Sunday, May 13, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For, FSU!

So a trustee at Florida State lit a bomb that now has FSU toying with bolting the ACC for the Big 12.  How accurate any of that is seems to be debatable but this will be a topic for the rest of the summer and probably through the fall.

Bascially, FSU sees the ACC's latest contract with ESPN to be inferior to what the Big 12 is about to make in its TV deal and the cash-strapped university is looking for the bigger, better deal.  The trustee also mumbled that the ACC is all about their "North Carolina schools" ... meaning that the league cares a lot about basketball.

So Florida State may leave to go to the Big 12.  What if they did?  Like I said, it wouldn't be the worst thing for the ACC ... though it really wouldn't be a good thing.  The ACC would become fractured a bit since they haven't been a league that hasn't been pilfered yet.  It could loosen up the bonds on schools like Clemson, Miami, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech or Maryland to bolt as well.  Sure, the league could reload by looking at schools like UConn, Rutgers or even Notre Dame, but it would be something for this tight knit league to lose a member.  Since the league was founded in 1953, only South Carolina has left the conference.

But what would it mean for Florida State? 

FOOTBALL:  Sure, FSU would be leaving for a much better football conference.  The ACC is probably 6th out of six BCS conferences in terms of the strength of their champion.  The Big 12 has powers like Texas and Oklahoma leading the way and programs like Oklahoma State and Baylor who are becoming quite strong.  This would put Florida State in a much bigger spotlight.

But what would Florida State bring to the Big 12?  Sure, the other schools would LOVE it since it opens up Florida to more recruiting options.  Heck, Texas can recruit anywhere, but if they have a footprint in the state of Florida and an ability to tell recruits that they'll get to play there???  That's big. 

The Noles program gives the Big 12 ... what?  Yeah, they have quite a history over the past 30 years but Bobby Bowden isn't walking through that door.  FSU was fine with the ACC when they dominated it and had no football rival.  Now Miami and Virginia Tech has joined the league and FSU's stronghold has vanished.  Not to be mean, but that stronghold would've been weakened even if those schools didn't join: FSU isn't what it used to be.  The Noles have just become "another school" in the ACC.  Virginia Tech has been more dominant and you still have Miami, Clemson and Georgia Tech stealing your shine. 

So if this program goes to the Big 12, can it compete?   Florida State will be having to compete with Texas, Oklahoma, TCU (remember that they are joining the league this season), West Virginia (so are they), Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas Tech ... with Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State solid at times. 

Last season, Oklahoma State finished 3rd in the final poll with Baylor (13), TCU (14), Kansas State (15), Oklahoma (16) and West Virginia (17) joining them.  Florida State finished 23rd with a rather disappointing 9-4 season.  Don't think Texas won't get back off the mat after a so-so 8-5 season. 

If FSU is struggling to rule the ACC, do you think they will make any damage in the Big 12?

BASKETBALL:  The funny thing is that the trustee slammed that the ACC was more basketball-centric than the school likes.  Meanwhile, FSU is the defending ACC champion.  They went 3-1 against the mighty Tar Heels and Blue Devils this season and won the ACC tournament. 

The Big 12 is quite a basketball league.  FSU would leave two blue bloods (UNC, Duke) for one (Kansas).  Missouri has been good, but they are leaving.  Baylor has come on strong the last few seasons and Texas is a tournament fixture.  West Virginia joins the league and they have been a tough, tough program with a nice history.  After that?  Well, Oklahoma State has it moments, Kansas State has been good but loses coach Frank Martin, Iowa State surprised many this past year and then just some ick.  Florida State could compete in that league.  But would it be worth it?  Being a second class citizen in a league with both UNC and Duke are one thing but doing so to Kansas and getting nothing for it is another. 

Oh, and remember that Syracuse is coming to the ACC, meaning there will be no other league as top-heavy basketball wise than the ACC.  NC State and Maryland have championship pasts with NC State looking like it will re-ascend to that status very soon.  Pittsburgh has been really good.  Despite all of that, Florida State has been the third best hoops program over the past decade. 

That means that you ... yes YOU Florida State ... are among those "basketball elite" schools. 

FLORIDA WISE:  Something that cannot be dismissed is the fact that for a long time, Miami, Florida State and Florida weren't in the same conference.  Florida has the allure of the SEC and makes the most of that.  Florida State for a long time had the fact that they were the lone Sunshine state school in the ACC which was better than the Big East Conference that Miami was in.  Now, of course, FSU shares the ACC with Miami so that bit of advantage goes.  If FSU moved to the Big 12, they'd be able to lure better players than the ACC's Miami. 

It would also open Texas up to FSU in a big way.  I mean, if you are a big time prospect in Texas, it isn't a bad deal to go to sunny Florida State to play football and still get to come back home and play Texas, Texas Tech, TCU or Baylor. 

Of course no one cares about any of this at Florida State unless I wrote this on a bunch of huge stacks of $100 bills.

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