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Florida State Football: Should FSU Consider Switch to Big 12?

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 17:  The Florida State Seminoles mascot cheers before a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Sanjay KirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystDecember 1, 2016

Last summer during the conference realignment frenzy, rumors buzzed that Florida State was a target to leave the ACC in favor of the SEC—which turned out to be nothing of substance. 

With talks of a supposed four-team playoff system being discussed by college football’s power brokers in Florida last month, this summer could produce tremors that will forever alter the course of the sport. 

The latest buzz on teams switching conferences involves the Seminoles and Clemson bolting the ACC for the Big 12. 

The Seminoles would be the main prize for the Big 12—considering that FSU is the top ACC school in the Directors Cup Standings, and one of the most visible national football brands in all of college football. 

While the message boards are heating up over the possibilities, the fluidity of the situation is likely to lead to a holding pattern where concrete information is almost non-existent, and because the involved universities are likely to stay mum. 

There are several factors that will play a role in FSU's ultimate decision to stay or go. 

The biggest of which appears to be money—and considering their current financial struggles and the Big 12’s proposed cash boon, the decision makers in Tallahassee have to, at the very least, listen to an overture from another league. 

Could it be that the main football powers in the ACC—FSU and Clemson—were miffed at their league’s additions of basketball powerhouses Pittsburgh and Syracuse when the primary factor in all of the upheaval is centered around football?

Also, if the proposed four-team playoff does indeed occur, could the Seminoles and their current league—which has put up a meager 2-13 record in BCS bowls—be left behind if one of their teams doesn’t make it into the playoff?

However, on the flip side—a reason that could make them stay in the ACC is the league’s sterling academic profile, which dwarfs the Big 12 by comparison.

Also, if the Seminoles leave the ACC, rivalries with Sunshine State powers Miami and (or) Florida could be in jeopardy.

Plus the travel expenses for all athletic teams to remote college towns in the Midwest (Norman, Stillwater, Lubbock, Manhattan, Waco, etc.) would likely increase—which could be a factor in eating into the substantial increase of cash gained from the extra TV revenue by making the move. 

Ultimately, if the opportunity to leave presents itself, FSU administrators could have a decision on their hands that could mirror their decision to choose the ACC over the SEC two decades ago. 

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