College Football Roundtable: Will any ACC team defect for the Big 12?

At the College Football Roundtable, we ask members of the college football coverage staff for their opinions about a topic in the sport.

This week's question: Do you think any ACC team eventually will end up in the Big 12?

Mike Huguenin's answer: I actually think the teams in the ACC will remain in the ACC. Clemson, Florida State and Miami are the teams rumored to be in the mix, one way or another, to leave for the Big 12. The Big 12's TV deal is better than the ACC's, and since money drives everything in college athletics, that has led to rampant speculation that FSU, along with either Clemson or Miami, would be hitting the road. Some FSU folks seem almost giddy when pointing out that the Seminoles could play Oklahoma and Texas each season if the school moves. Those would be good games, no doubt. But what about heading to Lubbock? Stillwater? Ames? Lawrence? Manhattan? It's funny: Back in the day, it was ACC teams who were giddy when pointing out they would be playing FSU and Miami on a regular basis. And if FSU and Miami still were that good, the ACC's TV deal would be better. FSU and Miami no longer play must-watch games every week, and the TV contract suffers for it. I think ACC commissioner John Swofford will be able to convince his teams to stay the course.

[Mike Huguenin: SEC's scheduling model bears watching at football meetings]

Steve Megargee's answer: I think there's at least a 50-50 chance someone from the ACC heads to the Big 12. Florida State's athletic budget shortfall increases the likelihood of that possibility. Florida State officials may decide the extra money in the Big 12 football contract – particularly if that deal gets enhanced by the possible return of a Big 12 championship game – outweighs the inconvenience of traveling to Stillwater, Lubbock, Manhattan and Ames. And if Florida State leaves, I assume another ACC team comes along, whether it's Miami, Clemson or Georgia Tech. But I do think there's still a reasonable chance the ACC stays together, though the league certainly has to take some step to protect itself at this point. The ACC has been aggressive in that regard before. The league managed to get Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech from the Big East before realignment was even in vogue. And the moves to add Pittsburgh and Syracuse last year came without any sort of warning. Maybe commissioner John Swofford has one more trick up his sleeve.

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