Recent rumblings in the media suggest the Florida State Seminoles may be considering a move to the Big 12 Conference, assuming, of course, there is mutual interest from new Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and his staff as they continue the push back to 12 teams.
The previous party line under interim commissioner Chuck Neinas was the conference was comfortable having only 10 member institutions, but this just doesn’t ring true for a number of reasons.
Branding a conference as the Big 12, first off, when it has only 10 members is simply bizarre.
Apart from that, as the major conferences have made the push to 14 teams (see Pac 12, SEC), the Big 12 has been left behind with only 10 members, making at large bids for the NCAA Basketball tournament and the BCS more difficult to come by than they once were prior to the departure of Missouri, Texas A&M, Nebraska, and Colorado for more temporarily green pastures.
The new ACC television deal negotiated with ESPN yesterday– for a meager $17.1 million per school– is peanuts in comparison to the deals brokered by the other major conferences with the “Mothership”.
If Florida State wants to be a major player again– which they have the talent to be, in spite of their troubling financial picture– a move to the Big 12 just makes sense.
If logistics, or geographical “fit” were an issue for the Big 12, it wouldn’t have reached out to the West Virginia Mountaineers to bring the conference size back up to 10 from nine after the departure of Texas A&M. A trip to Tallahassee is no less of a logistical challenge for teams in Texas, and the surrounding states, than a trip to Morgantown.
In fact, the increased presence in both areas of the country could lead to a nice windfall for athletic departments looking to establish a new footprint in previously uncharted waters.
Along with this, is the nominal expectation by Florida State they could launch their own network under the banner of the Big 12 without having to work with too many third-party vendors in an effort to do so.
Reports suggest Florida State is in need of new facilities, and their financial picture could quickly be augmented through a new television deal, allowing the Seminoles to take on whatever facility tasks them deem most urgent.
In short, a Florida State move to the Big 12 looks like a win-win– at least on the surface.
Taking on a new school is never a seamless undertaking for a conference, but this one sure has very few seams.