Thursday, December 16, 2010

Can Cuban Do The Impossible?

Mark Cuban, the calm, cool and collected owner of the Dallas Mavericks, wants to "fix" the college BCS situation. Which got the MMQ to thinking which is always a dangerous thing. I penned just a week ago that we would never, ever see a college playoff if it were left up to the devices of the Conference Commissioners and Universities. However, this definitely puts new life into the idea.

Check out this article which is only one of many that have been penned on the subject of Mark's latest desire.

Interestingly, Mark is taking the approach that this will, "Require a lot of Capital", of which he himself stated he has almost unlimited resources. Which, translated into terms you and I can understand, means "bottomless wallet of cash". Mark suggested starting with around $500Million in order to get the effort rolling.

Folks, and I mean this in all seriousness, if Mark Cuban is going to offer to throw $500,000,000 (did you hear that collective, "Woah" from all the university presidents and AD's around the country?) at a Division 1 Playoff with 16 teams and that all Division 1 schools will get some sort of cut, you can bet that he's going to make a whole lot of people listen. Sure, there will be opposition because the commissioners will want to protect the bowls and the bowls will want to protect the rivalries and relationships that have been established over time.

But on a side note, Let's take a brief look at that this year, shall we?

Rose Bowl - sold out it's ticket allotment. It is the Rose, after all.
Sugar - Getting close to selling out.
Orange - Not even close... (Remember? This is Stanford and Va Tech. One team is 3,000 miles away and the other team's fans are pissed they are not in the National Title game.)
Fiesta - Worse than the Orange. (I talked about this, too. UConn fans are 3,000 miles away - all 43 of them - and Oklahoma fans have had more then their fill of the Fiesta.)

So, of those "relationships" and conference tie ins, I would say that the Big 12 is kind of in the, "Eh, whatever" mode when it comes to the Fiesta. The Orange recently has been stuck with some duds and are the Defacto ACC destination, not something that I'm sure they are all that thrilled with. Although it did manage the JoePa - Bobby Bowden showdown recently. So, if you asked these two bowls if they'd rather host a semi-final play0ff game on the same date, January 1st, that they are hosting these to match-ups, my guess is the response would be a resounding yes! The Rose is different, and everyone seems to know it, but can't explain exactly why. I guess it has something to do with those flowers...

Anyway, back to the point: If these major bowls start having difficulty filling the seats, and more importantly, "putting heads in beds" at their respective locations, well, you can bet that there will be an abrupt renogotiation as to how much anyone is going to get paid from future BCS match-ups. The sponsor of the Orange and Sugar (Fed Ex and Nokia) pulled out because they were losing money - BIG MONEY. It won't take long, relatively, for these, pardon the expression, "Turdy" match-ups to kill fan interest and Mark Cuban's offer will start looking better and better all the time.

After all, the only bowl anyone really "wants" to see is the National Title Game. I mean, I'll tune in for the other games, but I will be able to easily walk away and do something better with my time if the urge strikes me. Even that Michigan match-up will be something I can easily walk away from. Who cares, really, if they beat MSU? However, if you had 8 games starting say, this weekend between 16 teams, then they also played 4 games on Sunday or Monday after Christmas followed by two games on New Year's and a National Title game on January 10th (Same bat time, same bat channel), I'm betting you'd find that a whole lot more people would be tuning in - AND GOING TO THOSE VENUES!

And if Cuban can somehow pull this whole thing off, as guys with lots of money, time and resources have been known to do, well, look out. Cuban just might be the guy that could de-rail the whole bowl train and lead the D1 football world into something entirely new and different.

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