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