I’m generally not much of one to follow CFB, but I do take some interest in the Bowls. I think the BCS, as it stands, really doesn’t answer the question. I think it ended up working out this year since Alabama beat both Texas and Florida who were the only other real legitimate contenders, and though Boise State is also undefeated, I’ve heard that even they didn’t think they deserved a share of the title.
However, in a number of other years, there’s been 3 or 4 contenders, often all with undeafeted records, and if they match up 1-2 and it’s a blow out, there’s a lot of discussion about how the team that got blown out didn’t belong there and why one of the other teams deserved to be there.
I think a 4 team play-off pretty much fixes the problem with the fewest downsides. It should still has some hype surrounding it, much like final four for basketball, where having an extra round or two with 8 or 16 teams would be less interesting. In general, there just isn’t a lot of discussion about more than 3-4 teams legitimately deserving a shot at the national title, so I don’t see the point in having more than 4; the rare occassion of a 5th team getting snubbed is better than the regular occasion of the 3rd team getting snubbed. Yes, there’s a chance that an “undeserving” 4th team could score an upset over the #1 team, but really, that just means to me that the 1st seed probably didn’t deserve to be ranked first.
All they’d have to do to make this work is make sure that the two play-off games are played earlier than the normal BCS games to make sure that the teams have enough rest and preparation time. I think 2 weeks of time should be adequate.