Dallas Colleges: Jimbo Fisher

FSU's not ready for Big 12 competition?

May, 14, 2012
5/14/12
1:37
PM CT
There's no escaping the hottest rumor in college football right now: Is Florida State coming to the Big 12?

The chairman of the FSU board of trustees made headlines over the weekend when he told Warchant.com, "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."

So what does our ACC blogger, Heather Dinich, say?
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.

Strong words.

Is Florida State ready for the Big 12? There's no doubt the Big 12 is tougher than the ACC. Only the SEC is a better league than the Big 12, and excluding the excellence at the top, a case could be made for the Big 12 as a better league from top to bottom.

Sure, Florida State's not going to run the Big 12 like it ran the ACC.

The Seminoles won 12 ACC titles from 1992 to 2005, helping stake its claim as a national power under Bobby Bowden.

Since 2005, the first year of the ACC Championship Game, Florida State's been shut out of the ACC's winner's circle.

But could Florida State compete? Absolutely. Jimbo Fisher has the 'Noles on the way up, and a move to the Big 12 wouldn't affect FSU's recruiting at all.

A national power in a talent-rich state? Florida State only has 25 players on its roster not from Florida. The talent will be there, and Fisher's brought in some of the best recruiting classes in school history in recent years.

It's been a rough run for FSU, but the 'Noles could compete. They won't dominate or win Big 12 titles by the bushelful, but they'll certainly compete, and if they do win, would only further validate the program in a much tougher conference.

Florida State to Big 12 buzz builds

May, 14, 2012
5/14/12
1:00
PM CT


Talk about Florida State and the Big 12 has mostly been an unsubstantiated rumor for months, and several sources fueled local media reports that the league hadn't even considered the Seminoles as a possible future member.

However, in wake of the ACC's new media deal with ABC/ESPN which is expected to fetch less than the Big 12's new pending deal, Florida State is making itself very hard for the Big 12 to ignore.

"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," Florida State Board of Trustees chairman Andy Haggard told Warchant.com.

Haggard was disappointed the conference controlled third-tier TV rights for football, but universities held them for basketball. It's more evidence, Haggard said, of the conference favoring the North Carolina-based basketball schools like North Carolina and Duke. However, an ACC spokesman said ESPN controlled the rights for both football and basketball, and that Haggard was mistaken.

As for the academic side of the debate, Haggard says leaving the ACC, a conference much stronger academically than the Big 12, wouldn't be a big factor.

"No FSU graduate puts on his résumé or interviews for a job saying they are in the same conference as Duke and Virginia," he said. "Conference affiliation really has no impact on academics."

So what's it all mean?

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher told the Orlando Sentinel he's open to a conference move.

"There have been no official talks, but I think you always have to look out there to see what's best for Florida State," Fisher said. "If that [jumping to the Big 12] is what's best for Florida State, then that's what we need to do."

Writes the Sentinel's Mike Bianchi:
Late Saturday, though, FSU president Dr. Eric Barron issued a statement in regard to the uproar that was fueled by discussion of the ACC's new TV contract:

"Florida State University regrets that misinformation about the provisions of the ACC contract has unnecessarily renewed the controversy and speculation about University's athletic conference alignment. Florida State respects the views of the Chair of its Board of Trustees that, of course, any university would examine options that would impact university academics, athletics or finances. At the same time, Florida State is not seeking an alternative to the ACC nor are we considering alternatives. Our current commitments remain strong."

Still, if we've learned anything in recent years about institutions of higher earning switching conferences, it is this: Without fail, they all say they are steadfastly committed to their current league only until another league offers them more money.

The Kansas City Star's Blair Kerkhoff says the Big 12 should prick its ears up and pay attention to the restless comments wafting into Big 12 country from Tallahassee.
Even if Haggard’s anger is based on a false notion, Florida State to the Big 12 was being rumored before the latest public comments, largely the stuff of message board speculation.

A source close to the conference told The Star this week that no realignment conversations had taken place between the Big 12 and any other school since the introduction of Bob Bowlsby as commissioner last week.

But the Big 12’s expansion committee, made up of athletic directors and presidents, has not been disbanded.

The rumor is still in its beginning stages, and Florida State's football program has been down since playing in BCS games six times between 1998 and 2005.

Still, the Seminoles are a commanding national brand in the game, and the Big 12 would be silly if it didn't at least offer serious attention to the situation from the South.

Louisville's been assumed as the school at the top of the Big 12's expansion list if it moved beyond a 10-team league. If Florida State's rumblings become serious, that would have to change.

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