Report: Florida State Renews Discussions of ACC Departure After 2023 CFP Snub

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Report: Florida State Renews Discussions of ACC Departure After 2023 CFP Snub

Florida State helmets are viewed on the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Going undefeated as a member of the ACC during the 2023 season wasn’t enough to get Florida State into the College Football Playoff, and the school is reportedly considering its long-term options and future within the conference.

According to Andrea Adelson of ESPN, “Florida State has had renewed in-depth discussions about its long-term future in the ACC in recent weeks.”

Adelson noted not making the CFP “angered many at the university and among its Board of Trustees, essentially the last straw after a year spent voicing their displeasure with the ACC.”

This doesn’t mean Florida State will be joining a new conference in the immediate future. In fact, there has not been an official Board of Trustees meeting scheduled even amid the renewed discussions.

Still, it reflects the changing nature of college football.

The SEC and Big Ten have positioned themselves to be the focal point of the sport in the coming years. The two conferences generate more revenue than the others and dominate television ratings, and the gap figures to only increase when Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC and USC, Oregon, Washington and UCLA join the Big Ten.

If Florida State didn’t get the benefit of the doubt over Alabama and others in 2023, it will likely get even less leeway while teams in the Big Ten and SEC are playing loaded schedules with matchups between national championship contenders seemingly every week.

The Seminoles aren’t the only ones taking that into account, as Adelson noted Clemson, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia and NC State all at least discussed their futures this past year.

Yet any school leaving the ACC would face an exit fee of approximately $120 million to overcome the league’s grant of rights that gives it control over media rights for all member schools.

Those other programs may have discussed potential moves down the line, but Florida State has been the most vocal about the possibility.

Florida State President Richard McCullough said in August, “This continues to be a very difficult issue. There’s a lot going on in the world of conference realignment. My current assessment of the situation after very deep analysis is I believe FSU will have to at some point consider very seriously leaving the ACC unless there were a radical change to the revenue distribution.”

He pointed to the significant gap in television revenue for league members between everyone else compared to the growing SEC and Big Ten.

For now, the Seminoles remain in the ACC and will face Georgia in the Orange Bowl instead of playing in the CFP.

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