While we will never get my dream, a 16-team playoff, I am going to lay it out anyway, just so Ed can have a look, and hope that in the not too distant future, an 8 team playoff will happen. Here goes
Let us imagine that the NCAA asked me to design a playoff format. Let us imagine that system were in place today. This is how it would work
On the Friday/Saturday/Sunday following the conference championship games, We would begin the playoffs. The top 16 teams, according to the BCS poll would be in this playoff, with two games Friday, five games Saturday, and a final game Sunday. Seedings would work like this
#1 Notre Dame hosting #16 Nebraska
#2 Alabama hosting #15 Northern Illinois
#3 Florida hosting #13 Oregon State
#4 Oregon hosting #14 Clemson
#5 Kansas State hosting #12 Florida State
#6 Stanford hosting #1o South Carolina
#7 Georgia hosting #11 Oklahoma
#8 LSU hosting #9 Texas A&M
NOTE: I redid a few seedings match ups to prevent so many inter-conference games. I did leave LSU-Texas A&M in place.
Now look at these games, who does not think that would make a great first round?
After these games are played, the eight losers would be eligible to receive invitations to various bowl games. The four BCS Bowls, Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar, would host the eight winners, according to seeding (highest vs lowest). Those games to be played January 1-2.
Let us say that these games would be #1 Notre Dame vs # 14 Clemson in the Orange Bowl. #2 Alabama vs #11 Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. #3 Florida vs #6 Stanford in the Rose Bowl, and #5 K-State vs #8 LSU in the Fiesta Bowl
At this point, all the bowl games would be done, and four teams would still be standing
The following weekend, the two semi-final games would be played at two BCS sites, the four sites would rotate these semi-final games. Let us predict that #2 Alabama would play #14 Clemson in one and that #3 Florida would play #5 K-State in the other
The following Monday night, we would have the BCS Championship game. Held at a site picked by a committee, like the Superbowl site is picked
Let us predict that it would be Alabama and Florida.
Florida is your national champ. OK I might be biased there, but there is your model
A side note here. This year there would be four inter-conference match ups in the first round, that would be a rare occurrence, and one that could be remedied with some re-seeding. Such as # 3 playing #13 instead of playing #14, and #4 playing #14, rather than playing #14. You could also bracket these games like the NCAA basketball tourney with the winner of #1 vs #16 playing the winner of #8 vs #9.