That's what Mark Cuban says. With the exception of purchasing a major league baseball team—he failed with the Cubs and the Rangers—Mark Cuban is pretty much money (pun intended). His newest venture is to fix Division 1 college football, and I think we can all agree that it needs to be done.
His idea would be to implement a 12-16 team playoff system that would essentially negate the BCS. Not surprisingly, BCS executive director Bill Hancock doesn’t like the idea.
You don’t say.
Cuban wants to put roughly $500 million in a college football bank account, then have all of the schools agree to receive “X” amount of dollars every year and in exchange, if they are selected for the new playoff system, they will go.
Cuban also has an answer for those universities that won’t agree: strong-arm them. Convince the particular university's big time donors to cut the purse strings. No more money unless they agree to be a part of the playoff series. Is money the answer to everything with this guy?
Well, why not? Money is the reason the current bowl system is in place and remains—no matter how imperfect—the only way to crown a national champion. Cuban says it will take 3-4 years to fully implement his idea. What will he being doing during that time period? Sending his heavys to convince college presidents that they suddenly want a playoff system?
I don’t know about you but if I were Dr. Charles Steger, President of my old school Virginia Tech, I wouldn’t want to cross Cuban and wake up one morning with a Hokie bird head under my covers.
Is this really the way to go about it, Mark?
I am not questioning the billionaire businessman whose praise I sang just a few columns ago. I agree that money solves almost every problem in the world and Cuban has enough of it to throw around at a lot of problems. I’m just wondering if the method is correct in this instant.
No matter how much we all dislike the BCS bowl system as it currently stands, I think that there is a much simpler way to achieve a playoff system that will crown a true national champion and also keep the BCS and the bowl system in place.
As I am sure everyone does, I enjoy the bowl games. I liked making road trips to the Sugar, Orange and Gator Bowls, even the crazy nut bowl in San Francisco where both teams share a sideline was great. I like the hype that surrounds these bowl games, and I like the history and idea of having bowl games.
What I don’t like is a bunch of people who can’t possibly watch and analyze every single D1 college football game every week and competently come up with a legitimate voting or ranking system to determine who is better than whom. It is just not possible, and as it stands, it’s extremely flawed.
Look at it this way: What would we be doing right now if Nevada lost to Boise State? Would Boise State have a claim to play in the national title game? Would they have been voted in over Auburn and/or Oregon? A case can be made that even though their schedule is easier, they did beat Virginia Tech.
That argument can of course be countered with the fact that the very next week, Virginia Tech lost to James Madison University, a Division I-AA (now FCS) team. That of course can be countered with the fact that after that game, Virginia Tech ran the table winning 11 straight, sweeping the ACC and beating Florida State to win the ACC title and earn a birth in the Orange Bowl.
There is no way to tell who is right and who is wrong. And when you think about it, this current system makes for a tremendous amount of discussion, arguing and just plain water cooler talk about college football and that, folks, is a very good thing.
What would be better is if we could preserve the best of the BCS and institute a playoff, have our cake and eat it to, if you will.
Here is my proposal for a college playoff system that includes the BCS as well as the current bowl system.
The only thing I can see that might be an issue is extending the college football season by a week or two. I have heard presidents whine in the past that they don’t want to subject their athletes to an additional game or two, but it has always amazed me that those complaints disappear when conference re-alignment occurs in order to add an additional conference championship game.
It seems extremely easy to me, so please people, someone poke holes in my idea. Because if it truly is as easy as it seems to me then I will be even more upset that we haven’t already done this.
My idea is to have the college football season occur just as it has in the past. The AP poll will have its Top 25 and the Coaches poll will have its Top 25. Several weeks into the season the BCS will rear it’s ugly head and, using its fuzzy math, give us the top 15 teams in the nation.
At the end of the college football regular season, we will take the top eight college football programs as decided by the BCS rankings and they will square off against each other in the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, and Rose Bowls. Each year these bowls will rotate so that the 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, and 4-5 teams will not always be playing in the same bowl. Every other team and every other bowl in the country will operate the exact same way as they do currently.
The four winners of these bowl games will play each other in two additional bowl games to be held wherever (this can be figured out later). The two winners of those games will then meet in the national championship bowl game, as they do in the current system. The winner of that game will give us a definitive D1 college football champion.
Using this idea, we keep the bowl system intact AND only add one additional week of college football bowls to the schedule (2 games for 4 teams). We also manage to keep the BCS relevant while finally instituting a playoff system.
Can you say have your cake and eat it too?
Please tell me it is not this easy. Please tell me I have gone horribly wrong somewhere and forgotten a major factor that explains why this would not work and thus hasn’t been implemented already.
Please, for the love of college football, blow holes in my idea or I will be forever forced to not accept any reason as to why we don’t have a playoff in place even now, as I type this column.