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Phillip's Lunchtime Musings, Dec. 16

Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, says he wants to stage a college football playoff. Forget about it. Not happening.

Phillip Marshall, Senior Editor, AuburnUndercover.com

Every year about this time, somebody comes up with a plan they believe will work. Like so many others involved in professional sports, Cuban shows a real lack of understanding of the game and the business of college football.

Cuban wants to bankroll the playoff and, of course, make money in the process. The silliest idea Cuban throws out there is that donors could be convinced to cut off donations until presidents approve a playoff.

No one questions that a playoff would make money, and if there were to be a playoff, the NCAA wouldn’t be real excited about letting Cuban profit from it. Cuban seems to believe having the money to stage such an event is an issue. It isn’t. If the decision were made to have a playoff at the highest level of college football, the NCAA wouldn’t need Cuban’s money to make it happen.

There are a lot of good reasons to have a playoff. If we did, we wouldn’t have to wonder whether teams like TCU are good enough. They’d have a chance to prove it. We wouldn’t have a situation like 2004, when Auburn was left out.

Maybe one day the BCS will go to the “plus-one” format, which amounts to a four-team playoff. Maybe. But the enthusiasm for even that seems to have waned.

The bottom line is that a playoff is just not going to happen. …

When I was talking to Blake Eddins for the story elsewhere on this page, he had an interesting take on the tens of thousands of Auburn people who plan to head for Glendale, Ariz., and the national championship game. Eddins, who played basketball at Arkansas, has a unique perspective because of his family connections to Auburn.

“Some of my friends out here were talking about going,” Eddins said. “I told them they shouldn’t go, that they wouldn’t understand. This is like a religious pilgrimage for Auburn people.” …

Were I Georgia Congressman Paul Broun, I don’t believe I would have voted against the resolution honoring Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. There are lots of Auburn people in Georgia who won’t forget come election day. …

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Florida coach Will Muschamp have been close friends since Fisher was the quarterbacks coach and Muschamp was a graduate assistant on Terry Bowden’s Auburn staff. They even own a beach house together. Their friendship is about to be severely tested.

Fisher and Muschamp have been on opposite sides before. Muschamp was Auburn’s defensive coordinator and Fisher was LSU’s offensive coordinator in 2006 when Auburn won 7-3 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

But it’s a different deal now. As head coaches in the same state, they’ll go head-to-head in recruiting on almost a daily basis. That’s where friendships usually get fractured. …

It wouldn’t have been realistic to expect Frankie Sullivan to be a difference-maker in his first game back for Auburn’s basketball team, but if he can return to the form of last season, he might at least give the Tigers a chance to win a few SEC games. …

Until next time. …

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