FSU to the Big 12? Say it ain’t so…


(AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

I really, really, really didn’t want to write about this. But after a couple of days, I feel like I need to get my thoughts out there, just to stay sane.

Since last week, when the ACC landed a new TV deal with ESPN worth $3.6 billion over the next 15 years, Florida State fans, boosters and trustees alike have been offended. In the big picture, FSU will only get a small raise from the last contract, and the athletic programs are already running at a deficit.

That’s not going to cut it, we all said in unison.

So the most logical idea was to tell John Swofford and the ACC, “We’re going to get the Big 12 on the phone and see what they can offer us.” The SEC would be the best solution to the problem, but since it’s already been made public that Florida/Georgia/South Carolina would vote down any potential addition of FSU/Clemson/Georgia Tech, we can forget about that option.

Let me make this clear — if FSU has no option for making more money in the ACC and we’re going to be in-the-hole with funding, the school should absolutely do what it has to do to get back into the black. Running athletics at a Division I school is not pretty when you’re in the red.

But, as a fan and a Seminole, I really don’t think the Big 12 is the place for our teams.

First of all, I shake my head when I hear people say, “This isn’t FSU’s fault.” It absolutely is our fault, at least partially. The football team’s dominance in the 1990s pressured the ACC to focus more on football, so they went out and found other schools on the East Coast that would make the conference more of a football power.

They grabbed Miami and Virginia Tech. The latter was as good as advertised; the former was not.

But in the age of massive TV deals, FSU has been bad. FSU fans have been arguing this, but it’s true. FSU Football has been bad since the ACC expanded to 12 teams, and there’s no way to sugarcoat that.

Bad. Not underachieving. Bad.

The repetition is there because it needs to be. It’s getting tiring to see fellow Seminoles overstate the power of Florida State Football in the ACC. They last played in the Orange Bowl in 2006. They haven’t done anything since then.

Period.

In a conference where revenue-sharing is permanently in place, the school that doesn’t bring in the big bucks won’t get much sympathy when it demands more money. Virginia Tech is struggling with winning Orange and Sugar Bowls. Florida State is struggling with Wake Forest and Virginia.

And that brings me to my next point — why are my fellow Seminole fans so eager to take on Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia when they can’t win 10 games in the second-weakest football conference in the BCS? After going 0-2 against the Sooners the last two years, do we really want to make that a yearly occurrence?

Yeah, sign me up.

About those Texas Longhorns. Remember how their obscene TV deal to start the Longhorn Network chased three irritated schools out of the Big 12? There was a reason why they left, and if you think the All-Carolina Conference (ACC, get it?) is bad, wait until you have to live under Texas’ big, greedy thumb.

Again, if it’s about money, then fine. Do what you have to do. I don’t have an easy solution, because any decision is going to have major pros and cons. Personally, I’d hate to lose multiple road trips to see FSU Athletics in places like Clemson, Georgia Tech and Duke, but I don’t want our programs to go bankrupt, either.

It’s show business, not show friends. Not that we’re all that friendly with anyone in the ACC.

But if you’re going to travel hundreds more miles for an average road trip, it better not be about playing stronger opponents. FSU’s easiest road to a football title, if the Seminoles ever get back to that level, is through teams like Boston College and Maryland.

It isn’t through teams like Texas and Oklahoma State. And West Virginia and TCU. And Oklahoma and Baylor.

Then again, maybe it’s a good idea to take the money and run. FSU hasn’t had a truly good football team in over a decade, yet everyone seems to think we’re still in the upper echelon. Eventually, people won’t be fooled anymore, and the offers will stop coming if the program doesn’t come “back.”

That would really hurt the school’s bottom line.

Oops, it already has.

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