It's been a weird weekend down in Osceola Land. On Friday, the A.D. said that FSU was fully committed to the ACC. On Saturday, the chairman of the board of trustees indicated he wasn't happy with the ACC's new media contract and that the Big 12 looked good to him.
Later Saturday, the President of the University, Eric Barron, said this: "Florida State University regrets that misinformation about the provisions of the ACC contract has unnecessarily renewed the controversy and speculation about University's athletic conference alignment. Florida State respects the views of the Chair of its Board of Trustees that, of course, any university would examine options that would impact university academics, athletics or finances. At the same time, Florida State is not seeking an alternative to the ACC nor are we considering alternatives. Our current commitments remain strong."
Said chairman, Andy Haggard, was particularly upset that the rights to third tier football games didn't revert to the schools.
Frankly, we take all of it with a grain of salt. Leaving? Big Deal. Staying? Big Deal.
It's pretty much the same as recruits in the basketball world. If someone doesn't want to be on a particular team, no point in getting mad.
The Big 12 would be quite a change in many respects. In the recent past, the conference has lost Colorado (PAC-12), Nebraska (Big Ten), and just lately Texas A&M and Mizzou (SEC)
They are replacing them with TCU and West Virginia.
As you will remember, a lot of the kerfuffle out there was over the Longhorn Network, that it might give Texas an unfair recruiting advantage and that the money wouldn't be shared.
So it was a bit surprising to read Haggard's complaints about the way the ACC distributes funds from bowl games and basketball tournaments (everyone gets an equal share). He also complained that the North Carolina schools seemed to be running things, or perhaps he's referring to the fact that Comissioner John Swofford has powerful ties to UNC, but it's hard to see how four schools dominate 12, much less 14.
It is possible, of course, that Texas could still blow things up. Assuming for a moment that they don't, though, the Big 12 offers great football. Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor are good and TCU has been tough lately.
Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State are hit-and-miss, and while West Virginia's fans are passionate, the team has been...okay. Never really great though.
How would they fit in? Well first of all, if they're looking at a bigger share for their own production, they'll have to go through Texas and Oklahoma, among others. For all the complaints they've had about the ACC and football, it should be an easy road.
Only it hasn't been. At least not lately. Since 2002, they've won 10 games twice, nine games four times, eight once and seven three times. Good for a lot of schools, but not great by their standards. They can complain about not getting all the money for BCS appearances, but it's more effective when they actually make one.
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On a secondary note, no one knows exactly how the new structure is going to work, but the BCS, as currently constructed, appears dead.
Fans have noticed the less than stellar results by FSU and have not been attending games as consistently, or likely giving as freely, and this is partly why FSU athletics recently announced a more than $2 million dollar deficit.
Whatever they decide, there are a number of schools banging on the ACC's door, including Louisville, which might beat FSU to the Big 12, and UConn, desperate to escape the sinking ship that is the Big East.
Louisville, if you missed it, made clear their desire to move to a more stable conference earlier this week and specifically mentioned the ACC and the Big 12. And of course Notre Dame remains the biggest domino of them all.
It's worth mentioning though, as long as this sort of thing is going on, that geography aside, Kansas would in many respects be a great fit for the ACC.
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