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ACC Realignment

Should Syracuse Worry About FSU? Why the Noles Cage Rattling is Moronic

Could somebody please tell Florida State to sit down and shut the hell up? After a feel good week that saw the ACC’s next television deal run into the billions of the dollars (us poor folk from duh Big East have never done seen dat kinda cash), Seminoles power brokers are making noise about a potential move to the Big 12.

How does this effect Syracuse? Let’s put aside this suddenly sticky timeframe for a moment (rumors abound the Big East will not let the Orange depart in ’13 as originally assumed) and look at the conference when SU finally lands there.

  • Stability

No matter if FSU stays or not, the ACC is still a better ship to be on than the Titanic of the Big East. A new commissioner, an unknown broadcast deal, a league with teams in California, Texas and Idaho. Plus, bitterly divided sides between private Catholic basketball schools and public football-playing ones? No thanks. The ACC without Florida State and Miami is still better than a Big East with Houston and San Diego State. 

  • Similarities

Florida State’s biggest gripe is that the conference is tilted toward North Carolina and Duke. Honestly, that’s fine by Syracuse. SU has much more in common with academically respected basketball institutions than enormous sprawling in-state football ones. While one of the huge benefits of the ACC move is to sit at the adults’ table for football, SU’s most powerful athletic brand is obviously hoops (which is comparable to most schools in the ACC). It works well to be surrounded by presidents who want to keep basketball a priority, and joining a league on Tobacco Road is a safe bet.

  • Money

Look, FSU can scoff at the cash and chase dollars in the Midwest, but Syracuse wasn’t seeing anything close to this in the Big East. What football conference with Navy, SMU and Memphis is going to land a $3.6 billion deal? While it may not be a significant bump for the existing members of the ACC, it’s an enormous leap for Syracuse and Pitt. Here’s the concerns from Dan Wetzel’s story at Yahoo! Sports:

“The reality was bad, however. The initial bump in television revenue is actually just over $1 million a year, sources said, and a total in the $12 million range next season. The deal is back loaded so the bigger money comes in escalator provisions that, considering how broadcast rights keep growing, probably will be below market by the time any sizeable gains are realized. That additional $4 million per school, per year? That won’t come until 2021, nine years in, sources said. Privately, almost everyone was troubled by the deal.”

This is a Florida State problem, not a Syracuse one. Signing that long a contract does seem silly. How do we know how the football pie will have grown in 2022? One would imagine with the new playoff system TV rights will be even more valuable a decade from now. But ultimately, if you have an issue with $17M a year and you are claiming you’re still losing money then you might want to cut down on the golf outings and Christmas bonuses.

So FSU is trying to say the ACC won’t let it sell its own third-tier games. For the record, ESPN has kept open the possibility of the ACC Network down the road for that exact situation – which would be worth more to each school. But apparently, the ‘Noles could just be flat lying to drum up support.

“The ACC later said Haggard was incorrect and third-tier basketball rights are not maintained by schools. And no one has any idea what FSU could get from some of its weaker football games.Many in the league are wondering how much Haggard himself came up with the third-tier conspiracy, what he thinks is in the deal or why he believes it even matters so much. It seems like a ploy to drum up fan support for a bold switch. Nothing rallies boosters like the idea of Coach K bullying someone into action, even if it isn’t true. Whatever bias there may or may not be, few think it’s enough to leave the league.”

I got no quarrel with a school looking for its best destination because of the bottom line. That’s exactly what Syracuse did. But for crying out loud, now you’re just going to push some panhandle bubba in front of the fans and start obvious lies to create unrest? Stay classy Florida State. Like the chick who won’t stop talking about her boyfriend problems on Facebook, it feels like FSU is just trying to create drama for attention before the ACC meetings.

Oh, we can’t compete with the SEC schools around us anymore. 

Aw, look at how much money Texas is making. 

Boo hoo, we lost money last year. 

Well, who’s f***king fault is that you Nole nimrods? One of the biggest reasons the ACC didn’t get more money for the conference deal is because the supposed power of the league hasn’t done jack squat in 15 years. Where’s all the national titles FSU is playing for? Where’s all the epic Seminole-Hurricane clashes these days? I mean, if you can’t even win the flipping ACC, how can you be complaining about needing better competition?

Fact is, you let good ol’ Bobby Bowden hang around too dadgummit long and the football program rotted into a .500 mess. Jimbo Fisher might have it primed again for some big things. But how can FSU look anyone in the face and complain about its football competition? The last time the Noles won the ACC was seven years ago with an imposing 8-5 record. The last time the program had less than three losses was in 2000. The first Seminole taken in this year’s draft was in the 4th round. Let’s have some self awareness FSU. 

So yeah, I’d like to see the southern fried math on this one. Add the potential slight bump in TV money for a new Big 12. Then subtract the cost of your non-revenue teams having to fly to Kansas and Oklahoma for a chunk of games. Then subtract the costs of flying into major hubs like Ames, IA and Lubbock, TX instead of Boston and Charlotte for some longer trips. Then subtract the potential of playing in the Big 12 title game or getting a playoff bid because Texas and Oklahoma will stomp you into oblivion the same way Clemson and Virginia Tech have been doing. Then decide if the overall interest and relevance of your games will really increase when you play Kansas State, Iowa State, West Virginia and Baylor versus your longtime ACC rivals.

What’s the final number there, goobers?

Posted: D.A.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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