BCS Presidents, Commissioners, really all the smug old rich men of college football will be in the same room multiple times over the coming ten days debating on the merits of a playoff system.
And with all the different agendas, it's no wonder that getting a four team playoff is actually proving harder than it should be. However, if I had my way and my choice these would be the plans I'd go with:
1. The conference champions + wild card model - I personally love this model. Why? Because it is the best mix of everyone's wants and desires within the college football universe. It preserves the regular season in a big way (losing conference games is a huge deal), it lets different regions get in on the action with a more diverse conference method, and it also allows for some of the more big money matchups. People don't want to watch the same game twice, college football is built upon new matchups each week. This model would almost certainly guarantee that.
Last Years Playoff Matchups Under This Model: LSU vs. Oregon, Oklahoma State vs. Alabama
2. The Plus-One Model - With the recently announced 'Champions Bowl' between the Big XII and SEC, I for one really like the thought of just playing the Bowls all by January 1 and then having the National Championship Game on January 9 or 10 after a selection show on January 2. In theory, let's think about this one in regards to last year with future Bowl Matchups.
You would have had the Champions Bowl of LSU vs. Oklahoma State. The Rose Bowl was Oregon vs. Wisconsin. Maybe a Sugar Bowl of Alabama vs. Kansas State. Stanford vs. Baylor in the Alamo. Orange of Clemson vs. West Vrigina. Arkansas would've played someone like Oklahoma in the Cotton. The bowl matchups get all wonky without BCS tie-ins again...and there's great chance for this system to really get wonky if upsets happen on New Years Day....but to me the allure of New Years Day being the gateway to a National Championship will do nothing but bring huge money and millions of eyes to multiple bowl games. A lot of rich people will be very happy about that.
3. The Straight Up, Top 4 Model - The SEC favors this model, understandably so -- but I'm pretty cold on this model. There are several instances in history of a conference having 3 of the Top 4 teams, and let's face it -- NO ONE wants that outside of the conference in question. For instance, in 1971 Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Colorado finished 1, 2, 3 in the final AP Poll. Last year's would've been particularly scandalous. Two teams who didn't win their conference (Alabama, Stanford) would've played in the playoff.
Last Year's Matchups Under This Model: LSU vs. Stanford, Alabama vs. Oklahoma State
So what about you? What four team model do you prefer if any? Do you like the status quo? How many teams would you want in your playoff?