TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The wheels of conference realignment may not be finished spinning. Rumors linked Florida State and the Big XII all week, now the FSU board of trustees is saying school wants to hear from the Big XII.
According to Warchant.com, FSU Board of Trustees chairman Andy Haggard said the entire board “would be in favor of seeing what the Big XII might have to offer. We have to do what is in Florida State’s best interest.”
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.
Once the deal was closed, the league has started exploring the possibility of expansion. The main reason the league would want to expand is to be able to hold a lucrative conference championship game once again.
But it was a move by the ACC that sent FSU fans and apparently the Board of Trustees to consider a new home.
The ACC signed off on a new television rights deal for football that gave up the league’s third-tier rights, but kept the rights for basketball. It will serve basketball schools well, but football schools like FSU, Clemson, and Virginia Tech will not be as well-served by the new deal.
“It continues the perception that the ACC favors the North Carolina schools,” Haggard told Warchant.com.
While the ACC may have taken care of the basketball-centric schools, conference realignment has been driven by the big money that flows from Division I football. That’s what sent Missouri and Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference and West Virginia and TCU to the Big XII among others conference moves.
FSU is currently $2.4 million in the hole in 2012-2013. Moving to the Big XII would solve much of the cash problems and put the school in a far superior football conference.
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 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.
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 other school expected to be on the Big XII radar is Louisville. The Cardinals have openly stated they are interested in the Big XII for months. But Louisville would likely need FSU to jump to garner an invite to the Big XII.
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. The Big XII will expand. The only question is who will the two lucky teams be to hit the jackpot with the new television money?