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 Post subject: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:49 am 
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Mark Cuban exploring BCS alternativeEmail Print Comments185 By Tim MacMahon
ESPNDallas.com
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DALLAS -- After two failed bids to buy a Major League Baseball team, billionaire Mark Cuban is seriously considering trying to use his money to create a playoff alternative to college football's Bowl Championship Series.

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."


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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 said he envisions either a 12- or 16-team playoff field with the higher seeds getting homefield advantage. The homefield advantage, Cuban said, would ensure the college football regular-season games would not lose any importance.

The bowl games could still exist under Cuban's plan, but he said he would make it more profitable for programs to make the playoffs than a bowl.

"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.' "

One way to push school presidents toward approving the idea would be to lobby major donors of college athletic programs, Cuban said. He suggested convincing the donors to cut off their donations until their presidents approved a playoff system.

Cuban, who is reading the book "Death to the BCS," said he thinks it would take about three or four years of planning before enacting the playoff system. He believes it's a better business opportunity than owning a baseball team, and he admits he's intrigued by the idea of revolutionizing a major sport.

"It's 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.

"The one thing every college football fan wants you can probably create for less than it takes to buy a baseball team."

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:17 am 
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If Cuban accomplishes his goal, then it'll only fracture Division I football even further.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:04 pm 
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If Cuban accomplishes his goal, then it'll only fracture Division I football even further.


Isn't this likely to happen at some point anyway considering the super conferences that almost became the norm last summer? That would kill pretty much any team that didn't land in one of those conf's. The super conference idea isn't giong away, its just been tabled until later. Money is money and inflation will drive this problem in the future. The reasoning is that the top 70 or so programs generate the lion share of D1 revenue, and those schools hate sharing money with a school like Buffalo, when on top of that the ncaa is so inefficient with their spending budget. The top 70 could start their own deal, eliminate the ncaa, eliminate sharing money with schools that don't generate it, but get budget money anyway. So why not let Cuban craft a playoff system where the have nots might still get a chance at a playoff. He'd have to craft it right, like letting a BSU or TCU in the way the current BCS system works. Like have two at large bids for a 16 team playoff. Then offering more money for the "tourney" is smart, as it will still offer the stupid .500 team record bowl games to play, yet less money than if you actually want to compete on a higher level. This idea in theory could please everyone, and eliminate the need for super conf's.

Texas could have been the cog that got the first ball rolling. I"m happy they didn't, I like the current rivalries that would be mostly extinct going forward. I mean UT and Oregon isn't a very natural geographic rivalry.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:35 pm 
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widetrak21 wrote:
This idea in theory could please everyone, and eliminate the need for super conf's.

What do you mean, everyone? Everyone as in all 120+ FBS schools, or everyone as in the 75 or so schools that actually matter?

That latter number derived from the 68 schools in the 6 BCS conferences + Notre Dame, Boise State, BYU, Utah, etc. i.e. the perennial powers from the 6 non-AQ conferences.

And that's the problem I have with the 16-team playoff format, because it basically says "Screw you" to the other 40-50 schools that don't belong in that group because they have almost no conceivable shot of ever making that 16-team playoff.

Unless you're using the money generated from the playoff to even more greatly subsidize those lesser schools than the current BCS system does, what is the incentive of any of the 40 or schools like Buffalo to say let's adopt a playoff system over the current bowl system?

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:51 pm 
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And that's the problem I have with the 16-team playoff format, because it basically says "Screw you" to the other 40-50 schools that don't belong in that group because they have almost no conceivable shot of ever making that 16-team playoff.


What shot do they have now with only two teams eligible per BCS ranks? ZERO.ZEROZERO

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What do you mean, everyone? Everyone as in all 120+ FBS schools, or everyone as in the 75 or so schools that actually matter?


Well is SuperConf's are inevitable, then the death knell for that bottom tier is still on the horizon one day. Why not adopt a system that lets something like 16 teams have a shot, instead of 2. The same theory of why people love the ncaa bball tourney, is teams like Butler actually have a shot, even if its more remote than say the top tier teams. 16 isn't 64, but in college bball its 300+ teams, so ratio wise 16 is more than adequate.

Up until now if you're not in the top 2, who cares cause you're not playing for a title. Letting another 14 teams into the party isn't a bad thing, its more football and more competition.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:08 pm 
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Like so many pro playoff advocates you seem to be way too focused on the National Title game.

Buffalo is playing for a national title. They are playing to generate money, which helps the school and the program. Last year, the BCS paid the MAC $2.1 million. I'm not 100% sure of the figure this year, but I'm pretty sure it's somwhere between $1.8-3.5 million. That money gets split up between the 13 MAC schools. So the BCS is giving Buffalo roughly between $150-250K every year just for playing the game. And if they make a bowl game like they did 2 years ago, they get even more money. I don't know how much money playing in the International Bowl netted Buffalo, but let's imagine that they got a nice $1 million check from the revenue of that bowl game. So in the past 2 years, Buffalo's football team has generated roughly $1.5 million for the school.

So Buffalo's goal isn't to win a national title, despite what their coaches might say. It's to win 7 or 8 games a year, and earn some dough which helps the school and program.

That's the realistic goal for 80%+ of the teams in the non-AQ programs. Maybe if you build that up where you're a perennial 8 or 9-win bowl team, once a decade everything might fall into place where you can win 11 or 12 games and challenge for a BCS bowl game and get the big money. But most of these smaller schools know that the ability to build that sort of continuity is tough because for most of the MAC schools and Conference USA schools, they are just stepping stones for most of their coaches to get better jobs in the 6 BCS conferences, as you've seen those schools get raided for their coaches (the MAC is direct pipeline to the Big East it seems from a coaching standpoint).

The super conferences don't change this if the bowl system is in place.

Cuban's plan is to have bowls and playoffs. Does Buffalo get a cut of that playoff money like they do for the BCS games? If the answer is no (and it sounds like it is), then they have no incentive for voting Yes on it. And the only way that gets done is if you split the 70 "money" schools from the other 50 "small" schools into 2 subdivisions, so now we would have the FPS, FBS, and FCS in Division I.

Now if the plan is to take a chunk of the current 35 bowl games and morph them into playoff games, and still subsidize the small schools with that money, then that could work and still keep the 120+ school Division I-A (or FBS) intact with everybody being happy.

But I'm still not convinced logistically that can be done. Thus my previous suggesting in another thread to not just limit the playoffs to 16 teams, but do it with 64 teams.

IMHO, it only work best with a 4 team or 64-team playoff. Anything in between I think becomes clunky.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:22 pm 
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Now if the plan is to take a chunk of the current 35 bowl games and morph them into playoff games, and still subsidize the small schools with that money, then that could work and still keep the 120+ school Division I-A (or FBS) intact with everybody being happy.


This is what I understood, and why I'm open to the idea Cuban's kicking around.

Quote:
So Buffalo's goal isn't to win a national title, despite what their coaches might say. It's to win 7 or 8 games a year, and earn some dough which helps the school and program.


I agree, obviously 2/3 to 3/4 of all cfb is going for this same goal. But you do have an in between fringe, that can't crack a BCS 2 team system, but could squeak into a 16 team tourney and then who knows.

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But I'm still not convinced logistically that can be done.


I think this is why Cuban is saying it will take 3-4 yrs for logistics.

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Thus my previous suggesting in another thread to not just limit the playoffs to 16 teams, but do it with 64 teams.


How do you fit in this many games and still have a regular season and conf games? The presidents will just go back to the standard, "we value our student athletes educations and more football means less school", blah blah blah. Cuban is smart, hes going to speak their language, MONEY.

Evidently Cuban's only venture outside the nba won't be confined to Tequilla :up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:25 pm 
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Now if the plan is to take a chunk of the current 35 bowl games and morph them into playoff games, and still subsidize the small schools with that money, then that could work and still keep the 120+ school Division I-A (or FBS) intact with everybody being happy.


And again, the alt to this is the top 68 teams saying screw you, were taking our ball and going home. We'll police ourselves and keep more of our own money. Then the bottom half isn't looking at bowl and conference money, they're looking at practically none. They'll be by themselves, fans won't care, tv money won't be generated. The bottom half might not like it, but they may not have any better alternative.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:52 pm 
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You can read about my 64-team plan here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14350

But the summary is that you eliminate non-conference games at the beginning of the season, and every team plays around 9 conference games for the "regular season." I think this keeps the drama of the current regular season, because every game counts.

You take the 11 conference winners (although in mine, it becomes 12 conferences cuz you eliminate Independents), give them automatic bids and then take the next best 52 teams and let them play out a basketball-style tourney over the last few weeks of November and December.

All that you do is add perhaps an extra week on to the end of the season, although there is a way to do that without that extra week.

Personally, my opinion is that if you have simultaneous playoff games and bowl games, in the long run it kills the bowl games because all of the focus goes to the playoffs eventually, and the bowls basically become like the NIT in basketball: nobody cares. And thus why I think you have to do really big playoffs (64 teams) or really small (4 teams) to keep interest in those bowls.

widetrak21 wrote:
And again, the alt to this is the top 68 teams saying screw you, were taking our ball and going home. We'll police ourselves and keep more of our own money. Then the bottom half isn't looking at bowl and conference money, they're looking at practically none. They'll be by themselves, fans won't care, tv money won't be generated. The bottom half might not like it, but they may not have any better alternative.

That's what worries me. Those 68 teams say screw it, go towards the $$$, and the other 52+ teams basically have to be absorbed by the current FCS down the road, which would then be super bloated, which would be a huge hit to those schools revenue streams.

And this is the core why I think they are so reluctant to tackle this issue, because adopting a playoff if not done correctly is like throwing a grenade into the room with Division I football as we know it. And that's their incentive for maintaining the status quo.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:19 pm 
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And this is the core why I think they are so reluctant to tackle this issue, because adopting a playoff if not done correctly is like throwing a grenade into the room with Division I football as we know it. And that's their incentive for maintaining the status quo.

Absolutely.

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You take the 11 conference winners (although in mine, it becomes 12 conferences cuz you eliminate Independents), give them automatic bids and then take the next best 52 teams and let them play out a basketball-style tourney over the last few weeks of November and December.

I like this idea, a lot more the more I think about it too. One angle is that not every "good" team schedules "good" out of conference games. So some skate through an easier regular season, while other do the opposite. This would wipe out this problem immediately. Then pep would just have to get used to conferences mattering even more so. I guess the obvious gripe dovetailing off of the previous statement is that conference "power rankings" will matter even more.

Take the current NFL as an ex. Atl 12-2 and NO at 10-4, yet the Rams go in and get one of the 11 seeds b/c they won their conference. So the best the Saints can do is the 12th seed. I would imagine some would moan about this, like they are now w/ the NFC west. But you can't have everything, so I'd gladly give up this for the chance at the 16 to make a run.

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Personally, my opinion is that if you have simultaneous playoff games and bowl games, in the long run it kills the bowl games because all of the focus goes to the playoffs eventually, and the bowls basically become like the NIT in basketball: nobody cares. And thus why I think you have to do really big playoffs (64 teams) or really small (4 teams) to keep interest in those bowls.

Very possible, but I guess this is why Cuban still wants to throw them a bone for the votes. But again like we just discussed, they might get strong armed eventually either way. And I think you're probably correct that either bigger or way smaller keeps it clean and interesting.

Did you hear McKay on NFL Network last night discussing the current NFC West/Playoff seed topic? Dude knows his rules, I'll post again if I have time. He had two neat ideas for tweaks, one a large tweak, one an inbetween. Both better than the current. I would imagine either NYG or GB fans will be at the front of the line this offseason on rule topics to float.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuban wants to end BCS and start playoff system
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:33 am 
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widetrak21 wrote:
Take the current NFL as an ex. Atl 12-2 and NO at 10-4, yet the Rams go in and get one of the 11 seeds b/c they won their conference. So the best the Saints can do is the 12th seed. I would imagine some would moan about this, like they are now w/ the NFC west. But you can't have everything, so I'd gladly give up this for the chance at the 16 to make a run.

Well in the proposed 64-team format, you would seed them like in basketball. A committee of some sort would seed them accordingly. So if a team like Louisiana Tech goes 8-4 and wins the WAC, they wouldn't be seeded over a 10-2 Georgia team that finished 3rd in the SEC.

Using the NFL analogy, the Rams by winning their division would get a seat, but they would be the last seed, which I think is similar to what McKay wants.

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