Re: Big10 makes Big Mistake (IMO)
This may sound crazy, but if you want the playoff done right you need the NCAA to get involved. As it is now, you have multiple interests (Bowl delegates, Conference Commissioners, AD's, School Presidents, TV Networks, etc...) trying to come to an agreement. The NCAA has little to nothing to do with the actual BCS, but they are the ones who could actually organize and run something fairly equitable (like the NCAA tournament).
Here is my "Shangri-La" proposal that everyone will hate because it destroys all the current conferences (which they are doing anyway...):
Make 4 Regions with two "Conferences" in each region with ten teams each.
North - (Mostly Big Ten/Big East/a few ACC schools)
South - (SEC + ACC-ish)
Central - (Big 10 - Big 12ish- SEC)
West (PAC 10ish/Big 12)
If you need, you can fill in some of the other schools like Notre Dame, the service academies, BYU, etc...
So, that makes 80 teams in these leagues. Then, you play Regional Championships between the two conferences in each region. Next, the South plays the North champs and the West plays the Central champs. The two teams that are left meet.
As for the argument that someone outside those 80 teams could be great, how about this wrinkle? The worst team in the 8 conferences gets relegated to the "Independents" and the best 8 "Independents" come up into the conferences the next season in the region closest to their school.
Variatio delectat - Cicero