Important suits will meet throughout the summer to determine the successor to the BCS Championship Game as college football moves towards a playoff in 2014. The two plans that have gotten the most attention -- the plus-one and the four-team, conference champions-only model -- are still being discussed, as is one that would make the Rose Bowl a ... well, a something entirely different from all other surviving bowls.
In the latter plan, the four highest-ranked teams at the end of the regular season would meet in semifinals unless the Big Ten or Pac-12 champion, or both, were among the top four. Those leagues' teams still would meet in the Rose, and the next highest-ranked team or teams would slide into the semis. The national championship finalists would be selected after those three games.
A hybrid plus-one/playoff, with special circumstances for two of the country's dozen or so* conferences? That's so college football.
The Big Ten has made it clear that one of its highest priorities is preserving the status of the Rose Bowl, perhaps the only bowl that still really matters nationally. The Pac-12 has a special stake in the game as well. But rerouting the semifinals round through the game at the expense of all other (admittedly lesser) bowl games?
Seems a little too close to the weird, regional, selective postseason we have now. Incorporating a few traits from the bowl system into the playoff itself might be nice, but bowls will still exist outside of the tournament. And the SEC would surely argue the Sugar Bowl is important enough to get special consideration as well, as would the Mountain West with the MAACO. Maybe not that last one, but you can see how this could get tangled.
* Oh, like you know exactly how many conferences we'll have in 2014. The SUN BEAST has caught you slipping.