Are Realignment Wheels About To Turn Again? - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

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Are Realignment Wheels About To Turn Again?


If the recent history of conference realignment in college sports has taught us anything it is that it tends to happen in waves. The rumblings and rumors of more realignment are starting to register on the Richter scale and it could trigger the next round of realignment.

Boise State is reportedly having second thoughts about joining the Big East. It has not yet filed paperwork to withdraw from the Mountain West. Boise State deciding not to join the Big East could have a domino effect on other schools set to join West Virginia University's former conference.

The big realignment news within the past few days pertains to Florida State and the Big 12. These rumors have seemingly been around for months. Now they appear to be taking the next step from rumor to possibility. Key personnel at Florida State are starting to say the things that tend to precede a conference move.

Florida State Head Coach and Clarksburg, West Virginia native Jimbo Fisher told a group of boosters in Orlando over the weekend that if moving to the Big 12, "is what's best for Florida State, then that is what we need to do."

Andy Haggard, the chair of Florida State's Board of Trustees told the Tallahassee Democrat, "If the Big 12 or the SEC or any other conference wants to talk, we have an obligation to listen. If the Big 12 calls, should we hang up the phone? No. I'm not saying take it. I'm saying listen to it. Listen to what they have to say. My only point is to listen to anybody who wants to talk – especially in these economic times."

This all comes on the heels of the ACC's new television agreement. It is reportedly set to pay schools $17 million per year. Big 12 schools are going to be paid $20 million per year under that new television contract.

Haggard's comments about economic times make it clear that $3 million difference is very important.

The Big 12 meanwhile insists that it intends to keep its options open pertaining to expansion. WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck has made it clear that he would like to see some expansion, preferably in the same region as West Virginia.

Does Florida State fill that requirement? Tallahassee is about 680 miles from Morgantown, which would make it the closest Big 12 school.

Clemson is a school that appears to be waiting in the weeds and watching from a distance. There are rumors that should Florida State leave, Clemson would strongly consider following the Seminoles. There are other rumors that Miami might consider jumping ship from the ACC as well. If any of those schools leave, add Virginia Tech to a possible realignment contender. Virginia Tech might be a good fit in the Big 12 or the SEC.

Once again, realignment historically happens in waves. Pitt and Syracuse left the Big East for the ACC. TCU and West Virginia quickly decided to also head in a new direction.

If Florida State bolts from the ACC, it would likely not be the only move made in this next round of realignment.

The ACC is beginning its latest round of scheduled conference meetings today in Florida. The next few days could prove to be big as Florida State weighs a potential move. Discussing the new television contract is on the ACC's agenda.

It appeared evident the Big 12 was not going to look to further expansion until it hired its new Commissioner. Bob Bowlsby was introduced to the media as the new Big 12 Commissioner last week. His first big move in that role might be to welcome some new members.

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