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Realignment Today: Is Florida State still in play for potential Big 12 expansion?


I’m still working on that granting of rights story to help bring a little clarity to the issue of why KU and the rest of the Big 12 schools can’t or, more likely, won’t leave for another conference any time soon.

I’ll make sure you all see that when it’s finished.

For now, though, let’s shift gears back to the concept of the Big 12 adding schools as opposed to any of the current members leaving.

If we’ve learned nothing else through this whole realignment mess it’s that things change quickly and sometimes turn 180 degrees on the same day.

That seems to be the case currently, as the hottest rumors regarding the Big 12 today center on the possible addition of Florida State and perhaps even one or more other ACC schools.

Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson and, possibly even Georgia Tech could be included if something were to take place. But right now the whole thing seems to be stuck in a holding pattern featuring heads on swivels.

Curt Popejoy of RantSports.com released a recap late Tuesday night that said Tampa radio stations have been reporting that FSU has accepted an invitation to the Big 12 and that an announcement could come as soon as next week.

I don’t think we’re there yet. There are too many elements of this thing still up in the air, whether that’s the result of the ACC’s lawsuit against Maryland to enforce full payment of the $50 million exit fee or the fact that the Big Ten may still be looking to expand its membership, which, if it did, would have a major impact on the rest of the realignment rodeo.

Multiple sources have told me recently that very few people/schools involved in this mess actually enjoy the idea of realignment but are forced to act or at least prepare to act out of a sense of self preservation.

It’s my belief that the Big Ten, SEC, ACC and Big 12 all have been working hard behind the scenes on ways to not only strengthen their conference through proactive movement, but also to ensure that their current lineups will not be harmed by movement elsewhere.

It’s a sticky situation and could spin out of control just as quickly as it could once again calm down.

If there’s one final thing I’ll emphasize (again) it’s that the Big 12 is happy at 10 teams but is not choosing not to be foolish this time around and won’t simply sit around and wait for the rest of the world to act. That does not mean the league will add BYU or Cincinnati just to expand, but it does mean it could give a serious look at some serious candidates, with Florida State being the top priority among them all.

Here are a few links for you to look over while I wait to hear back from some more folks. I’ll try to update this later today and throughout the week.

Here’s the latest from realignment guru Chip Brown at Orangebloods.com, who offers some great insight from the Texas point of view: http://texas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1445262

The Pac-12 continues to stand by the claim that realignment is not on the horizon, but that’s largely because the league does not have as many attractive options as the others should it choose to expand. Here’s the latest from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, who recently said San Diego State and Boise State would be on the league’s list of candidates if it were to expand: http://www.pacifictakes.com/2012/12/4/3721260/conference-realignment-pac-12-boise-state-san-diego-bsu-sdsu

Most of this is common knowledge, but it’s laid out very nicely here: http://www.bloguin.com/crystalballrun/2012-articles/november/the-big-picture-of-conference-realignment.html

Finally, this is a couple of weeks old now (and, in realignment that’s ancient) but here’s what a member of Florida State’s board of trustees had to say recently regarding FSU’s plans: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2012/11/19/maryland-florida-state-fsu-trustee-andy-haggard-college-conference-expansion-realignment/1715537/


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