Dec 16

There is Hope...

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville,SC  Tags: BCS, college football

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Those who support a playoff hear good news. I have to admit, I am a little bored with college football. No, not bored in a way that I won't watch the bowl games or that I will quit checking this site forty times a day. But just bored in a way that I know great teams - and great games - are going to waste because of the game's postseason setup at the top level. As the years pass by and our fragile bodies slowly, but surely, grow older, we are missing unreal exciting action due to a soap-opera called the BCS. I am bored with the fact that if a team loses a game during the course of a long, tough twelve or thirteen game season, they are all but eliminated from national title contention. I am bored that teams like this year's Stanford and Wisconsin and TCU and Ohio State do not get a chance to play for number one on the actual playing field because they committed the unthinkable sin of losing a single game or playing an inferior schedule. Mainly, I am bored with the national title race for college football because it eliminates the chances for so many darn good teams on a yearly basis simply because of losing a single game in a tough regular season...But there is hope to cure my boredom. This hope comes in the form of a renegade businessman from Texas...

I like Mark Cuban. The controversial owner of the Dallas Mavericks has his lovers and his haters. I am one of the poeple that likes him. I think he has great common sense, and his drive to win is admirable. Also, it is hard to argue with a guy whose net worth is now figured around 2.3 billion dollars. Over the years, he has gotten into some interesting business ventures - and found some he couldn't get into, as well, such as purchasing a MLB team.

Now, the succesful businessman, who built his wealth mainly in media, thinks he has found a way to cure the illness of all of us who are sick of the BCS. Personally, as a guy who hates the BCS, and feels the regular season would be worth MORE with an eight or sixteen team postseason playoff in place, I am all-ears to what Cuban is proposing. He has the pocketbook to make people listen (even huge TV companies), and his idea is gaining steam amongst the big-wigs of college football.

Basically, for the first time ever, I feel comfortable that folks are going to attack the BCS until it goes away.

Here is the article that got my brain going on this:

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By: Matt Hinton (story off of Yahoo Sports)

Here's how the world works when you're as filthy, stinking rich as dot-com billionaire Mark Cuban: 1) You buy a basketball team; 2) You get a little bored after a few years; 3) You try to buy a baseball team; 4) You fail in your attempt to buy a baseball team; 5) You start reading a book about how terrible the Bowl Championship Series is.

And if you're as ambitious and impulsive as Cuban, 6) You take it upon yourself to use your fortune to personally fund a playoff system that will render the BCS obsolete. From ESPN Dallas:

Cuban, the outspoken owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, told ESPNDallas.com on Wednesday that he is "actively interested but in the exploratory stage" of creating and funding a playoff system to crown a champion for major college football.

"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 has talked to two athletic directors from BCS conferences who were extremely enthusiastic about the idea. He intends to contact several school presidents and state senators in the coming weeks to determine whether the idea is worth pursuing.

Cuban called the BCS "an inefficient business where there's obviously a better way of doing it," and that puts him in pretty good company: Congressmen, senators, lobbyists, the Department of Justice, attorneys general, university presidents, the president of the United States, Sports Illustrated cover stories and more than a few big-name head coaches are way ahead of him. Let's make this happen!

Wait, how are we going to make this happen?

"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.'" […]

"[The BCS is] an inefficient business where there's obviously a better way of doing it," Cuban said. "The only thing that's kept them from doing it is a lack of capital, which I can deal with. …"

Wait, money is standing in the way? You mean the television networks aren't willing to foot something on the order of the $11 billion deal the NCAA struck with CBS and Turner Sports earlier this year for rights to the basketball tournament?

That might come as news to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, anti-playoff enemy No. 1, who told Congress in 2005 that "an NFL-style football playoff would generate three or four times" more than "the current system does." It might surprise ACC commissioner John Swofford, too, who said last year "a playoff of some type would generate more money than the current BCS," and SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who told the Orlando Sentinel last summer that the opposition to a playoff has "never been about the money," and "it's not the money that will … drive [the] SEC's decisions about postseason football." That's coming from the guy who once proposed a "plus one" format to fellow BCS commissioners that was essentially a four-team playoff.

If "capital" was all that was standing in the way – with no regard to preserving current television contracts, lopsided revenue distribution and other traditions – it stands to reason that gap would have been filled by now by a network or other outside party that would see a return on its investment and then some in colossal TV ratings. But maybe not; I'm not in the board rooms. Maybe Cuban is the first guy, after all these years, with the will and the bank account to achieve the heretofore impossible dream. Hey, that's why he's an innovator. Godspeed, dude.

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And so as you can see, this article gets to the heart of the matter: money.

Cuban is no dummy. He knows the BCS has one - and only one - silver bullet to make it go away, and that bullet is very, very expensive. Luckily for Cuban, money is something he happens to have an absurd amount of.

Cuban's idea is genious. And if you have studied history at all, you know that most genious comes in the very simplist of ideas. Cuban's idea is to simply involve more money than the BCS....Tada! Guarantee me your participation, and I will guarantee you X amount of money....Genious!

I am still studying further, but the idea (I think) is that teams, and conferences, will pledge their allegiance to Cuban's plan, for a certain amount of money. Again, I am researching the exact plan, but the idea seems to be a good one.

Will it happen in 2011? Hell no. Will it happen in 2012? Nope. Will it happen in 2015? Maybe.

And that is the whole thing. This BCS idea we live with is a plague. It is settling. It is a pile of crap. But eventually, if the right folks speak, and the right folks throw money against it, it may go away.

Yes, this year - no offense to TCU - the BCS got close to getting it right. At the end of the day, I would have picked Auburn to play Oregon for all of the marbles no matter the format. But like I said above, this isn't just about TCU in 2010. It is about all of those other teams this year, and in years past, that are and were damn, damn, damn good, and through very reasonable circumstances were not allowed to play in playoff format for a national title.

I stand firmly behind anything Cuban does to get rid of the BCS and get us a college footballl playoff. I like his idea even though I don't know if he is thinking eight or sixteen teams. Either way, it is better than now.

The regular season argument. For those of you who think the regular season games would be diminished with a playoff, I could not disagree more.

Put it like this:

If a team at midseason is 6-1 and there is no playoff system in place, that team is basically out of the national title race, so each regular season game from that point on is for fun or for pride.

But if a team is 6-1 and there is an eight or sixteen team playoff in place at year's end, then that team is still alive for a national title, and thus the regular season games still have a huge importance.

Thus, in my view, the regular season is worth MORE with a playoff at year's end...



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