There’s no stopping progress, and it seems to constant tectonic movements in College Football aren’t over. Next up on the realignment schedule? Florida State thinking about joining the Big 12, leaving the ACC, or at least hoping to.
There are a few things that stand in the way, or are at least delaying this move. Everyone is waiting to see just how much money Maryland, who will be leaving the ACC for the Big Ten in 2014, are going to have to pay to the conference for making this exit. There’s a good chance that those pulling the strings for the Seminoles just want to see what the move might cost them.
The big four conferences – The Big Ten, the Big 12, The SEC and the Pac-12 are in some sort of an arms race of getting every big or even medium sized school, with all of its financial benefits, from the weaker conferences. The ACC is somewhere in between all that, with Louisville, Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining in 2013 or 2014. Notre Dame is going to be joining full time in all sports by then as well, with the football program, demanding to remain as independent as possible, will be making its way there in a minimized form (four games vs ACC teams).
The Big 12 looked to be falling apart last year: Missouri and Texas A&M were already signed with the SEC, and it seemed like everyone was trying to get their hands on Texas and Oklahoma. Complications with the Longhorn network and Oklahoma’s refusal to move anywhere without their Bedlam rivals, Oklahoma State, probably made things more complicated and shut the realignment, temporarily, down.
The Big 12 is currently happy with 10 teams and no conference championship game. Why? Money. Less hands to try and divide the pot of gold, with schools making over $20 million a year from the TV contracts, not to mention the BCS Bowl payouts. But once there’s going to be a playoff installed, two years from now, conferences want to have as many powerhouse schools as possible. Florida State are a school anyone would love to have.
The Seminoles aren’t the only school thinking about making the move to the Big 12. Cincinnati are a team often talked about as the next member of the conference, as the Big East is falling apart on the football field, becoming more and more irrelevant from a national standpoint with every passing season. Making moves for both the Bearcats and the Seminoles will put the Big 12 at 12 teams once more, and bring back the conference championship game many people want to see.
In Florida, a lot of radio stations have been talking these last couple of days about the Seminoles actually accepting an offer to make the shift from the ACC to the Big 12. Official announcements? Not yet. But there’s a good chance, with the pot stirring and the voices buzzing louder and louder, that we might here something about the subject as soon as next week.
The Seminoles won the ACC title and will be playing in the Orange Bowl against Northern Illinois.