Still, he said there was a need to discuss the format now.
"This is the window of time before we go and do something with another partner, or current partner, we don't want to just do the same thing without trying to address some of those issues," he said. "But if we ended up with a plus-one playoff, it would be exciting for fans but there's a lot of issues around it."
Hancock has said 50 to 60 possibilities for various changes were presented during a meeting in New Orleans, where Alabama beat LSU in the BCS title game last month.
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, who declined comment Tuesday, has acknowledged he would consider the prospect of a four-team field.
"Four years ago, five of us didn't want to have the conversation," Delany told reporters last month. "Now we all want to have the conversation."
Asked about how the revenue from a playoff would be distributed, Smith noted that was a key issue.
"You know, as we went into the BCS system and it was developed over time, the distribution of money changed over time, right?" he said. "What we need to do is if we end up there, that needs to be decided early. I agree with our commissioner that whatever we do it needs to in my view a longer-term deal as opposed to a shorter-term deal so we can lock these things in and give it a chance to work. That includes the distribution of the funds. But that has to be talked about."
First-year Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas and Nebraska's Tom Osborne, whose school has been in the league for less than a year, both said they believe the champion will eventually be determined by a four-team playoff.
"If you were able to develop a two-game, four-team scenario that would give the masses a feeling that we're getting a better sense of a true national champion, I think that's a good thing," Thomas said.
Osborne noted that the NFL has its highest seeds play at home in the playoffs and doing the same thing in college would solve travel concerns for at least some of the fans.
"I think if a team is ranked higher and has done better in the regular season, it makes some sense to play on their home field even though it may be a cold-weather environment and then play the championship game in a neutral site," Osborne said.
But Osborne, who won three national championships as coach of the Huskers, knows no plan will satisfy everyone.
"Everyone who looks at the plus-one model realizes that if you have four teams in play, you're still going to have the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth teams saying we got a bad deal, we should be one of those four teams," he said. "So there'll be continual unrest until you have some kind of a much larger playoff."
AP Sports Writers Rusty Miller in Columbus, Ohio, Eric Olson in Omaha, Neb., and David Mercer in Champaign, Ill., contributed to this report.
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