Through rounds of conference realignment over the years, we’ve heard rumors and stories of just about every potential move possible. One of those that was kicked around in the early 1990s was Florida State to the SEC.
The Seminoles football program was an independent football power until 1992, when the school joined the ACC. The move has certainly worked out pretty well. Bobby Bowden‘s program won a national title a year later, and again in 1999. Jimbo Fisher would do the same in 2013.
In a new Q&A with Brandon Marcello of 247Sports, Bowden confirmed that FSU could have made the move to the SEC instead of the ACC back in ’92. He thought that the school would accept the SEC’s invitation, but ultimately, they went in the other direction, a decision that he believes was the right one given the depth of the SEC football conference.
“They did want us, they did invite us to join the SEC. Everybody thought we would join. In fact, I thought we would but our administration — the president and others — wanted the ACC, which really was better for us,” Bowden said. “It would have been hard wading through that SEC. Too many good teams in there, boy. Oh, gosh. Oh, that would have been some great ball.”
Q&A: Bobby Bowden on FSU-to-SEC, biggest wins, toughest foe, more https://t.co/tAJCxCKEYl
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The early 1990s were a major era of expansion for big college football leagues. The SEC added Arkansas and South Carolina in 1990, with the schools joining in time for the 1991-92 winter season. Those were the only additions until 2012, when Missouri and Texas A&M were poached from the Big 12.
Florida State is a bigger brand than the Razorbacks and Gamecocks, and were one of the major powers of college football through the 90s. It is fair to wonder whether they would have had as much success in the incredibly deep SEC, or if they would have been swallowed up playing those schedules.
Bowden’s admission certainly isn’t tamping down the egos of SEC football fans who pride themselves on the league’s strength year in and year out.