Remember the talk coming out of Columbia just before the Tigers packed up and headed South? The entire Big 12 was committing to the Big 12, but Missouri was very noncommittal and as we all expected they eventually decided they would leave.
Now we're about a week or so removed from the Big 12 securing a television contract putting them on par with the rest of the major BCS conferences for the time being. During that same time the ACC finalized a deal that was below the new $20 million benchmark that seems to have been established. That contract, along with Big 12 comments regarding potential expansion have set off a little bit of posturing in the last few days and it feels an awful lot like Missouri.
For the most part the talk out of the ACC has been positive. A "basketball" conference landing a deal awarding $17 million per year to each member institution seems like a pretty solid pay day. But two schools that have been very noncommittal are Clemson and Florida State.
First Florida State started to openly discuss the possibility of exploring other options before backtracking just a day later. It's hard to say where the thinking is in Seminole country right now, but the back and forth would certainly seem to indicate the door is cracked and they are willing to listen.
For their part Clemson, the Tigers of Clemson, seem about as committed to the ACC as Missouri was to the Big 12. Florida State and Clemson are football schools in a conference that seems to be positioning itself as the 'basketball' conference.
"I do know that if we get any direct overtures from any conference the board is going to take it up and consider it and do what's best for Clemson, no matter what it is. But if we get ahead of ourselves and talk about whether we do this or that when the opportunity does not exist, it's not the healthiest thing. So I'm not going to do it." - David Wilkins, Board of Trustees chairman via TigerIllustrated.com
So are things heating up this summer or is this all just talk and overblown talk in the middle of the college sports offseason? The Big 12 is 10 strong with a new contract and what appears to be long term stability. Louisville has openly jockeyed for positioning and now both Clemson and Florida State seem to have interest in opportunities. Could the Big 12 move back to 12 or go beyond and reach 14 even? What's the preference? And does further expansion East take away from the league or does it only help since West Virginia has already been added?