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FSU Taps The Brakes On Realignment Talk

Two days ago, the chairman of Florida State’s board of trustees told The Palm Beach Post that his school “is forming a committee that will explore the university’s options concerning conference realignment.”

Naturally, that set off ripples across the sports world.

At the time, we asked:

1.  If FSU is forming a committee, why tell the press?  (Unless FSU was covering its legal bases in the hopes of avoiding future lawsuits if/when it left the ACC.)

2.  Could FSU be throwing a public tantrum with the goal of gaining more power or more pull in the ACC?

Yesterday, that same chairman — Andy Haggard — joined with FSU AD Randy Spetman to tap the brakes on all the realignment talk.  Haggard told The Associated Press that it would be up to Florida State president Eric Barron to determine whether or not to form a committee.

Hmmm?

So the word on Tuesday was that a committee was being formed.  In fact, the makeup of that committee — ex-players, administrators, etc — was even being discussed.  But by Wednesday, FSU’s committee had gone back to being a mere possibility.

Very odd.

Haggard also said that any decision to actually leave the ACC would be left to FSU’s president.

Spetman — also speaking with the AP — did make it clear that TV revenue will play a big role in any expansion/realignment plans:

“I have no magic message but we do know the collegiate structure is changing.  Television has driven it to where it is.  The move now for extending the size of a conference is TV contracts.  That’s the only way to make more money.”

So the question becomes: Where can Florida State make the most money?  In the ACC?  In some ACC-Big East amalgamation?  In the SEC?

Or, perhaps, in a rebuilt ACC featuring Texas?  The folks in Austin are already trying to spin a possible Texas-to-the-ACC move as a positive to Longhorn fans (who likely won’t see it that way).

Meanwhile, Tom D’Angelo — who broke the first story of FSU’s committee — back when it appeared it was definitely being formed — writes that the ACC will need to get proactive if it wants to keep Florida State and survive the coming armageddon.  Adding Texas and expanding further would fit his definition of being proactive.

But let’s turn our attention back to Haggard’s Wednesday backtrack.  There are several ways to read it:

1.  FSU’s board chairman simply said too much.  He put the cart in front of the horse.  It could be that FSU’s president was less than pleased with Haggard’s jumping of the proverbial gun on Tuesday and asked him and Spetman to do some damage control come Wednesday.

2.  FSU’s board chairman spoke the truth on Tuesday.  It could be that FSU did want to defend itself — and any future conference home — against potential legal threats and announcing that the school was exploring all its options was a clear way to do that.  But now that the word is out, FSU might be trying to fend off the thousands of questions that are sure to come its way from a freshly chummed press corps.

3.  FSU was indeed just sending a signal to ACC commissioner John Swofford that the league had best not forget about the Seminoles.  It’s possible that if the ACC is seriously talking with Texas, FSU brass could be scared of how the league’s financial split might be changed.  Or it could be worried that it will no longer be the jewel of the conference when it comes to football.  By causing a little dust-up on Tuesday, FSU could be playing for a bit more ACC attention.

At MrSEC.com, we wonder why the chairman of FSU’s board — and not the school’s president — is the man doing most of the talking.  If the school wants to announce it’s forming a committee, why wouldn’t Florida State’s president make that statement?  And that leads us to think that Option 1 above — that Haggard might’ve said more than he should have — is the most likely scenario.

 


6 comments
strickinms
strickinms

It's all about the money, maybe. It's about the prestige also. "If you want to be the best, you have to play the best". SEC championship game is already as big of a draw as the BCS championship game. SEC spot for FSU would boost it's recruting ability to the highest level.

Lou_C
Lou_C

I'm one that read the committee as setting down the due dilligence for a move to the SEC.

It's possible that FSU brass made the statement without realizing how far the Texas-ACC talks had progressed. Obviously the Texas stuff had broken, but I don't think it was being taken all that seriously.

But maybe yesterday Spetman got a call from Swofford saying, "Hey dumbass, Texas is coming, and they think they might be able to persuade OU/OSU if they don't get the Pac 12 invide they want. Don't screw this up."

That said, I'm an FSU guy that wants them in the SEC more than anything. Texas (and one to three scrubs) is not enough for me to want to stay in the ACC. I don't even think the money really gets good enough even with Texas.

That said, adding TX and OU (dare I even think Notre Dame?) would certainly get my attention.

Thanks for the great site, check it daily on reallignment.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

I think that this whole committee talk is regarding protecting their turf. I find it hard to believe that FSU would move from the ACC to SEC. They are probably positioning themselves for allignment talks and trying to motivate the ACC to get on the ball and do something. Of course if they are talking and have plans laid out, if the ACC weakens (and that is a big if), then FSU will be ahead of the curve in planning the schools future. The ACC will still be around no matter what, but there are situations taht could weaken it. I am sure FSU would love to be in a Pod with the Southeast schools and the Carolina schools. This would force the west and NE pods into the longer travel schedules.

UofA72
UofA72

Based on history: If Texas goes to the ACC, it will fold. When a skunk comes into your garden party, it's too late to leave without some stink.

TsunamiTide
TsunamiTide

Time for FSU to step up to the big league? I for one would love to have FSU in the SEC - that would cement "The Best Conference in the Country" designation!

@Kelticgator
@Kelticgator

Perhaps FSU is unhappy with some of the rumored POD systems thrown around where Texas comes in with Texas Tech and 2 other schools (Kansas or Oklahoma schools) to form a western Pod while FSU gets lumped with Clemson, Ga Tech and Miami for a Southern Pod. That would be a brutal disadvantage for FSU when you consider a Carolina Pod (NCSU, Duke, UNC and WF) or NE Pod (MD, Va Tech, UVA and BC) would be much easier. Especially if the FSU pod is joined with the Western (Texas) Pod in deciding a entrant to the ACC Championship Game.

They could just be fighting against football irrelevance. If they are going to have to fight their way to the top they might as well get the extra money and exposure of the SEC. God knows the ACC hasn't helped their basketball program or academics the way they had once hoped.



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