Wed Dec 15 09:57pm EST
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.
[Rewind: Mark Cuban's awkward spot on 'Entourage']
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!
"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.
[Rewind: Mark Cuban makes his rap video debut]
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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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.