Fans will cry out the sake of tradition. They will try to name the rivalries, the history, the "way things work" as reasons why a school should not jump from one conference to another. The statements were made when Missouri was being courted by the SEC, and now it can be heard from Florida State fans wondering about a possible move to the Big 12.
The ACC would definitely lose a major asset if FSU were to leave for the Big 12, but at this point it's clear that Florida State's athletic budget is too small for the conference they currently inhabit. Despite cries against such a move, the reality is that money has the final say in today's college athletics -- like it or not.
Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News writes about this reality facing FSU:
Just this month, Florida State acknowledged it may be forced to cut $2.4 million from its 2012-13 athletic budget, in part because of lagging ticket sales in football. So if you're Florida State, what do you do?
You're a football school competing in what will always be a basketball conference. You're surrounded by mega-wealthy SEC members, including rival Florida, that spend more than you can. And you're looking at taking in less TV revenue than Vanderbilt for the foreseeable future.
While university officials are paid to keep things under wraps and stay the course in public quotes, it's interesting to see the level of openness given by some from head coach Jimbo Fisher to recent statements from President Eric Barron.
Something is going to have to happen at Florida State. Either they will love their traditions and swallow budget cuts to make it happen or they will make a move that will frustrate the fan base but pay their constituents. In this economy, tradition typically doesn't stand a chance.