Realignment: An FSU Perspective

A few months passed without any significant discussion of conference realignment, and truth be told it began to feel a little unnatural. But the Big 12 has taken care of that, kick-starting talks again with a few programs - including Florida State - at the center of possible expansion. Phog.net speaks with John Crist of NoleDigest.com to get his take.

Phog.net: John, what's the general attitude of Seminole fans regarding the rumored move? Are they eager to leave the ACC?

John Crist: There are three groups of Florida State fans right now, and they all think they're right.

The first group believes staying put in the ACC is the prudent thing to do, as a return to dominance on the field in what is perceived as a relatively weak football conference should lead to yearly BCS relevance once again. The second group is fed up with the ACC and its basketball-first mentality, so making the leap to a football-centric outfit like the Big 12 is a much better option. The third group is also sick to death of the ACC but would rather find a way to get into the SEC, even if that invitation may never come.

Honestly, I think each group is about the same size at this point.

Phog.net: What has reaction been to the highly-publicized remarks made by Florida State Board of Trustees Chairman Andrew Haggard recently, in which he spoke out against the ACC?

John Crist: Those comments sort of came out of left field, but they weren't taken out of context at a cocktail party. It was the Board of Trustees, not the president or athletics director, that ultimately pushed Bobby Bowden away from the program and inserted Jimbo Fisher, so when these guys talk, you have to listen.

Because FSU fans have had a love-and-hate relationship with the ACC over the years, Andy Haggard's comments were greeted by a virtual round of applause by many.

Phog.net: What's your personal take? Is this something that's going to happen? Is it something that should happen from a Florida State perspective?

John Crist: In the end, I simply can't see the Seminoles in the Big 12, not based on what this university has been trying to accomplish both on and off the football field the last two decades.

The school is much more respectable now academically, plus the rest of the athletic department has been wildly successful -- check the most recent Director's Cup standings. Going from the ACC to the Big 12 signals football and money are the only things that are truly important, and while there are some cynics believing that to be the case, the faculty in particular would be quite upset.

The 'Noles already don't travel that well to places like Raleigh and Charlottesville, and it'll only be worse once those road games are in Lubbock and Ames. I also don't expect Baylor and Kansas State to fill Doak Campbell Stadium any better than Duke and Boston College do.

Phog.net: What's the latest word in Tallahassee? Any new news or rumors?

John Crist: Either the president and Board of Trustees are totally on the wrong page and don't even have each other's phone numbers, or this is all a well-orchestrated plan from several different angles to put the ACC on notice, flirt with the Big 12 and maybe, just maybe, get the SEC to play ball.

(Published on Scout.com Kansas affiliate, Phog.net)


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