Realignment Talk Heats Up Again

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It’s that time of year again.  The dead period of college sports doesn’t officially begin until the opening salvo of realignment rumors gets fired.  That happened last week with the rumor that Florida State and Clemson are considering bolting for the Big 12.

I’m not the type that pays a lot of attention to conference realignment, and it’s not that it doesn’t interest me.  It’s that when it comes to conference realignment, I don’t know what I’m talking about.  I don’t know how school presidents think, or faculty reps, or athletic directors, or boards.  I don’t know which conferences are truly interested in which schools.  I don’t know which schools truly want to bolt.  I don’t know which schools are in a fiscally advantageous position to have the opportunity to bolt.  I don’t know how much cash on hand the Big 12 has, in case they want to pay for the exit fees of FSU and Clemson, as they did with West Virginia.

In short, I don’t know … anything.  I suppose that doesn’t make me any different than every other person writing about realignment.  I’m going into this article blind, for the most part, but so is everyone else covering the topic.  The bottom line is that we hear 50 different realignment rumors every summer.  Each one sounds plausible; it comes from a “great source” or an “insider”.  And then 47 of those 50 rumors turns out to be false, because the fact is that in conference realignment, the only true insiders are the conference commissioners and school officials.  And those guys do a good job of keeping their mouths shut, with the exception of the folks at Florida State.

Clemson and Florida State to the Big 12?

That doesn’t make any geographic sense.  If Clemson and FSU were to bolt, it seems that the SEC would be the likely destination.  However, when you take a closer look you see that the SEC already has the states of South Carolina and Florida covered, so adding Clemson and the Noles wouldn’t make a lot of sense for them.

Last summer at this time, there was hot talk of VT joining the SEC.  There was also hot talk of the Big 12 being swallowed up by the surrounding conferences – namely the SEC, Big Ten and Pac 12.  With the Big 12 out of the way, Virginia Tech was poised to be in one of the four superconferences of 16 teams that people have been talking about for so long.  The ACC might have

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