Could all three of Florida's traditional football powerhouses end up in separate conferences? News broke this weekend that Florida State University could be entertaining a move to the Big 12. That lead to some rumbling in the sports rumor-sphere that the Big 12 could also end up targeting some other Atlantic Coast Conference schools, including Miami. But an anonymous UM trustee says its highly unlikely the Hurricanes will be leaving the ACC for the Midwestern conference. The school's just too damn brainy now, apparently.
"How do you not look into that option? On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously we would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer," Board of Trustees Chairman Andy Haggard told Warchant.com. "We have to do what is in Florida State's best interest."
FSU's athletic director Randy Spetman seems to be in the ACC camp however.
"We're in the ACC. We're committed to the ACC," Spetman told the Orlando Sentinel. "That's where our president and the board of trustees has committed to, so we're great partners in the ACC."
Spetman says he's not actively negotiating to switch conferences at the moment, but interestingly his comments don't completely rule out the possibility of committing somewhere else in the future. They're just not actively looking to do so.
"Florida State is not seeking an alternative to the ACC nor are we considering alternatives," echoed FSU president Eric Barron in a statement.
FSU's highly speculative move could however put a wrench in one of college footballs (and athletics in general) most storied rivalries: Hurricanes vs Seminoles. Miami seems to have no interest in switching conferences just to make sure that rivalry prevails.
"It's highly unlikely," a UM Board of Trustees member told CBS Sports. "I'm not sure Miami's academic standards are a good fit in the Big 12."
Among the big six conferences, the ACC is by far the most academically elite. Duke, Virginia, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Boston College, Georgia Tech, and Miami itself are all in the U.S. News top 50 national colleges. FSU, in fact, has become something of an academic odd-man out in the conference. It's ranked 101. Along with North Carolina State, it's the only school out of the top 100.
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The Big 12 is not nearly as academically elite. By US News rankings at least, UM is a more elite school than any team currently in the conference.
While the idea of getting to play teams like Texas and Oklahoma could prove mouth watering to some UM fans, the conference's Midwestern geographic footprint, public school dominance and academic power just don't make much sense for Miami.
What that means for the future of a the Hurricanes-Seminoles rivalry? Well, we're just not sure. Let's wait until FSU gets it staff on the same page before we jump to any conclusions though.