Could FSU Have Opened 2014 vs. Alabama in Jacksonville?

Nov 08, 2012 -- 12:26pm


By: Chadd Scott (@chaddscott)

A provocative tweet on 11/7/12 from my buddy Rick Ballou:

Wide speculation in multiple outlets has the Seminoles opening 2014 in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium taking on Oklahoma State.  According to Ballou, whose FSU sources are as good as any and who has hosted sports talk radio shows in Jacksonville for over a decade, the Noles also had an offer to play closer to home opening '14 taking on the Tide.

As a huge college football fan, a fan of big, buzzworthy events, and now a resident of Jacksonville, few announcements would have made me happier than hearing of FSU vs. Alabama opening 2014 in my backyard.  That said, if the other half of Ballou's tweet is also accurate, and that the Seminoles pocket an additional $1,500,000 for leaving the Sunshine State for the Lone Star State, then the decision was an easy one.

One-point-five million dollars represents almost two percent of Florida State University's roughly $87 million dollar athletic department budget.  Put that into personal terms for yourself.  What would being able to cash a 1-day paycheck for 2% of your yearly budget mean to you?  To Florida State, a university and athletic department which has received wide attention for its budgetary woes, it means fully funding the volleyball or softball or men's soccer or a similar Olympic sports program's operations for the entire year in one day.  It could mean the difference between keeping a great position coach or coordinator (or head coach) for the football program or watching him leave for Georgia or Texas or Michigan.  It could mean the difference in being able to offer your next athletic director (hopefully) a $900,000 salary and choose from the pick of the litter vs. offering $500,000 and selecting from B-list candidates.

One-point-five million dollars for Florida State's athletic department means wins against loses.  It means hiring better people throughout the program.  It means paying competitively for top personnel and facilities vs. cutting corners and belt-tightening.  We have become desensitized to the huge dollars flying around college athletics and have been mislead by the mainstream media into believing all major college athletic departments are flush with cash.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

I'll miss seeing the Noles in Jacksonville and FSU vs. Oklahoma State doesn't do half get my blood pumping the way FSU vs. Bama would, but for an extra $1,500,000 FSU should be willing to play flag football in Mongolia against Tottenham Hotspur.

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