Report: Florida St. departure “inevitable;” ACC scrambling

Florida St. has apparently hit the eject button on the Atlantic Coast Conference, a move that would almost certainly scatter the league’s top football programs.

According to a report from Ingram Smith citing two unnamed, highly connected FSU sources, the Seminoles’ withdrawal frm the ACC and application to the Big 12 is “inevitable.” The ‘Noles would likely be joined by Clemson in defecting to the Big 12.

(That’s assuming, of course, that the Big 12 is still on board with expanding. A cryptic tweet from ex-Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler suggested that there may not be a total consensus in favor of such a move. Um, OK.)

The significance of this development for the ACC can’t be understated. Losing its top football property in FSU and another marquee brand, Clemson, would leave the league vulnerable to more poaching by not only the Big 12, but the SEC and Big Ten as well. Even Georgia Tech, long thought wed to the academic prestige of the ACC, is in talks with the Big 12, according to Smith.

The big questions now:

  • Will the Big 12 go beyond 12 teams?
  • Does the B1G really have its eyes on the east coast?
  • Where does this leave Louisville, which supposedly got left at the altar the last time the Big 12 expanded?
  • Does the SEC really want to manage a league with more than 14 teams?