05 February 2012
Honus "The Dude" Sneed reports Clemson & FSU have formed committees to explore the feasability of leaving the ACC for the Big 12 and are expected to reach a decision by late summer.
The Big 12 conference will put its expansion plans on hiatus while Clemson and FSU decide to apply for membership or stay with the ACC.
Talks between the two schools and the Big 12 began late last fall and continued after the completion of the 2011 season. Recently both schools have formed committees to examine the advantages and disadvantages of leaving the ACC for the Big 12 and expect to reach a decision by late summer.
Chief among their concerns are travel costs and the prospect of increased revenues resulting from Big 12 membership. Clemson and FSU officials have told the Big 12 that the projected increase of ACC revenues resulting from the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse falls short of what Big 12 teams currently receive.
Reportedly Big 12 members receive just over $17 million per team in annual TV rights while the ACC projects TV revenues will increase to $16 per team after Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the conference.
The Big 12 provided Clemson and FSU financial projections with estimates of each member’s share of annual revenues in excess of $35 million per team – more than double ACC projections -- after the tier 1 TV contract is reworked.
The increase in revenues would allow Clemson and FSU to keep up with the spending by their SEC neighbors and in-state rivals.
Rumored invitations to Louisville and BYU are on hold until Clemson and FSU decide to apply for membership.