Much of the news on the BCS front over the past few days has been about the apparently demise of the plan that would have put semifinal playoff games on campuses. We discussed the reasons why the powers-that-be are balking here, and they've been debunked here.*
There is more news, though, and it's actually some good news:
The source said a proposal that would require teams to win their respective conferences to participate in a playoff is also all but dead. Under that proposal, Alabama, which didn't win the SEC last season but defeated No. 1 LSU 21-0 in the Jan. 9 Allstate BCS National Championship Game, wouldn't have been eligible for the playoffs.
There is no reason to think that the best team in the nation might fail to win its conference. Alabama in 2011 makes an easy proof, but given that no one disputes the fact that teams' level of play varies from week to week, you can justify that statement on purely theoretical grounds too.
If there's going to be a four-team playoff, the four best teams should be in it. If two of those teams are in the same league, then so be it.
*I'll bet the real roadblock is that some schools who potentially would be hosting a semifinal expect to keep the proceeds (tickets, luxury boxes, concessions, etc.) from the game. Holding it at a neutral site that isn't a bowl would easily allow the conference commissioners to toss that money into a pot that everyone can then stick their hands into to get a piece. Remember, no one gets to keep all the bowl money they generate today; payouts get funneled to conferences who then divvy them up to all members equally. Schools hosting games they don't directly control could be a headache, as it apparently was for Oregon hosting the Pac-12 title game this year, but putting the semifinals in NFL stadiums is easy.