What conference is FSU going to? Explaining the Big Ten vs. SEC rumors pending lawsuit vs. ACC

Florida State is set to leave the ACC, though the conference is not letting the Seminoles go easily, recently filing a lawsuit. 

The narrative seems to be that FSU doesn’t feel it’s receiving enough compensation from the conference for the amount of viewership it brings in as a team that was expected to have a real shot at the College Football Playoff this year.

According to some numbers crunched by Brett McMurphy, FSU averaged 4.16 million viewers per game in 2023, good for ninth in NCAA football.

Two conferences the Seminoles have been rumored to possibly be headed to are the SEC and the ACC. Here’s everything to know about both of those possibilities.

Is FSU going to the SEC?

One of the biggest questions around now is where FSU will end up next conference-wise. One possibility, though unlikely, is the SEC. According to multiple reports, including one from Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, the SEC has “more opposition than interest” in adding teams like the Seminoles.

In the era of conference realignment, other schools that have been brought up as potential SEC candidates are Miami and Clemson.

In the same report from Wetzel, though, he states that “the SEC’s goal is to play a level of football that appeals to a national audience,” and that it already has that with the Gators in Florida and the Gamecocks in South Carolina. With that, the addition of two other schools from the two states would not make any sense.

He added that “any move on FSU and/or the others would be defensive, mainly to block the Big Ten from gaining a foothold in the region.”

Is FSU going to the Big Ten?

And speaking of the Big Ten, the discussion is also being had about the Seminoles heading to that very conference. But just like with the SEC, there is some thought that the conference may be more opposed to than it is interested in adding the Seminoles.

If FSU is able to fully break ties with the ACC, part of the allure from the school’s perspective would come down to money, as so many things in college football do in the modern era.

The Big Ten inked a huge deal recently that will give each school in the conference between $80 million and $100 million annually through 2029-30.

According to USA Today, each ACC school got about $37.9 million from its contract with ESPN in 2022. Making the move to the Big Ten would be quite the difference there.

One thing to watch regardless of which conferences are interested in adding FSU will be if it can get out of the deal it currently has with the ACC, a deal several experts believe could be impossible to break given the circumstances.

And specifically for the Big Ten, FSU would almost certainly have to become a member Association of American Universities, which is not the case now. It is impossible to apply for membership, the organization picks its member universities based on the schools’ academic research, quality of education and other select criteria.


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