Monday, May 14, 2012

Coach: FSU should give Big 12 a look


Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman told the Orlando Sentinel on Friday that his school is “committed” to staying in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Spetman may be the only one who thinks that way.

Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher, before he spoke at the Seminole Club of Greater Orlando on Saturday, didn’t exactly shoot down rumblings that FSU will explore the possibility of leaving the ACC for the Big 12.

“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.”

Andy Haggart, chairman of Florida State’s board of trustees, vigorously agreed. In an interview with, a popular website that covers FSU athletics, Haggart said the Seminoles should pursue talks with the Big 12: “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.”

If we’ve learned anything in recent years about institutions of higher earning switching conferences, it is this: Without fail, they all say they are steadfastly committed to their current league only until another league offers them more money.

And right now FSU could sure use some more money. Spetman announced a $2.4 million budget shortfall in the athletic department last week that sent shock waves through Seminole Nation. In college football’s arms race, Seminole fans envision the Gators and other SEC schools purchasing F-22 Raptor fighter jets while they are still going to battle with tomahawks and bows and arrows.

More than ever, Florida State fans feel they are a football school hopelessly trapped in a basketball league. The most recent bout of Seminole discontent came last year when the ACC expanded to add Pitt and Syracuse — two basketball schools who haven’t been relevant in football for years. And then came the news earlier this week that the ACC had extended its TV deal with ESPN for an additional 15 years and $3.6 billion.

A growing faction of FSU boosters and power brokers believe the Seminoles can make significantly more money in the Big 12. And when you’re surrounded by and recruit against big-budget SEC schools such as Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia, you’d better bring some cash or you’ll get spent into oblivion.

Think about it: Even though the ACC’s new deal will bring FSU up to about $17 million annually in TV revenue, that’s still $3 million less than the Big 12. Not only that, but some estimate the recently expanded SEC’s new deal could earn each conference school as much as $25 million per year. Translation: Over the span of the ACC’s 16-year contract, FSU will earn $128 million less than the Gators.

“FSU is looking at schools like Arkansas and Mississippi State having more resources, better facilities and the ability to hire the best coaches,” said Gene Williams, owner and editor of

Which is why Seminole fans are rightfully worried. And why FSU’s administration should be doing everything in its power to not only keep up with the Gators but to keep up with Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

Right now the Big 12 has a 10-team league with no championship game, and league schools still earn $3 million a year more than ACC teams. How much could the Big 12 earn if it added two premier football programs like FSU and Miami or FSU and Clemson and then had a championship game? This would also give the Big 12 a footprint in Florida, the fourth-largest state and one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country.

Don’t kid yourself.

If the Big 12 offers big money, Chief Osceola would jump on Bevo and ride him bareback out of the ACC.

The only thing left behind would be the billowing smoke from his flaming spear.


GregStang 9 years, 6 months ago

Why would FSU go to the Big XII and not the SEC?

Spencer Goff 9 years, 6 months ago

First time in these discussions?

Florida has absolutely said an emphatic "no" to the idea of adding another Florida school to the SEC. Same goes for South Carolina concerning Clemson. So unless the other 12 SEC people can convince them to lighten the choke hold, Florida State and Clemson are not getting into the SEC.

Thus... They are all about joining the Big 12.

Spencer Goff 9 years, 6 months ago

Since Wissox seems to take offense for you, I'll apologize for the way my first sentence reads. Hope you didn't take offense, I just don't recognize your ID so thought you were new here.

Take it easy.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 6 months ago

Why put the man down for asking a good question? Or are we supposed to check KUSports about 10 times a day?

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 6 months ago

Because the SEC has to split the pie by one to two more teams (UF does not want FSU dipping in their "sugar bowl"), where alledgedly the Big12s contract has escalator clauses if we add 2 more teams for a championship game- as well as if we were to go from 12-14 or 16 (I've read elsewhere under the new ESPN contract that an average of +2-3 million of revenue would be added per B12 school-depending on the school- for each school we add after 12, with the championship game providing similar revenue as we transition from 10-12). Lastly, the big12 keeps 3rd tier rights, it would allow FSU leverage even in their own state as they could make as much- if jot more than UF. Btw I have read it was estimated that KU received 8 mil in 3rd tier revenue in the past calendar year(although I can't verify this last information as fact).

Michael Pannacciulli 9 years, 6 months ago

I still really like the idea of having FSU in the conference. Write that AD and get the two parties talking a deal.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

The smart move would be to take FSU and Georgia Tech, which would add the Atlanta market. They can't be too happy with this TV deal either.

Spencer Goff 9 years, 6 months ago

I wondered that as well, but I don't know of any "great" Georgia Tech websites from their fanbase, but I doubt Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech are happy about it.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 6 months ago

Can the ACC stll restructure their contract to help keep FSU or is it already in place? Does anyone know? Maybe FSU is just trying to leverage their position?

bradynsdad 9 years, 6 months ago

Why are there Penn. St. adds at the top of my KU sports page? I think FSU and Clemson are a must get. At least FSU, I am tired of college gameday never coming to the big 12. I know that is no reason to restructure but being talked about on college gameday is good for recruiting. If we're only on once a year for UT/OU it sucks. Why idle at 10 teams? I for one hope FSU comes calling.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 6 months ago

Yea, I've seen some online UNC ad "every online degree is not created equal"... And today's Utah State ad, called locker 42 or something. As I am in the bay area, I don't get it either.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

FSU & (Clemson/GT) would be great in changing the percption of the Bi12 from a midwestern (dust bowl) conference to a national player.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 6 months ago

One thing this article failed to mention, is that the new deal let the ACC retain third tier rights for Basketball, but not football.

The Big XII lets its teams keep rights for all of their 3rd Tier Rights, hence why UT has $15MM/Year from the Longhorn network and why KU gets somewhere in the $8-10MM/Year for its rights. One should always remember that there are a lot more basketball games that fall to tier 3 and a lot fewer for football.

Typically, good football teams rarely have a tier 3 football game (sometimes they negotiate one into their contract e.g. UT).

Ron Prichard 9 years, 6 months ago

You nailed it, jhawkrulz. It's the third tier rights issue that has FSU steamed at the ACC. It goes to show the ACC simply does not value football the way they do basketball, and it shows complete deference to UNC and Duke (not to mention Syracuse when they arrive). The ACC is aiming to become the premier basketball conference and letting football fall by the wayside in their pursuit. I think it will completely backfire on them if they lose schools like FSU, Clemson and/or Miami. Lord knows how much we love basketball at KU, but even we can acknowledge the really big money is in football. Without the football money and clout, you will slowly be pushed out of the national landscape no matter how good your basketball program (sound familiar?).

Robert Brown 9 years, 6 months ago

It has since been reported that the 3rd Tier rights for both basketball and football are part of the ACC TV package. The report that only football third tier rights were included and that the schools retained 3rd tier basketball rights has been cited as erroneous. That actually makes the ACC TV package even worse for each school.

april28 9 years, 6 months ago

Wetzell on Yahoo points out that the most logical two-team addition to the Big 12 is FSU and Miami (not Clemson). This adds Florida to the Big 12 market.

Since geography is no longer part of the equation, I would agree with Wetzell. Miami and FSU would be ideal additions to the conference.

Ludwig Supraphonic 9 years, 6 months ago

There is often a presumption that a college located in a metropolitan area will bring a huge fan base. So Tulane brings in New Orleans, Rutgers=NYC, Miami=Miami. The next assumption is Clemson or Virginia Tech are in small college towns so few TV sets will be added. The demographics I've seen don't support that. Clemson, for example, has a huge fan base that travels well. Tulane doesn't. Some fan loyalties aren't based in the number of graduates or proximity to a metro area, e.g., Notre Dame.

jgkojak 9 years, 6 months ago

Fan base means nothing. Its market size.

Your conference has Rutgers, that means your conf. network games will be carried on NYC cable outlets-- even if no one is watching Rutgers vs. Iowa State, the fact that you're on in that market is what matters.

And yes - I'd much rather lure Georgia Tech along w/Clemson. I suspect the Ga Tech may be happy in the ACC or the eventualy ACC-Big East merge.

B12 gets FSU and Clemson to go to 12 B1G gets MD and VA to go to 14 B12 gets Louisville and Pitt to go to 14 SEC gets Va Tech and NC State to go to 16 B1G gets Rutgers and UNC to go to 16 B12 gets Ga Tech and Notre Dame or Miami to go to 16

Ludwig Supraphonic 9 years, 6 months ago

Likely viewers is as important as likely voters are in an election. No one is buying ad time based solely on market size.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 6 months ago

Here is a recent article from I think the statement from the President that they are happy in the ACC is a smokescreen. How could it not be?

Also, someone stated the ACC/ESPN deal isn't a done deal yet and this could just be posturing to get more money for football. According the the ACC website, it seems to be a done deal:

For one, I would love to see FSU in the Big XII.

jmsuther 9 years, 6 months ago

Although I know it wont happen I would love for the big 12 to start being progressive. Now would be the time to activily pursure teams for the ACC and Big East to jump to a 14state team confrence. If the big 12 were able to create 2 divisions 7 west and 7 east it would solidify itselft as a stable dominante confrence again. 7 teams, UL, FSU, Clemson, GT, Miami, PITT, ND.

Hank Cross 9 years, 6 months ago

Many good points raised above. The Noles and the Canes would certainly move the needle financially in a way that LVille can't. Possibly enough for Bevo's greed to overcome its opposition to a conference championship. Together the FL schools can bring in a sizeable share of the the 4th largest state to combine with the B12's dominance of the 2nd biggest.

In terms of BB, the two FL schools are probably a negative when you factor in travel. But, BB doesn't count in realignment and the only way to ensure KU BB's status is to ensure its conference status. If the B12 picks up FSU and the U, the league will be around for a long time and KU won't have to sweat any more about going to the Mountain West.

jgkojak 9 years, 6 months ago

Travel is why, in the end, a 16 team league is better than a 14 team league if you start getting out of logical geography.

A 16 team league will have "pods" -- 4 schools that do a home and home in basketball, playing everyone else once - that gives you an 18 game (6 pod + 12 other) schedule.

For KU this would probably mean KU, KSU, OU and OSU in a pod. That's fantastic travel.

Add on that 5 of the other games will be ISU and the Texas schools, that's 11/18 with reasonable travel.

The 7 other games -- 3 or 4 every year will be away... so you are adding 3 or 4 difficult travel games every year - not that bad.

In FSU's case, you are exposing recruits and KS to the Florida market - which could be a highly lucrative recruiting source. That's probably worth the trip.

danmoore 9 years, 6 months ago

If the Big12 does not become the hunter our conference will become the hunted. I hate conference realignment but if we are to survive we need to go after these teams.

Robert Brown 9 years, 6 months ago

The ideal candidates for expansion are large state universities with a loyal following. In my view adding TCU was a mistake, but I think it was a deperate move made at a desperate time. I think West Virigina was the best move that could have been made at the time. Now that the Big 12 has a footprint in the East, it need to expand it. I don't know if the conference would be bold enough to go after four teams, but I am sure that, given the opportunity, to plant a stake in the state of Florda, the Big 12 would jump at the chance. Florida State has been down for a few years, but has a huge stadium and rabid fan base, when they are winning.

I would prefer that if FSU is added that the Big 12 target another large state school in the East. Clemson makes sense. Georgia Tech would be nice, as would Maryland, who has a long standing rivalry with West Virginia. I do think that Maryland and GTech, as AAU schools, would probably be hesitant to jump to the Big 12. Clemson could be interested though I think they are a charter member of the conference.

danmoore 9 years, 6 months ago

Part of what cost us NU and CU is that once rumors began schools started looking outside the conference, fearful that they would be left out. If we make the first move we could start a similar reaction in the ACC.

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 6 months ago

WVU was a real shocker for me. Since we went that direction I think we need to keep looking that way and search out the malcontents. FSU, Miami, GaTech, Clemson would all be great additions. If WVU was just an aberration then I like adding more Texas schools such as SMU, Houston, perhaps Rice.

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