Florida State has no plans of being left behind when it comes to conference realignment.
The arms race is cranked up in the world of college sports, and it doesn’t look like tensions will de-escalate at any point in the near future.
Ever since USC and UCLA agreed to join the Big Ten, a clear signal was sent that the Big Ten plans to fight like a dog to dominate the college sports landscape. That means further expansion is a guarantee.
When it comes to ACC teams that could be poached by the SEC or B1G, the Seminoles are right near the top of the list. Now, FSU president Richard McCullough has let the world know Florida State will get after in the realignment game.
“It’s something I’m spending a lot of time on and we’re getting a lot of help. We’re trying to do anything we can to think about how we remain competitive. Florida State is expected to win. We’re going to be very aggressive,” McCullough said during a Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce meeting last week.
It’s worth noting the ACC grant of rights don’t expire until 2036. That means teams in the ACC are locked into a very long term deal that makes leaving difficult.
Does it make leaving the ACC impossible? No, but it’s certainly an uncharted territory and there would absolutely be lawsuits if any team tried to jump to the SEC or Big Ten.
The biggest question is can teams make more money leaving than they’d lose in a lawsuit. The Big Ten just inked a new media deal that pays the conference roughly $8 billion over seven years.
That’s a whole lot of money, and could likely offset any costs that come with breaking the ACC’s GoR. However, until it happens, nobody knows for sure.
What we do know is that if realignment gets blown wide open, the SEC and Big Ten will both likely come calling for the Seminoles.
FSU has a great football tradition, is a resource-rich program and would further expand the B1G’s geographic footprint all the way down into Florida.
Factor in McCullough’s comments and it seems clear FSU might be kicking the tires on making a move.