Florida State considering leaving ACC, reports say
July 8, 2022
The decision made by the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins to move to the Big Ten from the PAC-12 shocked many college athletics enthusiasts, and it seems now the ACC will be facing the same problem. Sources have reported that the Florida State Seminoles would move to another conference.
The Power Five conferences—SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, and Pac-12—are undergoing massive changes. USC and UCLA's departure was a follow-up to last year’s news that reported Oklahoma and Texas would be heading to the SEC by 2025.
Sports Illustrated’s NoleGameday reported that Florida State was considering its options. Reportedly, the school had discussions with the SEC and Big Ten, to which both conferences responded with interest.
Florida State looking to switch conference
There is no information available regarding the Seminoles’ preferred conference at the moment. However, the SEC reportedly tried to stay ahead of the Big Ten’s expansion with its acquisition of USC and UCLA.
Following last year’s inclusion of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC, the conference has been working to ensure the integration of USC and UCLA can take place as early as 2023, two years from its initial 2025 plan. Reports have suggested that the SEC wanted to limit the Big Ten’s plan to tap into the southeast TV markets.
To limit the Big Ten’s expansion plan, the SEC is eyeing to reel in the Seminoles to the conference, according to NoleGameday’s Dustin Lewis. Lewis said that despite the fact that Florida State was not a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the SEC had considered inviting the Seminoles.
In other words, the SEC’s ambition is to pull college athletics closer to two or three super conferences by inviting schools to either one of the Power Five. The ambition is possible, looking at what transpired with the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the past.
Nebraska was an AAU until the program was expelled after not meeting certain requirements in 2011. That same year, the Cornhuskers moved to the Big Ten from the Big 12. The same case could happen to Seminoles, with the SEC as a strong contender for their future conference.
The Big Ten could also challenge the SEC in a bidding war to win over the Seminoles. In July 2021, ESPN senior writer Adam Rittenberg reported that the Big Ten was only interested in acquiring members of AAU. Both USC and UCLA are the best example of this. However, it will not restrain the conference from acquiring Florida State.
Despite the unlikeliness of the scenario, it is certain that the Big Ten has been eyeing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish or the conference realignment’s wildcard — not to mention that the Fighting Irish is located in the Midwest.
If the Seminoles were to move to another conference, the remaining programs in the ACC will likely remain there and build what was left by Florida State. In other words, the Power Five will remain a high-tier group, while the ACC and similar programs will become mid-tier.