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Cry me a river: Florida State’s complaints about the ACC are getting old

Chris Graham
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(© Jamie Lamor Thompson – Shutterstock)

Florida State keeps threatening, through leaks to friendly media sources, to leave the ACC.

This is getting old, isn’t it?

Seriously.

Hey, FSU: time to put up, or shut the f— up.

Capische?

I mean, we get it: the CFP screwed FSU, which went 13-0, including winning three games after its starting QB, Jordan Travis, was lost to the season-ending injury, the issue that was cited as the reason Florida State wasn’t ranked one of the top four teams in the country at the end of the season.

That the ‘Noles were ranked fourth in each of the final two regular-season CFP Top 25s after Travis was lost to injury, only to drop to fifth, behind two teams – Texas and Alabama – who weren’t in the Top 4 in either of those CFP renderings, yeah, that’s bullsh-t.

Which has, exactly what, now, to do with the ACC being behind the SEC and Big Ten in revenue?

Money was supposedly what was at the crux of FSU’s cry me a river spring and summer, and nothing has changed since the summer in terms of what can be done to address anything there.

If Florida State wants to leave the ACC before its grant of rights to the conference ends in 2036, it’s going to have to pay an exit fee of $120 million, and be willing to surrender the money it would make from the broadcasts of its home games, which will come to another $40 million per year for the duration.

Doing the math there, we’re talking upwards of $500 million, if the move were to be made now.

And before you say, they can negotiate a lower fee, sure, they can, meaning, they can try, but there’s no leverage there.

The only way FSU gets out of its grant of rights without having to pay through the teeth is if the league dissolves, which only happens if FSU can get eight other schools to agree to leave with them.

Which, sure, can happen, but the idea that nine (or more) ACC schools are going to leave without having a landing spot already secured is fantasy.

And it’s even more fantasy to think that there are landing spots.

The SEC, with the additions of Texas and Oklahoma, will be at 16 next summer, and the Big Ten will be at 18 with USC, UCLA, Washington and Oregon coming on board next summer.

Further expansion by either or both would obviously require more money from the TV networks that own their broadcast rights – ESPN, in the case of the SEC, and Fox, in the case of the Big Ten.

The fact that ESPN already owns the broadcast rights to the ACC, at a rather favorable rate, in terms of where the market is now, makes it less than likely that there’d be interest there on the part of the folks in Connecticut, who would be effectively tearing up a contract favorable to them so that they can, what, give some number of the same schools more money?

Of course that’s not going to happen.

And Fox, and thus the Big Ten, aren’t going to be able to absorb nine or more fleeing ACC schools on its own.

None of that is anywhere near realistic.

So, FSU would be left to challenging the grant of rights in court on its own, in a legal fight that would likely drag on for years, and all the legal experts who have weighed in on the matter to this point saying would be a guaranteed losing proposition.

This crying a river crap from the folks at FSU is beyond getting old.

Basically, f— around and find out, is what I’m suggesting they do here.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].