

While the discussions move forward, Notre Dame's lone concern involves constructing its schedule, which has not been a problem during recent years of BCS uncertainty. When the new system is in place, that could become even more problematic.

"As we get through this process, and conferences make some different decisions about conference scheduling, maybe we'll have some (issues), but we've had none of it so far," said Swarbrick.

Swarbrick is confident in Notre Dame's seat at the BCS table and is optimistic in the growth from Wednesday's discussions.

"This meeting had as much or more progress in it," he said. "More got done than any of our meetings to date."

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs. He currently resides on Chicago's north side.
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