TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The wheels of conference realignment may not be finished spinning. Rumors continue to percolate to the top that the Big XII may have its eyes on a very big prize, the Florida State Seminoles.
The Big XII is looking up after two straight years of defections and a near complete collapse of the conference. Monday, the Big XII agreed to terms of a new TV deal with ESPN and Fox worth a combined $2.6 billion through 2025.
That works out to a yearly average of $20 million per year for each of the school’s members, according to CBSSports.com. It also reestablished the league in the upper echelon of college football with the Pac-12, SEC, and Big Ten.
Currently, the Big XII has the following members: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, and West Virginia. The Big XII wants to get back to 12 members to be able to hold a lucrative championship game again soon.
That’s where Florida State could possibly come into play.
The Seminoles have been members of the ACC for more than a decade and remain the only ACC school to appear in the BCS National Championship game. While Florida State won’t replace the academic prestige that left with Missouri, it would give the Big XII something much more lucrative.
FSU would open up the fertile recruiting grounds of Florida to the conference, but more importantly, it would open the Tampa, Orlando, and Miami television markets to the conference, which would greatly extend the conference’s reach and boost television revenue.
FSU would play under a much more lucrative contract in the Big XII than what the ACC has to offer. Plus, if the divisions in the Big XII were reestablished, it’s possible the Seminoles could replace Missouri in the Big XII North, which would almost guarantee them a path to the championship game every year.
The Big XII was looking at expansion once the deal was cut with the new TV contract. The other school expected to be on the Big XII radar is Louisville. The Cardinals have been rumored to be interested in the Big XII for months, but so far nothing official has come out.
If the Big XII Conference were to expand and add FSU and Louisville to the conference, the divisions could look something like this: Big XII North – FSU, Louisville, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, and West Virginia; Big XII South – Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Time will tell if the Big XII will come knocking on the door in Tallahassee, but it will expand, the only question is who will the two lucky teams be to hit the jackpot with the new television money?