This is a look at the proposed bowl over the past 10 years, complete with which teams would have missed the game if a four-game playoff were enacted.
All teams are ranked by the BCS standings, as it was the fairest way (don't snicker) to determine which teams would have been selected for the playoff. That's also how I picked the teams for the bowl game, so there's no need for a "this team was better than that team that year" argument. It's all based on those rankings, with one exception. When a conference champion was available, the conference champ went to the game, despite a lower BCS ranking (see Kansas State and Texas, circa 2003).
One other note: I didn't switch conference affiliations for anybody, either coming or going. Texas A&M played in the Big 12 in 2004. Therefore the Aggies represent the Big 12 in that game. Same for Missouri in 2007.
Here are the matchups:
Playoff teams: Georgia (No. 3)
2003: Tennessee (No. 8) vs. Kansas State (No. 10, Big 12 Champ)
Playoff teams: Oklahoma (No. 1), LSU (No. 2)
2004: Georgia (No. 7) vs. Texas A&M (No. 20)
Playoff teams: Oklahoma (No. 2), Auburn (No. 3), Texas (No. 4)
2005: Georgia (No. 7, SEC Champ) vs. Texas Tech (No. 15)
Playoff teams: Texas (No. 2)
2006: Auburn (No. 9) vs. Oklahoma (No. 10, Big 12 Champ)
Playoff teams: Florida (No. 2), LSU (No. 4)
2007: Georgia (No. 5) vs. Missouri (No. 6)
Playoff teams: LSU (No. 2), Oklahoma (No. 4)
2008: Texas Tech (No. 7) vs. Georgia No. 15
Playoff teams: Oklahoma (No. 1), Florida (No. 2), Texas (No. 3), Alabama (No. 4)
2009: Florida (No. 5) vs. Oklahoma State (No. 19)
Playoff teams: Alabama (No. 1), Texas (No. 2)
2010: Oklahoma (No. 7, Big 12 Champ) vs. Arkansas (No. 8)
Playoff teams: Auburn (No. 1)
2011: Arkansas (No. 6) vs. Kansas State (No. 8)
Playoff teams: LSU (No. 1), Alabama (No. 2), Oklahoma State (No. 3)
* Alabama was actually the SEC West Champion in 2002, and the likely matchup, except that the Crimson Tide were on probation and ineligible for postseason play. Also, the "not ranked" behind Auburn's name is a bit misleading, as BCS standings only went up to the top-15 at that point. Auburn was No. 19 in the pre-bowl AP Poll.
Just a few quick hits:
* In no season did both the SEC and the Big 12 fail to put a team into the four-team playoff. The Big 12 failed to make the playoff in three seasons, the SEC failed once.
* In 2008, the SEC and the Big 12 had the top four teams in the BCS standings.
* Every game contained at least one top-10 team.
* Half of the games (five) had two top-10 teams squaring off.
* In only three of the games did one of the teams fail to make the top-15
* A conference champion took part in the game five times.
* The SEC team had the higher ranking in seven of the 10 contests.