i would keep the bcs as a means for seeding the 8-team tournament you suggest. and i would tweak it slightly, to take the top 6 conference champs and the top 2 at-large teams as shown in the bcs standings.
that's 7 games in 3 weekends, and it is doable. use the 4 bcs games as the quarterfinals (if the rose wants to keep traditional matchups, the pac 10 and big 10 can play every year, though that may mean a 1 vs. 2 matchup in the quarterfinals). semis and finals at pre-determined neutral sites. tampa, san antonio, houston, los angeles or anaheim. schools would only have to guarantee attendance at the quarterfinals. the semis and finals would have national interest, and plenty of people would pay for tickets.
but i also think there has to be stricter control of aspects like schedule strength. teams from the sec and acc, and even big 12 that schedule 3 soft non-conference opponents at home should be penalized. not everyone has to schedule like usc did this year (colorado, notre dame, kansas state and auburn), but at least one from a bcs conference, one from a mid-level conference like usa, wac or mwc, and at least one on the road. every year. most mid-majors eventually slip up (colorado state losing to unlv; bowling green to toledo and niu; byu last year to hawaii; fresno state's late season tumble), but if ever a team from a mid-major DID run the table, at least it would have to defeat 2 or 3 quality opponents out of conference. and likewise, a 6-5 arkansas team that beats louisiana-monroe, utah state and smu at home is not deserving of any bowl, no matter who they beat in conference.
the fact is, only a small number of teams can legitimately compete for the national championship, and that number is likely between 4 and 8. it's not like we're asking for march madness in january. but to have a tournament where all the top teams and conferences are represented is the only way to legitimize a national champion.
good post, tigerfan.