In 1990, Florida State had an opportunity to join the SEC. It was an opportunity that the Seminoles would turn down in favor of the ACC.
Last week, the Florida Times-Union's Garry Smits chronicled the high and lows that Florida State has faced since deciding to join the ACC 20 years ago. However, school officials say the last two decades have been nothing short of a success.
"Our time in the ACC has been incredible," athletic director Randy Spetman told the Times-Union.
While the Seminoles and the ACC appear pleasantly happy with one another, should the relationship continue if the SEC were to come back into the picture? The answer is a simple no. If the SEC were to an extend an invitation, Florida State should not hesitate to leave.
The SEC would provide a higher conference payout every year. The Seminoles would also be privy to a stronger, more appealing schedule, more sellouts and higher ticket revenue. The money should not be the primary decision maker, but there is no denying it would be a nice benefit to any program.
As for recruiting, Florida State has always been strong in this area. However, as a member of the SEC, the 'Noles would be recruiting better football players all around.
The SEC's dominance in terms of winning national titles over the last several years automatically puts the conference in a unique situation. Many recruits nationwide choose to play for the SEC solely so that they can play against other top players.
The argument against the SEC has always been that Florida State won a pair of national championships immediately after joining the ACC. However, former head coach Bobby Bowden could have easily still won at least one of those title games, even if in the SEC.
The Seminoles may have breezed through the ACC in the 1990s, but they would not have faired poorly in the SEC either. Florida State was a standout team that would have made an impact in either conference.
Currently, the ACC is a conference that has begun to decline in football. After all, the league is 2-13 in BCS bowls.
“In terms of what’s best for Florida State, the ACC has to continue to be a player, and not a fifth wheel [in a national championship format],” said former athletic director Bob Goin to the Times-Union. “The ACC champion has to be there. If not, the ACC might not be the best place for FSU in the future.”
Goin's statement is interesting as he is the man that helped orchestrate Florida State's entry into the ACC in 1990. However, Goin's view resonates with many, as the college football landscape is on the brink of change.
The past put Florida State in the ACC, but the future should not hold it there. If the SEC extends a hand, the Seminoles should grab hold. While it's not always what is best for a conference, it has to be what is best for a program.
In this instance, the SEC is what's best.
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