We may not be but it's a safe bet that FSU president Eric Barron is completely feed up with conference realignment.
Yesterday the ACC issued a statement, signed by the leaders of every ACC school, vouching for their love of the conference and assuring (each other) that they had not sought membership elsewhere.
The "pledge of allegiance" was Eric Barron's idea. I'm not one of Mr. Barron's confidants, he didn't consult me or ask my opinion, but it's clear to me that FSU has decided that if they can't be in the SEC then the best place for them is to stay at home in the ACC.
Barron is gambling that FSU's loyalty can keep the ACC whole. He must be so enamored with the ACC and FSU's subordinate relationship to UNC and Duke that he is willing to gamble that FSU's renewed commitment to the ACC will keep the Big 10 and SEC at bay.
Barron's gambit has an outside chance of succeeding. FSU has the brand name and history to land on its feet no matter what happens to the ACC. He knows the rest of the ACC would prefer for the conference to remain viable.
FSU can afford the risk, Barron has a Big 12 invitation in his pocket and he can wager FSU's football future because of it. FSU will not accept the Big 12 invitation until Barron is certain he has no other options and he is determined that FSU will not be the school that begins the mass exodus from the ACC.
Others in the ACC face uncertain times going forward. UNC and UVA can rest easy and make the same gamble as FSU, But Georgia Tech , Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami and NC State are concerned.
Do they gamble on the ACC finding additional revenues or do the leave for more money and more football centric conferences.
Do they ride on the coattails of FSU and hope for increased revenues or do they leave for greener pastures when they have the chance.
A look at ACC revenues gives us insight into a major factor in their decision to stay or go.
Each year the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education requires schools to report their revenues and the data isn't good for the ACC. A quick look at those numbers tells us that unless the ACC can quickly raise revenues the danger of more economic based defections is a real possibility.
|School||Total Athletic Revenue|
|Florida State||$81.4 million|
|North Carolina||$78.8 million|
|Boston College||$66.2 million|
|N.C. State||$65.5 million|
|Virginia Tech||$64.8 million|
|Georgia Tech||$60.3 million|
|Wake Forest||$48.8 million|
Pay attention to the bottom half of that list and you will understand why Clemson, Boston College, NC State, Virginia Tech, Miami and Georgia Tech are all looking at other conferences and weighing the pain of leaving the ACC against the sustainable raise they stand to gain.
Those numbers – and the real dollars they represent – are the reason why Barron's gambit will fail. Barron has a backup plan. He has a exit strategy. Boston College, Clemson and Miami face the very real possibility the may get left behind if they don't act soon.
As for the ACC's statement of solidarity – if FSU, or any other ACC school, were seriously committed to the ACC they would be signing a grant-of-rights instead of a pledge of allegiance.
I have confirmed that at least two ACC schools have offers from the Big 10. One of those schools is Georgia Tech and the other one is waiting on Georgia Tech's decision.
That's all for now.