As Florida State and Clemson evaluate their conference futures, the Big 12 may be an option they are considering.

Yahoo! Sport’s Ross Dellenger reported Wednesday afternoon that FSU and Clemson have had “early” talks with the Big 12. Dellenger shared that information in an interview with John Kurtz at Big 12 Media Days in Las Vegas.

“I think there is at least early conversation between the Big 12 and those schools about the possibility,” Dellenger said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious yet, because [Florida State and Clemson] do have to get out of the ACC [first]”.

“So we could be months, if not years away from something. But that does seem to be one of the possibilities, the Big 12.”

Both Florida State and Clemson have ongoing lawsuits against the ACC as they attempt to break the league’s grant of rights agreement that currently runs through 2036. With the ACC’s grant of rights set to run for more than another decade, the ACC is quickly falling behind other major conferences in terms of annual media revenue distributions. The Big 12, SEC and Big Ten have all inked new media rights deals in recent years, but the ACC’s agreement was last amended back in 2016.

That grant of rights agreement, as currently enforced, prevents any ACC members from earning media revenue with another conference through the 2036 season. Without a settlement, that would make it extremely difficult — if not impossible — for FSU, Clemson or any other ACC team to depart the league before the end of that contract.

The SEC and Big Ten would also presumably be involved in discussions with Florida State and Clemson should they be able to legally separate from the ACC. But as Dellenger noted, the SEC already has member programs located in South Carolina and Florida. The Big Ten could be interested as well, but that league has yet to venture south in expansion.

Does more Big 12 expansion make sense?

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark confirmed in his address this week that the league remains “open for business” regarding future expansion possibilities.

The Big 12’s current media rights deal will run through the 2030 season. That means the Big 12 will have the ability to go back to the negotiating table a full 6 years before the ACC is able to do so. At that point, the Big 12 may be able to offer significantly-higher media rights distributions compared to the ACC.

However, it’s also possible Florida State and Clemson will have resolved their litigation with the ACC well before 2030. If an eventual settlement results in those programs leaving the ACC, the SEC or Big Ten would seemingly be better-positioned financially (compared to the Big 12) to offer any ACC team a significant increase media rights distributions.

Interested in learning more about Daily Fantasy Sports? Here’s Saturday Down South’s breakdown of all the best fantasy betting apps on the market in 2024!