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Internal FSU Battle Playing Out Externally; More Proof That The Tail’s Been Wagging The Dog

By now you’ve certainly seen the memo/email that Florida State president Eric Barron sent out yesterday during the ACC’s spring meetings.  In it, he gave serious counterpoints to the arguments first made on social media… that were then picked up and shouted by the chairman of FSU’s board of trustees, Andy Haggard… and that are now being supported by more and more Seminole fans each day.

It was a stunning response to Haggard’s statements on Saturday.  Aside from Texas officials in years past, I can’t recall many university presidents referring to other conferences as being “weaker” academically.  Especially not when their school was supposedly angling for an invite into that very league.

Before we look at what Barron said, let’s tackle some obvious points:

 

1.  Barron is having to convince his own board that any move to the Big 12 would be rash and imprudent.  Ditto the fanbase.  His email reads like a private communication rather than as something he knew would hit the press.  It wasn’t given the once-over and twice-over and proof-reading polish that these types of statements usually receive.  (Hey, Barron could fit in as a writer here at MrSEC.)  There is emotion in his words.

2.  The fact that he sent the email at all tells you that there’s suddenly a movement growing to get FSU out of the ACC and into the Big 12.  Haggard on Saturday claimed he could speak “unanimously” for his board.  Was he going rogue? Does he really have everyone’s backing?  Barron’s email suggests that if he didn’t have strong support before his statement he certainly has it now (unanimous or not).

3.  Before Haggard gave credence to the incorrect info regarding the ACC’s contract with ESPN, Seminole fans seemed split on a move.  Since Haggard spread his incorrect info, the FSU messageboards and other social media outlets show a strong, strong fan push toward exiting the ACC.  ”Give us Iowa State!”

4.  This move is being driven by the internet.  We noted on Saturday that the tail could be wagging the dog a bit in this whole FSU-to-Big 12 situation.  First, bloggers and messageboarders say FSU and Clemson are moving to the Big 12 for more money and because they’re tired of everything favoring the North Carolina schools.  Then the chair of FSU’s trustees takes that misinformation and spreads it.  That makes national news (everywhere but at ESPN, the ACC’s television partner).  After it makes national news, public opinion spins even further in the direction of a move.  Tail… wagging… dog.

5.  Further, the two Rivals.com sites covering Texas and Florida State are working together to drum up support for the move and to goad more FSU fans into supporting the move.  Orangebloods.com wrote a response to Barron’s email yesterday arguing against all of his points.  All that was missing was a “please come to the Big 12, FSU” at the end.  Soon, Warchant.com posted Chip Brown’s story on its own site and today that site has posted its own response shooting down Barron’s email.  It’s pretty clear how the Rivals sites want things to culminate.

6.  Ironically, Orangebloods.com — viewed by many as a PR arm for Texas’ athletic director — is actually breaking ranks with DeLoss Dodds on this issue.  Dodds wants the Big 12 to remain a 10-school league.  Why not split the new TV contract among fewer schools, have an easier path to the national title without a league championship game, and give yourself a 1-in-10 chance of winning the league rather than a 1-in-12 or -14 or -16 chance by expanding?  He told Kirk Bohls of The Austin American-Stateman yesterday that FSU is “a long ways away” both in terms of distance and of joining the Big 12.  ”There’s no traction.  There’ve been no conversations between Florida State and the Big 12… I’m for 10.  I think Oklahoma wants to alk about it.  If the rest of the league wants more than 10, we’ll be good partners (and accept that).”  So yet again Big 12 schools are apparently all over the map on this with Texas claiming they’ll be a good partner when even new commissioner Bob Bowlsby referred to the Longhorns as the league’s “800-pound gorilla” just a wee ago.  Seeing if  Texas will acquiesce to Kansas State’s wishes will show us just how happy and friendly the Big 12 schools really are these day.  (Using KSU only as an example of a school that might favor adding FSU.)

7.  All the above — Barron’s email, Dodd’s comments, etc — appear to further prove our “Wag the Dog” theory.  Reports of a done deal were the nonsense everyone in the traditional media said they were.  But those very reports have led some to start thinking more and more about a move and now those against a move are having to make their cases against an FSU-Big 12 marriage.  Regarding the traditional media in all of this, isn’t it likely that at least one — one! — reporter working the rumors would have found someone to fess up before Haggard’s rant?  No one from The Topeka Capital-Journal to The Tallahassee Democrat to The Dallas Morning News to Yahoo! Sports to ESPN could get a single source to confirm any of this.  Then it blew up Saturday thanks to Haggard’s reaction.

8.  Despite Barron and Dodds making it clear they’re against a move, neither said specifically that a union wouldn’t occur.  Barron’s long email made no such definitive statement.  (Mainly because he couldn’t.  The board of trustees is his boss.  They’ll make the call… just as the board did at Missouri a few months ago.)  And Dodds said he’d be a good soldier if that’s what’s required.  So, no, Barron’s email and Dodd’s public stance of being pro-10 schools don’t nix the chatter or the possibility of a move one bit.

 

Now, take a look at Barron’s email.  It’s startlingly strong:

 

I want to assure you that any decision made about FSU athletics will be reasoned and thoughtful and based on athletics, finances and academics.  Allow me to provide you with some of the issues we are facing:

In support of a move are four basic factors argued by many alumni:

1. The ACC is more basketball than it is football, and many of our alumni view us as more football oriented than the ACC
2. The ACC is too North Carolina centric and the contract advantages basketball and hence advantages the North Carolina schools
3. The Big 12 has some big football schools that match up with FSU
4. The Big 12 contract (which actually isn’t signed yet) is rumored to be
$2.9M more per year than the ACC contract. We need this money to be competitive.

But, in contrast:

1. The information presented about the ACC contract that initiated the blogosphere discussion was not correct. The ACC is an equal share conference and this applies to football and to basketball – there is no preferential treatment of any university with the exception of 3rd tier
rights for women’s basketball and Olympic sports. FSU is advantaged by that aspect of the contract over the majority of other ACC schools.

2. Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M left the Big 12, at least in part because the Big 12 is not an equal share conference. Texas has considerably more resource avenues and gains a larger share (and I say this as a former dean of the University of Texas at Austin – I watched the Big 12 disintegration with interest). So, when fans realize that Texas would get more dollars than FSU, always having a competitive advantage, it would be interesting to see the fan reaction.

3. Much is being made of the extra $2.9M that the Big 12 contract (which hasn’t been inked yet) gets over the ACC contract. Given that the Texas schools are expected to play each other (the Big 12 is at least as Texas centered than the ACC is North Carolina centered), the most likely
scenario has FSU playing Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and West Virginia on a recurring basis and the other teams sporadically (and one more unnamed team has to join to allow the Big 12 to regain a championship game), we realize that our sports teams can no longer travel by bus to most games – the estimate is that the travel by plane required by FSU to be in the Big 12 appears to exceed the $2.9M difference in the contract – actually giving us fewer dollars than we have now to be competitive with the Big 12 teams, who obviously do not have to travel as far. Any
renegotiated amount depends not just on FSU but the caliber of any other new team to the Big 12.

4. Few believe that the above teams will fill our stadium with fans of these teams and so our lack of sales and ticket revenue would continue.

5. We would lose the rivalry with University of Miami that does fill our stadium

6. It will cost between $20M and $25M to leave the ACC – we have no idea where that money would come from. It would have to come from the Boosters which currently are unable to support our current University athletic budget, hence the 2% cut in that budget.

7. The faculty are adamantly opposed to joining a league that is academically weaker – and in fact, many of them resent the fact that a 2% ($2.4M) deficit in the athletics budget receives so much attention from concerned Seminoles, but the loss of 25% of the academic budget (105M) gets none when it is the most critical concern of this University in terms of its successful future.

I present these issues to you so that you realize that this is not so simple (not to mention that negotiations aren’t even taking place). One of the few wise comments made in the blogosphere is that no one negotiates their future in the media. We can’t afford to have conference affiliation
be governed by emotion – it has to be based on a careful assessment of athletics, finances and academics. I assure you that every aspect of conference affiliation will be looked at by this institution, but it must be a reasoned decision.

Eric Barron
President

 

Wow.  Barron is obviously trying to calm down his trustees and a fanbase that’s increasingly feeling the urge to move.  But some of his comments suggest he might be trying to scuttle any chances of an FSU-Big 12 merger from the inside, too.

In Point 2 he makes the Big 12 appear weaker without those four schools that have left it.  He says that Texas — where he was a former dean of the geosciences school — rules the conference.  He’s basically saying what we wrote yesterday: If Seminole fans think there’s a Carolina bias in the ACC, just wait’ll you land in the Big 12 with Texas.

In Point 7 he states that the FSU faculty are “adamantly opposed to joining a league that is academically weaker.”  Holy crap, he just flat called the Big 12 “academically weaker.”  We’ve written time and again that schools don’t move to academically weaker leagues — especially schools from the ACC, Pac-12 and Big Ten.  Some Big 12′ers have emailed to ask about Mizzou and Texas A&M moving to the SEC?  First, neither the Big 12 — a league formed in the mid-90s — nor the SEC were viewed on par academically with the other three leagues I specifically referenced.  Second, when A&M and Mizzou moved to the SEC, they made it the stronger conference than the Big 12 in terms of the number of AAU schools.  (Again, rant against the AAU if you wish, but that’s a measure used and pushed by academicians across the country.)  More importantly, neither MU or A&M publicly dissed the SEC as being academically inferior even during the non-denial/denial stage of their courtships.

Think Big 12 presidents will enjoy reading Points 2 and 7?  Think Barron didn’t know they’d be ticked at reading them?

Barron has walked so far out on a ledge that there’s almost no room left for backtracking.  At least not for him.  If the board of trustees ignores the points he’s put forth and decides to push for a Big 12 move it’s hard to imagine Barron being the the Florida State president if/when the school entered that league.

This is all looking more and more like Barron and his pointy heads versus Haggard and his hot heads.  Meanwhile, it also appears that there might be yet another Texas versus Everybody fight brewing in the Big 12.

Welcome to Dysfunction Junction… where the Big 12 and Florida State meet.

Again we ask the following question: When’s the last time the Big Ten or SEC had any kind of public battles like this?  The Pac-12 under Larry Scott’s leadership has also learned to keep its fights and arguments in-house, behind locked doors.

That’s not the case in the ACC or Big 12 yet.  That’s why those leagues still aren’t as stable as the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12, television dollars be damned.

For now, we at MrSEC.com await the next round of the internal fight in Tallahassee that’s being waged externally for all to see.  What happens between FSU and the Big 12 could destabilize an already shaking college football landscape further.  So watch with care, SEC fans.  The moves at Florida State could set off a chain of events that might just impact your league in the long run.

We didn’t see that one coming.  Probably because it wasn’t actually coming until Haggard believed what he read on the internet and kickstarted a Seminole Summer, rather than an Arab Spring.

 


53 comments
jasonburns
jasonburns

I thought you guys might find this interesting. It's a series of excerpts from the Florida Times Union chronicling the historical connections between the SEC and Florida State. Contrary to what expert commenters continue to post here and elsewhere, Florida had been trying to get Florida State admitted for years. It only goes up to 1971. But, still, it's fascinating how facts seem to get lost in time.

 

http://nolefan.org/summary/fsu_sec.html

SEC Fan
SEC Fan

John, you're the best.  Everything you do is awesome.  I love it!!  Keep up the great work.  This site is so cool!

DaveinExile
DaveinExile

I read Barron's piece more as a road map than anything else. Haggard's rant was certainly a shot across the ACC's bow, but it was a disaster as a negotiating stance: "Hey, we're angry, and we just want out of the ACC and in the B12." Barron outlines what FSU would need to move - a division structure to its liking, a considerably enhanced revenue stream from a B12 media deal, and most importantly, enough donations from blow-hards like Haggard to cover the ACC exit fee.

 

I agree that Barron opposes the move at this time for a variety of good reasons. But he also spells out pretty clearly the parameters for a deal that would work.

 

Best public statement by a university pres I have seen in awhile. Nice to know some of these guys have the brains to run a major research university.

 

 

JohnVol
JohnVol

I could care less about the Big 12 and FSU unless it affects the SEC in some way. But this is very interesting reading and analysis. Great work, MrSEC.

Tyler B
Tyler B

How much is Va. Tech worth in this deal? When Beamer leaves I don't expect that program to do much. I would consider the attraction of the job on par with Kentucky. Which will prevail? Dollars and... cents or sense?

Statesman
Statesman

I still believe that the Big12 is a smokescreen, while the BIG10 is where Fla. St. is headed.  There is a reason that the president took shots at the Big12 and Texas.    FSU allows Delaney to get the southern expansion that he desires and also gives him a better chance at getting Ga.Tech as southern partner(gets Ga. & Fla recruiting exposure).  Regarding FSU not being an AAU school, Nebraska was in the process of losing their AAU status(they did) when they received the BIG10 invite.  Expansion is about dolla$, plus this would be an example of a school going to a higher ranked conference.  FSU to the BIG10!!

Brazos
Brazos like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @Statesman I'd gladly take that bet.  I could easily see the BIG10 extend on offer to GA Tech but no chance would they invite Fla St.  Why so the new lowest academically esteemed kid-on-the-block can come in and humiliate the rest of the conference and sully the reputation of the conference at the same time?  No college president worth half his muster would jeopardize the $500MM+ research money that his institution brings over marginally inching the needle in the football revenue by $5 or $7MM.

sfprman
sfprman like.author.displayName 1 Like

Also pushing this is CBS Sportsline's worthless Dennis Dodd (who is pushing Notre Dame to the Big XII even more) and Blair Kerkoff of the KC Star. Both writers are lobbying on behalf of their pals at KU and KSU.  KU and KSU are desperate. They want to try and save face. They know UT and OU will eventually bolt.  They think the only way to keep them is to add folks like ND and FSU (vs. Louisville and Cinci). Of course, KU football (and ALL sports but men's basketball) will always be at the bottom, per usual, regardless.  The FSU fans need to get a grip and focus on trying to unseat VaTech as their conference bigdog.

Northlander
Northlander

Yeah, KU Football was really at the bottom 5 years ago when they won the Orange Bowl beating the ACC champ.  K-State certainly hated their 10 win season ending in the Cotton Bowl.  Dennis Dodd is a Mizzou alum; he doesn't give 2 craps about the Big 12 anymore and Kerkhoff doesn't have any allegiance to KU/KSU whatsoever.  KU & K-State are both just fine and will enjoy having Florida State in the Big 12.

louciaccia
louciaccia like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'm sorry, I respect the hell out of Mr. Sec, but this just isn't true. The issues that have been leading to this, primarilly the financial disparities, but also the growing dissatisfaction with scheduling and other issues, has been growing for years. This didn't just happen this week. Are you really being so myopic to think that because you weren't aware of the deficits FSU is running in it's quest to get back to elite football, that those deficits weren't real until a WVU blogger started typing? Really? The signs have been pointing this way since the PAC 12 signed their deal...on that day it became clear that ACC leadership was badly outgunned compared to other conferences, and there wasn't a clear way out (save ND). The SU/Pitt expansion just fueled the fire, by adding virtually no contract value, but snatching away a home game every year and sending everyone on even longer trips. FSU also got a wake up call with having to battle Auburn to retain Mark Stoops from making what would be a lateral move. That's not a position FSU is accustomed to being in, losing coaches to lateral moves. Considering the raise he got was far less than what he was rumored to be offered, it seems obvious that the only reason held him was that Stoops considered a move to Auburn would delay the head coaching position that almost certainly awaits him in 2013. Have you noticed that FSU is moving away from high profile home-and-home OOC games, to match the national trend? Well, that's the direction they are taking. And that FCS rent-a-wins now cost a half-million dollars? But that's the price for trying to play at the elite level. That didn't happen last week either. The issue is, none of this stuff is new. Many people following FSU have see the writing on the wall for years. Everyone just kept their powder dry to see if Swofford might pull a rabbit out of his hat, and he ended up actually losing the hat. Just because you (and rightly so as an SEC blog) were not totally clued into FSU issues, doesn't mean that those issues haven't been there. Again, love your site and your reallignment analysis, it's some of the best. But like many other non-FSU specific commentators, you really didn't realize the depth of what has been building here for a while.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @louciaccia 

 

The cash issues might have been there, but there was nothing afoot with the Big 12 until Haggard opened his trap.  Not one leak, not ONE to any journalist in the country in ACC or Big 12 territory.  No one tied into the administrations or the athletic departments would provide any information of an FSU-Big 12 merger to any well-sourced, well-respected journalist.

 

In other words, this one was kept more quiet than the Watergate break-in.

 

Fans grumbled.  We knew that.  That grumbling grew and hit the internet in the form of blogs and messageboards.  Haggard responded.  Now and only now are parties on both sides talking -- even though they claim they're not talking.

 

I'm glad you've seen the writing on the wall for years that Florida State would land in the Big 12 in the summer of 2012.  Thumbs up.  Kudos.  And a tip o' the cap to the bloggers who ran with the rumors of discontent.  But the fact remains, there's a debate going on in both camps -- in the Big 12 over whether to expand at all and at FSU over whether to jump leagues -- and it's being played out publicly.  So this ship hasn't sailed just yet.

 

And there's a big difference between saying some FSU folks have been upset and saying, "the move is coming this summer."  You can call that myopic if you like and you accuse us of selling untruths.  But to suggest that all this was oh, so, visible miles ahead?  If you knew how it would happen and when it would happen -- even though it still hasn't actually happened yet -- I'd like for you to help me with my stock investments.

 

John

louciaccia
louciaccia

 @John at MrSEC

 I'm not calling anyone out for not believing it, or certainly not reporting it.  Anyone who aspires to real journalism has a lot better responsibility than random bloggers and message board posters before they run with anything anyway. I just don't see anything to get defensive about.

 

What I'm trying to say is that a lot of real journalists (cough, Chadd Scott, cough) went further than just reporting that they hadn't heard anything, and called the rumors idiotic and the people who indulged them stupid.  Of course I didn't see FSU to the Big 12 a year ago.  But as the pieces continued to fall into place over the last twelve months (basketball expansion, FSU boosters credit downgrade, BCS revision with loss of AQ, ACC contract terms, FSU budget deficit, Big 12 contract terms, Big 12 GOR, etc), it made a LOT of sense.  Not necessarilly that FSU would leave, but that they needed to talk.

 

Real journalists spoke with derision without knowing a LOT of the facts, and simply dismissed the possibility that someone without real creds might know something.  Here's the thing though..."normal people" have always had friends in high places and known secrets that never made the press.  But before the internet, they had no way to express what they knew.

 

I guess you can try to cling to the idea that because officials keep saying there have been no discussions, then there have been no discussions to date.  Nobody ever lies in this game, I'm sure.  I'm sure Texas A&M and the SEC never had discussions before the day they announced discussions. 

 

What about the "fiction writers" that called the contract totals on the Big 12 and ACC contracts before they ever went public, did they wag the dog at ESPN?  ESPN read some West Virginia bloggers, and decided the Big 12 should get $20M because of that?

 

Is it really easier to believe that some random bloggers and message board posters STARTED a major reallignment than it is to acknowledge that maybe some people that are not professional journalists have some connected friends?

 

Nobody expects you to have sources everywhere all the time.  It's no skin off your nose if you weren't clued in on something hush-hush between Big 12 and ACC schools.  You do phenomenal work here, and I consider you one of the most reasoned analysts of reallignment.

 

But I can't believe that you would take the position that because you didn't happen to know about it, then it could not have happened, and a much more unreasonable thing happened instead.  It would seem easier and more reasonable to just say "Wow, that caught us all off guard.  Kudos to the couple guys that had sources on this particular issue."

 

By the way, not accusing you of this really, but it seems like journalists who are basically saying that a single West Virginia blogger started reallignment would be granting them WAY more influence and power than just admitting maybe they actually did know somebody.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @louciaccia 

 

Again, that's not what I actually wrote.

 

Haggard was hearing the reaction to a TV contract that was being portrayed as something it wasn't.  "Tier 3 rights were given away... it was proof of pro-Carolina bias," etc.  Well, no, it wasn't.  But that's what he reacted to.

 

In the beginning there were rumors of FSU-Big 12 deals (and Clemson and Miami, too, remember).  Then came misinformation about the TV deal.  Haggard then piped up with the same misinformation about the TV deal that had been seen on blogs and in social media.  His piping up gave all those initial rumors of realignment more life because suddenly he'd just said, "Call us" and the Big 12 got the word, "Hey, we can get 'em"  And FSU fans have gone from 50/50 on moving to -- it seems -- 90/10 pro-move since Haggard's inaccurate comments.

 

That's what I mean by the tail wagging the dog.

 

There was no deal in place.  Just some fan grumbling.  Haggard reacted to the grumbling and internet rumors born of the grumbling and presto... it could be a reality.  (Though many are already taking it to BE reality.)

 

I've never said Haggard reacted to the report of a "done deal" or to the blog from a guy in West Virginia (who I personally have no beef with other than the fact he doesn't use his name).

 

On a sidnote, I also don't believe there were backchannel communications because Texas would have been in on them and Texas wants the Big 12 to remain a 10 team league.

 

And I'll be ripped to shreds for writing that, by the way.

 

As far as aggravating me, you, specifically, haven't.  Just remember -- I try everyday to write the truth based upon 20 years of media experience and numerous contacts at schools, in networks, etc.  I also try to keep an eye on 28 teams, which is akin to having 28 police scanners going at once.  On top of this, I'm trying to make calls and texts and emails when I can... amid radio and CSS work.  That's hectic.  Yet -- unfortunately for me -- I can't write "the sky is blue" without getting disagreements in the comment boxes or my email box. 

 

I mistakenly got in the habit of trying to read all of them and answer folks' questions, etc, when this site was just starting.  Now I deal with tons of people a day -- most of who are angry -- and many of whom disagree with me over something I did NOT actually write.  (Perhaps if I were a better writer there would be fewer misinterpretations.)

 

You are a drop in the bucket, my friend.  I appreciate you reading and I appreciate your kinds words (other than saying I'm myopic and am writing untruths, of course).  But any aggravation I feel is over the fact that day-in and day-out, I find myself having to explain every word I write... simply because I got in the habit long ago of trying to talk to all our readers.

 

I don't think I can do that anymore.  Not without cursing anyway.  But everytime I try to stop, someone calls me a liar or puts words in my mouth.  The other day someone claimed that I wrote something that I'd never even thought, much less written.  If I'd let it go, how many comment-box-readers would have believed I'd actually written it at some point?  Should I allow people to say, "John's views are X," if they're not?

 

That's the dilemma.

 

All the best.  And I really do appreciate our readers.  As far as 100% of the commenters and emailers, well...

 

John

louciaccia
louciaccia

 @John at MrSEC

 

Sorry you are upset about it.  To be clear, I don't think it's a "done deal" either, because it's never a "done deal" until it's announced.  Pac 16 taught us that.  And just because some proxy reps for FSU or Clemson are giving positive vibes to their Big 12 proxy counterparts, that doesn't guarantee anything anyway.

 

But to say the tail wagged the dog is to say that Haggard read the bloggers saying it was a "done deal" and so decided to speak up.  What else does tail wagging the dog mean, if not that made up stories by bloggers caused FSU's chairman of the Board of Trustees to start exploring reallingment? I just think that's a stretch, rather than admitting the possibility talks have gone on and are far enough along to start bringing it public.

 

The most rational, simple explanation is that back-room unofficial talks have been going on for some time, and reached a point of progress that it was time to start bringing it out in the open so they could pretend that they were just starting.  I mean, do you really believe it when Mike Slive said they never considered Texas A&M, let alone spoke to anyone, before Texas A&M called them out of the blue last summer?

 

So Haggard brought it out, and he and FSU's goofy leadership turned into a fiasco.  That's a bit of another story.

 

I don't think you are really any of those things you listed.  I just think you are defensive about not being willing to admit that some finge people (and it is more than just one Dude by the way) might have known about talks that have been taking place for some time. 

 

You have given credit to the Dude for nothing more than judging fan sentiment, rather than acknowledging that some people may have been aware that unofficial talks have been going on.

 

Sorry to aggravate you, again, great job.  Appreciate the support you've shown FSU for an SEC invite in the past.

 

 

 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @louciaccia 

 

I'm in no way saying that something wasn't happening because I didn't know about it (because my sources at actual schools didn't know about it).  I'm saying it's obvious that this is NOT a done deal.

 

People keep mixing the issues here.

 

To say some FSU folks were angry is completely different than saying FSU has already reached an agreement to move to the Big 12.  Totally different things there.  Yet because Haggard has now kicked things into hyperdrive, it's being accepted that, yep, a deal has been in place for months.

 

Well, call me dumb, but I don't buy that.  Never did buy that.  Still don't buy that.

 

A deal may be worked out.  Haggard's comments certainly moved things in that direction.  And I firmly believe that his comments were driven by what he was reading and hearing -- he's admitted to having his facts wrong after all.  So he didn't get them from school officials.  Therefore it's my opinion that...

 

Ah, who cares?  I can't win at this.  

 

And you're the second person today to suggest that some in the media -- or I, specifically -- am claiming that one guy's blog started all this.  But I've not seen anyone say -- nor have I ever written -- that one blogger started this round of expansion.  That's an incredible exaggeration.

 

But I wave the white flag of surrender.  

 

We could do this all day.

 

If readers like the site, great.  If readers think I'm myopic, or biased, or anti-school, or anti-conference, or the anti-Christ, or if they choose to put words in my mouth, that's their call.  What others think of this site and this writer is beyond my control

 

Thanks for reading the site,

John

 

 

 

michael8349
michael8349

 @John at MrSEC Apparently, according to you, the Dude's little blog is the only reason this has happened.  What power he must hold to have manipulated school administrators in order to carry out his master plan.  All hail the Dude of WV!!

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @michael8349 

That's a total misrepresentation of what I've written, but go with that exaggeration if you like.

 

In truth, fan grumbles led some bloggers to say a deal was done.  That deal clearly wasn't done and may not come to be done, but a trustee read enough about it to get upset.  When he went off, FSU have gotten more and more behind him.

 

But I've credited "The Dude of WV" for picking up on fan sentiment.  That whole Clemson and FSU have already reached an agreement and the Big 12's helping with the buyout thing... well, not so much.

 

John

Rob H
Rob H

 @louciaccia

 Perhaps if FSU won the ACC once in awhile the natives wouldn't be so restless.   FSU's recruiting hasn't suffered being in the ACC, but its coaching has and the on the field results have.    If you can't win the ACC, how are you going to manage against Texas and Oklahoma?

louciaccia
louciaccia like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@Rob H Tennessee has been down for years now, and UGA hasn't won a national title in 30+ years. But the SEC is thriving. A conference who's financial health rests solely with one team is not a healthy conference. Especially if you are the one team. You'd think 12 ACC titles and two Natl championships would be enough. If the ACC needs FSU to be a top 5 team every year to be viable, that's a bad situation. And clearly that's proven to be the case.

JohnVol
JohnVol

 @Tyler B  Mizzou's record, stats, etc. have been compiled against Big 12 competition. They will take at least a two game dip in the SEC. Tennessee is down lately, for example, but they will beat Mizzou. Average SEC teams are bigger, faster, and deeper than the average Big 12 team.

 

Mizzou will lose to Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, and Texas A&M. That leaves conference wins over Vandy and Kentucky. That would probably put them fourth in a 7 team East.

mitchs3
mitchs3

 @jwolfe  @big12source  +1 to sfprman and jwolfe.  And TAMU did in fact win the B12 previously.  For most (other than perennial doormats) football success is cyclical - some schools have longer periods of success than others, but MU and TAMU will have periods of success in the SEC, just as they have in the B12.  I'm just not sure what that argument has to do with anything anyway - MU and TAMU moved for other reasons:  TAMU wanted to strike out on its own and get away from ut, and MU wanted to make certain it didn't get left high and dry the next time ut and OU decided to flirt with the Pac12 or whomever.  The higher revenues, equal revenue sharing (yes, I know the B12 has that for Tier 1 and 2 now; a recent development) and collaborative atmosphere are all plusses, too.

jwolfe
jwolfe

 @big12source aaahhhh wait a minute, Missouri won the Big 12 north twice recently and defeated the two dominant teams in the conference Texas and Oklahoma recently.  I would say that's "coming close"

sfprman
sfprman

 @big12source But Mizzou did "come close" to winning the Big XII, appearing in two championships (and tied the Nibs for the North in 2011, but Nubs faced and lost to OU in Arlington).  The first one vs.OU in 2007, in a game in San Antonio after the emotional win over #2KU in KC, was tied at half until a C. Daniel int.  The year after, Mizzou lost a wild depressing heartbreaker in the snow//wind/rain,/sleet/cold at Arrowhead to KU and the wheels came off vs. OU.  Won?  No.  Came close?  yes.

Rob H
Rob H like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @louciaccia  @Rob

 My point is.....all of these Super Power football programs want to be in the same conference.  Because they make the most money.  Fine.   As an Administator who has to pay the bills I understand.   Fans?   Well guess what, someone is going to finish last.   And this isn't the NFL where you at least get a high draft pick.   

 

Look, college football is becoming a joke.   Here's a novel idea, stop spending so god damn much on sports and coaches and start focusing on academics like the schools are supposed to be in existence. 

Tyler B
Tyler B

@big12source @louciaccia @Rob A&M will struggle, but the SEC is incredibly West-heavy and I’d be surprised if Mizzou doesn’t make a run at the East title this year or next. 1) UK is awful and will be rebuilding (I’m not sure what) in the foreseeable future. 2) UT might be worse and will be rebuilding in the foreseeable future. 3) Mizzou is on par with UGA right now. 4) Vandy went 6-7 last year and Franklin is now the 25th best coach in the country? If he leaves after another “successful” year Vandy will quickly return to Vandy. 5) Is Muschamp the right guy at Florida? Clearly he’s no Meyer. 6) Spurrier will retire once the East begins to rise again.

big12source
big12source

 @louciaccia  @Rob And Louciaccia, he and the WVU blogger are friends to a certain degree.

 

John thought this would never happen, but he is a man of his word.

 

 

If in the end it happens, John will admit he was wrong.

big12source
big12source

 @louciaccia  @Rob Rob, I would use that same argument for Missouri and aTm

 

How are they going to win the SEC if they couldn't come close to winning the Big 12?

louciaccia
louciaccia

Sorry, I meant to say we lost a home game every OTHER year.

 

Also meant to use paragraphs. LOL

Tyler B
Tyler B

As usual, John, great perspective. I think we're all coming to the conclusion that within the next 6-8 years NCAA D-1 football will only consist of 80 teams; four conferences of 20 with two divisions of 10. TV dollars will of course be lost because the TV footprint shrinks, but the market will eventually correct itself after a few years. - All 80 teams equally share revenue on televised regular season games on Tier 1 media rights. This is the #1 reason why the new conference set up makes sense. No need for a team to belong to a conference half way across the country when it can makes just as much by staying home. - Don't spend $30M on a recruting room if you want to keep profits. - Play nine division games, two games from other division in the conference and one OOC game for $. - Two division champs play for conference title. Division champ teams get a $5M bonus, and title winner an additional $5M. - Play-offs have four conference champs with four "wild card teams." Rankings can determine these wild card teams, and team ranked 1-4 play first round of playoffs at home. - Geographically it's a no-brainer and more fans travel and fill stadiums. - There are no more awful games as about 40+ schools get "demoted" (Average attendance less than 30,000 is a decent start. I think only Duke and WSU are BCS schools that fall into this category.) - Small revenue sharing for teams who get demoted. Now rambling after spending just a few minutes typing the above... but this entire thing is so increibly silly because the only things being ignored are the things that make the most sense. One day in the near future college football is going to pull its head out of the sand and say," Oh my god. What in the Hell have we done and how are we going to get out of this mess." Well, not the SEC, of course.

Tyler B
Tyler B

Tried to use paragraphs, too...

JaxGator
JaxGator

Doesn't this feel like Texas A&M? They decided to stay with the B12 (as FSU did with the ACC), but then the Longhorn network (for FSU, the ACC's poor TV deal) pushed them to have buyer's remorse, and they backed out of the B12 (ACC) and jumped to the SEC. The Texas A&M AD didn't want to make the move....and now he's gone...Barron needs to manage the board through this process, or he's likely to have the same fate.

 

Moving to the B12 may not be the best option, it could be better if FSU can get some concessions from ESPN (better TV deal, which ESPN may want to do to avoid re-allignment) and less "ACC" control from the North Carolina schools.

 

Thats most likely the outcome....unless Miami (the "Missouri" in our little scenario)?starts to make some noise.....

big12source
big12source

The SEC won't give FSU an invite. It was seen by the Missouri addition that the SEC is looking for T.V. markets. They already have the Florida market so what does FSU add? Not much. Plus with Florida blocking them, there is really no chance of FSU joining. I'm not the only one saying this. Coley Harvey covers FSU sports and news and he even said there is almost no chance FSU can go to the SEC.

 

 

Also have to remember the collusion principle. 

 

Lastly

 

Barron said this at the Softball game last night

 

But Barron also said he was surprised to hear that people think he has now made up his mind on FSU's conference affiliation.  "I have no idea what the next few weeks or even days will bring," Barron said. "I know I have alumni irritated because they think I made up my mind. What I am trying to say is this is not some simple thing.  "It's amazing how many people will say to me, 'You don't understand. If you go to the Big 12, Clemson will go with you and so will Miami and you can play them.'  "How do you know that? How can you say that? This is quite complicated. I have no idea how people will react to what I said, but I'm just trying to get the facts out there."  Barron also said that he believes FSU has done the proper due diligence should any major conference be willing to discuss a possible move.  Though he wouldn't pinpoint an exact time when the research was done, he said he felt comfortable last summer when rumors circulated about FSU possibly joining the SEC that his staff was prepped in case the league contacted him.  "There is no way that the university wouldn't at least do its homework," Barron said. "That wouldn't make sense otherwise. But that happened last year and I didn't believe there was any truth to the rumors then. And I don't believe there is any truth to these rumors now.  "It would have been strange for us not to think about it. To do a study and issue a report? No. But of course you think about it."

Andy Martin
Andy Martin

 @big12source

 BTW, I find the arguements about not adding another school in a given georgraphy interesting.  There are two key principles in marketing, reach and market share.  Although the SEC has Florida which gives them the reach in the Flordia market, adding FSU would give them much more market share overall.  This is true in Texas.  Texas is the market leader, but Texas A&M has a significant #2 market share in a large population and high demand market.  The real reason the SEC doesn't want FSU is more about UF not wanting to compete in their backyard.

Tyler B
Tyler B

@Andy Martin @big12source You need %75 of the vote to get a team in. UK will get USC's back not to let Clemson in the SEC, UF not to let FSU, etc. if these they get UK's back not to let a team like Louisville get in the SEC. Teams from the "old SEC" practically own their state and the higher ups intend to keep it that way.

Andy Martin
Andy Martin

 @big12source

 FSU announced last year that they were forming a conference exploration committee.  I also believe it was FSU and Maryland that tried to limit the exit penalities with the ACC too. 

jasonburns
jasonburns

"Seminole Summer." Love it. You guys are doing great work. It irks me that I have to go HERE everyday to find out what my alma mater is really up to. As someone who was at Florida State during The Run, I can tell you, this whole notion of joining the B12 does not sound appealing at all. If we were going to jump, it should have been before the ink was dry with A&M. About that whole SEC footprint argument.... would you rather compete in SEC recruiting with Florida State (which you already do,) or suddenly have the Sooners and Longhorns all over your backyard? I would think Slive and Co. might want to prevent B12 schools from gaining a recruiting foothold. ACC or SEC for the 'Noles. Anything else is a reach.

Andy Martin
Andy Martin

 @jasonburns

 I agree that if FSU joined gthe Big 12, it would help 4 Texas schools and Oklahoma in recruiting in Florida.  It also would provide FSU recruiting opportunities in the two largest football states, which keeps it on par with Florida and Texas A&M having access to the two largest football states.  If FSU could get other ACC schools to go with them and form an eastern division of the Big 14 or Big 16, then it would work.  If that happens, the SEC will get their team(s) from North Carolina and Virginia to complete their league and the Big 10 would finally expand into the NE USA.

big12source
big12source

 @jasonburns Slive doesn't care that much. The SEC will still get the best T.V. deal. They also are still the #1 football school

 

Slive really doesn't care.

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

I read Barron's memo with interest. After reading it several times, I realized that this was not some shot off the hip email. There is actual research done behind this memo. I personally believed that FSU analyzed changing conferences and if it would be beneficial. Which is where the 'neer report and items were coming from. Someone in the department leaked a "hey they are looking into the moving to the B12 to a blogger". It could have been on purpose just to gauge the fans and alumni reaction. Barron after looking over all of the data, said it was not happening. If the reports are true of just $3million difference, it would cost us more money long term and short term to change conferences. Toss in the academic disparities of research institutions, and you have a no-win situation. The question is - was there also a report done on the SEC? FSU to the SEC is a no-brainer, if you look at the points made in the article. You would have the money, fans and resources athletically to succeed. Academically you would be moving into a conference with institutions with similar academic profiles, where with the B12, they would instantly be the #3 research institution in the conference. In the SEC they would be ranked 7-8 in the conference regarding academic research funding. Maybe FSU has changed their tune on the SEC, and this is all a ploy to get the SEC to talk or get more money out of ESPN and the ACC to keep the last major conference realignment from happening so soon.

big12source
big12source

 @MiloMoon Once again, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina all block FSU, Clemson, and Georgia Tech from joining. 

louciaccia
louciaccia

@big12source @MiloMoon Is that coalition really relevant any more with only two slots available?

gatorwhisperer
gatorwhisperer

 @louciaccia  @big12source  @MiloMoon 

 

 

Dear Gawd,

 

Please let FSUx into the Big 12 or the Big 10 and please keep them out of the SEC so I don't have to see their logo on MrSEC.com every day.

 

Amen

 

 

Mirthomatic
Mirthomatic

 @louciaccia  @big12source  @MiloMoon [sorry, premature posting] 

If the realignment parter for FSU were known--say, Virginia Tech--then I would agree that the old "gentlemen's agreement" would definitely be void. At least to the extent, for example, that South Carolina would no longer be worried about Clemson joining. But schools like Georgia, South Carolina, and even Alabama and Auburn have an interest in keeping FSU out because the all heavily recruit the state of Florida. 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @big12source  @MiloMoon 

 

If you're looking at a voting bloc, you have to include Kentucky in that group.  It takes 11 yes votes out of 14 to add a school.  So Florida, Georgia and South Carolina couldn't block FSU as a threesome.

 

John

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @MiloMoon  @John at MrSEC   Milo, I wasn't referring to you specifically with my earlier statement.  I wasn't referring to anyone specific actually.  I was just saying that the "gentleman's agreement" is often mentioned in response to statements offering up FSU and others as possible SEC invitees.  I've never actually seen concrete evidence that the deal exists and I was just asking John if there was more to it than repeated declarations of it in the blogosphere.  I'm not even saying that a "gentleman's agreement" doesn't exist.  I have absolutely no idea.

 

The whole thing seemed like a rumor that went around for a while and was stated so often with no solid proof being offered AGAINST it that it simply became accepted as fact.  I was really just asking whether or not there was proof out there FOR it.  I'm not coming down on anyone for getting something wrong.  I don't even know if it's wrong, as I said.  And it's not like I never make mistakes.  I was just asking for more information.

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

 @John at MrSEC  @AllTideUp John, I am feeling your pain. I never mentioned anything about the "deal" to keep FSU, L'ville, Clemson and GT out of the SEC, but everyone is crediting it to me. I am just saying that This could be a ploy on FSU part to get a nibble out of the SEC. I am confident that if FSU was the best choice in regards to expansion that the votes would be there to add them. GT will never get a vote for 1, they left the SEC and Two the SEC can already count Atlanta in it's media deal. Clemson is a small market already controlled by USC, UGA and UT. L'ville does not fit the profile of schools, and appeal is to a regional metro area not a state. When you did your report a while a ago the #1 and #2 teams that would add value to the SEC were A&M and FSU. The SEC has A&M. If they are serious about locking down the south and maximizing the TV deal, FSU is a wise choice. All of the other schools on the no vote list do not have enough TV value to over ride a block veto. You also have to look at your other options out there beyond those four - Texas. 800# gorilla. OU/OSU, Kansas, WVU, VT, UVA, NC schools. or another lower rung Florida school like USF. Taking another B12 school will not happen anytime soon unless the conference falls apart. Which at this time it is still glued together. That leaves a lot of grade B choices that the SEC has already looked down on. I still don't see anything happening between the b12 and FSU. There are to many logical items keeping them apart. Which really means it will happen in a new york minute.

JohnVol
JohnVol

 @John at MrSEC  You're exactly right. FSU turned down the SEC to play ACC basketball schools. Now, 20 years later, they're complaining because they play in a conference with a bunch of basketball schools. They made their bed. 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @AllTideUp 

 

Some claim there's a definite deal between UK, USC, UGA, and UF to keep out Louisville, Clemson, Georgia Tech and any Florida school.

 

Others say its more of an assumed agreement between those schools.

 

I've been told the SEC will do what's best for the SEC.  Take that for what it's worth.

 

I know this -- FSU once had an invite to the SEC and turned it down.  To get that invite 20 years ago, Florida was either overruled or was okay with the invitation.  I've been told they were okay with it.  

 

Since then UF has passed FSU in terms of recent successes this decade.  TV money has changed the landscape, too.  So is that why UF is suddenly anti-FSU?  Or were they really anti-FSU the first go-round and just got outvoted?  

 

But the SEC did go to Tallahassee and make a pitch only to have FSU choose the ACC instead.

 

Some inside the league who were around at that time have told me that that move by FSU hasn't been forgotten... meaning it'll be a cold day before they get a second chance to join.

 

But I do know this -- good business people don't limit their options.  I think Mike Slive is a smart business man.  If the SEC thought that adding a national brand like FSU would drive up TV ratings and therefore dollars, I'd think they'd keep the option on the table.

 

All that to say... no... there's no definitive, concrete evidence of an agreement to stay out of existing SEC states.

 

Thanks for reading,

John

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @John at MrSEC Has it ever really been confirmed that such an agreement was in existence in the first place?  I've seen a lot of conjecture in the blogosphere and on messageboards about it, but I've never seen anything more substantive than that.  It may very well exist, but so many people throw it out there as fact and there doesn't seem to be any documentation or even informed sources involved with it.

 

I'm not saying you, John, throw it out there as an understood fact, but so many others seem to do that.  I'm just looking for a little more in that regard.

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