Not many months ago the Big 12 conference was considered to be on the brink of disaster. Now, it is one of the premier conferences in the nation and multiple schools are looking to throw their hats into the pool for admission into the club.
Most of the talk revolves around football, television revenue and, for whatever reason, academics. However, with the ACC, the Seminole’s current conference and one of the best college basketball conferences, would Florida State’s basketball program fit in with the Big 12?
In short, the answer is yes; but the Big 12 might come out the bigger winner in the deal when all is said and done.
To start with, Florida State’s basketball program is very reminiscent of current Big 12 member Baylor in the modern era. Not because of NCAA sanctions stemming from the early part of the 2000s, but because of how the team and program have evolved over the past six or seven seasons.
Starting with current head coach Leonard Hamilton’s second season, the Seminoles earned their first winning record in five seasons. Now, Florida State has made the NCAA tournament four years in a row and won their first ACC tournament championship this past season. Clearly, this is a team that is rising very quickly.
With the addition of such a squad, the Big 12 could see what has become the elite level of conference teams shift from its usual three to four. It would be surprising if Florida State did not join the ranks of Kansas, Baylor and (probably) Texas among the best teams in the conference.
With comparisons to the ACC in terms of basketball, the Big 12 would do well to add another potential powerhouse program to its ranks.
However, where the Big 12 and its current teams would benefit most would be in the recruiting aspect of the deal.
The Big 12 already has a strong grip on Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, for obvious reasons, but that reach could extend with the addition of Florida State.
Florida State is one of Florida’s main three schools, and therefore has a large influence over recruiting decisions from the gulf coast states, where a lot of good basketball talent comes from.
Essentially, if the Seminoles were to join the Big 12, this could open the recruiting trail for the predominantly Midwest-based conference to push its way into Florida and other bordering states. This may not make the SEC schools happy, but such a move would no doubt cause more players to take a closer look at the good basketball schools making up the Big 12, knowing that they would still have the opportunity to visit home.
Even though most of the talk about Florida State’s move from the ACC to the Big 12 has revolved around the already mentioned aspects of football and money, Big 12 basketball also has a stake in the matter, and those teams should be excited for what the Seminoles bring to the table.