Hello, my name is Tampa-Pack and somehow (must have been the beer) I got permission to become an author here (what were they thinking?!?). As you can already tell, I must be the laziest of the new authors as I seem to be the last one to post. Yes, I will go ahead and take pride in that. Some of those over achievers have even posted multiple times.
A very little about myself. My goal is to provide an outside the state perspective on all things NC State. I moved to NC in 88 and attended NC State from 1995 - 1999. Obviously, there wasn't a lot of on the field success during that time frame, or really anytime since then (thank god for last basketball season!). I've lived in the Tampa Bay area now for about 10 years so I've had to get used to following the Pack from far away (thank you interwebs...).
Anyway, today I'd like to discuss the impact of losing Florida State would have on the conference from a Floridian's perspective. Will they leave, I don't know. But if they leave, I think it will have a greater impact than most will realize.
Everyone knows Florida State is located in Tallahassee, which is located more or less in north central Florida. It's at least 3 hours from Tampa and probably 7 or 8 hours from Miami. Florida State and Florida, not unlike NC State and UNC, are by far the two most popular schools in the state. My job takes me to almost every corner of Florida (side note there are actually Bojangle's in Orlando) and you see FSU fans everywhere. If they were to leave the conference the ACC would essentially lose the entire footprint of the state of Florida, with the exception of the few people in Miami who actually care about the Hurricanes. That would be a huge loss in exposure, recruiting, and when ESPN wants to "renegotiate" the TV contract.
One option I've seen discussed, and even support, is the addition of one of the other up and coming schools, such as USF or UCF. While these might be decent additions to the Florida market, they will in no way, even combined, replace the number of viewers or coverage within the state that the FSU has.
Having said all this, I have no idea if FSU is serious about leaving the conference or not, but it is something I will be watching very closely. Hopefully the threat of leaving is enough to have the Swoff replaced, and we can all go on continuing as things are for now. If FSU pulls the trigger and leaves, things could get ugly in a hurry.