Love him or hate him, it’s likely a universal opinion that there’s absolutely nothing subtle about Mark Cuban.
Hopefully, that lack of subtlety is about to slap some much-needed sense into the current system used to determine a national champion in college football.
Armed with an inspired stroke of genius that has almost no chance of coming to fruition because of the cartel currently in place, the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks tells ESPNDallas.com that he is in the exploratory stages of creating and funding a (gasp!) playoff system for Div. 1-A football. Cuban said he has already spoken to two athletic directors at BcS conferences that were “extremely enthusiastic” about a proposal that would, essentially, throw a boatload of money at the schools, and that he intends to contact several school presidents and state senators in an attempt to gauge whether it’s an idea worth pursuing further.
“The more I think about it, the more sense it makes as opposed to buying a baseball team,” said Cuban, who tried to buy the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers within the last few years. “You can do something the whole country wants done.” …
Cuban said he envisions either a 12- or 16-team playoff field with the higher seeds getting homefield advantage. The homefield advantage, Cuban said, would ensure the college football regular-season games would not lose any importance.
The bowl games could still exist under Cuban’s plan, but he said he would make it more profitable for programs to make the playoffs than a bowl.
“Put $500 million in the bank and go to all the schools and pay them money as an option,” Cuban said. “Say, ‘Look, I’m going to give you X amount every five years. In exchange, you say if you’re picked for the playoff system, you’ll go.’ “
I applaud Cuban — hell, I’ll even give him a standing ovation — for his hatred of the BcS and desire to throw money at getting rid of it, but I will continue to maintain that the only way the BcS will go away and a playoff system will appear is, sadly, government intervention. These school presidents and conference commissioners are fully aware of the fact that they are leaving money on the table by eschewing a playoff, and know that television networks would be lining up to shower the institutions with billions and billions of dollars.
No doubt it’s a righteous idea, Mr. Cuban, but I’m afraid your playoff proposal will meet the same fate as your twin forays into purchasing stick & ball clubs. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.