This is all about the money. Clearly. It has to be. Because when it comes to recent competition in the ACC, FSU is … the runner-up to Virginia Tech.
In response to the recent speculation about Florida State’s interest in the Big 12, FSU officials have reaffirmed their commitment to the ACC (as in, once again), but the fact that they’ve had to do this repeatedly should validate any concerns the ACC and its fans might have about the school seriously considering leaving the conference. There is no denying the interest to explore it:
"There have been no official talks, but I think you always have to look out there to see what's best for Florida State. If that [jumping to the Big 12] is what's best for Florida State, then that's what we need to do." -- FSU coach Jimbo Fisher to Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel.
"On behalf of the board of trustees, I can say that unanimously we would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer. We have to do what is in Florida State's best interest." -- Andy Haggart, chairman of Florida State's board of trustees, to Warchant.com.
They sound about as committed to the ACC as a Hollywood marriage.
Before FSU decides to pursue a $20 million divorce from the ACC for a chance at better revenue in the Big 12, it should consider just how comfy ACC competition is. FSU isn’t ready for the Big 12. Heck, it wasn’t ready for Wake Forest last year (I know, I know, ‘guys were hurt’ …). Regardless of what conference the Noles play in, they still have to win to be relevant, and the ACC and its fans have grown weary of the program falling short of expectations in recent seasons. FSU hasn’t won the league title since 2005. Virginia Tech has won it three times since then, including in 2010, when the Hokies beat the Noles 44-33 in Charlotte.
Sure, the future looks bright under Jimbo Fisher. The recruiting has been outstanding. The Noles will likely again be projected to win their division.
Problem is, so will Virginia Tech.