A) The SEC typically has five football powers every year. For example, this year, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Vandy and South Carolina were all discussed in terms of solid teams. A couple of those are regularly in-and-out of the top 25 discussion type teams, as their coaches move on to superior jobs or their stars falter (think Vandy, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Georgia, etc.), and a few are consistently solid teams (Florida, Auburn, Arkansas) but simply can't sustain top-ten quality every year given strong competition on their home turf. But 5 pretty regularly every year are solid football teams.
The Big 12, not so much. Texas or Oklahoma, usually. Lately, Texas Tech and Baylor and Oklahoma State. But those latter teams do not usually come into the mix except as a single mention until they actually PLAY Texas or Oklahoma. Texas has faltered a bit and Oklahoma is competing with OSU now, but they are still phenomenal programs with rabid fan bases year-to-year. We can probably anticipate three such programs arising from the Big 12 consistently in the future, with OSU's steamrolling donations from T. Boone Pickens.
2) Why are we in the ACC? Basketball and football, but supposedly academics, too. I am not sure how that last item works its way into the sports world, but I can see some positive from affiliation with strong academic schools. That said, I'm not sure we would drop so far in academic standing were we to suddenly affiliate with the likes of Baylor and Texas. We would certainly not have to deal with the down-your-nose looks from basketball/football fans at the ivory towers that are Duke and UNC, not to mention the imagined ivories of UVa and Wake. I would bet the average ACC student has incoming credentials superior to the average Big 12 student, but is that enough to mean FSU would suffer from affiliation with the Big 12?
D) What I don't know is whether we would drop in the athletic department. It certainly seems the ACC has dropped in the basketball world. The Big 12 is now solid. The ACC is decent in baseball. It is a well rounded athletic conference when the Directors' Cup is considered. However, in football, it's becoming depressing for a lot of us.
purple) This would expand the Big 12's footprint to two markets where it currently has no representative. Both are national programs. The Big 12 payout for Clemson and Florida State would probably mean a substantial increase to both schools, and might be with their addition on a par with the SEC, giving that conference a real challenge in the football ranks.
And to make it a little scary: what would happen if Clemson and Virginia Tech were the schools on the radar instead? Tech is in an attractive market (DC/VA) with a fan base that has gotten progressively larger. What would FSU or Clemson do if two of the other football-oriented schools left?
Even if it isn't on the radar for real, just the idea building some momentum to the point of ESPN discussion might scare the SEC into reconsidering an invite, or prompt FSU, Clemson, and the Big 12 to think again about what they really want out of a conference athletic affiliates and throw some weight around.
Who knows? It might even make the ACC consider scheduling intelligently for football, just to throw us a bone.
Okay, that last idea is way out of the realm of possibility. Scratch that.
I know this is a post that is long on opinion and "what if." But in the area of conference expansion, we usually don't hear about moves or know until a day or two before what is really happening. It would be nice to hear other Seminoles' perspective on this and put those opinions out there for Florida State to consider.