Why doesn't the NCAA just schedule a sixteen-team playoff in November/December, just like every other division does, and determine the two slots for the National Championship that way?
They could seed a straight sixteen-team bracket with the higher seed getting the home game. This could be done during conference championship game week, either incorporating or superceding the CC games. The quarters and semis could be played the next two weeks.
Bowl selection weekend could start the same time it always does, with the major bowls getting their choice of the top ten teams as each is determined by their elimination. The Bowls would get the same teams, though in different combinations, and the NC game would get two teams that actually played their way in with no politics involved.
The same amount of teams would play bowls at the same time as now, but college football would have a legitimate national champion. Four teams would play one extra week, and four would play two extra weeks, but would still have time to study for finals, though they may miss Thanksgiving at home.
In essence, the NCAA could simply take the game back from the bowls and conferences by offering this tournament independently of the bowls, and teams and conferences that choose to participate can, and teams that choose not to can decline.
How many teams or conferences would turn down a chance to play for the National Championship?
The bowls were originally supposed to be exhibition games as rewards for a good season. Now, they have become inflated in their importance. The bowl nabobs know this, and have been pretty much running college football for about thirty years, now.
It is time for the NCAA to take football back from the bowls and crown a true National Champion. No longer would a Texas or a Auburn have a legitimate complaint that they were unfairly treated by the system. Other than those citing "striped incompetence," no team would have a legitimate complaint that they deserved the National Championship and got jobbed.
The money wouldn't be too bad, either.