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June 11, 2012

At the end of last week, Florida State had a regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting. Given all the rumors and everything that has been said, whispered, denied, backtracked, and so on; well, the meeting was going to get more scrutiny than usual.

And the news is not much. There is enough for both sides of the FSU and the Big 12 situation to maintain their own position. Most of the meeting is on-the-record, so for those insisting that FSU is definitely not heading to the Big 12 will point to the lack of discussions. Part of the meeting, though, was a closed-door session and it has been reported that expansiopocolypse was discussed.

A lot of credit on what follows should go to the FSU Rivals.com site, Warchant.com (which you would probably figure out based on the links). They really covered this thing. Ultimately, nothing appears any clearer. Personally, the implications coming from this meeting suggest there is little chance that FSU is going to give notice of bolting to the Big 12 this year. It doesn’t appear that all parties are going in the same direction at this point.

When members of the Board of Trustees are commenting about the school president’s viewpoint:

It means there is work before FSU is heading to the Big 12.

Of course, you don’t become president of a major university without knowing how to stay flexible. He also laid out to the Board a lot of the factors that not only need to go into the decision, but things that need to happen to improve FSU football in general. Again, there is a lot there, and you can see that all comparisons Barron does is with regard to the Big 12.

One of the attractions for Pitt going to the ACC is the geography. Barron talks geography and demographics:

1/3 of all alumni live outside the state of Florida

  • 51% live in an ACC footprint (GA, NC, VA, NY in top 6 states)
  • 35% live in a SEC footprint (GA in top 6 states)
  • 15% live in a Pac-12 footprint (CA in top 6 states)
  • 11% live in a Big-10 footprint (no states in top 6)
  • 10% live in a Big 12 footprint (TX in top 6 states)
  • ACC and SEC have the most alumni clubs (20 and 17, respectively)
  • The Big-12 has the fewest alumni clubs (5)

It’s significant, but keep in mind that 2/3 of FSU alum still live in Florida, so where those other 1/3 residing out of Florida live likely won’t be a deal-breaker. It still places only 1/6 of the entire FSU alum in the ACC footprint (sans Florida). Academics get mentioned, and with regards to the coming college football playoffs, FSU President Eric Barron does seem to emphasize that it would be in FSU’s interest to stay in the ACC assuming being a conference champion is at least a factor in the decision.

Barron told the trustees that the ACC would not be left out of any four-team playoff format and emphasized the importance of conference champions carrying heavier weight in any playoff format.

“My personal feeling is a huge factor has to be conference championship, it just has to be,” Barron said Friday following the BOT meetings. “If you look at any playoff system, a four-team playoff system for example, and you’ve got more conferences that are eligible than that, then winning a conference championship is not enough and you’re going to have to look at strength of schedule or some analysis by a committee or by polls or by something.

“But from my particular viewpoint, the most important factor here is that you have to be a conference champion, that’s step one.”

A format weighted towards conference champions is expected to help the ACC gain footing in terms of national title contention with more powerful football conference like the SEC, Big 10 and Big 12. ACC Commissioner John Swofford has voiced his support for a format that factors in a conference title.

One of the Trustees would like to see FSU and the ACC push for an 8-team playoff instead of 4 to make it a no-brainer for FSU.

 Trustee Joe Gruters proposed that Florida State support an eight-team playoff model, something that would ensure that the ACC champion would have a chance at a national championship.

“I like the ACC, but at the same time, just like they said in the meeting, we have to remain competitive,” Gruters said. “And if they are talking the four-team playoff, we really need to push for eight.

“If they say only the top four teams are going to make it, we may be out every year. The president said no, the ACC is going to be covered (in the four-team playoff model). But to guarantee the ACC is going to be covered and to guarantee the Big East and everyone else, it should be eight teams. If Division II can do it, we can do it.”

That would solve a lot of things, but it seems unlikely at this point.

One of the other big deals with FSU has been their budget shortfall. Surprise, the FSU athletic department cut a few things and found some coins in the couch cushions.

“We took it to committee, we set our budget back, we looked at it, we looked at all the different avenues in that regard and (Boosters CEO) Andy Miller and I looked very closely in where we could go with that in that we reduced our budget by an additional $1 million and then went with Andy and we started a series of initiatives, 25 different initiatives we put in place, (sources of additional revenue) have come up that we didn’t know were going to happen.”

As for television revenue, Spetman said that the budget had counted on “right over” $14 million in in TV distribution from the Atlantic Coast Conference, which was paid in two lump sums during the year. But he said the school received an additional $1.6 million of unexpected TV money in June which helped knock down the projected budget for 2012-13.

Spetman admitted that his May report of a budget shortfall was premature on his end.

Basically, FSU AD Randy Spetman is an idiot to let a preliminary budget leak and then not do anything to correct the perception. Even then, there is something very wrong with FSU’s budgetary process. As it stands, they are also dipping into some reserves set aside to repaint Doak Stadium to the tune of $1.5 million. Apparently they are only now catching up with recruiting post-Bowden.

Now, while popular FSU sentiment and even members of the FSU Board of Trustees may still be ready to go the Big 12 tomorrow, there just appears to be a significant block — including FSU’s President, that while not necessarily pro-ACC — that wants to go a little slower with any conference hopping. The key difference between the expansiopocolypse of last year with Mizzou, Texas A&M, Pitt, Syracuse, WVU and TCU; and FSU is the sense of urgency. In those cases, teams wanted out of their conference over more than simply money. There were long-term issues and concerns of the stability of the Big 12 and Big East.

The ACC just doesn’t have that problem. Yes, there are legitimate concerns with the overall quality of football in the conference, and the money the conference can generate. But the conference core — the North Carolina schools and Virginia aren’t going anywhere. Add in BC, Miami (which simply cannot afford the move and really doesn’t seem interested), Syracuse and Pitt — as schools that not only want to be in the ACC, but probably don’t have any other upward conference options. That’s nine schools.

Maryland is only going away if the Big 10 calls — which isn’t clear when or if the Big 10 has another expansiopocolypse. Virginia Tech fans are enamored with the idea of the SEC, but I’m not sure if Virginia politics would let them leave UVa behind after everything that happened to get them into the ACC. Plus, it is unlikely the SEC is going to expand to 16 for a while. Georgia Tech has had rumors with the Big 12 and even the Big 10, but it’s hard to envision them going Big 12 given their academics.

FSU and Clemson have time. They aren’t going to be leapfrogged for Big 12 membership by someone else if they don’t jump this summer. They can wait and see. That gives them leverage in negotiations. Whether it is to get the Big 12 to help pay their way out of the ACC, influencing division alignments, and other issues. Or in the ACC with regards to making the divisions more regional, changing payout structures.

And if the final scenario for the college football playoffs this summer include a component for conference champion, then that needs to be considered. Expect the slo-mo situation to continue.





I will not support a playoff that gives more weight to a conference champion then to outhers the play off has to be the best 4 teams there will still be polls and if the polls say who the best 4 are that is who must play none outhers.

The reason i wont support any thing else is lets use the big ten as a example is there champ is number 9 in the polls i dont want them in play off just becuse they are a conference champ i wont except it and most of the fans in the usa wont eather we are not stupied .

IT has to be the best 4 teams as the polls se it or the people wont bye in and you will never stop the polls.

it has to be the best 4 the hell with conference champs

Comment by Frankcan 06.11.12 @ 2:05 pm

Frankcan, please take a pill and relax. The playoffs are in the hands of our college presidents and ADs. And they don’t care what you or the fans want. And the top 6 conferences’ ADs have a different agenda that the other ADs, mainly money. College football has never cared about the fans or we would have had an 8 team playoff many years ago.

Comment by Rayhpgh 06.11.12 @ 2:18 pm

Selection committee best. Works for NCAA BB.

B10 could lure MD but MD has finance problems and would lose hated ACC BB rivals. B10 offers no rival except maybe PSU.

Comment by Frank 06.11.12 @ 2:20 pm

I think this piece is on target. When conducting M&A due diligence, time is not always on the side of either party. If there is an interested buyer and interested seller, things typically move very quickly and then integration occurs. There has not been any integration and that typically is where problems are uncovered. When re-visited several years from the M&A deal, most don’t get what they thought they were going to get, but try to do the best they can. I think the conferences would be wise not to be the first to 16 because it limits your moves as the landscape changes.

The key still comes back to the playoff model. I have been a proponent of the 8 team model, regardless of conference affiliation. Use the BCS model and take the top eight. We have never had an instance where a team that finished 9th could make a legitimate national championship argument. Even the Boise’s and BYU’s of years gone by were in the top eight at the end.

In recruiting news, Greg Garmon for Erie and an Iowa signee, along with current target, Delton Williams, were apparently arrested for marijuana possession over the weekend. I am sure that won’t fit well with Ferentz, although Iowa needs RB’s really bad. If Ferentz puts FB first, Garmon sits against the little sisters and is ready to go as a starter by the 2cnd week. Should remove Iowa from contention with Delton as Ferentz would probably be best served, keeping them apart.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 06.11.12 @ 2:20 pm

Anyone interested, 93.7 has Pat Bostick on from
4-5 and then Coach Chryst from 5-6.

Comment by Dan 06.11.12 @ 3:56 pm

THe Fan also reported on its news than NBC has learned that the prosecutors has emails from 2001 showing communication with PSU Prez Spaniard, Security Chief Schultz and AD Curley talking about how to handle suspected shower-room rape; with the conclusion from Curley that “it would be humane to Sandusky if it wasn’t reproted to the legal authorities.” … unfuckingbelivable (if true)

Comment by wbb 06.11.12 @ 4:49 pm

I, for one, wish that the “professionals” who prime the pump for the Pitt Blather would refrain from their endless dronings about the malcontents of the ACC i.e. FSU and Clemson and give us more news about Pitt’s recruiting and the potentials of the 2012 and beyond grid and hoop squads. After all, some of us blog in to learn more about the fortunes of the Panthers and not the misfortunes of the Bog 12 and Big 12 “wannabees”. Thank for the consideration. Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 06.11.12 @ 4:58 pm

The playing field is not level with the different conferences . Academic standards vary greatly between conferences resulting in some players unable to be recruited by all the members of a conference thus a level playing field within the conference exists. Why reward those SEC institutions that make the academic front to college football a joke with more than 1 representative in the playoffs.
If you can’t win your conference then we know you are not the best in the country. Why penalize a team like LSU last season by forcing them to beat Ala twice.
Conference champ beats everyone held to the same standards to compete, then let David play Goliath but don’t give lesser academic institutions multiple Goliaths.

Comment by spindler's spirit 06.11.12 @ 5:53 pm

WBB – I have been listening in my office all day to the Sandusky trial proceedings. MSNBC just had on the Dem (of course) running for AG in PA. She was upset that the prosecution seems to have dropped the entire McQuery witness (molestee)because Sandusky’s attorney had something on them.
Sandusky’s defense attorney cross examined the first very credible witness who went on about the 40 + acts of xxx that happened between he and Sandusky, like he had something huge to spring on the witness. Witness #1 was unshakable. The defense attorney has postulated in his opening statement that all of these supposed (his words) victems had banned together to make up these lies so they could sue Sandusky in civil court and make money. Un f,n believable.

Chryst sounds great on the radio! Sorry for the PSU rant…with 7 members of my family being PSU grads, they whole thing just amazes me.

Spanier et al. are going down hard, after the emails show they knew everything in 2001.

Comment by Dan 72 06.11.12 @ 5:59 pm

If the polls list the top 4 teams and say 2 are not in the play off no one will bye into it.
it would be a fraud.
this may not be good for the big east or the acc
or big ten but that is to bad.

what i want to see at the end of the year is the best 4 teams or best 8 teams conference be damed
if you want in win all your games.

Comment by Frankcan 06.11.12 @ 7:32 pm

Pitt gots its 5th commit. Tony harper from ohio. Hes 6’4″ 205 and was offered at the camp this saturday as a h back. So hell be a te/fb/wr utility player.

Comment by Pk 06.11.12 @ 7:32 pm

You don’t fire your School President, AD, and head FB coach (who has more than half a century in your employment) based upon the appearance of wrong doing. You only do that in the presence of clear and convincing evidence.

Comment by HbgFrank 06.11.12 @ 7:35 pm

Harper’s other offers were from MAC schools. Chryst needs to stop with the damn projects and bring in some real players.

Comment by Mike 06.11.12 @ 7:46 pm

Mike, who do you coach?… Nobody? Well, what school do you recruit for?… Oh, nobody? Well i thought for sure you did because of your brilliant criticism of chrysts recruiting.

Comment by Pk 06.11.12 @ 7:51 pm

This could only happen with a West Viginian! I don’t know what’s worse… The girl not knowing the difference between a real male sex organ or the mom driving the girl to the motel to meet a Facebook “friend”….unbelievable!!!

link to thesmokinggun.com

Comment by Marco 06.11.12 @ 8:27 pm

PK WHAT IS WITH YOU LATELY MIKE CAN FELL THAT WAY WITH OUT BEING PULLED OVER THE COALS HE COULD ASK WERE YOU COACHED IN THE LAST 2 DAYS YOU HAVE BEEN RUDE AND SMART MOUTHED NOT YOUR NORMEL SELF
IF YOU WANT TO DISAGREE DO SO BUT DONT DO IT LIKE THAT.

Comment by Frankcan 06.11.12 @ 9:07 pm

Frank, Who is he to determine who chryst offers? Thats my point. I think we should let one of cfb’s best offensive minds determine who gets offered..

Comment by Pk 06.11.12 @ 9:45 pm

pk he has his thoughts you have yours but you can disagree with out being rude you are biger then that you are a wonderful part of this post
but dont start acting like you are 17 years old even if you are
tell him why you think he is wrong or tell how you think you are right. but dont attack him becuse he fills different than you. make your case with reason become your old self. stop the bitterness budyyy

Comment by Frankcan 06.11.12 @ 9:56 pm

I agree with Pk. Wtf are you talking about Frank? I like your posts, but not this one. Pk had every right to defend our new coach. Mike needs to give Chryst an f’n chance.

Comment by panther94 06.11.12 @ 10:46 pm

Hey Mike, FYI the Mid-American Conference plays good, tough ball and produces some very good players, Why even that hatd nosed QB for the “Stillers” came out of the Mid-American.(Miami U.) May I suggest, respectfully that you allow the Panther’S first year mentor to select his own players!!! Rev.George from Columbus (which, incidentally. in the midwest.)

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 06.11.12 @ 11:27 pm

PANTHER 94 lets say the man has a point pk does not have to be rude just for saying what he thinks
as i say he has a pointit is not as if chryst is signing 4 or 5 stars becuse he isent penn state has 6 players who are 4 stars us none
so the mike has a point you might not like it but he does have a point.
most of us have thought to wait to see how this works out for chryst on loi day before we say any thing bad give him his chance to see how he does on recruting but some wont and they have a point we dont need to attack them tell them they are wrong explain your thoughts but dont attack them,

Comment by Frankcan 06.12.12 @ 12:19 am

The more I read about the case the more I wonder how a state university and especially its football program have been able to build a China Wall around themselves.

And this after the Renee Portland stuff and its subsequent “investigation.”

For shame. I’m glad I used my acceptance punch card to floss with.

Comment by steve1 06.12.12 @ 6:49 am

Frankcan,

Sure PK was a little rude which isn’t his norm.

But I’m guessing he’s a wee bit frustrated that the majority of posters (or posts) on Pitt boards seem to be negative and hypercritical of Chryst. Some even going so far as to say if “he doesn’t get player x this year he is doomed for his career at Pitt.”

And I’m not just talking about this board…

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 06.12.12 @ 8:29 am

Bowling green is right. Very frustrating reading other boards. Hopefully this board does not get as bad as the others. Honestly I think most of it is just frustration. Winning will change that. Chryst may be the guy for the job, we’ll see. So until that first game is played, let’s just be patient and happy that we actually have a coach.

Comment by Timmeh 06.12.12 @ 9:51 am

Pitt at this point in time (if it were 1980 again it would be different), especially given the multiple coaching changes fiasco it has been through; has no realistic hope of signing a class of predominantly 4-5 star recruits. That’s just reality, for now. What Pitt does have the possibility of doing is landing about half a dozen (+/- 2 or 3) 4-5 star recruits (like Wannstadt’s highest rated classes). Then we need to hope that the rest of the class will be “select” 3 star and 2 star recruits who are all guys the coaches truly believe are really better than (or will become better than) their internet star ratings(e.g.,a Dion Lewis, a Jabaal Sheard, etc.) and not just a crapshoot collection of average potential 2-3 star recruits.

[FWIW, I would expect any 0-1-2 or 3 star offered this early is probably in the category of being believed by the coaches to be better than their star rating. After all, it’s not like LOI day is fast approaching and the coaches are desperate to complete the class.]

Hopefully, Chryst and his staff have a really good eye for recognizing under-rated talent and bring in a class that eventually performs like a class of 4-5 star talent. Hoping, much less expecting, more than that at this juncture is simply unrealistic.

[It is interesting to note that two of the current commits have been recruited to play positions other than the position they received their star rating for–Parrish as a FB rather than a TE (lower star rating as a TE due to his lack of height for a TE), and Tony Harper as a TE-H-Back rather than a Safety (likely because they see him having the frame at 6-4 to eventually weigh 230-240 by age 20-21).]

Comment by pitt1972 06.12.12 @ 10:32 am

Mike,

It’s just one example, but Tyrann Mathieu at LSU – probably the best DB in college football the last year or so – was little more than a depth signing by Les Miles at first. LSU was the only BCS school to offer him. His other offers were FIU, Miami (OH), SMU, Southern Miss, Tulane and Louisiana-Monroe.

I agree that your best chances of success tend to lie with the most highly-rated recruits, but in most cases, it’s still all about the ways the coaches work with the kid, and how the kid responds and develops.

Comment by Stoosh 06.12.12 @ 10:37 am

Chryst has a system and he is recruiting for that system. What good is getting a top prospect if you can’t use him correctly. Would you rather have a lesser rated player who produces for 2 or 3 years or a player like Dickerson who is highly ranked but barely got on the field until the end. Until the losses start piling up, I’m reserving judgment.

Comment by Wardapalooza 06.12.12 @ 11:02 am

Dear Pitt Blather Bloggers: May I remind you tghat in the recent past, the Panthers have been defeated on the gridiron by Ohio. Bowling Green and Toledo. Perhaps the Pittites and their minions should not disrespect opponents. Of course, Mike has a point, so does a pencil, but I suggest that any coach, of any school, has the option to offer or not his recruits. Personally, I hope that Mr.Harper is a star in the Steel City and that those who live by the so called RATING SYSTEM learn by their vocal fumbles. Sorry, Mike, I respectfully DISAGREE with your opinion in this case. Rev/ George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 06.12.12 @ 11:11 am

On another topic, looks like the Panthers lawsuit against the BE has forced the BE to sue TCU for its $5M exit fee…Can’t have it look like TCU got out of jail free!

Comment by HbgFrank 06.12.12 @ 11:52 am

The only reason a 4-team as opposed to 8-team playoff is the route right now is that the fix is in… SEC doesn’t want too many have-nots (in its estimation) pushing into its cozy little 4-team playoff.

Comment by deepelemblues 06.12.12 @ 1:50 pm

Regarding the very first comment – sorry but conference champions is the ONLY TRUE WAY. PERIOD.

Polls are irrelevant and corrupt.

If a team can’t win its conference it doesn’t deserve to go – unless there are enough playoff spots to have wild cards and even the wild cards would be decided by on the field metrics.

As for “playing #9″ Number 9 based by what? It’s ridiculous to talk seriously about teams in this manner of the polls. It can’t be done logically.

Tell me how it is logical for a team to have to work its way up the Top 25 and still might not rank high if the pre season deemed top schools don’t slide?

And there are other fallacies as well.

Comment by JoeP 06.12.12 @ 9:33 pm

I suggest reading the USA Today Florida State recruiting spending article referenced in the above piece. It discusses the recruiting spending arms race which now appears essentially out of control. It is now considered necessary to follow and apparently even begin recruiting high school freshmen and sophomores. USA Today’s article asserts that a lot of kids won’t even consider a school that hasn’t made them an offer by their junior year. This seems like an area where the NCAA with some well thought through rules and enforcement could control costs (especially in this time of overall university budget reductions), move in the direction of letting high school kids be high school kids and reduce the trend toward encouraging a false sense of entitlement.

Comment by opfim 06.12.12 @ 10:49 pm

opfim–I second your opinion on this issue.

This would allow coaches to be more focused on the junior-senior pool of potential recruits in addition to eliminating the far greater guesswork involved in evaluating younger and less physically mature HS kids.

Comment by pitt1972 06.13.12 @ 9:50 am

Dabo Swinney thinks that leaving the ACC would be the worst thing that happens to them.

Comment by flpole 06.13.12 @ 11:07 pm

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