MOBILE, Alabama - Four is better than two.
That, as Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis so aptly put it last week, is what this all boils down to, this growing drumbeat for an end to the BCS as we know it.
NCAA president Mark Emmert has voiced support for a four-team playoff for college football and even Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has said he's open to the idea of abandoning the BCS.
This week, Arizona State president Michael Crow pitched an eight-team playoff to the Arizona Republic, saying, "In the Pac-12, we are not strong supporters of the present model."
Funny how one conference winning six straight national titles can force even the most stubborn rats to abandon the sinking BCS ship.
Back in 2008, Delany and representatives from Pac-12 were the main dissenting voices against a proposal for a four-team "plus-one" model pushed by the SEC's Mike Slive and the ACC's John Swofford.
What's changed between 2008 and now?
The SEC's winning streak in BCS title games has grown from one to six.
There are those who say the "ugliness" of Alabama's 21-0 win over LSU in the Superdome last month is the catalyst for this change of heart, as though a 45-42 track meet would have been somehow more legitimate.
But this isn't about aesthetics. It's about the strength of a league that, instead of succumbing to the usual ebb and flow of relative power among the major conferences, has turned the BCS title game into its own little party.
This year, it didn't even invite anyone else.
And let's be honest: It's about low TV ratings that may have been due in part to the game being aired on ESPN instead of a major network, but were largely a product of a rematch and its lack of regional diversity.
The motives, however, are irrelevant. Even the baby-step of a plus-one is a move in the right direction toward a less arbitrary college football postseason.
Sure, the fifth team is going to have an argument, just like a handful of bubble teams have an argument after the brackets are released for the NCAA basketball tournament every year. But better to argue between No. 4 and No. 5 than between No. 2 and No. 3.
And yes, one Big Ten idea apparently calls for semifinals at on-campus stadiums, making a January trip to Wisconsin a distinct possibility.
So what? Think this Alabama team, for instance, would have fallen apart because of a little cold weather?
The SEC's string of national titles will someday come to an end. But there is no reason to believe its strength won't be just as evident in a four-team playoff as it has been in the BCS.
If this six-year streak is what it took to turn the thinking of the powers-that-be toward a better postseason model, it's been much more valuable than a few crystal footballs.