There have been several good ideas posted on this topic, but one item that has not been addressed is the ranking of the teams. The computers are one third of the vote. The Harris poll and the Coaches poll are the other two thirds of the vote. The computers have fixed variables, while the human pollsters may have their own agendas for the placing of their votes. . . maybe to support another team in their conference to a higher position than maybe they deserve, or past affiliation with a team one may have playd with in their college football days. YES! I am out right saying that humans have prejudices. Some may be well know by the individual, some may just be habit, and some humans act on their prejudices without even knowing they are being prejudical.
As long as we are relying on human pollsters to make the decision, we are basing the rankings on OPINION. . . and sometimes the facts get in the way. Two thirds of the final BCS polls are Opinion.
Now that we have that out of the way, lets be realistic. . . The Bowls were started to feature top rated teams. There was never any push on these Bowls to have a meaning for a Natonal Champion. These Bowls were started as a reward for the winning team of a conference or just because one of the bowls wanted to have their best local team play the top team from another part of the country with a very good winning record.
The BCS wanted to get the Rose Bowl as a part of their package so the other conferences could get a piece of the Rose Bowl's purse. Yes, the Rose Bowl before BCS always paid more than any other Bowl, [1997 Rose 10m, Orange 8.5m, Sugar 8.2m, Fiesta 8.2m] and it was exclusive to Pac 10 and Big 10 teams. Bowls have flourished as a way for the sponsoring cities to make additional gains in their local economic environment. A lot of the dollars gained are used to support United Way projects and other social programs that could not exist with out these Bowls providing the economic impact to their respective areas.
And let's take some history lessons here and note that the Proclaimed National Champion was always named at the end of the regular season, before the Bowls were played. 1965 was the first time the AP decided to hold their final poll until after the Bowls. And this was not done again until the 1968 season/ Bowls were played.
I have taken all of this into consideration. I recognized that there is no way to really, physicall speaking that is, have a playoff per se. The Bowls are the 'sacred cows' or in this case, the 'cash cows', and I don't think they are going to change.
Since I do feel that humans are the majority of the rankings voters, I do think we need some justification of the rankings. I have written my scenario here many times. . . Last game of the regular season pits #1 vs #2, #3 vs #4, #5 vs #6, etc. all the way down to #119 vs #120, or at least as many teams as there are bowl berths. This is the best way to prove which teams really earn a spot in the BCS Bowls, not just the National Championship game.
This proves that opinion is just that, opinion. Having teams of perceived equal strength will take it's toll on the pretenders by the contenders. Then we can schedule the Bowl matchups. If we get truer rankings by letting the teams play, wouldn't that justify the rankings to be more legitiment?
I guess I could write all the details here, but I think you should just buy my book for the full explaination at www.bbotw.com December Dreams . . . Qualifying for the BCS Final Rankings.