1-On-1 With Mark Cuban On BCS Plan

Some would say Mark Cuban is tilting at windmills. Heck, "some'' includes me. I said it as part of my one-on-one with the Mavs owner regarding his plan to investigate fixing what ails the BCS and college football.

Tilting at windmills? Maybe. But Cuban's track record in pitching his two cents (or his multi-millions) when it comes to pro football, Major-League Baseball, the film industry, computer technology, communications, and of course, the NBA, is well-established.

And on Wednesday he revealed another desire that I might label as "quixotic'': To help develop a playoff system for college football that would usurp the BCS system.

"As a businessman, I'm always looking at opportunities to look a business that are operating inefficiently in a market, and the BCS and college football is the most inefficient business there is,'' the owner of the Dallas Mavericks tells me. "For that reason alone, it's worth exploring.''
Cuban has far-ranging influence, an inventive way of thinking, connections in the worlds of sports, entertainment and finance, and the almost unlimited resources to fuel change. It is his desire eventually attempt to sell college officials on the financial and competitive advantages of a true playoff system in Division I college football, which is presently ruled by the controversial BCS policies.
All of this, Cuban says, "is only in the exploratory stage. … I just want to see if we can pull it off.''
Cuban believes he can create financial advantages for schools to be involved in a better system, and that the public demand for change exists.
"It makes a helluva lot more sense than buying a baseball team,'' Cuban tells us. "You can only have so much impact doing that. Something like this? You would affect a lot of fans. You would do a lot of good.''

The billionaire suggests he is considering the model of a 12- or 16-team playoff, with some early support already coming from at least two major college football contacts. Cuban adds that he doesn't yet know what the cost of such a project would be.

Cuban is involved in film and television production, and in fact his desire to be part of the new ownership group of the NHL's Dallas Stars is in part motivated by the TV package he could help control. A native of Pittsburgh, he once attempted to buy the NHL Penguins. This year he made a bid for baseball's Texas Rangers, and has in the past looked at buying the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He's also been involved in a professional football league that he believes would provide competition to the NFL.
In our exclusive visit, I asked Cuban if "being a hero'' of sorts is part of what is fueling this latest brainstorm, and how he responds to the "tilting-at-windmills'' take.

"Sure, making people think you've done something productive, that is rewarding,'' Cuban said. "Tilting at windmills? There's only one way to find out.''

Follow Mike Fisher at www.Twitter.com/FishSports, at www.DallasBasketball.com and as a TV analyst for the Mavericks on FS Southwest.


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