Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FSU prez: Big 12 has pros, cons


The president of Florida State University says moving the athletic program from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big 12 has several drawbacks to be considered.

FSU president Eric Barron sent an email to those who have asked him about the possibility of the Seminoles switching conferences. The email was obtained by the Associated Press and several other news organizations.

He writes that negotiations between the school and the conference are not taking place. While he lays out both possible pros and cons for a move, he makes a strong case for staying in the ACC, where the Seminoles have competed since 1992.

For about the last two weeks there have been several more reports about Florida State leaving the ACC. Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman recently told the Orlando Sentinel the school was committed to the ACC. But Florida State board of trustees chairman Andy Haggard told that the board “would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer.”

The ACC currently has 12 members and will be adding Pittsburgh and Syracuse as soon as 2013. The Big 12 has 10 members after it replaced Texas A&M; and Missouri, which are headed to the Southeastern Conference next season, with West Virginia and TCU.

“I want to assure you that any decision made about FSU athletics will be reasoned and thoughtful and based on athletics, finances and academics,” Barron wrote. “Allow me to provide you with some of the issues we are facing:”

Barron outlined four points made by those who support a move:

• The ACC is more of a basketball conference than a football league.

• The ACC is too North Carolina centric and the conference’s TV contract gives the stronger basketball schools an advantage.

• The Big 12’s powerful football schools are a better match for Florida State.

• The Big 12’s impending new TV contract might make Florida State $2.9 million more per year than the ACC’s new deal and Florida State needs the money.

Barron countered that the ACC shares its football and basketball revenue equally. The only revenue that is not shared equally is certain media rights for women’s basketball and Olympic sports, and that is to Florida State’s benefit.

He also points out that Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M; have left the Big 12 over the past two years because the conference does not share revenue equally.

Barron wrote the Big 12 is at least as Texas centered as the ACC is North Carolina centered and that the Texas schools are expected to play each other. He wrote that the “most likely scenario” leaves Florida State playing Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State and West Virginia.

Florida State already has problems selling out its home games. Barron wrote that playing those schools would not cure that problem.

He also writes that the possible financial gains the school could make under the Big 12 TV contract might not be enough to make up for the cost of competing in that league.

Other FSU sports teams would have to make longer road trips and that could eat away any of the financial benefits of a better TV contract in the Big 12.

Barron also stated a move to the Big 12 could cost the school its rivalry game against Miami. Plus, “It will cost between $20-$25 million to leave the ACC — we have no idea where that money could come from.”

Lastly, he added: “The faculty are adamantly opposed to joining a league that is academically weaker ... “

“I present these issues to you so that you realize that this is not so simple (not to mention that negotiations aren’t even taking place),” Barron writes. “We can’t afford to have conference affiliation be governed by emotion — it has to be based on a careful assessment of athletics, finances and academics. I assure you that every aspect of conference affiliation will be looked at by this institution, but it must be a reasoned decision.”


Kristen Downing 10 years ago

Basically he got pissed at his alumni, Regents head and football coach and lashed out in this email. The result was some blatantly wrong information and some piss poor PR for the Big 12. I don't know if the Big 12 should just rise above and no comment this idiot or try to correct some of his jabs. Somehow the Big 12 got caught in the crossfire.

Todd Simpson 10 years ago

I'm sorry what was wrong that he said?

Travis Clementsmith 10 years ago

What didn't he get wrong? 1. He says FSU is better splitting a small pie equally in the ACC, then maximizing its market value in the Big XII. 2. He says the defector schools left the Big 12 because of uneven revenue sharing but doesn't note that it has since been changed so that all Tier 1 and 2 revenue is split equally. 3. Says it will cost them the Miami game, though that is not certain. 4. Says travel costs will eat up the 2.9 million difference but doesn't mention likely escalators nor increased 3rd Tier possibilities that actually push the cash difference higher. 5. Complains about the exit fee but doesn't mention most such fees are negotiated down and the conference often provides zero interest loans to such schools. 6. Lastly, he makes some ill fated connection between academic expenses and athletic expenses and how FSU "benefits" from rubbing shoulders with ACC academics. Like an FSU job seeker ever says, "No, I didn't get a Georgia Tech law degree, but we were in the same athletics conference as they were!"

Travis Clementsmith 10 years ago

Academic and athletic funds are not connected. Partnerships are born more out of specialty than athletics conference relationships, the exception being the B!G-CIC grant. If UNC thought there was a way to spin straw into gold, it probably wouldn't hesitate to partner with a midwest school. Its a bunch of academic egos who want to hold onto some sense of superiority through casual relationship. Its an idiotic point and you know it.

kubills 10 years ago

I've read on several sites that the Big 12 splits travel costs evenly among members. Is this true? If so, then the whole argument of travel costs eating away the $2.9 M is unjustified. It seems like Barron just started typing out the e-mail without checking his facts...most of his reasons for not joining the Big 12 appear to be either false or matters of personal opinion.

baldwinjhawk 10 years ago

What he got wrong is this. In the new National championship playoffs , RPI and maybe even conference RPI is going to be a major part of deciding who THOSE 4 teams are that are playing in it. If you use that formula the ACC would of only had 2 teams in last 10 years among those 4 and none in the NC. That school? Florida State. Also he obviously didn't want to mention the 3rd tier rights. KU makes 8-10 million a year just on that. We are also starting to co-broadcast with the TLN and jayhawtv to show our games. (Hey we have always worked with Texas on this matter. Instead of whining we got busy negotiating with them.) The ACC will become irrelevant in football even more so than it already is. That is why their deal with espn was so weak. Florida State could at least start their own TV network to make a ton more cash. They took a poll on, it's just like our polls on here. 79% said we want to move to the big 12. Eric Barron's boss? The board of trustees. Nuff said? Ask Texas aggies.

jhox 10 years ago

Your dig at TCU is unjustified. Don't mistake their athletic department related drug scandal to mean they are less than stellar academically. They are a very strong school academically.

bradh 10 years ago

I definitely don't think academics is driving the ship, otherwise MU and AtM wouldn't have gone to the weaker academics of the SEC. I do think it is the main factor the Presidents of the universities look at, but it is only one factor.

Basically what you're saying is there is no hope for the Big 12 since we were looked at as weak academically when we had CU, NU, MU and AtM in the conference. Schools you say are strong academically, if not strong in integrity.

I don't see where the academics makes a hill of beans in an athletic conference, except to a few thousand researchers who only care for the prestige. It doesn't affect their grants and if they want, they can work with departments of schools in other athletic conferences, as KU did with UMKC in Kansas City. I can't believe the thousands would hold the hundreds of thousands hostage for an ego boost.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years ago

Why do you say that the SEC is weaker? It's not.

Vernon Riggs 10 years ago

Television Revenue is driving this ship. Period.

When the ACC gets raided by the SEC, B1G and Big12. The new Big12 and SEC will have more AAU schools than the rebuilt ACC.

This is caused by the shifting dollars. When the ACC signed the TV Agreement that guaranteed the conference to be a second-tier conference, when the BCS proposed their payout and when the Big12 wisely left Tier 3 revenue off the table it started the motion. Two ACC schools will announce their intention to join the Big12 by August 15, 2012.

Your agrument lose creditability when two years ago the music almost stopped with Texas Tech, OSU, OU all had seats while Kansas and Iowa State the academic leaders of the Big12 were looking to the BigEast or Moutain West. Academics is a smoke screen. You don't think that B1G knew that they were going to vote Nebraska out of the AAU before they voted them in the B1G? If Academics was driving this ship the SEC and Big12 would be knocking on our beloved Tulane's door. I don't hear knocking.

Robert Brown 10 years ago

If the Big 12 is going to expand, they are not going to expand based on academics. Just because a school is in a particular conference doesn't elevate the school's academic profile. The Big 10 may be a possible exception. Is Texas considered a lesser academic school because they are in the Big 12. I think not. Are Washington State or Oregon State viewed as better academically because they are in the Pac-12? I doubt it. I suspect their academics are made fun of by other conference members.

Bringing in Rice or Tulane does nothing to help the conference. It weaken the competitiveness of the conference, making it more difficult for a Big 12 champion to be included in the play offs. They do nothing to add to the value of the media package. No one goes to Rice games. They are at best the 5th or 6th most popular team in Houston.

142466 10 years ago

I agree with every word you have written, I can rarely say that about any posting on this board. I have held the views you express ever since the realignment wheel began to spin.

The arguments stated by Mr. Barron of FSU for FSU's not jumping to the B12 are much more persuasive than any reasons for FSU B12ing. Above all, they're not going to withdraw from a growing region and dominate State to hook up with a bunch of sparcely populated plains States dominated by UT. FSU will be smart enough to look long-term. Sorry folks. I just calls 'em as I sees 'em.

The best remaining B12 expansion candidates are Loui, Cinci, Memphis, & Houston. None of them great, but that's what the B12 is left with. The bean stalk had already been pretty well picked before the B12 front office people awakened. And it looks to me like the B12 eggheads have now turned over and gone back to sleep.

Geography is important. WVU might have temporarily ignored it, but it will resurface in Morgantown within a few years; unless the B12 can add a school located somewhere between KC and Morgantown. If WVU remains geographicaly isolated, the B12 will no better be able to keep them in the fold than Rome was able to hold Britain or lands beyond the Rhine. WVU is an unprotected outpost.

The B12's failure to net Boise and BYU was a serious setback. BCS leagues are athletic assemblages, with the possible exception of the B10 (so far anyway), as you stated. And "athletics" means "football", mostly. BCS conferences are not intellectual debating fraternities. Had FB strong Boise entered the B12, then by osmosis their BB program would have risen to respectability within 4 to 5 years and their academic standing would have achieved acceptable stature within 5 to 7 years.

Historically, the folks living in Kansas & the other States in the B12 region have always been much more western oriented (Boise & BYU), than eastern oriented (WVU & FSU). The B12 blew it. Disappointing, to say the least.

Spencer Goff 10 years ago

--And, to be perfectly blunt, I have heard employers make snap decisions on the quality of a potential candidate's education based solely on their school's "athletic" conference affiliation.

"Oh, you went to Brown? That's Ivy League. Nice." "Oh, Oregon? That's a PAC-12 school right? Good." "Maryland business degree? The ACC has great schools."--

Seriously? Do you stay awake at night making this stuff up?

I'm going to add "I went to the school that is conference affiliated with a really good school," to my resume. I'll just leave the name off.

KansasRedLegger 10 years ago

Exactly. He just made that up. Does anyone think a Utah degree is worth more because they're in the same conference as Berkeley? Will a New Mexico State degree have more cachet now that they will be in the same conference as Air Force?

Give me a break. Plus, the poster is an MU fan, as he has proven time and time again.

Hank Cross 10 years ago

That's why the B10 took the Nebraska 'the N on the helmet is for Nowledge' Cornhuskers and MU and a&m went to the academically inferior SEC.

The original P10 expansion plan was cooked up by the Hollywood talent agency CAA, and I doubt that academics were even mentioned once in drawing up the original plans. Scott had full authority to add the OK schools and TT if they came with UT - so academics weren't a consideration.

baldwinjhawk 10 years ago

Lies. Texas has not shopped themselves seriously. They had a contingency plan if the big 12 folded. And believe it or not we were the ones that Texas wanted in that plan. But Texas and Oklahoma want their kids parents to be close to their games and means having a conference built mostly here in their part of the country. Independents are a thing of the past. If this 4 team playoffs really starts, Notre Dame is going to be forced to play its hand finally because they will not have an exception clause this time around, thus no path to the NC.

Ron Prichard 10 years ago

Take a breath and step away from the ledge.

KansasRedLegger 10 years ago

Wow another MU troll. One can always spot them by their use of "ku" and their irrational hatred of Texas.

Guess what, pal? Most of us like the Big 12 and don't want to go anywhere else.

Spencer Goff 10 years ago

I used to hate the Big 12 man, I have to be honest, but the moment they came together, got rid of the two whiners (seriously, who got more undeserving benefits than the A&M Aggies?), and fired Thunder Dan Beebe I thought, "Hey, they (Texas included) are serious about surviving as a conference."

From that moment on this group has been going in the right direction, and I, as an alumni of KU and a fan, am full on behind it.

Jackalope7 10 years ago

FSU is not coming to the Big 12. I just don't see it happening. Love for it to happen thou.

april28 10 years ago

The faculty comments are pure show for the professors. As a poster yesterday noted, no one joins a sports conference based on it's academic reputation. Does anyone think that FSU is a strong academic school because they are in the ACC?

The mention of Miami is to ensure that the two schools come as a pair - if they come at all.

Travel costs for other teams will eat up $2.9 million a year? You need a new travel secretary. Plus, the $2.9 million will grow if FSU and Miami join the conference.

The home sell-outs in football are a legitimate concern. If you give 'em a healthy dose of OU, Texas and WVU, then that won't be a problem, but this might actually be the only reason he lists that's actually real.

Jeff Coffman 10 years ago

Don't forget he is also negotiating to play UT or OU every year or so. He wants to be in the South not the North is all I see him doing.

But what if ND and Rutgers were added, would he still want to be in the South?

Remember most football schools want a few tough games, but they also want some conference foes that they can solidly beat every year. This assures them a chance at BCS success.

bradynsdad 10 years ago

Is it just me or does it seem as though he is putting his list of wants out there for the Big 12 to read before he contacts them? Basically saying we need money to get out of the conference, schools to pick up their academic standards and we don't want to be in the north division with k state, ku, Iowa state, Texas tech and TCU.

april28 10 years ago

I read it the same way - he's starting the negotiations and making public statements to assuage all the profs, alums, etc.

Rock_Chalk_NYC 10 years ago

Academics??? Seriously, does anyone even accept that premise anymore? 1. These are athletic conferences, not academic conferences. I don't see any revenue sharing of NIH grants. 2. Nebraska (lost AAU status) tried this lame excuse for their move to Big 10 3. Anyone want to tell me that San Diego St, Mizzery, Pitt, Syracuse, etc... Changed conferenes for academic reasons? 4. Any of you out there list your conference affiliation or your resume or CV? I know I personally pointed in interviews out that while I received my doctorate at KU, our debate team (of which I was not a member) competed against the likes of Baylor and Iowa State... Pretty sure thats why I was hired... LMAO

I don't know if this is going to happen or not but it sure would be great to get them along with 1 or 3 additional top tier schools.

Spencer Goff 10 years ago

I know right.

I'm going to have to bone up my resume, I didn't realize being in the same athletic conference as UT gave me rights to use that in my favor. "Yeah, when Chalmers lit up UT in the conference championship game, I was there. So I see us as on par. Does I gets the job?"

By the way, KU has won the most National Debate Tournaments of any public school in the United States my friend, and fourth overall behind only Northwestern, Dartmouth, and Harvard, put THAT on your resume!

Point being, yet again, Baylor don't have $hit on KU!

Jeff Kilgore 10 years ago

There may have been a time 40 or 50 years ago that academic standing would have been the most important consideration. This reputation is still important to the Big 10, but none of the rest of the conferences are all that concerned.

Money drives it all, and if FSU fans are 79% on board, then it's hard for me to believe that, that anti-Carolina feeling isn't shared by more FSU elite than Andy Haggard, whose opinion matters as much as the president.

Besides, the FSU president had to say those things to look presidential. Who knows what he'll say in the next six months? How many times did officials of the lost four schools swear their allegiance before jumping ship? It happens. I would be surprised if FSU doesn't jump--if not the Big 12, then to the SEC.

FLJHK 10 years ago

Mizzou, Syracuse and Pitt did not leave for academic reasons. But it was a small part of the reason that they were invited.

Jim Jackson 10 years ago

Can someone briefly explain what 1st 2nd and 3rd tier TV rights are and what their significance is? That is where I get lost in all of this...Thanks!

Eric Williams 10 years ago

Found this on an ESPN Blog:

RIGHTS AND TIERS -- AN EXPLANATION First-tier rights are for football and/or basketball games broadcast nationally.

Second-tier rights are for football and/or basketball games not selected by the first-tier rights holder.

Third-tier rights are any games not selected by the first- or second-tier rights holders and rights for all sports other than football and basketball. These rights are often sold on a per-school basis (not negotiated by the conference as a whole) and often go to regional networks (Comcast Sports Southeast, Raycom, or SportsNet New York, for example). They can also be reserved for networks like the Big Ten Network and the Texas Longhorn Network.

Deals are now being done for multiple tiers, though. For example, the Pac-12's new deal with ESPN and FOX covers first- and second-tier rights. And the ACC's deal covers football, men's and women's basketball, Olympic sports and all conference championship games. Basically, it's an all-inclusive package with a sublicensing arrangement in place with Raycom for games not broadcast by ESPN.

Brian Skelly 10 years ago

This is BS on the FSU Prez part. I feel like he sounds like a politician with the half-truths coming out. But that wasnt his goal. His goal was to quiet down the peanut gallery.

It IS true that four schools bolted because of un-equal revenue sharing. What isnt true is that continuing. At least for the next 13 years. The new deal calls for a equal cut of the 1st/2nd Tier pie. He may or may not know this, but again... that wasnt his point.

The 2.9 'differential' is only 2.9 mil NOW. It wouldnt be once FSU and someone else joined. In fact that 'difference' would damn near double annually. And that ISNT including its Tier 3 rights which FSU could clearly make something $$$ out of.

The 'loss' of the rivalry with Miami? Possibly. But possibly be not if we went after Miami too. Of course there's no smoke/fire there, but there certainly is logic to pairing them up. IF FSU were to be invited, my guess is negotiations for some other southern ACC school would be involved. If not directly, certainly indirectly.

I do agree with the concept that academics do matter with all this, but that isnt driving the bus despite cries about it. If it was we'd already be in the Big 10. I have a relative who's a Maryland grad and lives in the D.C. / Va area. He's always crowing about the ACC's greatness but even he acknowledges the concept that "Tobacco Road" runs the joint. Which is part of why there is always speculation (at least there) about Maryland going to the Big 10 -- or at least hoping to. They hate Tobacco Road as much as everyone else there does. He told me to that he cant envision a huge fight from the ACC if they decide to go... there's simply no argument over the number 1 argument -- MONEY -- to be made.

As ive said previously, I dont know weather this happens or not. It sounds eerily familiar to Texas A&Ms (and to some degree Mizzou's) chirping the last 2 years. Of course it also sounds a bit like David Boren and his "not being a wallflower"... which it turned out he actually was.

Whatever. I still think beyond this talk and banter we're setting up for a big jump, not a little one. I bet by kickoff of week 1 in college football season we'll know something for sure. Or not. FUN FUN FUN

april28 10 years ago

Bottom line: Doesn't everyone feel a little more safe with Bowlsby leading the way for the Big 12? He wasn't hired to sit still.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years ago

At some point before the end of the decade, Congress may be forced to become involved. The prestige of the schools, the money, the fairness or lack of fairness of the conferences all point to this. Here's why:

Let's say that 64 teams divided into four conferences is the future. If those conferences are the SEC, the Big 10, the Big 12, and the PAC 12, with the divided remains of ACC/Big East teams, then think about this:

The state of Ohio will have just one NCAA team. Mississippi will have two. Kansas wil have two. Colorado, just one. Nevada, none at all. Missouri, just one. Kentucky, just one. Georgia, possibly, just one. Massachusetts none. Connecticut none. Maryland, possibly none. Virginia, possibly none. Does any one in their right minds thnk that this whole system won't be forced to reorganize and to be more inclusive--more teams?

With all the money concentrated into seemingly (to Congress) arbitrarirly chosen schools, how does Congress stand by and let this happen?

I'm basing this on population representation that we see in the House of Representatives.

Jeff Coffman 10 years ago

If congress is involved we will have problems.

Curtis Stutz 10 years ago

Did congress decide where all the NFL money went? That follows the House of Representatives pattern, big populations, NFL teams. How can Mass. complain about a lack of CFB money (even though BC could still end up in the B1G in your scenario) when they've got the New England Patriots, Maryland shares the Redskins with DC, Georgia would have UGA and the Falcons, Colorado would have CU and the Broncos and the state of Iowa has...or Alabama has...or Utah has...or Oregon has...or South Carolina has...or Mississippi St has...Oklahoma has... Virginia Tech probably isn't going to be left out in the cold for cfb either btw Clearly professional sports has an effect on what colleges are going to be the most successful. I remember ASU players talking about how ASU football wasn't very big 'cause of the Cardinals. Same thing goes for a city like New York I'm sure. If there weren't pro teams taking all the attention and raking in all the money people would be more concerned in that area about supporting a quality college football department. Ohio would only have 1 team 'cause they have 1 giant university, which has helped them be successful in athletics. Certain areas of the country have put an emphasis on college football as have their institutions and certain areas haven't. Congress has nothing to do with it.

142466 10 years ago

Serious and realistic threats of Fed intervention will arise. That's a few years from now. The BCS conferences will then clean up the situation themselves (possibly by adding 8 more BCS schools, (going from 64 to 72) so as to avoid "Watergate" type hearings.

I've never seen anything on TV more riveting than the Watergate hearings. However, Congressional investigations of & hearings into the NCAA could top even Watergate and would surely expose a greater number of prosecutable felons. Everyone follows NCAA sports, many avidly. Nearly everyone would watch. By contrast, the majority of people have long ago tuned out of national politics (less than half vote, even for Prez), realizing that national elections are the ultimate show of trickery on parade. Even the shows of Spike Jones and his City Slickers should be taken more seriously than the quadriannual (sp?) first Tuesday after first Monday Prez popularity contests. In fact, the winner-take-all electoral college system assures that in all but a few States your vote for Prez is totally meaningless.

Randy Bombardier 10 years ago

WVU was a shock to me. It appeared desperate. To me geography has to make sense. That is a big reason why the Big East is a joke. Its members are all over the place. If we add some east pod teams like FSU, Clemson, etc, maybe it would work but I still think it makes more sense to expand in our own backyard. Adding schools such as Rice, SMU, Air Force makes more sense.

Brian Skelly 10 years ago

I think Big 12 higher ups were leaning towards Louisville. Once they brought in TV people showing them the numbers however it quickly turned to WVU. I agree with the concept of geography. Which is why expanding EAST makes the most sense. What that entails, who knows. FSU is probably a good place to start. I'd still like to go after Louisville, but it doesnt appear thats a front burner school right now.

danmoore 10 years ago

Is there anything in the conference by-laws that states that every sport must compete with all the other schools in the conference? KU has 15 sports but only football and basketball are revenue producing so it makes financial sense for them to travel half way around the country to compete. Given the expanding geographic footprints from conference realignment it makes better sense from a cost perspective if only football and basketball compete in the Big 12. The remaining 13 sports should compete only with schools from Kansas and surrounding states thereby reducing their travel costs. I don’t know if this is a Title IX (?) violation but this would be a better business model than what we currently have.

Jeff Coffman 10 years ago

Our rowing team is currently in CUSA.

So I would venture to guess no.

Curtis Stutz 10 years ago

like BPS said not from a monetary stand point it doesn't, plus AFA decided it wouldn't be good for their cadets to compete in the Big12, which made very little sense to me. It's not like players in the Big12 are that much more likely to injure someone than a BE player would right? But bottom line, they ended up splitting up sports in the BigEast and MVC and wherever else

I can't imagine anybody is thrilled to make trips to WVU next year. Sure it's just one timezone different like CU was, but I think most fans looked forward to trips to Boulder. Actually I enjoy driving through WVU, but I don't usually stop. The only solace we can take is it isn't KU's fault the conference realignments are getting so screwy. The BE took in ND way back when. Then the ACC picked up BC out of nowhere back in the day, pushing the BE to take on teams like Marquette and UofL out of CUSA. Then Nebraska and CU made slightly less drastic but not entirely geographical moves out of the Big12. The BE went totally nuts and grabbed at TCU for football and ended up with Boise St. More quality geographic matches leaving led to WVU joining the Big12, the ACC looked to continue its expansion north with Pitt and Syracuse, now the Big12 is looking as far southeast as the state of Florida. Sadly though if football really does dissolve 2 out of 3 BCS conferences and the B12 wants to survive, FSU and Miami would be a sound step in that direction, otherwise we could see the ACC picking up a few more schools if some of their programs improve and force B12 schools to break up between the SEC/B1G/P12.

Robert Brown 10 years ago

I would think Louisville would be pretty far down on the list. If the conference cannot get Florida State or some other big time program, there is no reason to expand. Louisville does nothing to add value to the media package. I could see them coming only if an odd number of desirable schools come in and Louisville is added to get to an even number.

I would think if FSU chooses to come to the Big 12, at least one other ACC school will follow.

dhinkansas 10 years ago it's about academics and tradition? Like Muck Fizzou had so much tradition with the other SEC schools? This guy sounds like a fool. It's about tv money, and I suspect behind the scenes, he's chomping at the bit to get his hands on Big 12 dollars. The ACC will never have football contracts the size of Big 12 contracts.

Randy Bombardier 10 years ago

Exactly. The ACC overlaps the SEC's tv markets. That makes them the weak sister. OU and Texas playing in the SEC's backyard, playing FSU or Clemson, is going to make a heck of an impact on what games get televised where. There will also be a curiosity about the other Big12 teams that the Southeast have not had the option to watch. If FSU airs their own network it will brand the Big12 in Florida. The Big12 puts out fun football to watch. Vandy is not going to beat Bama so what's the point in watching. ISU did beat undefeated OSU. I am beginning to really like the idea if they come with at least one other eastern team. I like the idea of S. Florida getting invited too.

bradynsdad 10 years ago

Academics is really just a stupid reason. Stop and think about that. It is a really stupid reason. No wonder the sec and the big ten are pushing to get Harvard and Yale into their conference. Academics really? As the coach from the movie "The Program" puts it, "when was the last time 80,000 people showed up to watch a kid do a damn chemistry experiment?" Seriously let's get over academics. It's about football money, bottom line.

danmoore 10 years ago

Academics are part of the equation but the overwhelming factor is revenue. Half of the Pac 10 expressed concerns about the admission of the Oklahoma schools because they are not members of the AAU.

LogicMan 10 years ago

Revenue, and the desire at premier programs to win national titles. That's why this FSU to the Big 12 thing has legs.

An interesting one from Baylor's boards:

Arkansas is being heavily pressured by really-deep-pockets Jerry and other older alums to move to the Big 12! The reason being not revenue, but the desire to win like they used to when they were part of the SWC. Younger readers can't remember, but the Hogs were big-time back then. Apparently 75% or so of their players came from Texas in their glory days, and they've disappeared from the national title picture since going to the SEC. The alums greatly miss their rivalries with the Texas teams, and the easy travel. They haven't truly developed any deep rivalries in the SEC.

With Arkansas, FSU, and maybe even ND in the Big 12, the per school payout is predicted to match or noticeably exceed that of the SEC.

Jerry and like-minded alums, please dig deep to make it happen! We would welcome the Razorbacks to the Big 12 South. Can you publicly guarantee, with your own funds, that Arkansas wouldn't lose any net conference revenues by coming home to the Big 12?

Spencer Goff 10 years ago

I was a little turd when they were good, but yeah, they used to pull all the second and third tier talent from Texas as often as any school. The SWC was really loaded with football from top to bottom.

Granted, I was little back then so it never occurred to me how dirty-dirty some of their dealings were.

It should be noted that Arkansas was successful in a league where they were the ONLY non-Texas school, so they were doing something right.

I doubt anybody leaves the SEC for the Big 12 though. Bless his heart, Jerry is in love with both the State of Texas and his alma mater, and he wants them to re-marry, unfortunately for him, I don't think they are interested.

FLJHK 10 years ago

Not long ago I was fully on board with Manginoh00lz’s line of thinking on this. To me, academics have always been one of the foundations of conferences, along with geography and culture. To me conferences have always been something more than athletic leagues. They have been cultural entities. A certain stigma and identity applied based upon your school’s conference affiliation. And while I still think some of these factors are important, they are much less so today, and trends are such that they will be even less so in the future.

To me the last straws were Mizzou to the SEC, and even more so, W. Va. to the Big 12. W. Va. makes absolutely zero sense from any of the traditional perspectives. But it is truly a sign of the times. With W. Va. in the Big 12, geography no longer matters, and culture takes a back seat.

Now it is truly only about the money. And unlike the last round of conference shuffling, I hope the Big 12 is the aggressor this time. That being said, Florida State would be a terrific addition, and I think it is a viable possibility. But the other target should be Notre Dame. The landscape is shifting radically, and it may be time that Notre Dame reassesses its historic independence, or their national significance could continue to erode.

Imagining the Big 12 with FSU and Notre Dame is intoxicating. But I wouldn’t stop there. The next tier of targets should include Louisville, BYU and Clemson. If expansion eventually gets to 16 schools, I would like to see academic powerhouses like Tulane and/or Rice get consideration, but probably not before then.

I think expansion is inevitable to ensure long-term viability. I think the race for the 4th spot in the eventual four team superconference scenario is between the ACC and the Big 12. (The SEC, Big 10 and Pac are already in). It’s time to get out in front of this thing and think big. No expansion for expansion’s sake, expand only with quality.

danmoore 10 years ago

If Notre Dame ever gives up their independence I think they will likely join the Big 10. They already play a number of schools there and it fits geographically. Big 10 is weaker than Big 12 and ND is not the program they once were.

FLJHK 10 years ago

At one time I would have agreed. But the landscape has changed. ND will not regain its football reputation by going to the weaker Big 10. I think FSU and Miami learned that by going to the ACC. Plus I don't think the Big 10 allows the third tier TV rights to individual schools. That would be huge for Notre Dame.

Spencer Goff 10 years ago

For the most part, the author's rebuttals are spot on. The only one I question is the assertion that the Big 12 is paying for WVU to leave. If I'm not mistaken, WVU pays it over time as part of their TV package money. But why wouldn't that also be possible for Florida State? I am sure the Big 12 could come up with some way to make the move a possibility.

Barron seems like a tool. He has been at Florida State for a couple of years now, and I get the feeling there is some amount of divorce between the fanbase and their president.

Also, how is counter-litigation not a possibility? All ACC schools were basically forced to sign over 20 million or get the boot, and then they sign those schools up to a weak television package? I smell a settlement...

Brian Skelly 10 years ago

I still think the Big 12 stays at 10 unless it feels it can make moves to grow the pie.

To me, FSU will grow the pie. As would another southern ACC school.

Id also mention that once moment for this sorta thing starts really rolling, theres nothing to get in the way of it.

Any one (brave or insane) remember what looked like once the Mizzou to SEC started?? It was a tidal wave that simply want going to be held back.

I dont think this will be quite to that level. But its clear that the not-so-silent majority (or minority, who knows at this point) in FSU land seems to be taking to this.

We'll see what happens.

Spencer Goff 10 years ago

So to elaborate on your post BP, because I was thinking this right after reading your article posted above...

I don't think Barron has realized what this means to his job security; whereas the Presidents at Colorado, Mizzou, Nebraska, and A&M did. Once the fanbase realizes it is a real possibility, and buys into how "awesome" the new place will be, you have no choice but to make it happen.

If they refuse the offer, or even APPEAR to refuse the offer, and the deal is botched, their fanbase will assure that they are run out of town if their athletic program does not take off in a big way. And I don't mean softball titles or Olympic sports... Sorry.

The replies will become automatic. Anytime money is an issue, "We should have left for the Big 12." Anytime Carolina favoritism is an issue, "We should have left for the Big 12." Anytime a recruit picks Florida over Florida State, "We should have left for the Big 12."

For right or wrong, the athletic fanbase dictates these moves, and if he botches it up, he is done. He will always be the President that left them to "rot in the ACC."

mikehawk 10 years ago

What does this really mean? No way Florida State is joining the Big 12. The talk is posturing. End of story.

Scott Smetana 10 years ago

FSU >>>Mizzery. Why didn't the SEC take FSU?

Is it because experts actually believe people in KC and St. Louis (baseball nuts) actually will watch Mizzery?

Brian Skelly 10 years ago

The SEC wont take FSU because UF is dead set against that. And UF probably carries more clout than anyone in the SEC, with possible exception of Alabama. And even then that could be debated. This is fairly common knowledge in SEC / ACC country. While I dont know the details, I also think that FSU turned down the SEC a few times in the past already. That part doesnt sit well either. Obviously the SEC is in a different place than it was 20-30 years ago. From a much more practical standpoint while the 'brand' of FSU would carry some more cache', adding FSU does NOTHING to expand the TV and media footprint at all. UF already dominates the state with that... which is why the FSU isnt going to die down anytime soon. It's all about the $$$.


As a KU alum in St. Louis, ive mentioned that very issue (both big media markets in Missouri paying more attention to Mizzou) to a great many people here who are either Mizzou fans or Alums (immediate family included). Are folks who are Cardinals, Blues, Rams season ticket holders going to give that up for Mizzou season football tickets? Doubtful. Will some? Sure. Its hard for me to envision a sea change with that.
And while rural Missouri (insert meth lab joke here) has plenty of 'fans' and likely some alums probably will or would go (or more likely continue to go) to Mizzou games, its not a stretch to say that most of the $$$ needed for this shift to the SEC is St. Louis, and to some degree KC. My guess their entertainment dollars are going to go to their pro teams of choice first before they'd go to the Tigers, unless of course they're already going there -- and accounted for.

I think this is the real question for Mizzou's move to the SEC. Because its going to take that commitment by fans and alum to make it work. Otherwise, their going to be bottom feeding. I just dont see a huge shift in all this, thats all.

Travis Clementsmith 10 years ago

Also, you have to consider the different motivations for conference expansion. The SEC is looking to add quality teams, it has those in spades. Its looking to add TV sets for their proposed SEC Network along the B!G model. So, they have to weigh what is the more important mission to them: the network or blocking a Big 12 invasion. I think they think they can still hold sway in the SE states and will continue to add market share.

Curtis Stutz 10 years ago

It's interesting that some of us don't like adding a school like WVU for geographical reasons, then you think about the poor WVU fans that now have to fly to every road game. Same thing with FSU, I can see how FSU fans would hate to have to travel to Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa or even WVU for a road game. Especially being used to the warm weather, not much fun to head to Iowa in November for a Florida resident. I would think the Big12 would be merciful enough to put them in a southern division anyway.

Travis Clementsmith 10 years ago

So you want to put all the Texas and Florida schools in one half of the conference thereby limiting the north schools access to the recruiting grounds? Have we learned nothing? Texas schools need to be split and some sort of zipper approach needs to be added.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years ago

Who wants to travel to the east / southeast for a football / basketball game. Or visa versa. These long distant relationships will not last (WVU) so why add more of them? I hate the way this realignment picture is evolving. Is there no common sense out there? I understand it's more complex than that, but I wish people driving this ship would wake up.

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