This playoff scenario was originally published in my Fourth and inches … column in 2007.  It was reposted in my November 8, 2008 column.

If a playoff is ever going to happen…it will have to maintain conference affiliations with the big four traditional bowl game partners…I came up with a 10-team playoff system a couple years ago that would utilize the major bowls and keep their traditional conference affiliations intact…here’s how it would work:

The Cotton Bowl and Holiday Bowl host play-in games to reach the final eight…the four teams playing in these two qualifier bowls would have to be ranked in the top 16 final BCS standings and be a conference champion from the MAC, WAC, MWC, C-USA or Sun Belt. Historically, you will note that there usually wouldn’t be more than one team from this pool. However, this year could be different. The other slots are filled by the highest ranking teams remaining in the top 16 BCS standings.

In a season like this year, you could conceivably end up with this type of play-in scenario:

Dec. 25
Holiday BowlTexas versus WAC champion Boise State: Winner goes to Sugar Bowl
Dec. 26
Cotton BowlFlorida versus MWC champion Utah: Winner goes to Fiesta Bowl

The final eight matchups:

Jan. 1
Rose Bowl: Big Ten champion Penn State versus Pac-10 champion USC
Orange Bowl: ACC champion North Carolina versus Big East champion Cincinnati

Jan. 2
Sugar Bowl: SEC champion Alabama versus Holiday Bowl winner, Texas
Fiesta Bowl: Big XII champion Texas Tech versus Cotton Bowl winner, Florida

Final four matchups:

Jan. 8
Rose Bowl winner USC versus Fiesta Bowl winner Florida (with Rose and Fiesta alternating each year as host for the semifinal)
Jan. 9
Orange Bowl winner North Carolina versus Sugar Bowl winner Texas (with Orange and Sugar alternating each year as host for the semifinal)

The host site for the national championship game would alternate between the four sites each year…this means that each major bowl site would host a final four game two of every four years, a national title game once every four years, and have the extra game week off once every four years…

National championship game:

Jan. 16
Winners of the Jan. 8 and 9 games
Florida versus Texas

This only adds a week to the season, and it allows for all the other bowl games to be played…it assures tradition of the bowl games can accommodate a playoff.