Mark Cuban is reading Death to the BCS. He wants a college football playoff. Unlike myself or Mr. Wetzel, he can furnish the required capital. Cuban is “actively interested but in the exploratory stage.”
Cuban’s plan is not fully fleshed out. He would want “a 12 or 16 team” playoff with the higher seeds receiving home-field advantage. He would entice schools with a five-year contract and a guaranteed amount of money, provided they agree to play if picked. Current bowls would still exist but be far less lucrative. He believes organizing the event would take three to four years.
The intentions are noble, but the Gordian knot remains getting the BCS conferences to approve it. The issue is about power and control, not money. Big Ten schools make less money than they would under a playoff, but they make more than just about anyone else. They have a competitive advantage. They have control. Jim Delany doesn’t need to compromise. He can walk away with his Legends, his Leaders and the Rose Bowl. He has de facto veto power over anything that happens in college football. Do he and the other BCS conference commissioners cede that to make a little more money?
Any plan to get the Big Ten, the SEC, the Pac 12 and the Big 12 on board must give them a higher expected utility for participating. It’s still unclear how to accomplish that. It will take more than money and nebulous pressure from donors, if that would even be attainable. Do donors care what their schools are winning, as long as they are winning it?
[Photo via Getty]