Mark Cuban’s college football playoff plan would backfire
Mark Cuban is talking about taking the half a billion dollars he saved by not buying the Chicago Cubs or Texas Rangers, and putting it to use by installing a college football playoff system. Basically try to pay off the opposition to an expanded playoff.
Which just goes to show that Cuban is no more clued in than the average Joe over what’s going on in college football. This isn’t about money. It’s never been about money, and Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott said as much Thursday in response to Cuban’s plan.
But here’s what the effect could be of efforts to disband the BCS: the old system. You want to get rid of the BCS, it very well could happen. But we wouldn’t go to a full playoff. We’d be much more likely to go back to the old days of not even a two-team playoff.
And if you don’t believe it, check out what Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said last week. During a forum of conference commissioners in New York, WAC commissioner Karl Benson saluted the BCS allowing greater “access” to the ”big stage” for mid-majors.
But Delany interrupted and said, “The problem is your big stage takes away opportunities for my teams, to play on the stage they created in 1902 … the notion that over time by putting political pressure on, it’s just going to get greater access, more financial reward and more access to the Rose Bowl, I think you’re really testing. I think people who have contributed a lot have, what I call, ‘BCS defense fatigue.’ If you think you can continue to push for more money, more access to the Rose Bowl, or Sugar Bowl … I’m not sure how much more give there is in the system.”
Do you understand what Delany is saying? He’s got a league that, if necessary, will go back to the old days. Will go back to the Big Ten champion playing the Pac-10 champion in the Rose Bowl, and everybody else can do whatever the heck they want.
Does anyone believe the Big Ten wouldn’t do it? This is a conference that just named its divisions “Leaders” and “Legends,” names that are as pompous as they come but still speak to the history and tradition the conference embraces.
The Big Ten absolutely would walk away from the BCS, but not to go to a playoff. The Big Ten would walk away and wouldn’t mind it a bit. Especially this year, when the Rose Bowl admits its first mid-major, TCU, to play Wisconsin, when it would have liked fourth-ranked Stanford out of the Pac-10.
Push, push, push if you want to, Mark Cuban. But don’t be surprised at how the Big Ten pushes back.
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