You want a college football playoff?

You got it.

Maybe not the head-to-head kind, with the winner advancing while the loser goes home format that we usually think of when we think of a playoff.

But with the release of the first official BCS standings Sunday, college football begins its very own, very special version of a playoff to determine which teams play for the BCS Championship.

Texas and Alabama, as expected, are ranked 1-2. Texas’ and Alabama’s conferences, the Big 12 and Southeastern, make up seven of the initial BCS Top 10.

Clearly, these are the two best conferences in the country and a championship game that doesn’t feature the winners of these two conferences – even if it is not Texas and Alabama – would seem even more mythical than most. But as long as Texas and Alabama win, the Longhorns and Tide seem destined for a date in Miami.

Still, there is intrigue with Penn State, Ohio State, and Southern California lurking in the mix, waiting for the SEC and Big 12 teams to knock each other out. But the strength of college football is that every game counts.

Not just every game your favorite team plays, but every game those other top teams play count, too.

Every game – even the insignificant teams your team has already beaten – counts, because the better those teams play, the better your team looks for having beaten them, and it all figures into those mysterious computer rankings that make up one-third of the BCS formula.

And so fans show up at games early, with their satellite TVs tuned to the other big game of the week. And they stay late, watching games that could impact the standing of their team in the next BCS ranking.