In the wake of the controversial exclusion of the Florida State Seminoles from the College Football Playoff, former university president John Thrasher is advocating for the school to leave the SEC.
The Seminoles, despite being the first undefeated Power Five conference champion to miss the playoff, were left out of the coveted top four.
Thrasher, who stepped down from his role in 2021, expressed his disappointment in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat’s Jim Henry. Thrasher believes that the exclusion from the CFP is a clear indication that Florida State should seek a new and stronger conference.
“It gives me hope the leadership at FSU will look at other places to be. I think it shows we are a secondary-level conference,” Thrasher said, emphasizing his concern over the perceived status of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
— Jim Rosica (@JimRosicaFL) December 7, 2023
The controversy deepened when Thrasher suggested that preferential treatment was given to the SEC and the network hosting the playoff games, ESPN.
Despite a 10-point home loss to Texas in September, Alabama secured the #4 seed in the playoff, leading Thrasher to question the integrity of the selection process.
“I believe the committee caved in to pressure from a couple different levels – with ESPN and the SEC the two levels they caved to,” Thrasher claimed. “I’ve been in those management meetings … The SEC has incredible power.”
Thrasher’s sentiments echo concerns raised by current Florida State President Richard McCullough, who, before the 2023 season started, hinted at the possibility of the Seminoles seeking a new conference due to dissatisfaction with the ACC’s revenue-sharing model.
Great, the ACC probably has no more than 5 years left. FSU will join the SEC when it is invited, or take a step down and join a non-Power 5 conference and media pay. Some portion of the current P5 will not be able to participate in the consolidation ahead.
— James Murphy (@murphy324) December 7, 2023
“At some point, we’re going to have to do something,” McCullough remarked in August. “I’m not that optimistic that we’ll be able to stay. I just don’t know that. It could occur, but something radically different is going to have to happen. All options remain on the table.”
The speculation about Florida State leaving the ACC is not new, and the recent playoff snub may reignite the university’s desire to explore alternative conference affiliations.
With the SEC set to begin a lucrative broadcasting rights deal with ESPN next year, the dynamics of college football conferences could be in for another significant shift.
President Richard McCullough has openly stated the Seminoles would "very seriously consider" leaving the ACC, while Athletic Director Michael Alford has been adamant that “something has to change”.
✍️ James McCool
📸 Timothy D. Easley/TheAcc.Com
To read more, 🔗 in bio. pic.twitter.com/NRLhex5SQn
— FSView & Florida Flambeau (@FSView) September 8, 2023
What do you think Florida State should do?
Should the SEC have any interest in the Seminoles?
The television contract complicates matters, but if they want to leave the conference bad enough, they can make it happen.
Is it only a matter of time before Florida State, Clemson and possibly Miami head to the SEC???