Four-team playoff could be necessary this season in college football

This weekend’s very impatient, 6-year-old kid-like, takeaway question is: Why wait?

Can’t we just convene a council of BCS bishops and start the four-team playoff now?

It would be just like college football to have two spots available this year for four worthy teams and then, in 2014, start a four-team playoff for only two worthy teams.

Imagine if this year we get Alabama against Kansas State for the BCS title with 13-0 Oregon and Notre Dame holding the not-so-goody bag.


Flash-forward to 2014, as white smoke blows from the chimney of a five-star hotel, where the chairman of a selection committee emerges to announce No. 1 Alabama (13-0) will play No. 4 Boise State (10-2).

And in the other semifinal, No. 2 Arizona (13-0) passes up its first Rose Bowl chance to tackle third-seeded SEC runner-up Missouri (10-3).

Alabama and Missouri win and meet in a title-game rematch of their 9-6 SEC championship scrum.

It is excruciatingly easy to look at the BCS standings Sunday and wonder how it could all go wrong. The scary part of having four qualified undefeated teams (sorry, Louisville) is there is a reasonable chance three or four could reach the end without a blemish.

This week’s BCS top four are Alabama, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon.

Don’t sweat the numbers until a few more rounds have been played out.

Oregon remains No. 2 in the Harris Interactive and USA Today coaches’ polls, and continues to lag at No. 5 in the computer index, but has a wham-bam closing act that includes USC, Stanford, Oregon State and then the Pac-12 title game.

Do sweat the numbers if four teams are undefeated four weeks from now.

It could be like 2004, when USC and Oklahoma hogged 1-2 all year and undefeated Auburn was left out. The SEC got so mad it won six of the next seven BCS titles.

The problem now is we have to count on outsiders to break the logjam since there are no head-to-head elimination matchups involving Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame

This could be resolved amicably as soon as this weekend. Alabama could lose at Louisiana State and USC might upset Oregon, but what good does that prospect do this column now?

Oklahoma State might also pull the kind of sneak attack at Kansas State that Iowa State pulled on the Cowboys last year. Notre Dame’s players, with swelled heads after the win Saturday at Oklahoma, could stumble on their press clippings against Pittsburgh.

If our “undefeated four” don’t lose, though, it’s time to start “Occupy BCS” in attempt to jump-start the four-team playoff.

Maybe the John Roberts Supreme Court could deem the BCS unconstitutional and allow us to make the appropriate adjustments.

We could easily slot Oregon to play Kansas State in the Rose Bowl this season instead of the Big Ten champion, which might have four losses.

In exchange, the Big Ten can send two teams to next year’s Rose Bowl (some roster amalgam of Northwestern combined with Ohio State).

Send Notre Dame to the Sugar Bowl to play Alabama and let the semifinal winners meet in South Florida, already scheduled to host the championship.

The BCS, only last week, moved the title game up a day to Jan. 6.

OK, just move it back three days to Jan. 9.

The chances of this happening are zilch, but it never hurts to whine.

Weekend wrap

--Not taking care of business (or the ball). The seven teams in the BCS top 15 that lost this weekend combined for 29 turnovers. Rutgers led the way with seven. Oklahoma had only one against Notre Dame, but it was a big one: linebacker Manti Te’o’s fourth-quarter interception of a Landry Jones pass.

--How bad is Auburn, which fell to 0-6 in the SEC after a 63-21 loss to Texas A&M;? You can already bet Auburn in Las Vegas and get 37 points against Alabama for this year’s “Iron Bowl” on Nov. 24. Auburn won the BCS title in 2010.

--USC vs. USC: It’s funny how the poll business works. South Carolina jumped from No. 17 to No. 11 in the Associated Press poll after a three-point win against a Tennessee team that is now 0-5 in SEC play. USC dropped eight spots to No. 18 after a one-possession defeat at No. 24 Arizona.

--Decisions, decisions. Oregon State Coach Mike Riley opted for quarterback Sean Mannion over Cody Vaz at Washington. Mannion missed the last two games after undergoing knee surgery. Mannion was intercepted four times in the 20-17 loss. Vaz came off the bench in relief to throw the score-tying touchdown, but Washington then kicked a field goal to win. Oregon State (6-1) was trying to go 7-0 for the first time in school history.

--Quick hits. Alabama has trailed for 15 seconds this season (7-6 versus Mississippi)…Te’o has five interceptions after recording none in his first three years. ... AJ McCarron (Alabama) and Colby Cameron (Louisiana Tech) are the only two major-college quarterbacks who have yet to throw an interception. McCarron has 18 touchdowns without a pick, and Cameron has 21. ... Boise State has not lost a game in October since 2001. ... Washington is only 4-4 but has defeated two top-10 teams, No. 8 Stanford and No. 7 Oregon State. ... The only two schools averaging 50-plus points per game: Oregon (53.38) and Louisiana Tech (52.63). ... Arizona senior quarterback Matt Scott, who had 100 yards rushing against USC, became the first Wildcats quarterback to reach the 100-yard mark since Ortege Jenkins in 2000.