For months, we’ve blown off the rumors of Florida State and Clemson jumping to the Big 12. When it was reported in the last week that a secret deal was already in place for the Noles and Tigers to move, we scoffed. Most any journalist who actually signs his name to his work did. Oh, at the time we gave it the standard, “Never say never,” (now you see why) and we admitted that ADs and presidents often lie.
But we at MrSEC.com spoke to sources at SEC schools who thought realignment was slowing down, not speeding up. We spoke with officials from two ACC schools who we have connections to and they both thought the talk of FSU/Clemson to the Big 12 was absolutely bonkers. ESPN had just cooked up new television deals for both those leagues. Why would they do that if they thought all that work could soon go up in smoke? Even Orangebloods.com — the Rivals site that covers Texas — had repeatedly called the idea a “longshot” and like, oh, so many others had said there had been no contact between Big 12 officials and the folks from Florida State and Clemson.
Add to this 20 years of Florida State officials talking about how partnering with ACC schools had helped their own academic image and it was hard to imagine the FSU administration backtracking. Plus, the commissioners of all the conferences are currently working on what’s expected to be a new postseason playoff plan. Seems like it would be difficult to agree on a plan if you don’t even know who’ll be playing where in a couple of years.
He was ticked that the ACC gave away its Tier 3 rights for football to ESPN while holding on to its basketball rights:
“It’s mind-boggling and shocking. How can the ACC give up third tier rights for football but keep them for basketball?… It continues the perception that the ACC favors the North Carolina schools.”
(Remember that part. It’s important.)
As for the long-held argument made time and again by the “Knowledge is Good” crowd in Tallahassee that ACC + FSU = Win, Haggard scoffed:
“No FSU graduate puts on his resume or interviews for a job saying they are in the same conference as Duke and Virginia. Conference affiliation really has no impact on academics.”
And then he dropped the bomb that yes indeedy he wants Florida State to start talking to the Big 12:
“How do you not look into that option? On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously we would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer. We have to do what is in Florida State’s best interest… With the SEC making the kind of money it does it’s time to act. You can’t sit back and be content in the ACC. This is a different time financially. This isn’t 10-15 years ago when money was rolling in.”
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously.” Really?
Boom. (And we ain’t talkin’ Will Muschamp.)
We’ll break this down from a few different angles below, but that’s just an amazing interview for Haggard to have given Warchant.com — the Rivals site covering FSU — just one day after his own school’s athletic director had said the complete and total opposite. We know — we’ve written it — ADs lie. You can call it spinning if you like, but technically, they lie. Often. Still, they’re usually not outed within 24 hours by their own top trustee.
“There have been no official talks, but I think you always have to look out there to see what’s best for Florida State. If that [jumping to the Big 12] is what’s best for Florida State,then that’s what we need to do.”
If Haggard dropped Fat Man, Fisher unloaded Little Boy. Both fell right into the laps of Spetman and the ACC.
It seems the tail’s been wagging the dog at FSU
You would think Haggard would be pretty clued in to the ACC/ESPN television contract. He’s FSU’s top trustee until his term ends — reportedly — at the next board meeting. But like so many others in the last few days, he was actually all wrong regarding those hotly-debated Tier 3 rights.
Jim Lamar of The Tallahassee Democrat reports that ACC assistant commissioner Michael Kelly said Saturday that all ACC schools have the exact same Tier 3 rights. Moreover, all the men’s basketball and football games go to ESPN. Now, that won’t put any more cash in FSU’s coffers, but the idea of the basketball schools being given an advantage? Unless Kelly is lying — and the contracts would be pretty hard to forge — Haggard was 100% off base on that front.
Which makes this writer wonder just how connected to this process he’s been. Could that be the source of his anger? Is this an Arab Spring type of moment we’re witnessing, driven by rumors, exaggerations, anonymous blogs and social media?
Think about it: The ACC cuts a deal with ESPN. One blog drives the story that FSU and the Big 12 are talking. Somebody floats their rage over the Tier 3 rights on a messageboard or two. It hits Twitter. An outgoing, left-out (and possibly angry about it) Haggard sees all this and decides to do a number on his own AD and ESPN because he believes what he sees in the blogosphere, the messageboards and Twitter. But then it turns out that a good part of his spiel is based on faulty information. ”They’re favoring the North Carolina schools!” Uh, no, actually they’re not.
Additionally, FSU reportedly made all of a whopping $350,000 last year on its Tier 3 rights. In other words, it’s not like the new deal with ESPN is really going to cost the Florida State a whole lot of cabbage. It wasn’t making it under the old deal, either.
Trouble is — the damage is already done.
What can the ACC say now?
Nothing. There is no way back from what Haggard’s done. Perhaps as an attorney and uber-booster he knew all along he could drive FSU to the Big 12 by simply opening his mouth. Trustees at Missouri forced chancellor Brady Deaton’s hand last year. Key boosters and trustees led the charge for Texas A&M to join the SEC, too.
The ACC has already come out to declare that the deal is even-Steven for everyone. They’ve said the perception of uneven Tier 3 rights is “totally inaccurate”. Kelly also said, “There is no change in fundamental rights at this time. ESPN does have the rights to all of our football and all of our men’s basketball games. There is no opportunity for our conference or our schools to produce games beyond that in those two sports.”
So it’s the exact same deal ESPN and the ACC had put together years ago. They just extended it.
Some FSU fans won’t care, though (and that number grows every time a guy like Haggard spreads inaccurate information about the deal that was cut). The deal may be even, but it’s still worth $3 million less per year than what other schools in other conferences are making. Nevermind the fact that if the Seminoles had been winning as much as the ACC expected when it brought them in, the league’s contract would’ve probably paid a whole lot better.
Ironically, the ACC’s spring meetings begin today in Amelia Island, Florida. Oh, that should be a fun event. Especially for Spetman, who thanks to Haggard, will arrive without the use of this testicles.
What can Spetman do?
Call Bill Byrne at Texas A&M, perhaps? Call a realtor?
Spetman’s been emasculated by his school’s top money man. Whether he’s the chairman of the board or just Johnny Millions, Haggard will continue to have clout via six-inch sheets of green paper. Lots of ‘em. And clearly he’s not in the same corner as his athletic director when it come to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Worse, nothing Spetman says from this point forward can ever be believed again. Literally. He was either a liar regarding FSU’s interest in the Big 12 (and was outed quicker than most lying ADs) or he is just a stooge standing in front of the real power brokers on FSU’s board (which is closer to the truth for most athletic directors, including Spetman).
He may stay in Tallahassee and Haggard may be discredited as having gone rogue, but Spetman’s credibility is kaput. Dunzo. Finito.
“Florida State University regrets that misinformation about the provisions of the ACC contract has unnecessarily renewed the controversy and speculation about University’s athletic conference alignment. Florida State respects the views of the Chair of its Board of Trustees that, of course, any university would examine options that would impact university academics, athletics or finances. At the same time, Florida State is not seeking an alternative to the ACC nor are we considering alternatives. Our current commitments remain strong.”
“Our current commitments remain strong,” alright… right up until the time the Big 12 starts waving cash.
If the Big 12 offers big bucks, FSU will break its strong commitments. Because trustees like Haggard can force him to do things he doesn’t want to do, Barron did not say, “Florida State is married to the ACC long-term.”
The chairman of Florida State’s board of trustees just said he wants the Big 12 to give the Seminoles a ring and as of midnight this morning, ESPN.com did not have the story as one of its featured frontpage headlines. Hmmm. That wouldn’t be because Haggard’s statements make the ACC/ESPN deal look bad, would it?
Or maybe ESPN is just hoping/praying that the deals it negotiated with the Big 12 — paying it a higher-then expected fee just to keep it together — and the ACC — extending its deal through the late 2020′s — aren’t going to be tossed into the trash heap just yet. ”Ignore it, maybe the story will go away.”
The Dude abides
Hey, we at MrSEC.com have been right on a lot of things regarding conference expansion. So right in fact that a lot of other sites have copied our material and then patted themselves on the back for getting our predictions and theories right. But we can admit when we were wrong.
In this case, “The Dude of WV,” a blogger who won’t sign his name to his posts, had heard from someone who knew some FSU backers were ready to move. Kudos.
Now, the “done deal” part of the story, well, that’s pretty much been shot down by everyone who a) has legitimate sources and b) signs his name to his posts. Still, we didn’t think this was coming. We trusted our sources. On FSU’s interest in the Big 12 — or at least in one very influential man’s interest — those sources were wrong. Which means we were wrong. Which means we tip our hat to the unknown West Virginia fan who tossed his horseshoe a lot closer to the stake than most anyone else on this FSU/Big 12 thing.
Speaking of our sources, I followed up with a good friend who happens to be in a pretty high-up position with an ACC school’s administration. After being told repeatedly for the last week that folks in the league really did feel good about the future and that FSU officials were A-OK with the new ESPN deal, I zipped him a text this afternoon: “What gives?”
Well, I can’t tell you exactly what he said because this is a family site. But I can give you the gist. The folks at his school were not happy. They were blindsided. And Haggard was viewed as a “petulant child” — that is a quote — for his outburst.
Academics don’t matter
Perhaps to Haggard academics don’t matter, but to most top dogs at major universities, they sure as heck do. No school has left the Big Ten, Pac-12 or ACC in decades in order to move to a richer league with a worse academic reputation. If FSU heads to the Big 12, it will be the first.
The grant and research money that can be brought in for schools via cooperative programs such as the Big Ten’s Committee on Institutional Cooperation is enormous. Try more than $500 million each year.
A school like Florida with its $100,000 athletic budget? UF recieves more than $550 million annually in sponsored research funding.
Academics might not matter to Haggard and they might not matter to Florida State (despite 20 years of saying just the opposite). There might not be enough shared academic/research cash in the ACC to give FSU pause in the first place.
But for a man to suggest conference affiliation doesn’t have anything do with academics? He sounds like a guy who was born rich and didn’t have to do a lot of homework of his own in college.
We’ve talked to so many university officials over the years who’ve said that getting “name” schools into a league is big, big, big for the pointy heads running those schools. If academics didn’t matter, why has the SEC been promoting Missouri and Texas A&M’s AAU status non-stop since they climbed aboard?
The Big 12 would be catching a big fish
If the Big 12 lands Florida State, that’s a win for Bowlsby’s league and a loss for Mike Slive’s. Missouri has a better academic reputation, solid athletics, and will bring in a lot of new cable households in a brand new part of the country. We’re all in on Mizzou, so don’t start screaming when you read this, Tiger fans, but…
Florida State is a national brand. When it comes to national television ratings, FSU versus Arizona State would draw more eyes than Mizzou versus Arizona State. Florida State versus Georgia would get better ratings than Missouri versus Georgia.
No, FSU wouldn’t add a new state or new households to the SEC. If the league doesn’t start a new network with ESPN, then what’s the difference on that front? Florida State would’ve been a bigger brand name and would have drawn bigger numbers for every SEC contest they played.
FSU to the Big 12 would be a major coup for a league that was on a respirator about 12 months ago.
The Big 12 would also get a nice little tit-for-tat by picking up the Noles. The SEC just got a foothold in Texas with A&M. FSU would give the Big 12 a foothold in Florida. Take that, SEC.
FSU would get more cash, but…
Let’s face facts, Florida State is a national brand despite the fact they’ve fallen off in football over the last decade. If they couldn’t beat the Wake Forests and Georgia Techs of the ACC for a league title, just how are the Seminoles going to fare in the Big 12 with Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and TCU? Careful what you wish for, Mr. Haggard.
In addition, FSU already has a rival with Florida and could easily develop rivalries with Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and others in the much closer SEC. At some point Seminole fans might be faced with road trips to Lubbock, Ames and Manhattan (Kansas) that make their current excursions to Atlanta, Coral Gables and Tobacco Road seem like neighborhood strolls.
Clemson, Miami, Louisville and Notre Dame… you’re on the clock
What once was an unsubstantiated rumor supported by no quotes an written by an unknown person has quickly become an honest-to-God mega-story thanks to Haggard’s comments (and Fisher’s response to them). You can bet the expansion/realignment talk will go absolutely nuts at this point.
FSU will be viewed as a done deal and schools all over America will be kicked around as being the next to join the Big 12… or Big 14… or Big 16.
What about Notre Dame? The Big Ten? Will the Big East collapse? Will the ACC?
You can also expect all the talk of a 16-school SEC to start up again. Expansion chatter is good for business when football and basketball are out of season. So get ready to read that Commissioner Slive has secretly flown into Blacksburg and Raleigh and Chapel Hill and Durham. Get ready for East Carolina fans to start their campaign for SEC entry again. Get ready for rumors of a Big 12 versus SEC tug-of-war for Florida State to commence.
Oh, it’s all coming.
Damnit. (Trust me, I’m not excited to be writing about this stuff at 1am on a Sunday morning.)
If you’re a conference commissioner, good luck on the playoff front
Those talks between the league commissioners and Notre Dame’s AD just got a lot more interesting, didn’t they? Let’s see if they can design a playoff system while also trying to figure out who’ll be playing who on a regular basis.
Will Florida State get any Texas A&M-style blowback?
Last summer, a myriad of national writers took aim at Texas A&M for destabilizing college football with its move to the SEC. (How the third school to leave a league was to blame for realignment, I’m still not sure.) But let’s see if the columnists now hammer Florida State for with equal vigor for kicking off Expansionpalooza 2012.
Shoot, let’s see if ESPN ever gets around to even mentioning this story.
While we think the SEC should have grabbed Florida State…
Have we made this clear yet? If FSU lands in the Big 12, that’s a huge plus for the Big 12 and — like the extension of their grant of rights and their new TV deals — it will further stabilize a league where everyone needs a set of handcuffs to stick together.
When you consider how loudly factions at FSU just broke ranks and went in separate directions, you think, maybe the Seminoles really wouldn’t have been a good fit for the SEC. Seriously. When’s the last time you saw an SEC or Big Ten school do something like Haggard and Florida State just did? Never? Those are the two top leagues in America because they don’t air their dirty laundry.
Saturday in Tallahassee was dysfuntional at best. And while the Big 12 is clearly improving, it could have easily changed its name to the Dysfunctional 12 over the last few years. Maybe FSU is better off with the Texases and Oklahomas of the world after all.
We still think the SEC and/or FSU missed the boat on this one. Florida State should be in the Southeastern Conference.
Kudos to the Big 12 if they land ‘em.
I think that deal’s supposed to be done in two months, right, Dude?
"Florida State should be in the Southeastern Conference." Amen Mr. SEC. As an FSU alum and longtime Noles fan it's been hellaciously frustrating how we've never joined the SEC. After decades of rejection, FSU made an ill-advised decision to join the ACC instead of the SEC in 1990. I am just hoping that by some miracle we end up in the SEC where we belong. FSU-UGA; FSU-LSU; FSU-Bama and FSU-Auburn along with UF of course would be compelling matchups and would generate intense rivalries due to our geographical proximity and similar football-first philosophy.
"Let’s face facts, Florida State is a national brand despite the fact they’ve fallen off in football over the last decade. If they couldn’t beat the Wake Forests and Georgia Techs of the ACC for a league title, just how are the Seminoles going to fare in the Big 12 with Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and TCU? Careful what you wish for, Mr. Haggard." - Mr. SEC
Gee, that scenario looks familiar. Just how is A&M and Mizzou, a mediocre and 'meh' football program, going to fare in the SEC? Did these schools bolt the Big 12 for the SEC's sterling "academics rating"? Is Mizzou, a Midwestern school, a "cultural fit" for the SEC?
@Mr Big 12 National brand...hmmm, mediocre decade, what's the expiration date? MU not a cultural fit? Guess other than StL you haven't been out in the country in MO have you? Let me guess, your beak hurts?
@buddha22@Mr Well, I have not been outside of StL either, but I've read nothing but raves about the move to the SEC by Mizzou fans. You have a head coach who is in favor of the move, and he seems to be pretty competent at what he does. Mizzou moved into the top 5 for recruiting in the SEC less than 6 months after the announcement. So, lets see, fan base is raring to go, coach likes it and recruits are pumped. If that makes MU a poor cultural fit, then........ we should all look for the nearest bridge.
As an SEC fan, you have to let FSU "rot on the vine". Because of geography, Florida, Auburn, and Alabama would have strong opposition to FSU recruiting directly as an SEC school. Whether you are a fan of these schools or not, you will be diluting their brand by adding FSU. Now, if you want to try to marginalize these schools, then adding FSU will help that. I agree with your point that the SEC is the best conference because of the bitter, yet enjoyable rivalries of schools (not geographically far away from each other). That is, being overly concerned about TV market is clearly secondary to the brand of the rivalries.
I think your ideas are historically valid. The NCAA could have said these ideas are long term values, but they didn't. Television markets are offering to pay for very expensive athletic programs and dish out a lot of discretionary cash to boot. I liked the old Big 8, and the old Pac, and the old SEC also BUT and this is a big but, the strategy of the new PAC 12 is clear, new Big 10(12) is clear(look at the travel distances from Washington to Arizona, the Big 8 has long been a bigger 12-then-10 for a while now (travel distances from south Texas to Iowa) , SEC went down the expansion pathway a long time ago (and it's still not geographically than some of these other strategies). The NCAA has shown no signs of trying to push conferences back into more local geographies. The financial incentive to stay local has been gone for a long time. Maybe someday the price of jet fuel or some other factor will turn back the clock? Today the handwriting is on the wall. Provide the best and biggest overall venue for your collected brands or become a 2nd choice for everyone from tv viewers to recruits to apparel buyers to sports writers to bloggers. We can make a case for the SEC making the smartest changes of all of the conferences. In the end it might be the fans who believe in the changes that win the conference realignment game and those that don't believe that make their new conferences fail (if any do fail, because i think everybody will come out of this looking like they qualified for the big dance). NOW SPEAKING TO YOUR IDEA ABOUT FSU, YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT
Teams have not left for worse academic conferences? look in the mirror -Texas A&M and Mizzou. Mizzou was an act of panic by the SEC. Bringing an extra 500 tv sets in st louis tha actually watch college ball helps how?
Also, it was clear the mizzou adm did not want to come to the SEC. So FSu isn'ty the only tail wagging the dog here.
Mizzou was a big 10 reject but the sEc was reduced to taking them last year. We all know how much better the Omaha TV market is better anyway.
As to Spetman, he was brought in to be former FSU president Wetherell's puppet. He is a nice guy but has never been taken seriously by anyone in the FSU ADM, boosters, BOT, etc as a legit AD. Anyone familar with his hire knew he would not be given any authority to negotiate anything of importance.
Lastly,how much was given the FSU business school (or any other Dept.) b/c FSu plays sports against Duke, UVA and UNC? Not a dime in 20 years. The research grants do not rise and fall on conference affiliation or the SEC schools would never get any research money.
@Tomn Tom, thanks for your ideas, but you are hanging on the coat-tails of rejected Kansas fans (and the like). The story about the Missouri official saying the SEC was a second choice never had a named source because it was sour grape fiction and statements like this were being made by jilted big12 fans every day in blogs where everybody knew the pen names to be Kansas fans. The media in Kansas City is full of people who make a living selling stories to Jawhawkers. All you have to do to discover the truth about this is go to a rally like the Tiger Train, or Tiger Club, read Rock M Nation, etc. etc. etc.. Missouri fans are pumped about the SEC, and nobody is going to dis (respect) the Big 10, or for that matter the Pac 12 for courting Colorado and other Big 12 schools, that's not realistic. Your own motivation in this comment is transparent or you wouldn't be calling a state with 7 million potential football fan (and zero other NCAA division one majors) a 500person potential pick up.
@Tomn I don't think you understand how the game is played Tom. MU represents a significant TV footprint. does not matter who actually view it or not. However having live in the KC area, for a few years I can assure you that there are plenty of Mizzou fans.
Still it's not about that, when you add a state footprint you add a huge source of revenue. If FSU was the only school in Florida and thus represented a virgin footprint the SEC would of surely picked FSU over Mizzou and that would be an absolute no brainer! Mizzou is not a perfect fit by any means, while A&M is, but still they are still a legit BCS D-1 school in athletics, size and are good academically. They are much better fit then WVU!
@Gban@Tomn if you look at what the other conferences did acquiring Nebraska, Colorado, Boise State, TCU, West Virginia, and more. It should be plain as day that both Missouri and Texas A&M were both critically important to the SEC staying ahead in talent hunt, pro-placement, tv product, media interest, and much more. These two programs could finally tilt the #1 Power Rating from the Big 12 to the SEC. There is no doubt that both A&M and Missouri's relative scores will look better than TCU's and West Virginia's (for example) WVU lost to Syracuse last year. What do you think is going to happen when the Cuse goes to Missouri this year and faces a second year starter who was responsible for 2,900yds last year? or a defense that held the #1 rushing attack ACC to 35 yards at half-time? I don't expect TCU to finish the big 12 season next year on a 4 game winning streak either, or hold Texas to zero touchdowns. Didn't one of Texas's top receivers transfer to Missouri? Adding Missouri or TA&M by themselves would not have been enough to become or stay #1 in the long term AND it might take two divisions of 8 great teams to stay #1 in this brave new college football world.
Oh, let's just shoot down this Gerbels type propaganda that the Aggies are the one that sought to destroy the Big XII.
Here is cut from the Texags Rivlalries board.
First of all, note the date .... 6 months before the June 2010 Big XII meetings meltdown when Nebraska hauled ass, 6 months before any talk of A&M to the SEC began, and 18 months before A&M to SEC rumors were re-ignited. These quotes from LonghornLawyer on Frank The Tank's Big 10 blog, in response to speculation of Texas joining the Big 10 Conference.....and leaving A&M out in the cold.....way before any of the original Pac 10 / SEC / talk even began:
quote:Texas’ nightmare scenario is having A&M join the SEC.
quote:If A&M were to join the SEC, it would give A&M a real recruiting advantage that it doesn’t presently have. Worse, it would open the Texas recruiting pool to teams like LSU and Alabama and reopen it to Arkansas.
quote:Texas requires Aggie weakness to prosper. A strong A&M in the SEC is a recipe for Longhorn mediocrity. And that wouldn’t benefit either Texas or the Big 10.
quote:And the fact is that I think a Big 12 without Texas would be so weakened that an SEC invitation to A&M would be forthcoming, and would probably be very attractive to A&M. And that’s something we just can’t have.
"And there you have it. A prescient observation by one of their own, a rational thinker ahead of his time. Of course, when you **** up and have to throw rationality out the window, you must replace it with Chip Brown, Ray Perryman, Morgantown, and buzzwords like "upgrade"."
Pearhorn, you are absolutely delusional. Chip Brown was reporting that high up TU officials were telling him that TU to the PAC 12 was a done deal a whole year before Nebraska joined the Big 10. You really need a reality check and at the very least a fact checker for the dribble your Aggie obsession is forcing you to spew on SEC websites.
Can't see FSU going to the Big 12. Sorry - Haggard went rogue to try to start a fire IMO. He's on the way out the door and don't like what he has dedalt with for the past 3 years. When/if FSU leaves it will not be to go play in a league where they are beholding to Texas or Oklahoma for their "rights." They don't like the equal sharing of funds that takes place in the SEC as well as having to play the gauntlet of teams that each school has to go through to get to the NC game. They more than likely want to sweeten the pot for themselves in the ACC to remain a marquee football school.
It appears that in an effort to call the horse after the race, that you are discrediting your previous logic & sources. You may have a future in politics(lol).
The Midwest, West Coast & East Coast viewers would eagerly anticipate the Fla. St. vs Vandy, Fla. St vs. Kentucky, or Fla. St. vs. Ol Miss, (sarcasm). It is a good thing that Mike Slive does not think as provincial as you. If he did then the SEC would position itself as a a "Regional" conference that added a football program with a declining national brand, andd cannibalized the existing members. If he added Fla.St as opposed to Missouri then he would have duplicated Jim Delaney's mistake of adding Nebraska with their declining brand and very little viewer-ship to the BIG. Unlike MrSEC, & Delaney, Slive understands that it makes more business sense to expand your geographic boundary & viewership than to add membership that adds limited upside value. The Bevo12 is a smokescreen and the BIG is where Fla. St is headed. It gives the BIG the southern expansion that Delaney has wanted.
Interesting remarks from Haggard on Sunday in response to some of the reaction from his initial statements. He didn't really back off. "All I tried to say was I think Florida State needs to keep an open mind," he said. "If the Big 12 or the SEC or any other conference wants to talk, we have an obligation to listen. If the Big 12 calls, should we hang up the phone? No." I thought it was interesting that he threw the SEC in there. ACC meetings started up yesterday I believe. Interesting.
@AllTideUp As I said before, Haggard is not stupid. He is using the Big XII like the old rusty crow bar it is, for leverage. The Big XII led by tu is kind of like Hugh Hefner, there in the market to increase their harem! Still, there is absolutely no reason for FSU to not pull this ploy. FSU is in a very similar situation to OU. OU would of jumped the first legitimate train that was leaving the Bevo X that stopped at it's station. None did! They are saddled with Okie Lite and when one looks at the reality of OU they discover they bring almost nothing to the table that is their own. They don't bring TV sets and they produce about 5 D-1 quality players a year. They are parasitical they have lived off the state of Texas. I and many others call them the University of Texas at Oklahoma, the best team money can buy!
Anyway, OU would of gone PAC or SEC if the train stopped, It did not, so they are stuck there and are making the best of a bad situation. So really the only thing they can do is to continue to beat the hell out of tu in the RRS, because Stoops is vastly superior coach to Mack! If you follow OU you will see that they began to broaden out their recruiting efforts to be more national, like Nebraska, and especially in the West Coast, because they thought that's where they were going to be and it is dangerous to have you entire life line from one state if you are going to leave that conference. A&M going to the SEC hurts OU and OSU recruiting in Texas the most.
The point is that FSU is surrounded and trapped in a conference, the ACC, that is dominated by the haughty Basketball Coalition out of NC, they got worked by ESPN pretty badly. They are a better conference then the BIG XII across the board, but got less! Go figure. They are in a bad situation, it's like the old Sesame Street song. "One of these things doesn't belong!" MIami nuking itself on a consistent basis does not help them or the ACC football powers. VT, the other football power besides Clemson, another land grant school with a history and passionate fan base, can just wait around and watch the fire works knowing it has a safe place to land, the SEC. One of the Carolina schools at least also can have a home. Clemson is in a better situation then FSU simply because of their location, but not much better. Basically their are three football based schools stuck in the south east, FSU, Clemson and Miami and none of them are going to get invites into the SEC. Which is what FSU is try to use this Big XII ploy to lever. So they are using what leverage they have, the old fart Hugh Hefner flashing his bucks and fancy mansion and a one time spread as playmate of the month! LOL
So bottom line FSU is trying to do two things here.
1. Get an SEC invite, ain't happening!
2. Get a better deal from either the ACC or ESPN.
3. If neither of these happen they then may take the last desperate act available to them. Sell them selves to Hugh and go for the Big XII, but as I said before that is going to be a real mess. The ACC is not going to lie idly back and the issue of TI is very very real here, who initiated this the Big XII or FSU? The exit fees are also quite large!The Big XII already had to come up with some pretty good scratch to get WVU in the fold, that will be chicken feed in comparison to what it will cost to get FSU and I can assure you FSU will have to sell its self and join the Bevo harem with the old Hugh like Dodds! It may be the pretties concubine of the lot and I am sure Hugh (Dodd's) is casting his lustfull eye that way, but they will still be a concubine none the less!
Be careful what you wish for! This is coming from one who knows tu up close and personal for a long long time!
Bottom line here, Haggard is peeing into the wind here but in reality, other then getting some of it blown back at you, it is totally worth the effort. If I was FSU I would be doing the same thing. To sit back and just wither and die is not the best option. However, I would never join the Big XII that would be like sleeping with Hugh Hefner!
@Gban I don't really know about some of that. It makes sense that FSU is hedging their bets right now, I get that, but I don't see that they have anything more to gain from the ACC right now. FSU is not going to be given any sort of disproportionate authority. And the ACC isn't going to bring in any new football powers so if there was any more serious money to be had from ESPN then I'd think they would have it now. I think they are angling out. I agree completely with what you've been saying about the old Big 12 schools "that could get out did get out." The only thing that saved the Big 12 in the long run it appears is that ESPN was willing to overpay for them. ESPN did something similar for the ACC in offering a back-loaded contract, but it's still not serious money. In part, it appears as though the disproportionate payments that ESPN gave the Big 12 are what is causing this new dust up right now. It was also ESPN that told the ACC that Pitt and Syracuse were good additions to make and that was probably a stab at trying to make the ACC viable long term all along. The people at ESPN have got to realize by now that they can't put all the pieces together by themselves. They may be better off by just hedging their own bets and letting the chips of realignment fall where they may because it appears that no matter what they do the landscape keeps changing. If I was an ESPN official, I think I might let it all play out and renew the contracts then instead of renegotiating multiple times with the same leagues especially if some of those leagues end up becoming non-viable. And BTW, how are you able to give yourself paragraph breaks when posting? Everything I try just ends up as one big paragraph either way.
Something to keep in mind for people who think none elite schools aren't worth anything or the students who attend them are not intelligent. Yes prestigious schools are a good thing for ones education, but they are not the only thing to indicate a persons success potential.
IQ is Overrated: What You Really Need To Succeed - It doesn't matter if you did not receive the best academic training from a top university. A person with less education who has fully developed their EQ, MQ, and BQ can be far more successful than a person with an impressive education who falls short in these other categories.
Huge mistake for FSU. Texas is the controlling power in the Big 12. Oklahoma found that out this past year. Nebraska knew that and finally got fed up and left. Colorado, Missouri, and A&M didn't want their future dictated by whatever the Longhorns wanted. KU, Kstate, Baylor, and Iowa State would probably all leave if a different conference came calling because their voice and opinion doesn't matter much in comparison to Texas University.
How is a school with Florida State's prestige and pride going to react when they find out that they are just a small piece in the Big 12 puzzle? Their voice will not carry the same weight as Texas'. They will have an even more diminished role in the power structure of the Big 12 than they currently do with the ACC. They aren't replacing Missouri, they'd be replacing Nebraska in the power structure. Missouri was completely ignored. Nebraska was heard some, but their opinion never mattered in the end. The Big 12 is still divided and Oklahoma, Osu, T-Tech, and Texas would all leave if other PAC 12 would open their doors. Why join that mess? The Big 12 is not FSU's answer.
John, Great article by the way. It was well written as always.
and John, PearHorn is correct. A&M leaving the BigXII is more destabilizing to college football than Nebraska or Colorado. It is more destabilizing because it directly hurt Texas's ego. And Texas's ego is what is causing all this. PearHorn has done a great job reciting their talking points.
So maybe he could also review the demise of the SWC, and Texas attempts at joining the Big10, Pac10, and ACC? I am guessing those were A&M's fault also.
Funny stuff. PearHorn's revisionists comments are an indication of why four teams chose to leave the 2nd strongest conference in college football. and I would not want to play poker with Deloss Dodd's. He is good.
@SECede Each program that left made the problem worse for the Big 12. Missouri twisted the knife the hardest. It's not ego, It's money and power if you can divide them. For me the attitude about the only Oklahoma and Nebraska mattering started when Kansas brought in that ringer for the Missouri game and the NCAA made them forfeit but Missouri was not re-instated as a National Champion (voted), in this situation the conference should have put three years no post season play on Kansas. Then giving Colorado 5 downs to beat Missouri as time ran out and retain their #1 national ranking. Then the vindictive taking away the BCS game from Missouri and giving it to Kansas even though Missouri was ranked higher. Finally the Texas-ESPN deal and thinking that the league would just swallow that even though Texas couldn't have the deal without the conference.
Funny stuff SECede...it is funny because it is a classic case of projection. Aggie ego couldnt stand that UT could have such a successful partnership for it's 3rd tier programming...especially since it happened after A&M's AD called the Aggie Network as best postioned in the conference to have the most success and be the most profitable. Oops.
Speaking of revisionist history...what is this about UT's talking points? The only talking points you've gotten out of UT's AD's office is a) Aggie has right to do what is best for aggie b) Aggie and conference should have worked with UT on 3rd tier programming when it had the chance to and c) just like Aggie wanted uneven revenue sharing at the onset of the conference, UT will not share it's 3rd tier revenue from the LHN.
The only talking points and whining that have occured have come from NU and Aggy. Talk about airing dirty laundry...
Of course UT was looking at other conferences. UT does not want to join the SEC. To possibly persuade Aggie from going SEC and therefore lieing to conference and going back on their word, and in case the conference fell apart, UT was performing due diligence by looking. It aint rocket science.
Lastly, the Big 8 conference commisioner indicated in an interview that the Big 8 was willing to merge with the 8 SWC schools. Dodds preferred to only add 4 of the SWC schools. Given that Texas was not even in the conference yet, the BIG 8 (Texas didnt even have a vote) voted to add 4 schools.
At least we can agree on something. Dodds is good. Really good.
@SECede Really!? Dodd's is really good at what, spinning and lying. Let me see here.
1. They are now stuck in a conference with Baylor, KU, KSU, ISU, TCU, TX Tech all these schools besides KSU which has the great Bill Snyder, are no better then Conf USA programs. They cannot move now without their fat little harem.
2. They now have a network that virtually no once can see. They are now trying to extort their fan base and other fan bases to force the LHN on to carries by potentially adding another game. I am sorry even the most ardent UT fan does not find Fozzy Whitaker's Animal Safari or 50 reruns of some chick volleyball game worth "notify your local carrier" about. Talking about comedy!!! LOL
3. They have a football schedule that is so bad they were giving tickets away last year or offering unbelievable promos. I got offered tickets to 3 different games last year.Basically we are going to see a lot of seats disguised as fans up at Austin this year.
4. Dodd's has done a great job of reveling the true nature of UT to the whole nation. Your like the ultimate rich has been diva super model! Still a legend in your own mind.
5. They also have the most underachieving football and basketball programs over the last two years in the nation compared to the 'talent' and hype levels.
6. Every school that left clearly stated that UT's influence and control of Beebe and the little fat harem was a major reason for leaving. Even Richard Justive a UT grad and homer, called Dodd's out as greedy, arrogant and self serving! So do most of my UT buds.
Will FSU go to the Big XII, maybe, but it a desperate, desperate move and one that more then likely spell their doom as a significant program.
Yep Dodd's is good really good, Good killing the Golden goose just because he wasn't satisfied being with the elite he wanted to become THE ELITE! Dodd's is the one that caused all of the reformation. How can little ole insignificant A&M cause such a massive melt down? I mean really were just a bunch of hick red neck farmers that only no about breeding sheep, right!? LOL
@Gban@SECede totally agree. this is not the work of a smart administrator or board. just the opposite. how could you screw up the #1power rated conference in the most popular and profitable sport? illustration: Colorado and Nebraska threaten to leave and the conference can't react. a year passes and the problems get worse. A&M threatens to leave and the conference does nothing. finally Missouri threatens to leave and the conference comes up with an insignificant token. it will go down in history as the dumbest conference administration era ever. college text books will feature it like they do the Kennedy run up to the Bay of Pigs.
@PearHorn You just summed up the difference between the Big 12 and the SEC. The Big 12 has six teams in the pre-season top 25, the SEC has the last six national championships. Couldn't have said it better myself.
Ask Texas about Alabama, or Oklahoma about LSU and Florida...your league is a two trick pony that respectable programs are running away from rapidly. Have fun in Morgantown, Lubbock, Fort Worth, and Ames.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Good stuff. 6 schools in preseason top 25 for Big XII = CUSA talent. Nice one partner. Whew. Real knee slapper. Thanks for the light hearted comedy before beddy bye time.
Your opinions re: FSU ...reveal the obvious...you want the Big XII conference to fail and you want UT to fail. You hate UT more than you love your own school. And since you know FSU to Big XII would benefit FSU and the Big XII, you naturally will say its a bad idea. Sad, really.
If SEC was smart, they'd ask FSU to join your new conference tomorrow.
But you know, as the most (or 2nd most; I cant remember) penalized school in the country, I should defer to aggy when it comes to knowing cheating when it sees it. Think about it.
@PearHorn @SECede Of course UT was looking at other conferences. UT does not want to join the SEC. To possibly persuade Aggie from going SEC and therefore lieing to conference and going back on their word, and in case the conference fell apart, UT was performing due diligence by looking. It aint rocket science.
Now that's funny, I don't care who you are!
LOL at the implied academics of the SEC. While we have definitely upgraded, with A&M and Mizzou, we were regarded as the worst academic major conference. This article screams butthurt. Who cares if the Noles go to the big whatever. Personally, I would prefer 4 good, solid football conferences. The SEC will always be strong.
I think it's just a marketing ploy / new battle cry for their teams. They are a fading national brand in need of a jolt. If people talk about them all summer, maybe it helps them with $$money (2.5m) $$ problems ?
There is so much involved here. My guess is that FSU officials aren't as stupid as they appear to be at this time.
1. A real move to the Big 12 is a disaster for FSU, the logistics of it are off the chart. It will virtually destroy FSU. I believe Septman knows that. I mean think about it. The Big 12 is one of the most dysfunctional conferences out there. The only members that are there are ones that either couldn't find a landing place or are attached to some other school. OU would of jumped like a grass hopper if they could of. In reality OU brings nothing to the table that is actually their own. Small market, little talent! Even then, they couldn't, they are attached to OSU. Secondly when conferences like the SEC look at expansion they look at a number of things. Fan base, new TV markets, academics, overall athletics, and willing to be a team player. Anyone with half a brain knows that the Big 12 is basically run by boss Tweed, UT! NU, CU, A&M and MU all left for the same reasons. One because of the heavy handed manipulation of the conference by UT and constant lying and spining that came out of Austin, (they did seek to go to the PAC 10, leaving Baylor and the North brethren behind to fend for themselves), and secondly BECAUSE THEY COULD find other vialbe options! Every school that could leave the Big 12 DID!
Every single member of the Big 12, outside of TCU and WVU are there because they had no one else to go. In FSU's case you can also add the huge albatross of being geographically isolated. Does FSU really want to enter into that? I think not. NO WAY. It would be good for the Big 12, but a long term disaster for FSU. So what is FSU really doing here?
2. It's called gamesmanship, they are playing chicken because they are somewhat desperate. It's no different then when a team has a really good coach and when another team cast eyes on him, he attempts to parlay that into a huge contract extension. FSU has nothing to lose by making a lot of noise now and everything to gain. It is no secret that FSU wants to be part of the SEC. It is also understood that there is no way they will gain an invite, with UF, Georgia, USC and A&M forming a coalition to keep them out. I think even BAMA and Georgia will also vote to block. What does FSU add to the conference? Well the only thing they add is a name football team that is fading, with a solid fan base that is other then that they bring nothing that isn't already represented! I really don't think that FSU going to the Big 12 is going to help them recruit better, in fact it is going to hurt them. The SEC schools are not so concerned about losing recruits to A&M or Mizzou that come from the existing SEC footprint. I think we are going to find that most Texas kids or Florida based kids are still going to want to be close to home and play close to home. I think the actually recruiting bump that SEC teams like USC or most other SEC schools have with A&M coming in, at least in Texas, is rather miniscule! It will help A&M in the sence that if you are a top recruit in the Texas based area, if you want to play in the premier and most passionate football conference the SEC, A&M is the only game in town. Now some SEC schools like LSU have been recruiting in Texas before A&M was there. I think ultimately A&M coming in has little impact on them. They are going to recruit pretty much the same, if not as well, if not actually take a small hit. The reason being that Texas kids that would want to play in the SEC had no option until now. It was LSU or Ark if you wanted to be any where close enough for your family and friends to watch you play.Bottom line, in my opinion the recruiting bump a team receives is the conference it's self and the proximity to the games that there family and fiends can attend. Simply put the Big 12 is not going to give FSU any recruiting bump WHATSOEVER!
I can assure you that FSU going to the BIg 12 is going to have massive negative impact on their local recruiting. I mean who wants to go to Aimes or Morgan town or even Austin. The game day atmospheres of the Big 12 schools are at a C USA level and that is the truth.
So bottom line FSU is just playing chicken here. They are hoping to do one of two things, bogart an SEC invite or push the ACC to give them a bigger piece of the pie! It's a simple as that.
As far as the SEC goes, they don't need to do anything. Just watch and wait, if FSU is stupid enough to actually go to the Big 12 they are signing their death warrant and they are probably signing the death warrant of the ACC! Here is something to consider, the ACC is not just going to sit back and let FSU destroy the conference. So FOIA request are going to reveal some things. Did a member or REP of the Big 12 approach FSU about the possibility of jumping first!? If they did then the old 'Torturous Interference' ploy comes into play! What about the exit fees!? What about the Longhorn Network that is continually seeking to get more football games, they have gone from one OOC game to two games, (one conference) and are now pushing for 3. They have a dead network there that ESPN can't find any buyers for because most folk are not interested in watching Fozzy Whitaker's animal safari, where he talks about the health of Chickball coach Gail Gunderson's cat! So they know the only way to break through is to get football games on and basically hold their own fans hostage to pressure carriers to sign them on, good luck with that! Well those come at the conferences expense. ESPN has a white elephant there and they are going to try to figure out a way to make it work. They are already looking for a way to pull the plug on it.
So all Slive and the SEC has to do is watch and wait. if this goes down, We swoop in and grab the two Virginia schools, adding a footprint and the DC market. Or wait for the NC schools or the survivors of the sinking ACC to come swimming our way. We just wait and pick up the scraps that we want and we don't have any TI or other issues to deal with. Bottom line, we call their bluff!
John...you dont see how A&M's leaving the Big XII was potentially more destabilizing to college football than Nebraska or Colorado leaving?
The expansion of CU and Neb to the B1G did not cause the Big XII to go "school-hunting" for replacements which could have/had a domino affect. The TV contracts were going to be honored with 10 schools and were not going to be reduced. The 10 remaining schools got a raise in revenue by Neb and CU leaving. Question - Did CU or NU leaving for their new respective conferences cause or touch off any destabalization of college football? Doubtful. Why? Answer - Texas A&M COMMITTED itself to the Big XII and everyone was happy. Conference destabalization averted...until the LHN deal.
FLASHBACK - After A&M rejected UT over Dodd's offers to create a Lone Star Network with A&M, the UT administration decided to move forward with developing a UT network of some kind to help brand UT athletics. After a few years the Aggie administration decided they would like to join in after all (and after UT spent a few years investing in the infrastructure of the network; Dodds told them no thanks, the project was too far along and the administration likes the idea of branding UT's olympic and non-revenue generating sports thru this network. A&M has a hissy with ESPN's offer to UT to partner the LHN. A&M decides to leave the conference because it is not fair UT has it's on 3rd tier network in spite of the fact Kansas has been making a killing of their 3rd tier basketball network for over 10 years AND after Texas A&M and Nebraska LED the effort for uneven revenue sharing at the birth of the conference in 1996.
FLASHFORWARD - Aggie is now in SEC.
SEC is first conference in the modern BCS era to have more than 12 schools. Hmmm, I wonder if that might not cause other conferences to consider expanding their footprint also? ACC decides to expand its footprint too.
In addition to that, the Big XII would now only have 9 schools and was loosing a large fan base. Surely the TV contracts might be affected. What about the remaining schools in the conference? Sure enough, Mizzou decides to jump off what they consider to be a sinking ship which causes Big XII to expand with 2 schools from Big East.
Big East expands with any warm body that doesnt have any multiple STDs attached to it.
MWC expands by raiding WAC.
What is left of CUSA and WAC basically merge.
Does any of this expansion or conference realignment in the ACC or Big XII, or additional expansion/shuffling occure in the Big East or MWC/WAC if A&M stays in the Big XII? (Obvioulsy A&M had no bearing on TCU going to the Big East and MWC expanding with Boise St etc, I'm talking about what happened with those conferences AFTER A&M goes to SEC).
FOR THE RECORD - I am perfectly fine with Texas A&M going to SEC. I am sad that one of the greatest college football rivalries might have come to end, but if it is in Texas A&M's best interest to be in the SEC then more power to them.
And as a proud Texan, A&M's move has allowed the state to add three schools (TCU, SMU, Houston) into BCS conferences (yes I know, the Big East may not be autormatic BCS for much longer) and two other schools to go from FCS to BCS (Texas St and UTSA to the WAC).
@PearHorn Well if Texas had not already been shopping itself around to the Big 10 and then the Pac 10, Nu would of probably never looked to leave. If Texas had not sought to maximize it's own right at the cost of the Big 12, then there was a really good chance that A&M would not have sought to move. The truth is Texas did make a move to join the Pac bringing A&M, Tech and OU and OSU with them. The Aggie had no interest in that, none at all.
So if your going to talk about how A&M's move to the SEC was the big domino that caused all this you would be doing exactly what Texas has become famous for. Lying and spinning!
@PearHorn You also fail to mention that Dodd's offer was anything but equitable. And guess what Byrne turned out to be right. Memorial stadium can hold more folk then can view the LHN! Please spare trying to convince us that UT is this noble otherminded, equally yolked, team player. They are not and never have been and now the nation knows what NU, CU, A&M and Mizzou have known for a while!
Its funny you mention the blowback from Media towards a&m.. To this date, no other school has faced the backlash like the Aggies had. I find that extremely odd. Hell, TCU headfaked the big least and no one even batted an eye. WTF gives? I believe ESPN did not want to have to renegotiate the huge contract that the SEC is going to get with the 24 million new viewers in texas.... Hard to argue when you see how many votes the aggies pulled in on the gamedayvote.com contest... This should be an interesting next few years in college football to say the least.
He wasn't saying academics don't matter in general, he was saying the school's academics aren't significantly different just because they play Duke every year. My education at UT, for example, would've been exactly the same whether Vandy was in the SEC or not. The "better academics" thing is just something the Big Ten/Pac-12/ACC use because they can't excel at what sports conferences are supposed to excel at...sports.
The hope for many was that the Tier 3 rights would be negotiated back to the universities, so even though it was "already" that way. It was unacceptable. FSU could certainly do better than 350K if they retained the rights.
Considering FSU's national brand...I would wager a week's worth of lunch money FSU can do much better than $350K for 3rd tier rights.
This entry was posted
Sunday, May 13th, 2012 at
1:17 am and is filed under
You can follow any responses to this entry through the
RSS 2.0 feed.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.