Recently there have been quite a few articles blaming Florida State for the ACC's problems. A few of the criticisms are legitimate. Most are troll pieces looking for traffic from angry 'Nole fans (and they'll oblige), complete with huge leaps in logic and hypocritical inconsistency. There's a reason I refused to link the recent Hayes, Doyel, Dinich and Scott pieces. I found them disingenuous. Other pieces with legitimate, logical or fair criticisms of FSU have been linked and discussed.
They claim that if Florida State would have won more and not suffered through the lost decade, the ACC would be just fine and would not have been stuck with such a poor TV contract. That is partially true.
But it ignores the fact that the ACC would have nothing close to the contract it currently has if Florida State hadn't won the ACC 12 times in the last two decades, plus two national championships. Florida State is still the conference's most valuable program by a huge margin. That's because the 'Noles still move the needle.
The writers criticizing Florida State know this. They know that Clemson has only won a single conference title in the last two decades (and set a record by allowing 70 points in the Orange Bowl), despite having enormous resources.
But despite having won 12x the conference titles as Clemson since joining the ACC, FSU gets the blame, even though both programs are looking to leave the conference. Why? Clemson doesn't move the needle like FSU does. They aren't a national program.
They also seem to ignore the extent to which Miami has let the conference down. Miami has played seven seasons in the ACC. They've lost at least six games in five of the seven. They have more losing conference seasons than winning. The 'Canes have never even made the ACC title game or won a division title. Didn't the Miami administration distribute promotional materials on the 'All Canes Conference' upon becoming a member?
And then there is that bit about having the largest NCAA scandal in about a quarter century. Yep, the downfall of the ACC is on Florida State.
The reason that Miami is not being chastised is that it isn't for sure looking to leave the conference, might not have an invite from the Big XII, doesn't have a stadium of its own, has awful fan support (thus less web traffic for the hacks who put out the piece), is about to be placed on serious probation, and might (as many believe) be trying to distance itself from playing serious football and instead focusing on academics like other small, private schools.
And in claiming that Florida State would be unable to compete in the Big XII, they also seem to ignore that Florida State has won 19 games in the last two seasons. Only 12 BCS conference teams have bested that mark. Mentioning that Florida State is vastly improved after ridding itself of Bowden would not help them (Hayes, Doyel or Scott) get clicks. These guys aren't dumb. I refuse to believe that they are unable to separate '10-'11 from '01-'09 and particularly from '06-'09. Rather, I believe they are purposefully ignoring that the lost decade is over.
Further, these guys are many of the same folks who blasted Florida State for (years too late) getting rid of the problem that was Bobby Bowden. The hypocrisy is astonishing. FSU should not have tried to improve its program, yet it is FSU's fault that the ACC is in this position.
Do you remember criticism last year of programs like Missouri, Texas A&M, TCU or West Virginia for any or all of these issues when they bolted their (at the time) failing conferences? Not much, because those programs are not nationally relevant like Florida State. An article lobbing the same criticisms at those teams would not bring the web traffic.
Florida State is not blameless in this process. But the fact that it can operate its program as an exhibit in history museum to a once great coach for damn near a decade and into a state of disrepair, and still be the most desired expansion target aside from Notre Dame and thus the subject of many trolling articles, shows how relevant and powerful Florida State still is.
The true story that FSU is leaving to make a lot more money and secure the financial future of all its sports and not fall further behind Florida in the college athletics arms race because the ACC doesn't pay Florida State anywhere near what the 'Noles bring in for the conference TV deal just isn't "click bait."
I want to give credit to Follow @Corey_Clark on Twitter, with whom I've had many a discussion via Twitter on this topic over the last few days.