Because New Members make conference weaker
The Florida State Seminoles believe the ACC has become weaker due to the new additions,reports for Gridiron Heroics.
Dec 2, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Patrick Payton (11) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Louisville Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
The Florida State Seminoles have had a frustrating 2023 college football season. Despite going undefeated this year with a 13-0 record, they were left out of this year’s College Football Playoff. As the reigning ACC champions, there are question marks as to whether they will remain in the conference.
Now, we are starting to get a better idea of how they feel. Florida State has made some of its frustrations with the ACC known. Read on to find out exactly what that is.
Florida State Seminoles Think New Additions Weaken ACC
The Florida State Seminoles filed a 38-page lawsuit to challenge their obligation to the ACC. Rather than remaining with the conference through the 2035-36 season, they could try to leave the conference as early as 2025. Florida State is filing an official complaint in circuit court in an attempt to sue the ACC and allow the Seminoles to leave the conference.
There was one part of the 38-page filing that stood out. That section discussed the impact of the three newest members of the ACC. The three newest members are Stanford, California, and SMU respectively.
However, in the filing, Florida State essentially claims that those additions weaken the conference. Florida State wrote that these three additions will diminish the value of the conference rather than add to it. There are two notable reasons for this.
The first is that all three schools are deferring payouts as ACC members. One school is forfeiting its entire payout while the other two are forfeiting 66% of that potential payout for several years. The other reason mentioned for this is the strength of schedule.
Florida Gators defensive end Princely Umanmielen (1) takes down Florida State Seminoles running back Trey Benson (3) at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, November 25, 2023 during the first half. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]
Weaker Strength of Schedule
As mentioned above, the Florida State Seminoles missed this year’s College Football Playoff despite winning the ACC with a perfect 13-0 record. While scheduling was not the main factor, the lack of top-tier teams in that conference this year did them no favors.
Then, we need to take a look at what the new schools bring to the table. Admittedly, SMU had a pretty good regular season. However, they were not even in a Power-5 conference this season.
Stanford and California were in a very strong Pac-12 conference. However, they were two of the weaker members of that conference. California barely made a bowl game with a 6-6 regular season record. As for Stanford, they had an abysmal 2023 season with a 3-9 record.
Nov 25, 2023; Stanford, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Chris Tyree (4) hauls in a long pass over Stanford Cardinal safety Omari Porter (27) during the first quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
Florida State is using the current status of the ACC and the new schools next year to essentially say that they are holding the Seminoles back. Would they have made the College Football Playoff if they won a stronger conference? We will never know. However, that combined with lost potential revenue seems to be influencing this lawsuit.