Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban recently had a brainstorm. The BCS system is stupid and he should fix it.
Why not, right? He’s a smart guy, with billions of dollars to spend. Surely, he can solve this problem in a logical, business-like way.
As if logic had anything to do with it.
Cuban thinks he can buy off schools with promises of wealth, a 16-team playoff that preserves regular season excitement, and the support of college football fans everywhere. It’s a good plan. Just like every other plan that’s been floated for a college football playoff.
There’s a million of them. Everyone’s got one (I’m partial to my own, of course) and every single one of them is better than the current non-system that avoid the issue of crowning a champion altogether. The problem isn’t a shortage of ideas.
The problem isn’t convincing people, like athletic directors, who Cuban says are on his side. What are they going to do? Leave their conferences? Good luck getting to a playoff when you have no opponents or TV networks to play them on.
The problem isn’t the money, either. Everyone knows a playoff would make more money than the bowls. Even Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delany, the man most responsible for our current predicament, recently said that there are something more important than money. (As if the only reason fans wanted a playoff was because the were worried about schools’ pocketbooks.)
Cuban says he was inspired by the book “Death To The BCS,” by Yahoo Sports writers Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter and Jeff Passan. If he’d read that book a little more closely, he’d know that the real reason the BCS persists is power.
The Big 10 and SEC and every other conference might make more money from a playoff, but then they wouldn’t be in charge of college football anymore. Bowls would still exist, but then the people who work for them wouldn’t get as many free trips and dinners from schools trying to court them. College presidents wouldn’t need to be called into “important” meetings to discuss bowl assignments with big alumni donors.
Yes, Cuban could make them rich, but they’re already rich. They want control.
The problem with Mark Cuban’s plan is Mark Cuban. If he somehow pulled it off, then he would be running college football; not the conference commissioners, not the college presidents, and not the TV executives who call the shots now.
Sorry, Mark. They wouldn’t give you that kind of power for the all the money in the world.
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