There are three issues to figure out regarding a college football playoff: where to play games, how to decide who plays in games, and whether to limit entry to conference champions or not. There's reportedly a favored response to the first concern, while either a reconstructed BCS system or selection committee will choose the four teams.
But what about the conference champions issue? One idea, which many fans have proposed already:
Per Jim Delany: 1 potential way to get 4 teams in playoff: conference champs must finish in top 6. If not, highest-ranked at-large fills in— Matt Hayes (@Matt_HayesSN) May 2, 2012
That would solve the problem we would've run into in a year like 2011, when the four-team playoff would've had to reach all the way down to No. 10 to find a fourth conference champion. Passing over six teams is inexcusable for obvious reasons.
It still seems kind of silly for a team ranked No. 2 to have to root for team No. 6 to lose, since what does team No. 6 have to do with team No. 2 anyway? But it's a better idea than going by the top four conference champs with no stipulations.