The late singer-songwriter Warren Zevon had a song called "Looking For the Next Best Thing." It's on my iPod, and it came on while I was thinking about college football, the end of the BCS, and the soon-to-come four-team playoff.
"I appreciate the best," Zevon sings, "I'm settling for less. I'm looking for the next best thing."
It's been quite an evolution for big-time college football. At first we couldn't have a championship game every year. Then we could. Now we can, as well as a set of semifinals.
That arrives in 2014. All I can think is that Jim Tressel would have loved this. Six times during his tenure his squad was co-champion or champion of the Big Ten. Four of those times the Bucks ended as the top ranked team from there. With preference being given to conference champions, it's possible Tressel's teams would have had a chance in two more title games.
Of course, that won't be Tressel's issue now. Ohio State fans will look to Urban Meyer to get them into the final four.
Wait, is that what they're going to call it?
For me, big time college football is looking to have it both ways - the money of bowl games and the integrity of a playoff.
But it strikes me as impossible to have both.
If you were hoping to save the big bowls, well, the ones that aren't part of the semifinals will seem less important. If you want to have a clear-cut champion, the more teams you let in, the more that will think they deserve in.
And, instead of a computer making some of the decision, the final four will be decided on by a selection committee.
So I'm sure everyone will like the committee's choices, and those on the committee won't be accused of bias.
It's tempting to wonder why Division I college football can't do what every other division in college football does - have a playoff tournament that can include between 16 and 32 teams. But it's unrealistic, because of the bowls, sponsorships and money.
Nonetheless, Division I keeps moving closer and closer to a playoff without really having one. The new system is supposed to last until 2025.
Maybe by then they'll have an eight-team playoff, in the name of the next best thing.