Change the relationship status to “it’s complicated.” Skeptical media claimed there was no way Florida State would join the Big 12. Apparently, Florida State missed that memo. The school is not pleased with the ACC’s new TV deal. Florida State BOT chairman Andy Haggard claimed the trustees would “unanimously” support talks with the Big 12.
“How do you not look into that option,” asked Haggard. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously we would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer. We have to do what is in Florida State’s best interest.”
This support was echoed by head football coach Jimbo Fisher.
“There have been no official talks, but I think you always have to look out there to see what’s best for Florida State,” Fisher said. “If that [jumping to the Big 12] is what’s best for Florida State, then that’s what we need to do.”
Why is Florida State not happy? The TV deal sucks. Everyone latched onto the “$3.6 Billion, wow” angle. That was the intent. However, that deal is divided 14 ways over 15 years. Even the estimated $4 million per school per season gain was overstated, as the contract is back-loaded. Teams won’t see that increase for nine years.
The reality was bad, however. The initial bump in television revenue is actually just over $1 million a year, sources said, and a total in the $12 million range next season. The deal is back loaded so the bigger money comes in escalator provisions that, considering how broadcast rights keep growing, probably will be below market by the time any sizeable gains are realized.
With this TV contract, the ACC insured itself the right to be a second-class football conference for the next two decades. Their only hope to renegotiate significantly is adding Notre Dame in football. With all due respect…LOL. Even assuming teams were receiving the benefits now instead of a decade from now, the conference was firmly in fifth-place.
Would moving make sense for Florida State? If the Big 12 deal is not similarly backloaded, potentially. It would be a move for money. If the money outweighs the cost of the buyout and the travel costs for the other sports in the Big 12, it makes sense. Ames, Manhattan and Lubbock aren’t marquee destinations, though it’s not like the ACC slate is a huge recruiting draw. It’s a jump up in competition though at a level where Florida State should, on paper, be able to succeed.
Would this make sense for the Big 12? When you can add a program that averaged 8 wins per season over the last decade in the ACC and can’t sell out its own stadium, you just have to do it. Seriously, though, it would be a great addition for the Big 12. This is not Bobby Bowden Florida State, though the top ten potential is there. FSU would give the Big 12 a footprint in Florida, a title game and, potentially, a way to balance their divisions. The Seminoles may not be an elite asset, but they make more sense than Louisville. The question is “does this move make it more likely for Texas to stay.” The answer is “yes.”
[Photo via Presswire]
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