New tease of potential Big Ten rivalry emerges for Nebraska football

Speculation swirls as Florida State's potential move to Big Ten hints at new rivalry for Nebraska football.
Speculation swirls as Florida State's potential move to Big Ten hints at new rivalry for Nebraska football. / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

Nebraska football fans, brace yourselves for the potential seismic shift in the Big Ten Conference landscape with the inclusion of Florida State. The ongoing speculation of the Seminoles' departure from the ACC has reached a tipping point, with a recent development hinting at a possible resolution to the uncertainty.

According to Todd Helmick of, Florida State athletic director Michael Alford and head coach Mike Norvell were in Chicago for an FSU boosters event last week. During that appearance, Alford threw some red meat to the people who believe the Seminoles are eventually going to be members of the Big Ten.

Alford reportedly told the assembled boosters that he "expects to be in the Windy City much more starting this summer." For those who don't know, the Big Ten conference headquarters are quite close to downtown Chicago. For all intents and purposes, the Big Ten is in Chicago. Alford would certainly consider the offers to be in the Windy City rather than Rosemont, Illinois.

A couple of things come to mind when mulling those comments over.

The first is that Alford absolutely knew how his words would be taken. Being an athletic director at a major university, it's unlikely he's a dumb man. He also almost certainly knew those words weren't going to stay in the room.

There are several plausible reasons why Alford would make such a statement, fully aware of its potential to go public. The most straightforward explanation is that he is hinting that Florida State will soon become Nebraska football's newest rival

Nebraska football fans should still be wary over red-meat comments from FSU AD

Alford's little speech means that Husker fans should start shopping for hotel rooms in Tallahassee in the near future right? Maybe not. There's a simply answer for why the Seminoles' AD said what he said.

The Occam's razor answer to the motive behind those comments is that he was trying to say that he's going to pay more attention to the very boosters that were in that room in Chicago. 

It's pretty common practice - especially when asking people for money - to behave as if the people someone is speaking to are the most important people around. The context behind Alford's comments are missing from several reports about his plans to come back to Chicago often, beginning this summer.

What if he was asked why he doesn't address this booster group more often? An answer that is essentially, "I'm going to do exactly that starting very soon" makes too much sense. And he gets bonus points for getting a quote out there that makes it sound like Florida State is working on joining the Big Ten.

Florida State and the ACC are still embroiled in a court case that doesn't seem like it's going to be over by this summer. The insinuation by many is that Alford was also hinting that an agreement between the school and the conference is coming.

If Florida State is about to join the Big Ten, it doesn't appear Nebraska football fans will wait long to find out. As the calendar turns to May, the "summer" is very, very close.