Former Florida State Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden has been fairly shameless in his public statements about the 'Noles original move to the ACC back in the early 90s - he wanted to play in an easier conference and win more of the time, basically. FSU spurned the SEC's advances for years, and now with the Big 12 apparently showing interest, he's lobbed the same opinion from retirement - stay on the easy path (courtesy of College Football Talk):
"My message would be stay in the ACC," Bowden told Arute in a transcript provided by SiriusXM. "Do you want to win a National Championship at Florida State? You’ve got a better chance in the ACC than you have in the Big 12, or even the SEC.
"You say, ‘Well, gosh, they’re much stronger in those conferences.’ Yeah! They beat up on each other and you can’t hardly get there. You know what? Florida State, wait ‘til you get good enough to rule the ACC then you start looking for someplace to jump. But my opinion? They should stay right where they are."
There are two issues here that Bowden hasn't addressed. First, a lack of competition, or "beating each other up," isn't something the ACC shies away from, at least in principle. They raided the Big East to take Virginia Tech and Miami specifically to bolster their football strength, but it hasn't panned out exactly that way.
They did that specifically because of the second reason: Bowden's theory ignores the most important aspect of all college football expansion / realignment talk: THE MONEY. The weaker the conference, the less the TV interest, the less the TV interest, the lower the broadcast rights, the lower the rights, the less cash per school, the less cash per school, the worse their ability is to compete in facilities, marketing, branding and recruiting against the SEC and Big 10.
This is the logic of a man retired from the game, and far removed from the reality of today's - and tomorrow's - game.
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