For the most part, conference realignment has steered clear of the Florida teams outside of schools in smaller conferences such as Central Florida, but now there is speculation that the Florida State Seminoles could potentially leave the ACC.
The ACC just recently extended their media deal with ESPN, giving the schools more money but the ACC is also adding two teams to their conference. Previously each school made $13 million per year, but the new deal pushes that to $17 million per year. This means that a school in the Big 12, which currently has four fewer teams, would actually make potentially substantially more than in another conference such as the ACC. Not only that, but the Big 12 deal allows a team to keep their Tier 3 media rights and there is no conference championship game to deal with.
Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com makes the argument that if FSU was to make the jump to the Big 12, they could potentially make more money per year with media deals.
TOO GOOD TO PASS UP?: One industry source said if Texas can command $300 million over 20 years - $15 million per year in additional TV revenue - for its own network, Florida State should be able to command at least a third that much ($5 million), if not more, in a state with so many television sets and a passion for FSU sports.
Brown mentions that with Florida State retaining their Tier 3 media rights, they could potentially launch their own Seminoles television network, similar to what Texas has done. As Brown also notes, money is an issue for the Seminoles so a defection to the Big 12 would make a lot of sense in that regard.
Brown also brings up the fact that even with the extra $4 million a year in revenue from the ACC/ESPN deal, the Seminoles will still be pressed against their budget, not to mention needing potential renovations to their football and basketball facilities. Brown argues that making the jump to the Big 12, the Seminoles could potentially pull in close to $7 million more per year than they would with the new ACC deal, combining both the Big 12 payout and the potential payout from their own TV network.
So before everyone dismisses Florida State ever taking a serious look at jumping from the ACC into the Big 12, consider the real motive for a move. Money.
For more on FSU football, visit Florida State blog Tomahawk Nation.