If Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has anything to say about postseason college football, there will be a playoff and it will be radical. The creative and controversial owner of the Dallas Mavericks has devised a plan to induce universities to compete in a playoff system by paying universities an unspecified amount every five (5) years in exchange for the universities agreement to compete in a college football playoff system, if chosen. Cuban has thrown out large numbers in his efforts to induce universities to take part in his system ranging in the area of $500 million. Many in the Dallas/Fort Worth area thought Cuban was simply testing the waters, but it appears he is serious. On December 28, 2010, Cuban registered Radical Football, LLC with the Texas Secretary of State and employs an employee to move his efforts forward.
Although Cuban’s creativity and tenacity are appreciated and debated in the sports arena, his system presents several issues. Primarily, his system does not address the NCAA’s role in the playoff. Postseason championship events through a playoff system are staged and overseen by the NCAA. If the figures related to Cuban’s playoff format are provided to the NCAA, then schools at all levels of the NCAA structure (i.e., Division I, Division II, and Division III) will share the profits similar to the arrangement with March Madness. Secondly, there has been no discussion of how these universities will be selected for the playoff system. What if universities ranked 1-3 refuse to participate, but universities 4-16 do agree to participate? Of course, the playoff system would still produce meaningful matchups, but something will clearly be missing.
Cuban’s aggressive nature (clearly displayed in his attempt to purchase the Texas Rangers) and creativity make his proposal worth watching. Undoubtedly, he has the resources to make things interesting and clear up any confusion, but he will likely need a paradigm shift among university presidents, athletic directors, and conference officials.