I think you've hit on a major crux of the matter - revenue distribution.
None of the jouranlists are talking about it, but you can bet it is Topic 1A in these "new BCS" discussions.
Any proposal whereby the Big 5 (or even Delany's "7 founders") aren't guaranteed of coming away with more money than the current set-up isn't going to fly.
So you can't just limit this to 4.
I think you throw in the Cotton Bowl, and let in 10 teams. Maybe you seed 2 as semi-finals (maybe not). If you seed the semi-fianls, those teams must be confernece champions.
BUT the revenue distribution goes across all 10 entrants (which will cover the current AQ conferences and then some).
Then overlay a NC game at the end, based on either rankings after those ten play, or between the winners of the 2 semi-final games.
I honestly don't see a simpler way of resolving this, that is going to be acceptable to the stake-holders.
And that leads back to the problem of more than 2 weeks in a row for a single school. In other words, it has to be some sort of bastard mix of 3 games where the winners of 2 of those 3 games play for the championship. The problem being that if you lock in Pac-12 vs Big Ten, there might be years when, say, a #5 ranked Big Ten school plays a #20 Pac-12 school...meanwhile you have #2 SEC school vs a #3 school and a #1 vs a #4 school...in which case, no matter what happens, the rose Bowl winner is out. So it's moot.
Now, it theory, they COULD do something to make it a straight up 6 school "playoff" versus a +1.
Give #1 and #2 byes. Have 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5, winners move on to semis, then a final. But even with that carrot...having the chance for a conference like the SEC to get TWO schools in the field of 6, has been pushed aside because it means 3 games for some schools, which is too much like a playoff.
I'm all for keeping/returning the Rose Bowl to being Pac-12 vs Big Ten.
But you can have both.
Real simple, scrap the 6 schools, go with a pure +1.
EVERY YEAR make it #1 vs #4, #2 vs #3 with the two winner meeting in the final.
Just go with logic:
* ROTATE the 3 "playoff" games between the Orange, Sugar and Fiesta Bowl. Keep the names as they are, same format as always just slotting in RANKINGS versus conference tie-ins.
* Rose Bowl is always Pac-12 vs Big Ten except...
* When a Pac-12 or Big Ten school is ranked #1-#4, that school is in the semifinal bowls and the Rose Bowl can simply be the next highest Pac-12 or Big Ten school as a replacement
* Keep the other bowls as is, with conference tie ins they opt for.
For revenue split, they can still opt for a Power 5 heavy split where they just add another "BCS" type payout bowl.
Jan 1: Sugar Bowl: #1 vs #4
Jan 1: Fiesta Bowl: #2 vs #3
Jan 8: Orange Bowl: Sugar vs Fiesta winner
Rose Bowl: Big Ten vs Pac-12
Cotton: Top ranked Big 12/SEC/ACC conference school if not in Top 4 vs NEXT Top ranked Big 12/SEC/ACC #1 if not in Top 4
* Note: For Rose Bowl - as a way to get Big Ten and Pac-12 in, it appears the other conferences have some flexibility...so it's not a stretch to think that the 1 bone that the SEC/Big 12 and ACC throw Big Ten/Pac-12 would be that in years in which a Big Ten or Pac-12 school gets into the Top 4, the Rose Bowl gets the #2 from the Big Ten or Pac-12 to fill the spot, versus a team from another conference.
Sugar: #1 Texas (Big 12) vs #4 Alabama (SEC)
Fiesta: #2 SEC (LSU) vs #3 Big Ten (Ohio St)
Orange: winners of above
Rose: #12 USC (Pac-12) vs #9 Michigan (Big Ten)
Cotton: #11 Florida St (ACC) vs #5 Oklahoma
But nothing like this seems to be on the plate.