Florida State’s rush to leave the ACC is reactionary in every way. After getting snubbed from the College Football Playoff, the school tried to use the courts and Gov. Ron DeSantis to overturn the committee’s decision. Those methods predictably failed and now the Seminole brass is onto the next dumb idea.
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Despite what happened this year, the biggest thing Florida State has going for it is its membership in the ACC. The CFP field is expanding from four to 12, and their conference didn’t add any bluebloods, so the path to the postseason is still relatively easy. If the school is truly dissatisfied with the direction of the conference, the TV deal, or the bozos in charge, that’s fair.
I’d be pissed if my conference was relegated to the CW, too. That being said, as long as the ACC qualifies as a Power Four conference, there is no point in leaving if FSU’s sole motivation is to compete for national titles.
The SEC and Big Ten regular seasons are already going to be grueling, and we might have two-loss conference champs with regularity. There will be teams with three to four losses that the committee likes, yet the ACC and Big 12 winners are guaranteed a spot.
In the new format, the six highest-ranked conference champs receive an automatic bid. I would imagine the wording will be updated from six down to five seeing as the Pac-12 exists in trademark only, and there’s going to be a lot of outrage if the AAC, Conference USA, the Mountain West, and other Group of Five leagues get two auto bids.
Regardless, what Florida State did this year is on the high end of what will be asked of them going forward. The only roadblocks standing between them and a conference title are Clemson, and whichever rando ACC program decides to show up. Could be Louisville, could be Duke. Maybe it’s Miami. There’s no way of knowing.
The alternative is to join the battles of attrition in the SEC or Big Ten. Have you seen the gauntlets in store for Alabama, Michigan, USC, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, etc.? I can’t wait for the committee to try to account for the injury lists at those schools during future selection Sundays.
If offered a choice between running headlong into powerhouse programs, or playing patty cake with current opponents, the decision is obvious. The key for Florida State and other ACC/Big 12 schools is keeping tabs on the temperature of their conferences. Also, if the conference goes belly up, there’s zero chance FSU is left out in the cold.
This is an arms race, and if I’m a chancellor at an ACC or Big 12 program, I’m lobbying my commissioner to add Oregon State and Washington State ASAP. There’s safety in numbers, which is why the Big 12 has survived multiple rounds of departures.
Eventually, the SEC and Big Ten are going to run out of additions worthy of more TV money and close their doors. Say that doesn’t happen, and the lust for power and money is bottomless. While it certainly wouldn’t be shocking, the solution is abundantly clear: Continue poaching down.
Group of Five conferences should be in jeopardy of folding, not the ACC or Big 12. The more schools that come under the umbrella of Power Four conferences, the better. That’s where the real revenue is, which is the goal, right?
For the Seminoles, staying put only means more patsies to bulldoze en route to all the playoffs Mike Norvell can make. I know the urge to throw temper tantrums and whatever’s in arm’s reach will not subside anytime soon — maybe ever — but it would be foolish for Florida State to make their path to the playoff more difficult when it’s about to get dramatically easier without having to change conferences.