So now that the 2011 season is over, Alabama has taken down LSU in the BCS national championship, 21-0, and fans around the nation are left with a feeling of emptiness and a hint of what could have happened if things were different.
This year saw Alabama host LSU at home in November and lose in a field-goal contest, and now the Crimson Tide have struck back in a rematch Monday night, but that still leaves this matchup with a split decision.
While the celebrating will reach a fever pitch tonight in New Orleans and in Alabama, to the west, Oklahoma State is sitting at home wondering "what if?"—and so is Oregon after its dominating win at the Rose Bowl.
While the idea of a playoff is most college football fans' dream, the reality is that may still be a ways off no matter how much we may not like that. For now, college football needs to take a serious look at the way that it is set up to name a national champion and try to make a step toward that playoff system by going to a plus-one system.
No matter how you slice it, a plus-one this year would be giving college football fans one more game to settle it all. Teams like LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Oregon or Stanford would have been involved, and while moving to four teams doesn't solve everything, it is a step in the right direction.
So now we sit and we wait, left with a national champion that lost to the same team that they beat two months ago.
All we as college football fans can do is hope that while we are waiting, change is around the corner.