Florida State Trustees raise some valid and some not so valid questions about the ACC.


It was nearly 3 years ago a Florida State trustee raised some questions about the ACC, that started with several inaccuracies and led to a firestorm of realignment and conference rumors for an entire summer. Most if not all the rumors proved to be false. The ACC didn’t disband, they were part of the playoff structure, a football and basketball national title and 3 Orange Bowl Wins later, and the ACC is athletically competitive when critics said they wouldn’t be.

It is 2015, and again Florida State trustee’s are again raising questions about the ACC. Are the questions being raised valid or are we seeing unfounded concerns? As we remember back in 2012, just because you are University Trustee doesn’t mean you are dealing accurate information.

The entire article on the FSU trustees can be found at Warchant.com. 

Two main questions were brought up. The ACC’s football perception as it pertains to the playoff selection, and the ACC Network. Let’s start with the playoff discussion.

“I think the perceived bias of the ACC in general, [with] Florida State falling to No. 4 in the rankings and still being undefeated and being [No.] 3 at the end of the season … a one-loss ACC team or two-loss ACC team is going to have a hard time breaking that top four,” Gruters said. “I think the top ACC team over the next four or five years, we’re going to be in that [No.] 5 to 8 category. And we’re going to be on the outside looking in.”

Gruters then urged Wilcox to encourage the ACC to push for an expansion of the new playoff system – from four to eight teams

I’ll be the first to admit that Florida State should have never fallen outside the top 2 last year, but to assume a one loss ACC team wouldn’t make the playoff is a bit of exaggeration. Let’s look at how the selection committee may have viewed Florida State.

The Seminoles played won 1 ACC game that was won by than 18 points. Oregon had 7 such wins in the Pac 12. Alabama had 5 SEC wins by a greater margin than 18. Even Ohio State had 4 Big 10 wins by more than 18 points. Oregon, Ohio State, and Alabama all lost their only game by the 1st week in October.

There’s really nothing to suggest that if FSU had lost by early October then had several blowout wins to finish the year, they wouldn’t have been in the top 4. As Baylor and TCU proved though you lose a game though and you are at the mercy of the selection committee. The Seminoles didn’t lose and they made the playoff. Ohio State won the national title from the #4 position. So what’s really the problem? I don’t see one here. A 1 loss team is at risk of not making playoff, so…. don’t lose. Florida State controls their own destiny, irregardless of the perception of the ACC. Either go undefeated, or lose early and blow teams away. The roadmap is pretty clear. Let’s move to the ACC Network.

Burr, reached later at his Jacksonville office, told Warchant that he and the other trustees aren’t necessarily alarmed about the lack of a cable channel. But he added that he wants to make sure FSU doesn’t “get left behind” while schools in other conferences are clearing more revenue, which can be used for facilities and other improvements.

When contacted by Warchant about the trustees’ concerns, Swofford agreed to address those issues and others in a lengthy telephone interview, the transcript of which can be found here. While he didn’t offer details about the conference’s television negotiations, Swofford did say that process is tracking along the timeline he expected. He added that the conference has maintained all along that this would be a “multiple-year process.”

I’ve been saying for sometime the ACC and John Swofford could be more transparent with the progress on the network. I still believe that, and in this case the FSU trustees have a valid question. How is the network progressing? The Big 10 network and SEC Network make significant money, the Pac 12’s network has yet to be a major revenue generator, but additional revenue sources are something each ACC school likely looking into.

This is a fair question. While saying the network is progressing as expected is fine, Swofford would do well in the next few months to make some more concrete statements. It’s not that I think it won’t happen. I believe it will happen, but as we saw in 2012 it doesn’t take much to start a summer of discontent in the social media age.

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