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Is the Big 12 a viable option for FSU? Yahoo report indicates preliminary discussions between both sides


Is the Big 12 a viable option for FSU? Yahoo report indicates preliminary discussions between both sides

Conference realignment rumors are swirling this summer, as they do most summers these days. Florida State, actively in a lawsuit against its current conference (the ACC), finds itself in the middle of those rumors as the Seminoles have made it clear they want out of a situation that the university finds untenable.

The Big Ten has been the most logical landing spot for FSU given that the Seminoles would expand the conference’s national footprint into the southeast and, more specifically, the coveted state of Florida. 

But as the summer – and realignment rumors – heats up, a conference that’s entered the conversation: The Big 12.

Yahoo Sports’ Ross Dellenger reported on Tuesday, during coverage of Big 12 media days, that “buzz” out of the event centered on Clemson  – also in a lawsuit against the ACC – and FSU attempting to free themselves from the ACC, with administrators associated with Big 12 bringing up FSU and the ACC situation on background. Dellenger compared these sorts of conversations to the dialogue that took place last year at the Big 12 media days about the Pac-12. Washington and Oregon eventually followed USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, and the Big 12 proactively scooped up the remaining assets of perceived value from the decaying Pac-12. Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark acknowledged that the conference could still be “open for business” and it’s worth noting that it’s expected to take Private Equity investment and open to selling the conference’s name to generate extra revenue. 

Can that extra revenue be used to do something bold, let’s say create a substantial payout to attract blue bloods to the conference? 

With the ACC seemingly hemorrhaging and the Big 12 looking like an aggressor, there appears to be some sentiment that the Big 12 is at least a viable option with Dellenger saying on the College Football Enquirer podcast that it could make sense for FSU and Clemson to consider the Big 12 if – simply put – they were “offered more money” and a better situation than what they’re currently looking at in a conference that has refused to change its equal distribution model to reflect the perceived value of a program.

“Right now, the Big 12 can’t offer them more money, it can’t offer them Big Ten, SEC type money which is $60-$70-$80 million a year,” Dellenger said. “Right now, Big 12 teams get less than 40. And they’re not going to take a dilution in their shares, they already took a dilution from the new four teams that were added. So they’d have to find a way to find money to give Florida State and Clemson Big Ten and SEC type money. 

“Which, they’re down the road a little bit with this private equity. Is that a lane? I don’t know.”

Dellenger also told Big 12 reporter John Kurtz that FSU and Clemson have had preliminary conversations with the Big 12. Joining the Big 12, he said, would be a third option behind 1. Joining the Big Ten or the SEC and 2. Remaining in the ACC with a reduced number of teams (10 instead of 18) to maximize TV distribution among fewer teams.

FSU would likely need some sort of clarity on what an exact figure would be to exit the ACC (and assume broadcast rights for home games, with the Grant of Rights currently being contested in court)  before an exact landing spot is determined.

“I think there is at least early conversation between the Big 12 and those schools about the possibility,” Dellenger said. “I don’t know that it’s anything serious yet, because they do have to get out of the ACC, whether that’s through a settlement or court ruling, so we could be months if not years from something. But that does seem to be one of the possibilities, is the Big 12.”

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