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FSU: Is It Better To Reign In Football Hell Or Serve In Gridiron Heaven?

In John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Satan says that it is better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.  It seems Florida State and ol’ Scratch have something in common.  Perhaps we should start saying “Florida Statan” around here.

FSU is the crown jewel of Atlantic Coast Conference football.  But that’s akin to being voted the sexiest man alive… on Gilligan’s Island.  It doesn’t take much to achieve that honor.

Oh, sure Clemson’s had success in the past.  Miami was once a national power before becoming a national scourge.  And as strong as Virginia Tech has been the last two decades, the Hokies still have never won a national crown.

The ACC is Hell when it comes to football.  But FSU can reign there.  If the Seminoles were to move to the more fitting, football-mad SEC, their fight to the top of the leaderboard would no doubt be much, much tougher.  But at least they’d be hanging out with kindred spirits.

Lightning-rod columnist Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel believes it’s time FSU pack its bags and start serving in Heaven.  An excerpt from his latest column:

“I’m starting to realize why more and more Florida State fans crave a move to the SEC and why the school reportedly has set up an exploratory committee to look into — among other things — whether the ACC is the best fit for FSU’s athletic program.

It’s becoming more and more apparent that the answer is no.  Let’s be bluntly honest here: ACC football just does not excite Florida State’s fan  base.  Never has.  Never will.  It didn’t really hit me until last weekend when a record crowd showed up at Doak Campbell Stadium for a game against No. 1-ranked Oklahoma.  That’s when I realized FSU fans are starving for the monumental mega-games that the ACC rarely provides.

All you have to do is look at FSU’s four home conference games this season — Maryland, NC State, Miami and Virginia — to understand.  Only the Miami game will truly get FSU fans jacked up, and UM-FSU was a big game long before Miami joined the ACC seven years ago.  It’s no wonder FSU has thousands and thousands of empty seats for its ACC home games.

Now juxtapose FSU’s ACC schedule with Florida’s SEC home schedule of Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia (neutral site) and Vanderbilt.  Three of Florida’s four league home games are marquee matchups against other big-time football schools who bring nearly as many fans on the road as some ACC teams draw at home.

This latest round of expansion shows once and for all that the Seminols are miscast in a basketball league.  Philosophically and geographically, Florida State is clearly an SEC school.”

Realignment is driven by television money.  If the SEC and FSU could put aside whatever differences divide them and partner up, the networks would pay large chunks of cash to gain access to an SEC upgraded with yet another major, national brand that provides cross-country drawing power.

Academics and administrators at FSU would definitely need some convincing to walk away from a highly-respected academic conference, but money talks.  And lots of money talks even louder.

The key here — as was the case at Texas A&M — might be the collective will of the school’s fans.  Aggie fans influenced boosters who influenced boardmembers and up the power chain the SEC vibe went.  Interestingly, Missouri fans have gone from relatively quiet on expansion a few weeks ago to screaming quite loudly for an SEC berth today.

If FSU fans were to campaign for the SEC, perhaps the FSU administration would listen.  And if that happened, then perhaps Mike Slive and the SEC would in turn listen to the Seminoles’ administrators.

(Isn’t it ironic that as we in the media cry and whine about the evils of expansion, fans at some schools are actually influencing the outcome of this realignment game?)

For FSU, the school faces a new spin on an old choice: Is it better to reign in football Hell or serve in gridiron Heaven?

 


122 comments
G8rBlue
G8rBlue

Im a Gator (and it pains me to say this) but UF does stand to benefit if they negotiate FSU into the SEC.__1. For years there have been alliances among rivals in the conference boardrooms. The most documented would be OU and Texas. But also Ive been told that Bama/Auburn also have one that give them a major voting block in the SEC. FSU could propose a similiar alliance that would equal if not surpass Bama for the sunshine state. Right now UF goes it alone against the states with 2 SEC teams. __2. UF counters with asking FSU to join UF in the removing an annual with Miami. FSU would have to ensure the legislature would force it. This would free up non-conference games for both. FSU would play Miami in the same sunshine state round robin that UF plays them in. Publicly isolating Miami from its conference and demoting them to a second tier university in the state with USF and UCF. UF/FSU divides up traditional Miami recruiting grounds. __3. FSU/UF act as one and hold sunshine network hostage for a better tier 3 media rights.....they bank. __These are nasty realities here in the sunshine state but Florida does stand to gain if they get out in front of this and endorse FSU. instead of being the one school screaming "no" if the SEC runs out of options.

rmft
rmft

good post

I think the NCAA will also help demote Miami from a top tier florida program, at least for the next decade or so

glad to see not all Florida fans are like the couple that posted above in this thread

Chris
Chris

Reign? Reign? They have lost 6 of hte last 9 to Clemson and haven't won in Death Valley in 10 years!

BJN
BJN

And what is South Carolina's overall record against Clemson? No one has a problem with USC being the so called "little brother" of the state.

asdf
asdf

I agree that the blatant lovefest for FSU on this site is getting unbearable. I barely even come here, and yet every single article I've seen so much as mentioning FSU is incessant pushing of them to the SEC. Why you're so in love with them is beyond me. Are they a good academic school? No. Do they bring in a new state? No. All they have is their name, and they're just like Notre Dame and Miami, living on their history. Apparently you guys are the gullible types who have bought in, yet AGAIN, to the FSU hype claiming they're really truly "back" again this year, they swear.

It's extremely clear that the number one reason 90% of the FSU supporters take that position is purely because they think FSU will challenge Florida. That's it. Realistically, rationally, you know they are far from the number one choice. And that's not just the opinion of Florida fans, that's Slive and the SEC - they want new territory, not a retread of current territory. I have to wonder how Georgia fans would feel if people were being annoyingly aggressive about hyping Georgia Tech as the next member, or South Carolina fans if people were hyping Clemson. The claim that UF is "scared" of FSU is utterly laughable. Newsflash, guys: it's the rest of the SEC who would have a harder road with FSU in (assuming you buy that they will imminently be good again). UF already plays them every year. UF already recruits against them every year. It's you guys who would be adding them to your schedule. We know what your real agenda is.

If you're going to take someone from the ACC, literally ANYONE else would be a better choice for the SEC's goals, particularly Virginia Tech or a North Carolina school. Missouri is a FAR better choice. So are lots of schools. The only comparison where FSU comes out ahead is against someone like Louisville or West Virginia. A bunch of you seem to be blinded by the FSU name. I sincerely doubt you would be so high on them were they not so hyped up this year claiming to finally be good again after that spectacular 4-loss season last year.

By the way, Florida supported FSU to the SEC for like 50 years while NO ONE else wanted them. When they finally got their invite, they turned it down. So why should Florida support them now? No one knows what the school's actual position is, but I know the Florida fans either like the idea of FSU finally having to play a real schedule or simply don't want to let FSU into our club and give them all the benefits, because we hate them. Why would SC want to help Clemson? Why would Georgia want to help Georgia Tech? They wouldn't. People just complain about UF because they're afraid Florida will be too good to give THEIR team a chance. And please quit perpetuating the myth that UF sucked until the 90s. We weren't getting national championships, but we were doing perfectly fine. Claiming Florida wasn't good until 20 years ago is a flat-out lie. And I'd personally much rather have a good team NOW than live on the history of what my team did 50 years before I was even born. Who cares. Only the people whose teams suck now.

Bring on the 12 million thumbs down because you disagree a.k.a. you hate Florida even more that you love FSU. Let me guess, John, you're a Georgia fan? An Alabama fan? Anything but a Florida fan? Big surprise there.

Todd
Todd

Pretty sure John doesn't have a team, as far as I can tell he is as neutral as it gets

If I'm wrong, he does a fantastic job of hiding it

texaggies89
texaggies89

more arrogant Florida BS, that's what's unbearable IMO... I've been on this site every day since the SEC/TAMU date dame began. I never had a clue how arrogant UF was until the last few weeks. Trust me, as a member of the Big 12, I recognize unfiltered arrogance coming from a fan base, it's a cancer. In this case, UF is = t.u. longhors. yep, thumbs down, you UF fans don't seem to get it. but neither did Big 12 buster t.u. Go 'Noles, this Aggie hope you'll join us in the SEC as #14.

Bamabrad
Bamabrad

You don't think Bama, Tenn, & Ole Miss would make more money and gain a recruiting advantage if we didn't have another SEC school in our state to compete with?

We deal with it and finds ways to succeed anyway

Explain to me why the gators should have a monopoly on their state yet the rest of should not. Especially when there is a another team in your state whos addition could mean more money and national prominence for the entire league

Who do y'all think y'all are... Texas? If that's the way you feel why don't you take your squad to the big xii where they accommodate those type of prima donna schools.

Bamabrad
Bamabrad

Why does Alabama have to support Auburn then? Kind of sux you can be the only school from your state but we have to split ours

How come we didn't get to banish our annoying little brother to the acc like y'all did. the 1 team per state rule should be abolished, unless the sec kicks out vandy miss state and auburn

Todd
Todd

Thats great, you owned the Noles but you got owned by everyone else. Both FSU and Florida became major players on the national landscape at the exact same time and are viewed as equals by the rest of the world

DB2.0
DB2.0

Man is there a lot of FSU envy in the world. If you want a little stardust in your life, just schedule us OOC like UF does. Gotta go, lots of distractions abound for FSU men ...

GoGators
GoGators

Woke up this morning wondering if one day we too could lose to a third tier team like Clemson.

The depth of my nolie envy was overwhelming.

Go Gators!

rmft
rmft

have you forgotten last year already?

Gators lost to all kinds of 3rd tier teams en route to struggling to even have a winning record

Frank
Frank

I've been a Seminole since the 70's, graduated in "82 and I would love to see FSU in the SEC. I'm not into all this school trashing that goes on. I think UF is a fine school but I cheer for the Noles. So frigging what? Anyway, I will do all I can to see if this can occur.

Otto
Otto

FSU is the best business model. FSU to the SEC benfits UF. UF would not have to fight as many ACC teams for recruits and Miami becomes a has been. FSU and UF will be the premier Florida football schools let the ACC play for 2nd in the state with Miami and USF when they are added.

Further UF fans crying that UF built FSU. The SEC built UF, for decades UF was a mid level SEC team at best. Demographics changed in Florida and UF had the benefit of being in the SEC. Yet UF was still the last of the Florida schools to win a conf. or national Title.

Otto
Otto

UF was the winning program in Florida before the rise of FSU and Miami due to being in the SEC. UF could have been a national power before FSU and Miami if they had run a clean program and not been under sanctions in the early 80s.

I don't see how Miami's relationship with UF had anything to do with building Miami's program.

Davsag8r
Davsag8r

We took huge crowds to the orange bowl every other year....like twice as many as there were canes...we paid the 6 figure guarantees when they came to gville...that's how we did it...with UF money i.e. ticket sales and soda sales and parking fees etc.... That is why we dropped Miami, because they brought NOTHING to the table from a financial standpoint.

JaxGator
JaxGator

Not sure what it means to say the SEC built UF, since it played a role in helping all of the SEC teams improve....UF rise was keyed by its alumni ($$) and fan support(UF's sports Revenue is over 2X greater than the FSU or Miami). Being the dominate state school in one of the top three "Football" states(demographics) lead to UF's rise in all sports. Demographics played the same role with FSU and the "U".

Thats also the reason Texas A&M is such a "get" (While PItt and Syracuse are not as much)...Alumni and fan support, $$$ and demographics. That and playing Texas A&M in football is going to be a lot more fun than the 2 new ACC teams....

bob rogers
bob rogers

i don't remember south carolina or arkansas being first choices in the last sec expansion........they seem to have turned out well......perhaps some of their fans would comment on the caliber of football played by mid-major ECU. :)

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

The big difference between those schools and ECU is that they were already considered top level schools in college sports. And yes, I know that USC was no good on the field, but what I'm talking about is the fact that they had once been a member of a major conference in the ACC although they were independent at the time the SEC took them.

ECU is a mid-major and is not one of the 2 most popular teams in their state.

bob rogers
bob rogers

please google "undawnted ecu".......REAL FACTS

Todd
Todd

They turned out ok... It took south Carolina about a decade to win their first conference game

20 years later, how many sec championships have they won?

Razorback
Razorback

As it turns out Bob, Arkansas went 268-110-8 between 1958 and 1991 while a member of the Southwest Conference and won 10 conference titles in that span and one national championship. You may recall that the ole' SWC was regarded as the best football league in those days so I don't think Hog fans would be able to speak to the caliber of mid-major football played by the ECU Pirates (whom we beat in the coldest game I've ever attended two years ago). As for 'Cock fans, they will have to speak for themselves.

Razorback

chris
chris

excellent point bob. I think to their credit, the SEC has valued fit over finances, realizing that finances will come. I guess on the big expansion chart there were lots of different factors that mattered, but I think this whole fiasco should tell us that sometimes our evaluations don't tell the whole story. Last year UT appeared to be the greatest expansion option, who would think that now? Go with schools that want in, not solely out of desperation, but who have the same cultural values. I think one of these should not be stabbing your old conference in the back (FSU, Im looking at you).

Chris
Chris

For a conference that is so secure in being number 1, i believe this is how you admit you lost this round so far. The only remaining way to win is to get fsu. Go ahead and try to convince yourself wv would be a win, when we know the acc left that low hanging fruit so that it sat there appealing to the sec. This is the same reason they're leaving uconn and rutgers for the big 10- its not part of the end game for the acc to come out on top. No they haven't won yet, but having a bunch of SECers longing for an acc team is a good start.
By the way, as to the voting of maryland fsu and a mysterious third for the 20 mil cap, this could be a sign that these schools are gettable, or its just a way to make the sec waste its time pursuing someone who's not going anywhere.

Martes Stewart
Martes Stewart

Or its a sign that FSU wants out and Maryland likes the B1G rumors that keeps getting batted around about it. Make no mistake here, if the B1G had wanted Syracuse and Pitt, they would be in that conference, no question. The ACC needs to produce on the field before its acquisitions will mean anything, and produce at the highest levels consistently. Until then they will continue to get undervalued for high end markets.

bob rogers
bob rogers

i don't think you GET IT! it's all about NEW SEC TERRITORY........draw a line from arkansas to the atlantic ocean.....what' missing?....the state projected to be 6TH in population in 2020. :)

Dawgfan
Dawgfan

LOL

nobody has discussed more the importance of new tv markets than this site

So when he says FSUs national brand is bigger than new markets, you should take heed

JarrenBlake
JarrenBlake

Does the SEC want into North Carolina? Yes, and badly, but Tobacco road is not budging, they are the heart of the ACC and they are not leaving it. That leaves three options

1)Grow into other territories such as MO, WV/Pittsburgh
2) Attain a national brand school such as FSU, Ut, OU, or the like
3) Take a middling level school within North Carolina such as ECU with the projections that they will grow into the kind of institution that you want them to be.

kfhonline
kfhonline

IMO ECU might be an up and coming school that the SEC might want to get now.

Todd
Todd

Saying things like that really hurts your cred

You must be the guy who was claiming the sec was gonna go after navy

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

bob rogers...

Love your post. This site has consistently led the way on expansion coverage since last May. We told you what would be the driving factors involved -- and we've been proven right. We told you who would be targets -- right down to Missouri when NO ONE was saying Missouri -- and we've been proven right.

But let me break it down further for you. Missouri would be a good get for the SEC. The Tigers would move the ratings needed in Kansas City and St. Louis. Florida State, on the other hand, would move needles in markets all across the country. Yes, it's about new territory... unless the SEC can grab one of the few remaining big brands out there. Florida State -- like Penn State, Nebraska, Southern Cal, Alabama, etc -- has national appeal. And every source I've spoken to about this -- inside the SEC, inside the network television industry, and inside the collegiate media rights business -- has told me that same thing.

You can disagree. But to suggest we don't get it? We'll put this site's track record up against any site that's dealt with expansion over the past 16 months. We get it. We just can't find a way to explain to a few people who choose not to get it.

John

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I have a question John. I may have just misunderstood what you said, but if you could clarify....

You said sources within the SEC(and others) have told you that grabbing a big brand like FSU would be ideal. Are you saying people within the SEC mentioned FSU specifically to you as a good target or are you just elaborating on their logic? I have no idea who you talked to, but that would at least be an interesting statement made by anyone with influence.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

AllTideUp...

I'm telling you that my sources -- at SEC institutions and at least one who is employed by the SEC -- have either said or suggested to me that in their view -- not Slive's, not the league presidents', but theirs -- FSU would provide the biggest splash and thus the biggest bank for the league in terms of TV rights. I assume that the people I've spoken with are not alone in their thinking.

That does not mean the SEC is chasing FSU or vice versa due to legal concerns, etc. But I believe that if the SEC could land FSU and avoid potential problems, they would take them.

We have said repeatedly that there is no "gentleman's agreement" and Florida didn't prevent Roy Kramer from making a presentation to the FSU brass in the early-90s. Unfortunately, one blog claimed that there is such an agreement and the national meda has taken that as gospel and they continue to write it.

John

kfhonline
kfhonline

When people talk about Missouri adding eyeballs in the cities of Kansas City and St. Louis, nother is ever mentioned abou Chicago and Southern Illinois. Close proximity. I am sure Missouri is not the top draw in Chicago, but I would think it might be substantial.

Dawgfan
Dawgfan

I dont think they are as big a deal in Chicago as NOTRE DAME

Not to mention Illinois, northwestern, or even Ohio state and Michigan

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

kfhonline...

I think the league would have a hard time selling that to a network... unless Mizzou's got a big alumni base in the Windy City.

Thanks the input,
John

frank
frank

Tell mike bianchi that start in 2000 till now PITT has won more football game than ND PITT has won 82 ND 78

NoleFinity
NoleFinity

Ok John ... I'm a Nole fan dying for the SEC invite.

So how do we lobby the powers that be?

I emailed Mike Slive and didn't get a reply! ;-)

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

NoleFinity...

I'd be emailing the FSU president and board of trustee members.

Texas A&M makes sense. Florida State would make sense. At MrSEC.com, we believe Missouri makes sense, too... but Missouri lacks the national appeal of Florida State. Plus, the rivalries would get hotter quicker with FSU joining the SEC.

All the best and thanks for reading the site,
John

NoleFinity
NoleFinity

Will do, thanks for the reply, and great writing!

davsag8r
davsag8r

Another team from Florida to own the Dawgs....Maybe I should rethink this ??? LMAO

Dawgfan
Dawgfan

SEC fans are pulling for y'all

Come on Noles!

(well, all of us but the gators who seemed to be extremely scared of this possibility)

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

Other then Florida fans, I think everyone would love to see FSU in the SEC. How could you argue against the SEC being the best football conference in the country? With A&M and FSU(two top ten programs) you're just adding to the domination. My only question is how serious is SLive when he said he wouldn't expand inside the current footprint? He made that clear. So who knows. If he goes by that, WVU might be the best option. But not the best pick overall. I hope he forgets that and gets FSU.

Dawgfan
Dawgfan

I had no idea the gators would react so negatively...

I didn't realize how scared the mighty gators were of FSU!

PATHETIC

Tyler B
Tyler B

John - As always, the best stuff about anything SEC - especially expansion - on the Internet. I believe the comments from posters on this site speaks volumes about how well this site is run and the content that is written each day.

Great job and keep up the good work! It's only a matter of time until Slive calls you for advice, right?

JFRE
JFRE

"Reign in Hell"? You do realize that FSU hasn't won an ACC championship since 2005, right? Heck, Wake Forest has won an ACC championship more recently than FSU. They have only even made the ACC championship game once since then. They are CLEARLY a marquee name in the ACC, but lets not kid ourselves like they dominate the league. If they can't get EJ Manual back, I don't think they will win it this year either.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

JFRE...

And yet they're still considered the ACC's best program and get more national coverage than any other ACC program. Which makes our point.

John

John
John

I think the point is that if they can't win in the ACC, they certainly couldn't dominate the SEC. So they would have to consider that in any conversation about conference realignment.



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