Time for the annual BCS post. While LSU and Alabama are deserving, who's to say that Oklahoma State or Stanford would not have been equally compelling opponents? The ideal way to solve this is a playoff. However, I'm afraid we're years away from this. In the meantime, I'd really like to see a plus-one. This is how I'd see such a system implemented while keeping the BCS structure in place.
Even having the top 4 play each other sounds too much like a playoff so you have to work with what you've got.
1. Promote the Cotton Bowl to BCS status. This will keep the 10 team system the BCS currently has.
2. The champion from each of the BCS conferences receives an automatic berth.
3. The highest ranked non-BCS conference champion (or Notre Dame) will receive an automatic berth provided it is ranked higher than the lowest ranked BCS conference champion. If this lowest ranked team is unranked in the BCS, then the non-BCS team (or Notre Dame) must be ranked in the top 25.
4. Fill out the rest of the lineup with the highest ranked teams remaining in BCS order. Ignore the two-team limit per conference.
5. Pull out the Pac-12 and Big 10 champions and place them in the Rose Bowl (keeps them happy).
6. The top 4 teams remaining will play each other. The highest ranked of these 4 will play the lowest ranked team of these 4 that avoids a rematch. Then the remaining two teams will play each other. The same will apply to the bottom 4 teams.
7. Once matchups are determined, assign them to bowls. Apply conference affiliations (Big 12-Fiesta, ACC-Orange, SEC-Sugar) with the remaining game to the Cotton Bowl. If a bowl needs to give up a conference affiliated with them to another bowl, that bowl will have priority over the Cotton Bowl.
8. Play the games!
9. After the games are played, run the BCS system one more time and pit the top 2 teams against each other for a BCS champion.
How would it work this year?
This year's BCS conference champions were 1. LSU (SEC), 3. Oklahoma State (Big 12), 5. Oregon (Pac-12), 10. Wisconsin (Big 10), 15. Clemson (ACC), and 23. West Virginia (Big East)
18. TCU is the highest-ranked non-BCS conference champion, is ranked higher than West Virginia, and in the top 25. It gets an automatic berth.
The three remaining slots go to the highest-ranked BCS teams remaining: 2. Alabama, 4. Stanford, and 6. Arkansas.
As a result, these matchups are formed and matched with the following bowls.
Rose: 5. Oregon (Pac-12) vs. 10. Wisconsin (Big 10)
Sugar: 1. LSU (SEC) vs. 4. Stanford
Fiesta: 2. Alabama vs. 3. Oklahoma State (Big 12)
Cotton: 6. Arkansas vs. 23. West Virginia (Big East)
Orange: 15. Clemson (ACC) vs. 18. TCU
Look! We have a seeded plus-one! Plus, the rest of the teams are deserving (being in the top 6 or by winning their conference). Playoffs are great.