It's really bothering me now more than ever that we don't have a playoff in college football, so I got to thinking about how they could institute a playoff without losing the financial benefits of the bowl games, and this is what I came up with:
First, the bowl games (including the national championship game) are held exactly as they are now. Then, after the bowl games, a "college football invitational tournament" is held, which is completely independent of the BCS. The five teams that won their BCS bowl games are invited to participate, and are seeded based on their BCS rankings. If anyone declines their invitation, it is passed along to the school with the next highest BCS ranking. The four teams other than the national champion have a two-round playoff to decide the tournament champion, and the tournament champion then plays the national champion in a sort of college football super bowl. A trophy is awarded to the winner of this game. If the national champion declines to participate in the tournament then the final game is not played and the tournament champion wins the trophy by default.
It's not perfect, but it's much better than what we have now, and would seem to bypass some of the obstacles to a playoff system.