Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy, written sometime toward the end of the 16th century by William Shakespeare. It also, however, seems to be Bubba Cunningham’s attitude toward the recent realignment-related refrain from Florida State. In case you haven’t heard, first let me congratulate you on your ability to stay offline. Our particular corner of the college football internet has been up in arms in various factions following a live-streamed Board of Trustees meeting at Florida State University, in which a handful of the aforementioned trustees bemoaned the monetary hardship they foresaw if they are forced to remain in the ACC (as contractually obligated).
This isn’t new posturing from our good friends to the south, though. The call for a move from the ACC seems nearly as ubiquitous as the Tomahawk Chop in Tallahassee these days. The impetus for this latest outburst is what seems like the death knell for the Pac-12 conference and the continued shakeup in the way these football teams, and many dollars, are divided. The sport of college football is being further condensed into the haves and have-nots, and since it is the tail that wags the dog for nearly every (if not every) school that fields a team, new conference lines are being drawn essentially in real time. The ACC, with it’s seemingly-interminable Grant of Rights that ties the conference to the ESPN mothership until 2036, has had no real choice (or, perhaps, no desire) but to stand pat as the landscape shifted around it. It makes sense, then, that the noise would pick back up from the ACC contingency in Tallahassee as yet another team in a different conference stampedes for greener pastures.
For now, though, it appears that that noise is just that. In a radio appearance on The Adam Gold Show, Bubba Cunningham once more weighed in on realignment as it pertains to the ACC, and specifically on the comments made in FSU’s Board of Trustees meeting, saying that he doesn’t feel like it’s good for the ACC at large for Florida State representatives “to be out there barking like that.” While staunch in his defense of the ACC as a “great league” and his insistence that FSU leaving the ACC is “their choice,” he also notes that any decisions made by the Seminoles to leave the conference may also impact Carolina, a nod to the still-real-even-if-not-imminent possibility of changes to the makeup of the ACC. At no point did the Carolina AD appear to be worried at the prospect of FSU or any school leaving the conference, locked in as they are with the Grant of Rights and a significant exit fee. This is in line with some of his earlier comments, such as a few weeks ago in a conversation with noted Joes Ovies and Giglio on their podcast about the specific figures associated with an early exit from the ACC.
This scenario has clearly been thoroughly dissected by Cunningham and the folks in the Athletic Director’s office, and all the messaging that we can see currently coming from Chapel Hill doesn’t seem to indicate that there is any greater cause for concern than there was two weeks ago. Smarter folks than I have written about the hoops that any school (UNC, FSU, or otherwise) would have to jump through to leave the ACC, so Cunningham’s current stance makes a lot of sense.
Bubba Cunningham doesn’t seem terribly worried about the prospect of the ACC imminently disintegrating, so I’m not going to worry either. Until the dog bites you, it’s all just barking, and our AD doesn’t seem worried about the teeth.