With the wheels of realignment kicking into gear once again the only conference that has been consistently linked with expansion is ours, the Big 12. What does this mean? Firstly it means that the Big 12 is seen as a solid enough to be desirable to other schools, despite being the victim of the last two realignment raids, which is all good news from the TCU standpoint. Secondly, it means that there are a lot of schools out there who may covet entry into the Big 12 conference- which is all well and good, but what do we really know about these ACC schools and how attached they are to their conference, or which ones would be the best fit for the Big 12? Fortunately Frogs O' War is here to enlighten as we share some basic information and interesting facts about the universities rumored to be interested in Big 12 membership. Make the jump if you will and learn what there is to know about the second school to be investigated: Florida State University.
Tale of the Tape: Florida State University Seminoles
Stadium: Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium- I will confess to not really understanding the dual stadium names that are going around football these days. I suppose Bowden is honored for what goes down on the field and Doak Campbell is honored for sitting and watching?
Championships: 2 National Championships (1993, 1999), 15 Conference Championships (3 Dixie Conference championships, 12 ACC championships)
Conference History: Joined Dixie Conference in 1948, left in 1950. Independent from 1951-1991, ACC from 1992 on. (so 12 conference championships out of 20 seasons? Wow.)
Traditions: The "Sod Cemetery" where they take clippings of other teams fields that they've won on in an important game and erect a headstone with the score of the game. Also, in my opinion the coolest pregame tradition in college football, and unlike most of the college programs who adopted native american imagery theirs is endorsed by the tribe.
Rivals: Florida and Miami, though they have "rivalries" with Clemson and Virginia have fizzled due to neither team employing a Bowden for the former and Virginia not being very good at football in the latter.
You may remember them from such TCU games as: Wins in 1964 and 1965, a loss in 1963. Yes, we actually played both of the Big 12 expansion targets documented so far in 64 and 65. And if we can keep up that 2:1 win/loss ratio for future Florida State games I think frog fans will be pretty pleased. I hope they didn't get a lot better or have any legendary coaches after 1965.
Are they interested in making the jump?: Yes. Yes they are. Their fanbase in particular seems violently in favor of riding out of the ACC and planting a flaming spear in the heart of ACC commissioner Jim Swofford - who they feel is only concerned with the best interests of the North Carolina quartet of the ACC.
Insisting on bringing any rivals with them?: It's hard to say at this point. Florida State fans seem divided on whether they'd like to bring Miami along, stop playing them under the assumption that the NCAA penalties that the 'canes are likely to receive will make the program unworthy of the effort, or keep playing them under the assumption that the NCAA penalties will make the Hurricanes so puny that they will be a body bag home game for the Seminoles. Fan opinion aside, if Miami doesn't earn a Big 12 invitation the series is likely to die due to Florida State prioritizing the Florida rivalry.
Is the Big 12 their dream conference?: Nope, like Clemson before them this is a team that's chief rival is in the SEC and would like to join a more geographically sensible conference (Missouri being in the Southeast makes a lot of sense when you compare it to San Diego being in the Big East). However, like Clemson the Seminoles are blackballed by the SEC due to sharing a state with a current member- and probably even more strongly than Clemson, Georgia Tech or Louisville because the entire SEC loves to recruit down in Florida and they don't want another home state option for possible recruits to choose from if they want to play in "the best conference that has ever existed in any sport at any time in history"- quote taken from the Alabama Crimson Tide media guide. Florida State is a big deal, but not a UT level big deal, so the Big Ten probably isn't interested in spreading its reach down to Tallahassee. If they want some sweet TV deals and big name opponents, the Big 12 is their best possible landing place.