I’ve obviously been following the Florida State Big 12 story with alot of interest. I would prefer the ACC stays together, but I’m not here to discuss the merits of why FSU and by extension why Clemson or anyone should stay. I’m not going bash any football school for their lack of success and whether it led us to this point or not.
It really doesn’t matter anymore. Florida State is mad. Their fans are worked up, and 11 ACC members are waiting on what the Noles do next. If you’re dismissing FSU’s recent actions as sabre rattling, I would disagree with you. I think they are dead serious at investigating this move to the Big 12. Do I think it’s imminent? Not necessarily, the president of Florida State said enough in his statement Monday that I believe Florida State isn’t united at the highest levels on whether a move should be made. That said I’m sure of two things.
1) If the ACC stays status quo hoping this will blow over and FSU will simply decide the ACC is a better fit then I don’t like the conference’s chances of keeping the Seminoles.
2) Even a down Florida State football team is still the ACC’s biggest football brand name, and football drives everything. If the Noles take Clemson with them, that 17 Million dollar contract will take a significant nosedive. You think the gap between the ACC and the rest of the country is big now? Try a TV negotiation without Florida State and Clemson and watch the other ACC football schools like Virginia Tech, NC State, Miami, and Georgia Tech start looking at their own interests.
This is a critical point, the decision can go either way at the moment. Here are 5 things that can bring Florida State back into the fold and ease the Nole fanbase. While most FSU fans favor the move, the ones I’ve talked to are open to discussion.
1) Just Listen to Florida State
The TV deal is done, so another 3 Million dollars isn’t on its way. There are other considerations though, the buyout, the travel, the loss of geographic footprint, the hopeless attempt to catch Texas in spending money. I don’t care if the Big 12 deal is 50 Million, Florida State and anyone that joins will never come close to matching what Texas can spend.
Catching Florida a team not in your conference and play once a year is one thing. Try going through Texas and Oklahoma maybe twice and playing virtual road championship games. That’s not the road to the National Title. Florida State has several reasons to stay, and maybe just maybe they have some wishes that can reasonably be met. I have an idea what some are, but not all. Bring them and the rest of the ACC to the table.
2) Make the Television Deal more transparent.
From Tier 3 to backloading this Television Deal has caused more confusion and mis-information than I could have imagined. People were still calling into Clemson sports radio yesterday complaining the Basketball schools could still sell their third teir basketball rights. All I could think was WOW, this is so misunderstood.
The Pac 12′s super mega deal is so backloaded. The Pac 12 is making 15 million a team in its first years, not 21 Million. Sit down with FSU officials and explain this to them. Is the deal a home run? No but it’s not nearly as bad as being reported.
3) Adjust Bowl Payouts
I’m not talking about huge differences in revenue earnings. You can keep the TV deal 100% shared equally, but did you know the ACC made 40 Million dollars in bowl revenue last year? They split the money equally after allotting for travel expenses. That’s nice. A communal farm is a nice idea too, but just about nobody wants to live in one.
How about give a larger share to teams that make bowls, and even larger share to teams that make the playoffs and BCS games. Florida State wants to be a football school, let them earn it on it the field knowing there could be a sizable payout at the end. At the very least bring it to a vote.
4) Modify Divisions
I don’t think we’ll ever get the true North South Division, but maybe slightly adjust it. Move Miami to the Atlantic and NC State to the Coastal, and give FSU a natural rival of Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech. There is no reason that FSU plays Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech as rarely as they do. NC State will get more opportunities to play Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech as well.
5) Make Schedule more football friendly
This is not the first time I’ve written about this. Guess who Auburn played after their game with Clemson last year? Florida Atlantic. Clemson got the honor of playing Florida State, after Florida State tangled with Oklahoma. Come on really? I will say this again again as well. In their in-state rival games the ACC teams are playing conference games, while their SEC brethren are playing FCS teams or have BYE weeks.