April 14, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes cheerleaders perform during the Miami Hurricanes spring game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
So, let's talk about conference realignment, or perhaps the lack of conference realignment that might take place in the next few months.
In the past few weeks, many people have come out and said that Florida State has no one to blame but themselves for the lack of football success in the ACC and our new television rights contract not being as lucrative as they had hoped. The people that have said that are certainly on the right track and Florida State is not performing up to their own historical expectations recently but it may not be as bad as you think. Prior to the expansion is 2004, FSU won a share of or an outright ACC title 11 of the previous 12 years which is as many years as they were competing in the league. Since then they have 1 title. But those previous 11 had them competing against only 8 other schools which did not include Miami, Virginia Tech, and BC. In the last 8 years, FSU has one ACC title but would have had 6 outright titles or shares of the football title. In 2005, 07, 08, 09, and 2010 FSU either only finished behind BC and/or Virginia Tech or it was losses to a combination of Miami, BC, and Virginia Tech that prevented them from finishing at the top of the ACC regular season standings. While 6 out of 8 years is not nearly as good as 11 out of 12, it is still a very good run of dominance the Seminoles would have continued had the ACC never expanded.
The big reason for expansion was driven by adding Miami for football. Since expansion, Miami has not competed in the ACC Championship game and has been mostly a non-factor in conference play and the national scene. Heather Dinich is even planning on skipping the FSU-Miami game this season to go to the Clemson-VT game on October 20. The FSU-Miami rivalry or lack thereof has been the biggest disappointment of the ACC since expansion. Had Miami, not FSU, held up their end of the bargain since 2004, the ACC would not have much, if anything, to worry about as far as future stability and the recent ESPN deal would have been a $20+million per school paycheck.
But dispite Miami not doing much on the field to help the league earn a little more tv rights money, it seems unlikely that anyone is leaving the ACC this off-season. Florida State has still not addressed how they would pay the ACC exit fee should another conference offer them membership and it seems unlikely the Big 12 will. According to Peter Bean of Burnt Orange Nation, everything is pointing to Texas being disinterested in adding two teams like Florida State and Clemson under the current rules of college football. And if Texas has the kind of pull that we all think they do in the Big 12 conference, FSU probably won't be getting an invite anytime soon.