Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is pretty determined about having a playoff.
Nearly a month ago, Cuban laid the foundation for what he thought would be a better alternative to the current BCS system: a 12 or 16 team playoff with higher seeded teams getting home field advantage.
With the BCS National Championship freshly in our rear view mirror, the Dallas Morning News is reporting, via Cuban’s personal blog, that Cuban reached out to both Oregon and TCU the week prior to the national championship to get their thoughts on a plus-one system in the event that Oregon defeated Auburn.
So why only pursue the plus-one if Oregon won? Because the Ducks, like TCU, would only have played 13 games, while the National Championship was Auburn’s 14th game.
According to Cuban, both schools — off the record — said they wouldn’t be opposed to an additional game that would match Oregon and TCU to determine a “true national champion”.
The revenue for such a game was projected to be roughly $50 million to be split between the two programs, but the biggest obstacle *captain obvious alert* was getting approval from the NCAA.
Here’s the excerpt from Cuban’s blog:
“The schools, on an off the record basis, were not opposed to it,” Cuban wrote. “They didn’t come out and agree to it, but they certainly were not opposed to the idea. The problem? It wasn’t money. The problem was that when we asked anyone who could know whether or not the NCAA would approve another game , a +plus one playoff game, the response was unanimous, and I’m paraphrasing here “There is no way in hell the NCAA would approve a +1 playoff game between any two teams. There is no way TCU vs anyone could happen.”
“We projected that there would be about $50mm available to the schools. But it wasn’t a question of money. It was a question of yes or no from the NCAA. We decided it was better not to actually pop the question to the NCAA. We decided to rethink the question of whether or not there should be a BCS playoff.”
As with any playoff vs. BCS discussion, there are several layers involved with this idea. First, Cuban at least has a well-thought out plan. I’ll rarely promote anything that drives traffic away from our own site, but Cuban’s blog is an interesting read. HERE’S THE LINK AGAIN.
Second, if a playoff is ever going to happen — a big if — it’s likely going to be an independently run deal similar to what Cuban is proposing. There’s been a lot of talk from congressmen (and women) that some sort of government intervention is needed for a playoff. Personally, I’m not opposed to a playoff, but my panties aren’t twisted enough for me to ever want the government to get involved in college football. Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, is crowning a “true national champion” really that imperative?
By the same token, though, it seems that Oregon being crowned the “Mark Cuban National Champion” and holding up a bronze trophy of Cuban’s face means a little less than being crowned the national champion in the current system, whether that system is flawed or not.
Unless a majority of the fans boycott the BCS by ceasing to attend bowls and/or watching them on television (John and I excluded, of course), there’s no incentive for the NCAA to alter the status quo.
Thirdly, Cuban, again, has a solid idea, but so do millions of others who have a solution to the BCS “problem”. It’s like a batting stance in baseball. There are as many stances and methods to hitting a baseball as there are batters and none of them are inherently wrong.
The bottom line is that there’s nothing illogical about Cuban’s desire for a playoff. In fact, he probably speaks for a majority of the country when it comes to college football’s postseason.
But if a playoff is to happen, it’s going to be a separate entity from the NCAA, for better or for worse, and college football ADs, presidents and fans alike should be prepared to accept that.