My comments to your comments:
My friend Andrea came up with a very good comment, saying: "In order to make it so all 150 Division I teams have a shot at the national title you set up a 16 game playoff system that either a) takes the top 16 teams in the country or b) takes the top team from each conference with a few outliers. That way in years like this, Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma would all be satisfied."
Props to you, Andrea. A playoff system certainly would take care of much of the BCS controversy. I whole-heartedly agree. For example, pit unbeaten Utah against 1-loss Texas, and see who wins. Winner gets to move on - loser gets to go home.
The problem I have with a playoff system is that it would make college football less exciting during the regular season. It would become a lot like college basketball. Now don't get me wrong - I love college hoops. But March Madness is undeniably the best part of the season. Set up all 64 teams to play each other, single-elimination style (though how much does it suck to be that #16 seed who gets to play the #1 seed?). Keep winning and you keep playing.
Yes a similar system would undoubtedly work for college football ... but ... it wouldn't be nearly as thrilling to watch the regular season. With the current system, every week you play means a shot at that elusive championship is on the line. I know, it sounds melodramatic, but it's really not. Every game you play has a huge impact. Not as much so in college hoops ... not to say that it's not important to win, since obviously, it is. But you lose 1 or 2 games - so what? You'll still get a good seed and get to play in the Big Dance.
You lose one game in college football ... and either you are out contention for the national championship game (Texas) or you have to claw your way back into contention by pulverizing everyone you play (Florida). Every game matters so much! That's the beauty of watching college football. It's breath-taking, heart pounding, with big implications. I would miss that element if college football went to a playoff system.
Can't something just be done to eliminate the "elite" teams in the BCS? Who cares if you come from the Mountain West, or the SEC? That seems to me to be the best way to fix the BCS. No more rules that say the SEC automatically sends 2 teams, while the MWC sends 0 (unless they have a stellar season, like the U, then we call them 'BCS Busters'). If you're in the top 10, you get a BCS bowl game - regardless of what conference you come from. Doesn't this make more sense?
Of course, we'd still have to deal with ranking teams, and deciding who gets what bowl game. #1 can play #2, #3 play #4, etc, etc. Rankings are determined by your record ... and maybe your strength of schedule? Perhaps if there's a tie, then a playoff system could be introduced, preparatory to the BCS bowl games.