Dog on the Move

Column: Transfer to SEC is not imminent – however it could make {dollars} and sense


When Oklahoma and Texas introduced they have been Southeastern Convention-bound, there have been Florida State followers who turned envious. When USC and UCLA introduced they have been heading throughout the nation to play within the Massive Ten, FSU followers who aren’t happy with the present ACC started foaming on the mouth in anticipation of a shakeup in convention alignment. 

No sooner was the music for the sport of musical chairs blaring, and we have been all scrambling to seize a chair, than an un-sourced article broke on Saturday Down South final week reporting information that the SEC won’t broaden previous 16 groups. Not less than for now.

The noise you heard was the air popping out of these hoping to vary conferences or a collective sigh of aid from the 90-plus collegiate packages in conferences not named SEC or Massive Ten.

“We’re positioned at 16 (groups) for a sturdy future,” an unnamed SEC athletic director instructed SDS. “The necessity simply isn’t there.”

In fact, two unnamed SEC sources mentioned potential strikes on the enlargement entrance might change that “want,” however SEC presidents imagine the convention is positioned nicely for the longer term development of faculty soccer.

“I don’t see any (enlargement) transfer as threatening to us,” one other unnamed SEC supply instructed SDS.

How about Notre Dame to the Massive Ten?

“Why? I’ll put our product vs. anybody’s product. So, we’re going to only add faculties so as to add faculties? There’s no worth in that.”

Southeastern Convention Commissioner Greg Sankey confirmed the league will maintain at 16 at SEC Media Days.

“There’s no sense of urgency in our league,” Sankey mentioned on Monday. “No panic in response to others’ actions.”

About future enlargement, Sankey mentioned: “We’re attentive, we’re engaged in dialog … We’ll watch what occurs round us and be considerate and nimble.”

If the SEC will not be hellbent on world domination, it’s excellent news for greater than 90 athletics packages not within the SEC or Massive Ten and anxious the Massive Two conferences are conspiring to have a playoff between the leagues, different convention be damned.

In fact, on this period of faculty athletics — a time canines eat canines — you imagine commissioners, presidents or athletic administrators at our personal peril. 

Possibly the SEC discovered that the ACC faculties they most covet for enlargement have been certainly sure by the ACC Grant of Rights paperwork, a minimum of for now. Or, who is aware of, perhaps with the canine days of summer time coming to an finish, and soccer camp simply weeks from opening, the SEC is popping its consideration to the upcoming school soccer season and away from future enlargement for now. If true it could be a much-needed timeout; a time for everybody to go to their corners to evaluate their choices, for his or her attorneys to evaluate their Grant of Rights, and to determine the place they wish to be when enlargement begins once more.

We requested readers about their convention desire on our message board and located the SEC was the most well-liked alternative, adopted by an expanded ACC with Notre Dame and others, after which the Massive Ten. 

On this article we regarded on the SEC and why a transfer sooner or later might make sense for FSU and for the SEC. 

We’d like so that you can add your feedback on the message board on the finish of this text as we intend to run extra on this topic and what every state of affairs might imply for FSU and its followers. 

Objectively, why is FSU fascinating?

There are various methods to worth a program and, in every of the measures has studied, FSU, Clemson and Notre Dame bubble up as three of the highest manufacturers not already within the SEC or Massive Ten. That’s why these three packages are probably the most fascinating targets. Washington and Oregon measure up in a number of rankings too and are being talked about as Pac-12 members who might comply with USC and UCLA into the Massive Ten.

The opposite packages in school soccer pale by comparability.

Some measurements look to tv rankings in figuring out a school program’s valuation, however TV rankings are arduous to worth due to sport instances, streaming providers and different elements. Nonetheless, even in a yr wherein the Seminoles completed 5-7, usually showing in undesirable time slots, FSU’s rankings have been within the prime 25. Solely Clemson (9) and Notre Dame (14) completed increased amongst groups not but within the SEC or Massive Ten. FSU’s common rating from 2014-19 was additionally among the many three highest-rated groups (ND, Clemson and FSU) not already within the SEC or Massive 10.

Attendance is second issue. You might also discover it arduous to imagine however FSU’s common house attendance between 2014 and 2019 — not stellar years — was higher than all however two groups not within the SEC or Massive Ten (Notre Dame and Clemson). In keeping with School Soccer Information, which ranks all 130 faculties, 20 of the highest 25 faculties for attendance are within the SEC or Massive Ten. The 5 exceptions are Clemson (14), Notre Dame (15), Florida State (18), Washington (22) and Virginia Tech (25). 

  1. Michigan (109,574)
  2. Ohio State (106,048)
  3. Penn State (102,774)
  4. Texas A&M (101,861)
  5. Alabama (101,534)
  6. LSU (100,856)
  7. Tennessee (98,013)
  8. Texas (94,754)
  9. Georgia (92,746)
  10. Nebraska (89,034)
  11. Florida (86,557)
  12. Auburn (86,549)
  13. Oklahoma (86,126)
  14. Clemson (81,586)
  15. Notre Dame (79,525)
  16. Wisconsin (78,573)
  17. South Carolina (77,867)
  18. Florida State (74,292)
  19. Michigan State (73,815)
  20. USC (69,044)
  21. Iowa (66,938)
  22. Washington (65,781)
  23. Arkansas (65,588)
  24. UCLA (63,635)
  25. Virginia Tech (61,562) 

On Subject Athletics Efficiency

Whereas the SEC and Massive Ten have 20 or extra groups counted among the many prime 25 packages for revenue, spending, attendance and rankings, these two conferences positioned solely 15 groups among the many High 25 of the Learfield Administrators Cup last standings, which is an indicator of complete sports activities excellence. The Seminoles completed No. 14 within the Director’s Cup, behind solely 4 SEC groups and two Massive Ten groups. 

  1. Texas
  2. Stanford
  3. Michigan
  4. Ohio State
  5. Florida
  6. North Carolina
  7. Arkansas
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Kentucky
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Virginia
  12. USC
  13. Tennessee
  14. Florida State
  15. UCLA
  16. LSU
  17. NC State
  18. Princeton
  19. Georgia Tech
  20. Ole Miss
  21. Duke
  22. Alabama
  23. Oklahoma State
  24. Wisconsin
  25. Texas A&M

Wall Avenue Journal Valuation Evaluation

In keeping with a Wall Avenue Journal evaluation performed by Ryan Brewster, 19 of the highest 20 most valued groups are within the SEC or BIG. The one group that isn’t is No. 19 Washington. Oregon is ranked 21, Arizona State 25, Clemson 26 and Florida State 27.

“Brewster’s research calculates what a school group can be value on the open market if it may very well be purchased and offered like knowledgeable sports activities franchise,” the writer Andrew Beaton writes. “Brewster analyzes every program’s revenues and bills together with cash-flow changes, threat assessments and development projections.”

Can FSU fund a aggressive program in SEC?

Some FSU followers surprise aloud if the Seminoles might afford to be in a convention that spends a lot cash. Make no mistake, the SEC and Massive Ten are severe about enjoying the sport on the highest degree and aren’t afraid to spend cash irrespective of the way you rely it. So how do the Seminoles examine to the most important spenders in school athletics? 

In keeping with School Raptor, of the highest 20 collegiate athletics budgets in 2021, 17 are within the SEC or Massive Ten. The three exceptions are No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 17 Oregon and No. 18 Florida State. In keeping with Sportico, 20 of the High 25 budgets in school athletics for the 2019-2020 season have been within the SEC or Massive Ten or planning to be. The three exceptions have been No. 8 Florida State, No. 16. Louisville, No. 20 Clemson, No. 21 Washington and No. 25 Oregon.

It could shock some Florida State followers to be taught the Seminoles have one of many bigger budgets within the nation.

  1. Ohio State – $215,209,566 
  2. Michigan – $180,841,523
  3. Texas – $173,648,028
  4. Alabama – $173,141,125
  5. Texas A&M – $159,136,624
  6. Penn State – $157,908,311
  7. Oklahoma – $157,494,527
  8. Florida State – $155,656,855
  9. LSU – $155,591,015
  10. Wisconsin – $149,196,055
  11. Iowa – $149,161,886
  12. Michigan State – $148,453,353
  13. Tennessee – $140,824,626
  14. Kentucky – $140,578,623
  15. Florida – $139,935,182
  16. Louisville – $138,830,169
  17. Georgia – $138,757,891
  18. Auburn – $135,816,431
  19. South Carolina – $133,776,318
  20. Clemson – $131,781,294
  21. Washington – $128,976,495
  22. Minnesota – $124,818,508
  23. Arkansas – $123,857,351
  24. Illinois – $121,638,435
  25. Oregon – $120,884,588

Soccer recruiting

When it comes to soccer recruiting, eight of the highest 10 recruiting budgets are within the SEC or BIG. The 2 exceptions are No. 5 Clemson ($1.79 million) and No. 7 Florida State ($1.53 million).  

  1. Georgia ($2.63 million)
  2. Alabama ($2.62 million)
  3. Tennessee ($2 million)
  4. Texas ($1.82 million)
  5. Clemson ($1.79 million)
  6. Texas A&M ($1.62 million)
  7. Florida State ($1.53 million)
  8. Michigan ($1.39 million)
  9. Penn State ($1.37 million)
  10. LSU ($1.28 million)

Regardless of extraordinarily difficult monetary instances throughout the Seminoles’ soccer hunch, the FSU athletics division has not been shy about spending cash. The ‘Noles have spent greater than many groups within the SEC or Massive 10, which in all probability comes as a shock to Osceola readers.

The Seminoles have introduced an formidable amenities marketing campaign to assemble a soccer operations constructing that might value $100 million and are actively elevating cash to renovate a big portion of the west aspect of Doak Campbell Stadium. 

So, sure, FSU does have the willingness to spend cash. Ought to the SEC or Massive Ten come calling, it could give the Seminoles much more cash to spend to maintain up with the Joneses.

FSU is athletic and tutorial match

By any of the aforementioned athletics-based measurements — attendance, tv rankings, athletics efficiency, or funds — FSU, Clemson and Notre Dame are the three faculties largely constantly ranked in these classes who aren’t already within the SEC or Massive 10. Washington and Oregon seem within the rankings too however much less regularly.

FSU is fascinating from a broader college perspective as nicely. In keeping with the US Information and World Report’s nationwide rating of schools, FSU is ranked No. 55 (tied with Miami), amongst universities, which might rank fifth within the 16-team SEC and ninth amongst Massive 10 groups.

Right here’s the US Information and World Report rankings of the 16 Massive Ten faculties: 9 Northwestern, 20 UCLA, 23 Michigan, 27 USC, 42 Wisconsin, 47 Illinois, 49 Ohio State and Purdue, 59 Maryland, 63 Penn State, 68 Indiana and Minnesota, 83 Michigan State and Iowa, 127 Rutgers and 136 Nebraska.

Right here’s the rating for the 16 SEC faculties: 14 Vanderbilt, 28 Florida, 38 Texas, 48 Georgia, 68 Texas A&M, 99 Auburn, 103 Tenn, 117 So Carolina, 122 Missouri, 127 Oklahoma, 127 Kentucky, 148 Bama, 148 Ole Miss, 162 Arkansas, 172 LSU and 196 Miss St

An everyday season search for FSU in SEC

Hypothetically, if the SEC expanded to twenty groups someday with Florida State among the many 4 additions, the Seminoles house schedule can be depending on how the convention selected to arrange itself and handle its present conventional video games. They’re at the moment undecided. We’ve seen two imaginary fashions that might result in a convention playoff, one with 4, 5 group divisions and one with just one division. Both mannequin would produce a gradual rotation of SEC groups in Doak.

One query being requested is would conventional SEC groups like Florida need their in-state rival as a everlasting opponent? Would UF need Miami and or Florida State as a everlasting opponent? Would South Carolina need Clemson?

If not, these rivalries can be performed much less usually. How would you are feeling about that? Would you commerce the FSU-UF rivalry sport to get a house schedule with six SEC groups and one non-conference sport?

Would you be OK seeing UF as soon as each 4 years in Doak for those who obtained Oklahoma, Alabama and Georgia as a substitute?

Would schedules like these curiosity FSU followers? Would they promote out house video games? Take a second to foretell what you suppose FSU’s won-loss report can be with every of these 5 schedules (assume the TBD can be one other ACC group). Share your ideas on our message board.

Schedules drive ticket and Booster income

Each time FSU has two marquee video games on the house schedule, these video games have offered nicely and season ticket gross sales have elevated. On these uncommon events when FSU has had three marquee house video games — Notre Dame, Clemson and Florida — these video games have offered out and season tickets rose much more. However ND has been to Doak solely thrice (2002, 2014, 2021) and Oklahoma on simply that one memorable night time in 2011.

Regardless of the way you slice it, an SEC schedule would offer a minimum of three marquee house video games every year. When the house schedule has three marquee video games, followers have been inclined to purchase a season ticket to be assured a seat for these video games. If FSU had three marquee house video games yearly the renewal price on season tickets would climb nicely over 90 p.c, which suggests you will have fewer new season tickets to promote yearly to achieve a promote out.

What does it imply in {dollars}?

Along with a considerable enhance in tv income, SEC membership might generate considerably extra ticket income and Seminole Booster contributions FSU has been in a position to understand with the present ACC schedule.

A part of the reason being ACC opponents don’t transfer Seminole followers off their sofa and to the stadium and partly as a result of the ACC fan base — aside from Clemson and Miami — don’t journey nicely. FSU is commonly left holding 15,000 unsold seats (at $350 every) within the grandstand and one other 1,000 within the Dunlap Champions Membership ($1,500 every). If these SEC schedules helped FSU promote these 16,000 seats, both to visiting followers or to FSU followers, it could enhance ticket income by $6.7 million and add one other $5.2 million within the Seminole Boosters contribution required to buy these seats (common contribution of $325 per seat). 

We requested representatives of SEC faculties about fan journey. They mentioned to anticipate Alabama to journey with 5,000 to 7,500 followers and for different marquee SEC faculties to deliver an identical quantity when they’re in competition, in any other case 3,000 to five,000. The opposite SEC faculties, particularly those that should journey nice distances, generally request 1,000 to three,000 tickets.

FSU has seen Miami and Florida deliver 7,500 frequently and Clemson typically brings 5,000. There are 4 or 5 different ACC groups that may promote 3,000 however the remainder of the ACC groups take lower than 1,000 and a few far much less.

Street journeys within the SEC

Distance can also be an enormous issue. The FSU fan who favors the SEC usually cites geography and the gap to SEC faculties. There are six SEC faculties inside 400 miles of Tallahassee and 10 are inside 500 miles. FSU followers in Florida can simply hop within the automobile and get to video games in Gainesville, and FSU followers turned out in good numbers for the baseball regional in Auburn in June in addition to when it was performed in Athens, Ga., and a Tremendous Regional in Baton Rouge, La., in 2019. Distance from Tallahassee can also be necessary for FSU’s sports activities groups, who usually journey by bus or fly commercially. 

SEC cities are nearer than ACC cities however that doesn’t imply they’re essentially simpler to get to when flying. 

True, extra SEC faculties might be a automobile trip than ACC faculties for those who stay within the panhandle or the “south.” However most FSU followers stay additional down the state, in South Florida, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Orlando and Jacksonville and plenty of will nonetheless must fly. That’s the place they’ll discover a not-so-obvious logistical problem as many SEC campuses are positioned in the course of their state and never as near main airports as ACC campuses. Along with a connection in Atlanta or Charlotte, you’ll want a rental automobile for the drive to campus.

For instance, for those who fly into Atlanta’s Hartsfield Worldwide Airport, you’ll nonetheless have an 81-mile drive to Athens, Ga., and a 110-mile drive to Auburn, Ala. Wish to go to Oxford, Miss., the closest airport is Memphis, 85 miles away. Tuscaloosa is 59 miles from Birmingham, whereas Starkville, Miss., is 141 miles. Columbia, Mo., is 125 miles from St. Louis or Kansas Metropolis, your choose. And nobody has ever woken up in School Station and questioned how they obtained there as School Station could be the solely school city harder to get to than Tallahassee. You begin by flying into Houston, the place you’re nonetheless 97 miles from Aggieland or you possibly can fly into Dallas, which is 181 desolate miles from campus. 

Distance from Tallahassee

Gainesville — 151 miles

Auburn — 191 miles

Athens — 278 miles

Tuscaloosa — 309 miles

Columbia, S.C. — 383 miles

Starkville — 395 miles

Baton Rouge — 441 miles

Oxford — 480 miles

Knoxville — 482 miles

Nashville — 487 miles

Lexington — 650 miles

School Station — 802 miles

Fayetteville, Ark. — 859 miles

Austin, Tx – 868

Columbia, Mo. — 919 miles

Norman, Okla. – 1,024

Simply two ACC campuses are inside 400 miles of Tallahassee. Listed here are all the distances to ACC faculties:

Atlanta — 275 miles

Clemson — 380 miles

Miami Gardens — 470 miles

Winston-Salem — 548 miles

Raleigh — 617 miles

Chapel Hill — 645 miles

Durham — 642 miles

Blacksburg — 642 miles

Louisville — 664 miles

Charlottesville — 742 miles

Pittsburgh — 916 miles

South Bend — 918 miles

Syracuse — 1,234 miles

Chestnut Hill — 1,301 miles


We hope you discovered it enlightening to see why FSU, Clemson and Notre Dame are among the many nation’s most-attractive packages for conferences contemplating enlargement.

In future articles we’ll think about what membership within the Massive Ten might do for season ticket gross sales and discover what an expanded ACC with Notre Dame might imply to income, particularly if the ACC might add one other group of worth or put collectively a schedule of non-conference crossover video games with the Pac-12 or the Massive Ten.

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