I'm for a playoff where the BCS conferences each send a representative, and the last 2 two teams are the highest ranked BCS teams that are not automatically sent. This allows a second school from a top conference to get in and also gives the TCU/Boise State/Houston a shot at getting in.
First round is a home game at the top 4 BCS ranked schools that are auto qualifyers. This means some games could be played in snow or very, very cold weather. (Yes!)
The semi-final is a rotation of the 2 of the 4 big bowl games, and the final is rotated amon the Big4 bowl games..
The odd-man-out of big bowl games gets their pick of the at large teams that year.
This makes the whole season a playoff. Win your conference championship and you go, otherwise it's off to a bowl game. If you can't win your conference, you don't get to go (unless you make one of the 2 at large bids). Each conference gets a shot at the big trophy and the little guys get a fighting shot at it as well.
If you are not of the top 8, you go play the bowls as we always have. People will still travel, people will still watch.
It's not a big burden on the kids, they would have played a bowl game anyways, only 4 school will play more than 1 post-season game.
The first 4 games would sell out no problem. I suspect it wouldn't be an issue to sell out the last 3 games (2 semi-final) either.
Not perfect, but does address some of the "deal breakers". The big losers might be the 4 big bowls, so this probably never happens.