FSU to Big 12? School has inflated idea of self-worth

Jimbo Fisher and Florida State should know leverage comes with winning.

Jimbo Fisher and Florida State might think brand is worth more than it really is. (AP photo)

There is only one thing that throws me about this Florida State-to-the-Big-12 rumor that has been growing and mutating over the past several days: Do school officials consider themselves some kind of super power? Because I believe time machines are not applicable here.

In the last six years, Florida State has played in the Emerald Bowl, the Music City Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Champs Sports Bowl again.

They have played in one BCS bowl (Orange) in the last eight seasons (and lost). They haven’t won any BCS bowl game since the national title 12 years ago.

They haven’t won the ACC since 2005. They have played in only one ACC championship game in the last six seasons.

Before a school starts making financial demands and threatening to change conferences, shouldn’t it at least have to win the ACC Atlantic Division more frequently than Boston College?

This, of course, is all about money. The problem is that Florida State is living in its super power past. It’s frustrated that the ACC is not the SEC. Every conference is frustrated that it’s not the SEC. But, sorry, when a conference wins six straight national championships, the result is not going to be a level playing field, least of all when it comes to television revenue.

The ACC and ESPN recently announced a 15-year, $3.6 billion contract. That averages out to $17.1 million per school per year, which certainly seems good. But the fact that the deal is back-loaded — it will take nine years before schools see a $17.1 million take –  has some members grumbling, particularly Florida State, whose athletic department is facing a $2.4 million shortfall.

Andy Haggard, an FSU trustee, mouthed off to Warchant.com. He complained that the ACC surrendered its third-their television rights to ESPN for football but not basketball, seeming evidence that the conference was favoring the North Carolina-based schools for basketball reasons.

There was a problem with that statement: It wasn’t true. The school had to issue an apology Saturday night. This goes back to my theory that many members of  a school’s Board of Trustees are little more than more than big-money boosters who get to go to meetings and, it follows, talk too much.

Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher also said, “…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.”

This from a coach who last season finished behind Clemson and Wake Forest. I’m not sure what Fisher believes the Florida State brand is worth right now, but I doubt the school can do better than what it has right now. Leverage comes with winning something.

By Jeff Schultz

454 comments Add your comment

Herschel Talker

May 14th, 2012
1:50 pm

Schultzie:

You the man!!!!

HT

Burdell90

May 14th, 2012
1:53 pm

Jeff Schultz

May 14th, 2012
1:53 pm

Herschel: You the Talker.

sc15

May 14th, 2012
1:54 pm

So was Alabama not a super power when they struggled before Saban got there?

Jesse W.

May 14th, 2012
1:55 pm

Right on. The Florida St. fans think that their program is God’s gift to football. They’re arguably the third most relevant program in the state of Florida and will never be ahead of UF in that category. It’s time for them to get off their high horse and realize that they are far from being the most valuable member of the conference.

James

May 14th, 2012
1:59 pm

Seminole fans often seem a bit deluded. As a Tech fan, I like having them in the ACC. But they are the worst academic institution in the conference, so I wouldn’t cry if they left either.

You didn’t hear any FSU fans complaining about the ACC when they were winning it every year in the 90’s.

Jason

May 14th, 2012
2:01 pm

Using your same argument, one could say that a school like Duke doesn’t deserve any money in football because it hasn’t done anything in football…. ever.

You obviously do not understand branding, marketshare and electronic footprints. You are also obviously opposed to the American free-market system. An entity has the right, if not obligation, to explore all options to see if it can better itself. Heck, isn’t that essentially the same premise as the American Dream?

I promise, I am no fan of FSU, and I find most of their fans are undeservedly obnoxious and self-assured for a program that has only had about 15 years of football success (albeit incredible success during that span).

If FSU feels there is a better situation for them elsewhere, they should explore that option. Just because you do not comprehend branding and the total value of a brand, doesn’t mean there is no value to the brand itself. The value to a conference like the Big 12 goes beyond what FSU has done the last 5 years on the field.

And referring to your argument, if FSU has lost its value, then there shouldn’t be any concern whatsoever on the part of ACC fans if FSU goes elsewhere.

Take a marketing class. You might learn something.

Chi Town

May 14th, 2012
2:02 pm

Respect, Lord Saban.

Pearson

May 14th, 2012
2:02 pm

No..we don’t think we are God’s gift to football. We do think we are God’s gift to ACC football. Who the hell would have kept the conference afloat say oh 1993-2001 had FSU not gone 14 straight seasons with major bowl wins and 2 national championships. Prior to VA Tech joining in 2004 ACC football had no credibility other than FSU and all schools made a ton of money off our winning.

FSU just wants to go to a conference that prides itself on football and not basketball and wants to be treated fairly as a football program. It isn’t that much to ask.

George Stein

May 14th, 2012
2:06 pm

The issue here is that all ACC schools granted third tier rights to their games to ESPN. The Big 12 schools didn’t, which is why there’s a Longhorn Network. The value of the third tier rights is that schools don’t have to share the revenue generated by those games. The problem for FSU is that no one wants to see them play Savannah State in football or watch the women’s track team run 800 meters.

I wouldn’t blame FSU for leaving if they got a better deal. The problem is that they probably won’t find one.

Jeff B

May 14th, 2012
2:06 pm

This is ridiculous, FSU. Make some waves in the expanded ACC, before you start thinking it’s too small of a pond for you!

George Stein

May 14th, 2012
2:08 pm

Perhaps FSU should pride itself on football first, Pearson.

Chuck

May 14th, 2012
2:09 pm

It seems like getting rid of Bobby Bowden wasn’t the miracle cure the FSU brass thought it’d be. Maybe the problem lies higher than the coaching staff, and changing conferences isn’t going to help it at all. Instread of crowing about moving to the Big 12, FSU should do some self-evaluation and maybe bring in some better people than Fisher and his ilk.

GStateBen

May 14th, 2012
2:10 pm

Horrible coaching, lazy recruiting and general lackluster athletic direction led to the downfall in the 2000s. Jimbo has won 19 games in the last two seasons (only 12 BCS teams have done that in same span). The 2012 team is loaded and should win 10+ games again. Will one season change your opinion Jeff?

The ACC made it clear that this is a basketball decision and Florida State is a football school.

Inflated self-worth? It’s called remaining competitive. Comparing SEC vs. ACC deals, Florida will make $128 million more than its in-state rival in the next 16 years. You have to have money to be competitive nationally and Florida State has not until the last two seasons.

BlacknRed

May 14th, 2012
2:10 pm

How are you not on a level playing field, when you have had at least a top 10 recruiting class for the last five years?

1980's baby

May 14th, 2012
2:13 pm

We Seminoles fans have learned from the best at this kind of thing. UGA! You’d think UGA is in the national title hunt every year the way their fans gloat. Whawhoo 1980 baby! Herschel! Dooly! Herschel!

William Satterwhite

May 14th, 2012
2:14 pm

The funny thing about all of these rumors is that FSU (and their south Florida buddies at Miami) falling off over the last 10 years is the chief reason why the ACC’s media deal lags behind the other big conferences. If Florida State and Miami were nationally ranked top 10 programs every season, which was the primary reason behind expansion in the first place, the ACC would have a top-tier media rights in its own right and FSU would have no reason to be upset. They have no one to blame but themselves for their predicament and if they believe moving on to become the eastern outpost flunkies for Texas and Oklahoma is a solution, they’ll have another thing coming.

Cory

May 14th, 2012
2:15 pm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204527804576043870683872488.html

FSU is #2 in bowl TV ratings only behind USC. This is why FSU deserves more than the 13 million from the ACC, FSU has to wait until 2019 for that 17 million, still behind Big 12’s current payout.

And you talk about “self worth” What has Vandy and Ole Miss done to deserve 6 million more a year than FSU? Sellout crowds? Huge TV ratings? National Appeal?

Beast from the East

May 14th, 2012
2:16 pm

Pearson,
If “FSU just wants to go to a conference that prides itself on football and not basketball and wants to be treated fairly as a football program”, then why did they join the ACC in the first place?

Better yet, why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the ACC! Ya’ll went to the ACC because you all thought you would dominate in football and have an easy path to the a BCS Bowl every year. Now that your program has slipped into mediocrity and can’t pay the bills, you want to cry “foul”.

PiKappNole

May 14th, 2012
2:16 pm

Wow…funny how so many miss the bigger point. The ACC is no longer a good deal for FSU. After all, if the ACC only gets paid if FSU wins 10+ games per year, finish in the top 4, and win a couple of national championships, then why do they need a conference?

The idea of a conference is to join like-minded schools a program in the nation. But guess what – they have had FIVE non-winning football seasons over the last 15 years (one 6-6 season, the rest were losing seasons). But the SEC had other schools to step it up when Bama was down. Or when Tennessee was down. Or LSU, UF, Auburn, etc. Look at how Stanford and Oregon kept the PAC-12 near the top when USC was down recently. Or how Okie State stepped it up for the Big 12. But yet FSU gets blamed for not being a national title contender recently.

My main point is that every national power will go through some down years. Bama has. USC has. Texas has. Okalahoma has. UF has. But their conferences aren’t written off when that happens because they aren’t one-trick ponies like the ACC. FSU has not had one losing season in 31 years and has been to a bowl game every one of those years. In the last 4 years we have beaten WVU, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Notre Dame…premier schools from premier conferences (counting WVU as big12 now).

BlacknRed

May 14th, 2012
2:17 pm

They should have joined the SEC last year when they had the chance!! Now we are stuck with Yahoo Mizzou, who are not even in the south!!

The truth

May 14th, 2012
2:18 pm

FSwho had their shot to join the SEC and decided they would “rule” the ACC. Being chicken $h!7 has it costs….

Dave

May 14th, 2012
2:18 pm

1. It is all about the money.

2. Let’s see what the ACC deal looks like when FSU leaves. reduce those numbers by 3 million per year for the ACC.

Beast from the East

May 14th, 2012
2:19 pm

“What has Vandy and Ole Miss done to deserve 6 million more a year than FSU?”

Easy answer. They belong to a conference that puts butts in the seats and has the most watched games on television.

Grant

May 14th, 2012
2:19 pm

Schultz..so do you think the same of Texas A&M and Missouri?? Heck it will probably be harder to win a National Championship in the Big 12 vs the ACC. Seriously the ACC as a football conferrence compaired to the SEC is no comparion. The ACC is a basketball conference (just added 2 big basketball schools) and unleess they add Notre Dame it always will be. It’s not about who we can beat or didn’t beat we would be good for the big 12 and they for us. Even though we haven’t been the best on the field lately. We have some of the highest football gam ratings over the past 10 years.

Buckeye

May 14th, 2012
2:19 pm

Sounds like another team that has an inflated sense of self worth. Sounds a bit like the dogs and the SEC! SEC! Least to me.

Jesse B.

May 14th, 2012
2:21 pm

No one knows what exactly the tier rights in the ACC contract are because the ACC won’t publicly release the contract. The bottom line is that people care about the Florida State Seminoles (judging by TV ratings) and IF, and I mean If, Jimbo Fisher can right the ship, this national brand will go through the roof with just moderate success. The Big12 knows this as does the ACC.

Yes, FSU has itself to blame for the downfall of the football program (and ACC football as well) but we have made the changes necessary to succeed and we are seeing the fruits from those moves pay off (A little slower than we’d like, but still).

Go Noles!!

BlacknRed

May 14th, 2012
2:21 pm

LOL@Beast From The East

Buckeye

May 14th, 2012
2:22 pm

A crack blogger would have talked to and included a quote the greatest FSU Seminole player of all-time, our homey Deion!

your mom

May 14th, 2012
2:22 pm

oh weird…. another journalist completely missing the point of moving conferences. Im all the titles that aTm and missou are bringing to the sec is exactly why the sec wanted them. Get your head out of your a**. the big 12 can supply money. the acc cant. quit being stupid.

It didnt seem to pay off when we slaughtered the acc every year so now that we dont everyone thinks thats why we want out. just dumb.

Buckeye

May 14th, 2012
2:22 pm

Is Seminole PC these days? I guess if gay marriage is PC, anything goes.

George Stein

May 14th, 2012
2:23 pm

Why would the Big 12 be good for FSU, Grant? If you can answer that question in a dollars and cents way, so be it. My guess is you can’t.

Buckeye

May 14th, 2012
2:24 pm

1980’s baby,

Hey, leave 1981 out of it. It’s the dogs only glory year.

Dave

May 14th, 2012
2:26 pm

Your worth is what you get paid. If another conference is willing to pay an additional 3-10 million per year (reports are all over the board) and add FSU to the conference then that is FSU value.

And why would FSU want to stay in the ACC it sucks. If GT was thinking they would be checking out options as well.

Beast from the East

May 14th, 2012
2:27 pm

Buckeye,
I see Urban hasn’t had to take a LOA yet, so I guess his health is ok?

BlacknRed

May 14th, 2012
2:27 pm

To me Texas A&M will always be a Big 12 team, and Mizzou should have been and will always be a Big 10 team, and FSU you will always be an ACC team.

Jesse B.

May 14th, 2012
2:28 pm

@ George Stein: Dollars and cents way? The Big12 would be better for the Noles because the renegotiated TV contract would most likely bring 8 million more in 2013 alone. Add to that the increase in ticket sales, concessions, booster donations, bowl payouts, possible Tier 3 $$…you are looking at a legit increase in revenue…

Jonesy

May 14th, 2012
2:28 pm

Hey- they FSU is consistent top 20 in partying drinking. They deserve a bigger pay day.

On a serious note- the ACC is led by by Swofford and they should do a better job at improving the football image. Rule 12b.1.a should be not allowing any member to run the f’ing triple option as its main offense.

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Dawg Haus

May 14th, 2012
2:28 pm

Well said, Jeff! If FSU really is looking to move, can’t the SEC give Missouri back to the Big 12 and take the Noles instead?

Beast from the East

May 14th, 2012
2:29 pm

“And why would FSU want to stay in the ACC it sucks.”

Then please explain why FSU joined the ACC in the first place. ACC football is no worse now than it was in the 90’s when the Semis decided to go there instead of the SEC.

noleinatl

May 14th, 2012
2:30 pm

Mr. Schultz, please remember this article in December….I don’t understand how a sports writer could be this ignorant.

George Stein

May 14th, 2012
2:31 pm

Tier 3 revenue? Is that a joke? The only tier three game FSU had last year was Charleston Southern, and it was 8,000 seats short of a sellout. Good luck getting a single penny in profit from that.

The TV deals are almost always backloaded. If you think the Big 12 is flat, so be it. I’ll be interested to see how a school that is already $2MM short has $20MM to leave the ACC.

I am shocked by how uncritical some FSU fans are on this.

GTBob

May 14th, 2012
2:31 pm

Everyone is bashing the ACC’s contract for being backloaded. The Pac 12 contract is also backloaded. Do we know for sure that the Big 12 contract is not backloaded? It seems like a pretty important missing piece of information.

Noah H Schmidt

May 14th, 2012
2:32 pm

FSU is 3-0 against the SEC in the last 3 years. We aren’t afraid of the competition. And the ratings show we are a National draw for eyeballs on the TV set. And we make the same amount in TV revenue aa Maryland and BC and less TV revenue than SEC powers Ole Miss and Vandy. Do you honestly think Ole Miss puts as many eyeballs on the TV set as FSU? They make a lot because they are associated with Bama, LSU and Arkansas while we make less because we are associated with Maryland, Duke and Boston College. The bottom line is our athletic department is facing a $2.4 million dollar shortfall this year. Forgive us for wanting to go to a conference where we make more in TV revenue and can make enough money to pay our good coaches enough to keep other schools from stealing them, upgrading facilities and paying enough for recruiting. Lack of TV revenue will make it more difficult to compete in future years.

I think you guys are jealous since we’ve been whipping the SEC schools for top prospects in recruiting the last two years.

BlacknRed

May 14th, 2012
2:32 pm

The NCAA really needs to intervene, why the heck Boise State is in the Big East, and why the heck Missouri is in the SEC, how are the parents and students are going to go see those games!

Beast from the East

May 14th, 2012
2:32 pm

George Stein,
Don’t be shocked. The Clown College isn’t known for it’s academics!

Jon73

May 14th, 2012
2:33 pm

As an FSU fan the sooner we move the better … ACC football fans do not travel and an ACC home schedule consisting of Wake, Duke, BC is not exactly the thrill that packs them in. Our closest rival, GT, is not even in our division. Frankly, the ACC is a mediocre football conference, and FSU has contributed to that with the “lost decade.” Nonetheless, it is time to move on and the FSU brand is just fine … no matter what the AJC has to say.

Jesse B.

May 14th, 2012
2:34 pm

The tier 3 revenue is something you can’t calculate..thats why I put it last and added possible.

Even if the deal is backloaded we would still see a significant increase in the number we are getting from the ACC. You can’t argue that point.

The Big12 is paying half of WV buyout so I would imagine they would pay at least half of ours.

So, you contradicted the tier 3 point and added that the TV deal is backloaded.

Still, speaking in dollars and cents, we would make a significant amount more in the Big12 than the ACC. Anything else you want to add?

noleinatl

May 14th, 2012
2:35 pm

IF Brand is “more worth than it really is,” then why does FSU dominate the national television ratings EVERY year in their “crappy bowls”? Mr. Schultz wouldn’t have an answer to this b/c he is missing the whole point of FSU leaving the ACC…$$$… I knew I should have been a “sports writer,” they are about as accurate as a 1980’s weather man! lol

John Thompson

May 14th, 2012
2:36 pm

IT”S ABOUT MONEY YOU F&CKTARD. HOW DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT?