The SEC tried to avoid this scenario, but other conferences just wouldn't let it. In 2008, SEC commissioner Mike Slive and ACC associate John Swofford attempted to talk the rest of college football into adopting a plus-one postseason format, which would essentially turn the top four teams into playoff teams. It was shot down without much consideration by other conferences.
Former Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen was among the strongest playoff opponents, often referring to playoff scenarios as impossible. But he's since been replaced by the future-minded Larry Scott, who's reportedly been interested in a refined postseason. And there's this, from Sunday:
@GeorgeSchroeder Larry Scott to me Friday: "We're taking a fresh look at everything." No specific comment, but that was answer to direct Plus-1 question.
Another new commissioner, Chuck Neinas of the Big 12, has replaced Dan Beebe, who said in 2008 that "there's a great satisfaction with the regular season and the postseason." Here's Neinas after LSU vs. Alabama was announced:
@schadjoe Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas says "as a result of this year" there should be "more serious" consideration of Plus One model
This leaves the Big Ten as the only power conference whose current commissioner has never supported any tournament-based system. One question, though: would Slive still favor it, if the present arrangement guarantees his conference at least a 50 percent chance at a national title?