HOPEFULLY MY JOY AND EXCITEMENT IS BEING FULLY EXPRESSED IN ALL CAPS. Ok that’s annoying to read. But my proper use of capitalization should in no way detract from my exuberance. NBC Sports is reporting that the BCS has officially recommended a four team playoff, or event, or whatever you want to call it. Starting in 2014, the automatic qualifying status is gone. And good riddance!

Now there are anywhere from two to seven formats being discussed right now. We do know one is off the table, and that is home playoff games. Why?

Well, there are two good reasons. First, not all college football stadiums are very big. They only need to hold 15,000 to be in the FBS. TCU only seats 40,000 or so. Michigan has almost three times as many seats.

That’s not to mention the size of some of these college towns. How do fans watch the game? How do they travel? I think this is pretty stupid personally. Uh, how do fans ever travel to games? They don’t! That’s why they call it a home game dummies! Most of the fans should be there to see the home team because, well, you know, they live there!

I understand the logic but it is pretty stupid. But oh well, that battle is lost. There will definitely be four teams and they will definitely be neutral site games.

The consensus seems to be forming pretty quickly. It looks like the semi-final games will be played on New Year’s Day at one of the current BCS bowl locations and the championship game will be between the winners on the same day it is now. But it sounds like the championship may be open for bidding, meaning Dallas, Indianapolis or others could be in the running to host college football’s championship game.

Team selection is still a sticky issue. Some thing conference champions should be the only ones in. But that would mean last year’s “champion” would not have even been one of the top four teams. Some think the top four teams regardless of anything should play.

But then what happens if No. 4 is not a conference champion but No. 5 is and they both have identical records? Then one gets screwed by a decimal point here or there. There is actually a solution here and I will let you all in on it so that hopefully word gets back to old Bill Hancock.

You want four good teams in the playoff obviously. You want teams playing who deserve to be there and you don’t want teams who didn’t earn it to be there in place of teams who did.

So here’s what you do. If any conference champion or independent finishes in the top 4 final BCS rankings, they are in. If this is all top 4 then great, can’t complain, win your conference next time or play a harder schedule. But let’s look at a sticky situation.

What if none of the top 4 BCS teams are conference champions or independents? What then? You need a mechanism that allows conference champions to get in the four team playoff ONLY if they are equally deserving with non-conference champions. If no conference champions deserve it as much as or more than non-conference champs, then no dice.

What that means is suppose at the end of the season you have 4 teams who are 12-0. They are the top 4. Now you have teams 5-8 are all 9-3. Suppose the top 4 all lose in their conference championship games. Do any of those 12-1 teams not deserve to be top 4, even if one of those 9-3 teams became the conference champion? The top four would be non-conference champions but would all be most deserving of being in the playoff, regardless of how the conference championship went.

But now suppose after conference championship games you have a top 4 that are all 10-2 and 5-8 are all 10-2. Suppose the top 4 are NOT conference champions. What then? Well, the conference champions having the same record means they are just as deserving of being in the playoff as the other 10-2 teams that didn’t win their conference.

In other words, winning your conference should be a tie breaker, plain and simple. But here is a mechanism to help figure this out.

At the end of the season, No. 1 and No. 2 are automatically in, no questions asked. No need to win their conference. If you end up 1 and 2 you are in the playoff. If Nos. 3 and 4 are conference champions or independents, they are automatically in. However, if 3 and/or 4 is not an independent or conference champion, they have to meet certain criteria in order to be in.

1. Are they ranked ahead of their own conference’s champion? If so, they are in.
2. Is a conference champion ranked No. 5 or 6? If so then a committee decides who is in, just like NCAA basketball.

That covers it. I think it is fair and easy to understand. I don’t care much how they do it, just the fact that we are getting a four team playoff is a dream come true.

What do you think?