If you thought the college football conference landscape was quietly settled, think again. Though it's nothing more than speculator at this point, Chip Brown mused today that a move from the ACC to the Big 12 could make a lot of sense for Florida State, especially in light of the ACC and ESPN's media rights deal that was announced on Wednesday.
The premise of Brown's argument is that Florida State is currently in financial trouble.
At Florida State right now, money is a problem.
Warchant.com, the Florida State site on the Yahoo/Rivals network, reported May 4 that Florida State is facing an athletics department shortfall of $2.4 million for the 2012-13 academic year.
And that's coming on the heels of back-to-back nine-win seasons for football that included two sold out bowl games. Men's basketball followed a Sweet 16 appearance in 2011 with an ACC Championship in 2012. And baseball has hosted back-to-back NCAA Regionals.
Brown cites an industry source who believes that Florida State could command a lucrative television contract, not too dissimilar from Texas'.
The Seminoles are in one of the few states - with a population of 19 million - in which a university could turn its third-tier rights into the school's own television network the way Texas has done in the Lone Star State (population 25.6 million).
One industry source said if Texas can command $300 million over 20 years - $15 million per year in additional TV revenue - for its own network, Florida State should be able to command at least a third that much ($5 million), if not more, in a state with so many television sets and a passion for FSU sports.
Currently, the Big 12 has 10 schools as members. If the conference looks to expand, it'll likely target two more schools -- and it looks like Florida State could be ripe for seduction to the Big 12.