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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Two Beautiful 1951 Fords

 From 1932 to 1954 - Ford used the famous flathead V8 engine

 Notice the wheel skirts - and hardtop look

 Note the beautiful scoop sides on the Crestview

 Ford-o-matic Transmission

The only difference between a 1950 and 1951 was one boob or two.

You never know where a "pick" is going to take you. A guy had a 5000 watt diesel generator listed on Craigslist. He called me to give the directions to his place. He was out in the boonies. I never pass up getting to look into other guys' toys.

The generator was nice. He wanted $500 for a 5000 watt diesel generator with an electric start.

But the highlight of the trip was his two pristine 1951 Fords. He personally did frame up restorations on both of them. Not only were they old cars - 61 years old to be exact - but they were very rare models.  The Victoria sports couple had no B pillars between the windows. The Crestview was a two door sedan.

Notice that the green one had Ford-o-matic automatic transmission. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Yesterday Tamaqua Pennsylvania Got 6 Inches of Rain

The Schuylkill River looking south in Tamaqua. That brick building is St Pete's School.

The picture was taken by Donnie Serfass. Tamaqua got a 6 inch torrent of rain in a couple hours yesterday causing the Schuylkill River to cover its banks. Tamaqua lies in a steep valley near the source of this river that drains a mountainous region of Pennsylvania about 90 miles north of Philadelphia.

Up until 8 years ago - Lulu and I spent our whole life there.

The Schuylkill starts near Tamaqua plus south through Port Clinton - Hamburg - Reading - Valley Forge - Conshohocken - finally flowing into the Delaware River in South Philadelphia. The Reading Railroad used to follow the river's path to Philly.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I Bought a One Owner Conversion Van

 Our New 1994 One Owner Dodge Van

Sometimes things on Craigslist are just too good to pass up. This van was advertised as "one owner - and not available until June 20th". It looked good and I knew there was a good story on why they wanted to keep it until June 20th.

I emailed owners Ralph and Shirley's son and asked him where was the van parked. When he told me he lived in my neighborhood and the van belonged to his parents - I just had to see it. I drove over to see the van and it looked great. I dialed the phone number on the sign in the van's window and I heard the phone ring in an open apartment window nearby. I announced that I was outside and Ralph bounded out the front door.

Ralph is 87 years old. He bought the van new in 1994. He had all the papers to prove it. He and Shirley paid $36,000 for the van and put 109,000 miles on it. They took really good care of it.

Ralph said he doesn't go over 60 MPH in it. All he uses it for now is going to Publix which is less than a mile from his front door and about two miles to babysit the grandkids.
 Note the Florida State Tire Cover and the ladder to the storage area.

The van is a 1994 Dodge Zephyr Conversion Van. It has a 239 V-6 engine with 3 speed automatic transmission. The original window sticker - which I have - says it got 15 to 18 MPG in the EPA tests. It has four plush captains chairs and a television inside - never used. Ralph has all the service records which included new tires - batteries - new brakes - and regular service visits. 

 It has a one piece fiberglass turtle top. You can stand inside.

But why did Ralph and Shirley want to keep it until June 20th? Their daughter in law got a professor's job at Oregon State University. They are all moving to Oregon. But the daughter in law would not take the job unless they agreed to come along. Of course Ralph wanted to pack everything in the van and head northwest - but his son would have none of that. No way were they separating the grandparents and grandkids.
 In the back is a big storage area. The doors open nice and wide for tailgating.

Ralph and Shirley did a good job on raising their kids. There are window stickers on the van from Brandeis University - Princeton - and Yale. Imagine how proud they were driving this van to those campuses.

 Seats - console and dashboard are perfect.

The interior  is excellent - very clean - no stains - no tears. The exterior has no dents -  very little wear - and certainly no rust. 

I like to show up unannounced when I buy a car - that way the seller cannot "warm it up". So when Ralph threw me the keys he had complete trust in the van. And rightly so - it started smoothly because it has fuel injection and electronic ignition. It was easy to back up with big mirrors. It shifted smoothly - and the power steering and power brakes were excellent. The AC blasted cold right away. The digital radio worked fine. 

The Van Conversion has lots of oak and the entire inside of the cabin is cloth lined. There are tons of reading lights that all work. The blinds and curtains were all in good shape. All door and windows work\ fine - there is one knick in the wind shield. 
I doubt if this TV was used much because it does not have a VCR.

Lulu always wanted a beach buggy. She loves to visit the beach about 40 minutes away - but she wants a place to change afterward so we can go out to dinner on the coast. Also as we get older - it is nice having a toilet. I will probably add a water tank and an outside shower. But everything is fine as it sits.

This is Ralph and Shirley's only car - they bought it new and want to use it up until their last day. So we wrote up a bill of sale - they gave me the title and an extra key. I figured since Ralph took such good care of it for 18 years - he is good for a couple more weeks. 109,000 miles divided by 18 years is about 6000 miles a year.

All the gauges and controls work fine - especially the AC.

I plan to put on a fresh coat of paint. The tires are good for another 10,000 miles - but I may replace them. I will shampoo the interior although it does not need it. Then who knows where we will take it first. While we are in London for 5 weeks if will sit in our metal barn with the 10 foot doors.

The steering wheel looks like new with the cruise control buttons

Notice the LED lights in the "wooden beams" overhead. The blinds work too.

The fabric on the seats looks hardly worn.

It looks like the seats were kept covered. Tilt steering wheel.

Lulu's Milkshake Parlor in Limerick, Ireland

Harry Note - Lulu and Lulu's look great. I am looking forward to seeing her tomorrow and show her what I bought.

Lulu says she saved $1300 by not taking me to Ireland  :-)  Well maybe she saved $100.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Before There Was Shelby Cobra - There Was AC Bristol

1963 AC Bristol

Before there was a Shelby Cobra - there was the AC Bristol. It was an aluminum bodied sports car that came with an anemic 120 HP six cylinder engine.  In 1963 - when AC  lost their Bristol engine supplier - Carroll Shelby squeezed a Ford V8 in it and the Cobra was born. Bristol would ship the chassis and body to California where the Metamorphosis took place. It went on to win many races and they later released them with Ford 427 V8's. They were absolute Corvette eaters.

An 1963 AC Bristol with 49,000 original-miles original ownered car went for $260,000. 

Shelby only made 1100 Cobras. Original have gone for over $1,000,000 at auction.

In 1963 - when I was in 10th grade - I wrote to Carroll Shelby. He mailed an original  specification sheet to me. That was 50 years ago. I can't think of anything else that I have saved 50 years.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

They Left Their Heart in the San Francisco Apple Store

Drew - Kate - and Jack Everhart stop at the Apple Store to check their email and read the news from back home. Photo by Robin. Check out Drew's left hand.

Drew - Robin - and the Kids are enjoying a week in San Francisco. Robin has a conference there and everybody else just tagged along. A trip is not official unless you visit the city's Apple Store. The Everhart kids - ages 1 and 3 - know the iPad and iPhone like the back of their hand. We will be seeing the whole family when they come to London this July to stay with us for the Olympics.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

FSU - Just Shut Up!

Let me say up front that Florida State has every right and every obligation to explore the best possible situation for its institution when it comes to conference affiliation.
In fact, a reasonable argument can be made that Florida State should consider a Big 12 offer if it ever comes. With the news on Friday that the SEC and Big 12 have entered into a new bowl agreement, there is no question there is a greater concentration of power in the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 and that the ACC is in a weaker position than it was 24 hours ago. I still don’t believe Big 12 membership would be a smart move for Florida State, but I accept that there is another point of view.
But for those who are representing Florida State and have chosen to air your feelings publicly on the matter, please consider an unsolicited piece of advice:
Just shut up.
Seriously. You need to shut up.
Because the more you guys talk and the more voices we hear on this, the more Florida State comes across as the gang who can't shoot straight. You've started to embarrass both yourselves and the institution.
More on college football playoff
Related links
More college football coverage
Let's look at what we've had so far.
• The university's board of trustees chairman, Andy Haggard, going public to an FSU fan website that he is not thrilled with the ACC's new media rights deal. He complained the ACC sold its third-tier media rights in football but kept them in basketball, which proves once again the ACC is a basketball conference. He called it "mind boggling and shocking." And therefore, said Haggard, Florida State should see what the Big 12 has to offer.
But there was a problem with Haggard's impassioned assertion. It was incorrect. The ACC did not keep third-tier media rights in basketball in this latest deal. Oops.
• FSU's head football coach, Jimbo Fisher, chimed in about the Big 12 speculation. "If [jumping to the Big 12] is what's best for Florida State, then that's what we need to do." There is nothing truly outrageous in that statement, unless you happen to say it right before the start of the ACC spring meetings. Then it's throwing gasoline on a fire. Fisher had to spend most of the first day of those meetings walking that statement back.
• After the statements of both Haggard and Fisher, the flames of revolution are lit on Twitter, where portions of the Florida State fan base begin to air their grievances about the past 20 years of ACC membership. Florida State president Eric Barron has seen his email box explode and feels compelled to respond to his constituency. His email lists the four most common reasons he has heard for leaving the ACC and seven counter arguments. In the seventh argument he insults the Big 12 by saying his faculty believed the conference to be "academically weaker" than the ACC.
As the late, great Lewis Grizzard once said: "Damn, brother. I don't believe I would have told that." You can think it, but Good Lord, man, you don't say it and you surely don't write it.
To the president's credit, he did end the email by pointing out that a lot of people were getting worked up about a $2.4 million (2 percent) shortfall in the athletic budget when academics was getting slashed by 25 percent ($105 million). He also said, "We can't afford to have conference affiliation be governed by emotion."
Guess that horse is kind of out of the barn.
• Former FSU All-American Derrick Brooks, a former member of the board of trustees, goes on the Tim Brando Show and asserts it is the Big 12 making the overtures to Florida State and not the other way around.
• Now the speculation on Florida State's future is at DEFCON 1. Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman, who has been in the witness protection program up to this point, wants no part of the conversation as he moves from meeting to uncomfortable meeting in Amelia Island. He did try to outrun our Brett McMurphy through the halls of the Ritz-Carlton, but finally stopped long enough to way: "I don't know how Derrick got that."
Good grief. Could Florida State have mishandled this any worse? I don't think so.
It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise intelligent, learned people who represent public institutions do not know how to handle these kinds of situations.
What we have here is a lack of leadership at the highest level. An institution with strong leadership always speaks with one voice. No exceptions.
My CBS colleague Spencer Tillman was kind enough to send me the bylaws for the Florida State board of trustees. It lists the university president as the executive officer of the board, and to that end the president "shall exercise such powers as are appropriate to that position in promoting, supporting, and protecting the interests of the university and in managing and directing its affairs."
Yes, I know the president gets his marching orders from the BOT, but he has to be the point man on these kinds of issues. If president Barron didn't know Haggard upstaging him was coming, that's bad. If the president was letting Haggard play the bad cop while he played the good cop, then it is worse.
And while we're on the subject, let's address some of the arguments I've heard from Florida State fans as to why the school should run -- not walk -- to the Big 12:
The ACC is no longer a good enough football league for us.
Well, whose fault is that? Florida State's great 14-year run ended in 2000 and the Seminoles haven't sniffed at a national championship since.
Florida State won both of its national championships (1993, 1999) as a member of the ACC. They won a lot of games and made a lot of money in this league. Then, after losing four of its past six games to Wake Forest, Florida State fans wake up one morning and decide the ACC isn't good enough?
The ACC is too centered around the North Carolina schools.
Now there's a news flash. Four of the 12 (soon to be 14) schools are located in North Carolina. The league office is in Greensboro, N.C. Been that way since the league was founded in 1953, so you knew that when you joined in 1992. You think the North Carolina schools have too much power in the ACC and you want to join a conference that has the University of By-God Texas in it?
We ought to be in the SEC and this (the Big 12) is the next best thing.
You had your chance to join the SEC and you turned it down because you knew -- and Bobby Bowden knew -- that you could dominate the ACC. And you did. But more than once over the past five years, you've let it be known you want to be in the SEC and would like to be asked again. I could be wrong, but I think that ship has sailed.
We get screwed by the officiating.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Duke and North Carolina get all the calls. How many times have we heard that? What is this, high school?
Look, if Florida State thinks it will be happier and make more money in the Big 12, then pay the $20 million exit fee and go. If Florida State is convinced its football problems will be solved by playing Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State every year, then that is what the school should do. If Friday’s news makes Florida State believe that ACC football is in real trouble over the long haul, then the school should act accordingly.
But while you’re at it, tell Mike Martin, one of the best college baseball coaches who has ever lived, that he'll end his Hall of Fame career playing road games in Lawrence, Kansas. Tell Leonard Hamilton, the coach of the defending ACC basketball tournament champions, that he's not playing Duke or Carolina anymore. Instead he'll be going to Manhattan, Kansas, and Lubbock, Texas. Do what you gotta do.
But until you make that decision, somebody at that school needs to step up and show some leadership. Man up, address the issue, and quit hiding under your desks. If you want to leave, then look commissioner John Swofford in the eye and tell him that. When it comes to leadership, the president of the university would be a good place to start. Let him do the talking.
The rest of you guys need to keep a lid on it.

Congratulations to Elon Musk

 Elon Musk with his Tesla Electric Car.

Elon Musk with is private cargo rocket that is on its way to the space station.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A private cargo rocket headed to the International Space Station blasted off early Tuesday morning. Built by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne, Calif. — commonly known as SpaceX — this rocket is carrying only about 1,000 pounds of cargo, and nothing of great value. The importance is instead technical and symbolic.

Elon Musk (born June 28, 1971) is a South African born inventor, engineer and entrepreneur best known for co-founding SpaceXTesla Motors and, which later became Paypal. He is currently the CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity. While at those companies, Musk created the first viable electric car of the modern era, the Tesla Roadster, a private successor to the Space Shuttle Falcon 9, and the world's largest Internet payment system PayPal.

From NY Times and Wikipedia.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Neighbor Down the Street Has a 2002 Ford Think For Sale

Not every day can you test drive an electric car in your own backyard. The lake is only a pond now - a shallow pond with the drought.

If you have been reading my blog - you know that I am an electric vehicle freak. I "think" it is the absolute way of the future even though I have been up to my ears in gasoline and motor oil for years.

My first car was a 1956 Volkswagen Convertible that was not much bigger than this Ford Think. I got it for $100 and it was so rusty I felt like Fred Flintstone running.

The Think looks like a glorified golf cart but if you really examine it closely you will see that it has all the safety features of a "real" car. In 2002 and 2003 - Ford was going to go into the electric car business. But some people in the front office were swayed by something - and pulled the plug. The public was upset when they started crushing all the Ford Thinks - so they stopped that action - and exported all the leftovers to Norway. I am certain they just did the destruction there.

Ford did a nice job of designing it.

The Think has three main ingredients - batteries - motor - and controller.

I took it for a nice long drive around our neighborhood. I noticed it is much more powerful than my Club Car golf cart. It has six 12 volt batteries for 72 volts compared to my golf cart's four 12 volt batteries for 48 volts. It could go 25 miles per hour versus my 16 mph Club Car. It could take the hills with ease - I even drove it down to our lake on a dirt road.

According to the net - they cost about $6000 new in 2002. They offered a four seater for $8000. They remind you of the GEM Electric Car that Chrysler made. 

This vehicle can be licensed for the street but only streets of 35 mph or less. You can't go on super highways. To qualify for a license it has - headlights - taillights - mirrors - windshield - windshield wipers - seat belts - turn signals. It has a regular Florida title.

The car can be seen in Edwin Lott's front yard on Circle Drive just up the street form us. He is asking $3700 for it. He said he just bought new batteries.

The Ford Think was purchased first by Big Bend Crime Stoppers. It is a loosely knit group of Neighborhood Watch Clubs run by the Sheriff. Public education is a vital component in our local effort to keep the citizens of Leon County informed about their role in the battle on terrorism. Law enforcement agencies depend on alert citizens to identify and report things that seem out of the ordinary in their neighborhoods, communities, and places of business. In essence, citizens act as Law Enforcement's "eyes and ears." By working through Neighborhood Watch networks, the public can play a potentially crucial role in the detection, disruption and prevention of terrorist acts. I have a feeling it was bought with "9-11" money.

Edwin bought it at a public auction at the Florida State University Warehouse. He had it about two years and wants to get something else.

The Ford Think has a windshield and wiper.

It has a gauge telling you how much battery is left.

Notice the Ford logo on the steering wheel.

Gas - brake - steering wheel - key.

It is on Circle Drive which intersects Seminole Drive.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Today JP and I Bought Two Cars

This is JP Brown examining a basket case Austin Healey Sprite.

This MG has not moved in years - but all the tires still held air.

This is what an 1962 MG Midget looked like new. It cost $2400.

This is the Austin Healey Sprite in front of my house. We had just discovered the right rear wheel smoking.

One thing nice about junker cars in Florida - the bodies have very little rust compared to cars in Pennsylvania where they throw so much salt on the winter roads.

Lulu is away in Limerick - Ireland. So it was a perfect day to find some old cars. Yesterday - I saw a guy selling an old MG Midget for $500. I sent the link to JP Brown my car nut friend that has restored quite a few old British Sports Cars. He wrote back this morning asking me I wanted to go along to do some dealing for the car/cars. He dropped by at 4 PM and away we went. The MG was on the other side of town. We arrived at the old Florida Cracker Style home of Mark Evers. He had some really neat toys out in his yard. When Mark came to the door - he and JP looked at each other funny. JP had purchased an old British car from Mark 30 years ago! It's the small world of American pickers. Mark had two old sports cars for sale. Neither had moved in years. One was a 1962 Austin Healey Sprite - the other was a 1963 MG Midget. Although the cars had different names - they had the exact same body - sort of like a Buick and an Oldsmobile. JP opened the back of the truck to show a tow bar that was drilled precisely to fit these old sports cars. Two bolts removed the front bumper - and everything bolted up nice and snug. We filled the tires with air - and attached the portable tail light bar - and we were off. We towed the MG first the 10 miles back to JP's home. Then we returned for the Austin Healey. This one was a bit lighter because the engine was missing. On the way home - the right rear wheels started to smoke. It appears that a brake or a bearing was burning. JP dropped me off at my house - and had another 5 miles to go to be safe at home. The guy wanted $500 for one car - we ended up paying $300 total for both of them. Some of the cars that JP has restored are beautiful. I have no doubt that one of these cars will be a work of art. The NADA book sales the cars sell for between $5000 and $15,000 when restored. I am guessing that JP could make much more money just parting out the cars. The deal also included two extra unused front fenders.

NADA book prices on the cars.

For the record and for Lulu who is already fast asleep in Ireland - I did not buy the cars - I just helped with the deal. They are not mine.

Taking pictures for Harry

I (Lulu) am here in Ireland without Harry. In his absence I will take photos that he would normally take. Here are three examples. One is a series of plugs in the hotel room. There is an option for a U.S., European and UK plug. I didn't realize there was a U.S. option until I already set up my adaptor and frankly didn't expect to see one. Marcia pointed it out. The other photo is one of those 220 tea kettles which Harry likes because they boil water so fast. A few years ago he bought one in London, brought it home and hooked it up to where a dryer was in our house. The final picture is of a vending machine down the hall which contains soda, snacks, detergent and condoms all in the same machine. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lulu is Off to Ireland for a Week

Dr Lulu on the way to Ireland

A little Iris diddy about N---- Spain

I just put my lovely wife Lulu on a plane to Ireland. She will be away a week and I am alone to care for myself. Lulu travels a lot - usually I go with her - but sometimes it is just to hard to keep up.

Some folks ask me how can we manage to travel so much. I assure them - 95% of the time someone else is paying the expenses. They say you aren't an expert unless you are 100 miles from home. If that is the case - Lulu  is a super expert.

In the last two years she has been to 35 states - Germany - France - England - Brazil - Australia - New Zealand - Hawaii (I know it is a state) - Canada - Portugal - Italy - and even Tamaqua. In the case of Germany and Brazil - she was a guest of the state - they paid everything. In Australia - and now Ireland - she is presenting at a conference. Sometimes she represents the American Association of School Librarians and they cover her nut.

In July - we all go to London for 5 weeks - where she is employed by FSU. Next - she is setting up a program in Panama for FSU.

She is a certified A-1 gypsy and a true Everhart. Have computer will travel is the card of this woman. This time her whole presentation is on an iPad. The laptop stayed home.

Although whenever I travel with Lulu - all her freight is paid - I have to pay for my plane ticket and food. And with all the frequent flyer miles and bump tickets I get - I go for free often. But sometimes it is just too tiring. On July 1st - I fly to London - and that is a long flight. Spring in Florida is just so beautiful - I chose to stay home this time. I can use the $1200 we would spend on my ticket - doing something else - like buying a truck on Craigslist.

Dr Marcia Mardis - another library science professor at FSU is traveling with Lulu and also presenting at the conference. They will have a great time.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Florida State should take look in the mirror

written by Scott Michaux of the Augusta Chronicle
Let Florida State win one basketball title and suddenly they're too good for the Atlantic Coast Conference.Well it seems Florida State – which last won the ACC football title in 2005 and has lost to Wake Forest four of the past six seasons – is clearly too good for its current stablemates and wants to explore the possibility of trying to compete with Texas and Oklahoma instead.
Unless you live in a cave with no cable, satellite or wi-fi, you've probably heard that the Seminoles have launched a full-scale media campaign on the topic of jumping ship from the ACC toward the greener gridiron pastures of the Big 12. That's right, the same Big 12 that's now 10 because it lost four teams and very nearly imploded each of the past two years.
What's more, rumor has it that Florida State and Clemson (or Miami) might be some kind of package deal to make the Big 12's name make sense again. To Clemson's great credit, its president, Board of Trustees chairman, director of athletics and football coach have all had the good sense not to utter a single statement with the words "big" or "twelve" in it since all this mushroomed last week.
Florida State was not so discreet. As ACC officials prepare for their annual spring meetings, Florida State Board of Trustees chairman Andy Haggard threw an incendiary device into the mix with an emphatic rebuke of the new TV deal that he feels falls short of the desired mark. His poor familiarity with the facts didn't seem to matter.
"On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously we would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer," Andy Haggard told
That led to football coach Jimbo Fisher chiming in his support for exploration and school president Eric Barron trying to cool heads with counter-arguments in e-mails to riled-up boosters.
"Florida State is not seeking an alternative to the ACC. Nor are we considering alternatives," Barron said in a statement to reporters after his bullet-proof rebuttal points were leaked. "Our current commitments remain strong."
This seems like a good place to interject one rather salient point – Florida State and especially Clemson will not become Big 12 members. No matter how much the fans might clamor for something new and exciting, the negatives far outweigh the perceived positives of secession from the ACC.
What all this really smells like is some kind of plot to gain leverage. Despite the reality that football drives the financial bus, Florida State, Clemson and some other schools still chafe under the conspiracy notion that Tobacco Road is pulling all the strings in the ACC.
Of course, the way to solve the North Carolina-centric problem would be to join a conference where Texas is truly the king and earns disproportionate spoils from its brethren. Yeah, that makes sense.
All of this stems from dissatisfaction with the ACC's newly-signed 15-year, $3.6 billion television contract with ESPN. The league spun all of the positives about an average $4 million per-school annual increase (neglecting to point out that it's backloaded), but the truth is it isn't the kind of money that football-rich conferences like the Southeastern, Big Ten, Pac-12 or even what's left of the Big 12 can and will get.
And who's fault is that? If Florida State is unhappy about that, it can look in the mirror to find the problem. The Seminoles' demise from a once respected national football brand – in the days when it didn't complain about running roughshod over its inferior conference mates – is one of the prime reasons that the ACC isn't as financially attractive to the TV networks. That Florida State can no longer beat all the teams that can't beat the bigger teams from other conferences makes them a curious stone-thrower in the ACC's glass house.
The ACC is 2-13 in BCS bowl games – a sorry standard for sure that played into the TV negotiations. But the conference is no athletics patsy, either. The ACC has aggressively positioned itself through expansion to remain a relevant player in the constantly realigning landscape. Its core has held strong thus far. It retains an academic standard that could prove to be the pivotal piece in eventually landing the biggest fish out there – Notre Dame.
You think that might make a difference in the TV contract renegotiations?
Florida State fans didn't stop showing up at football games because of the competition. Doak-Walker Stadium was filled when the Seminoles were beating up on the same teams they're consistently losing to now. You want to fix the problem? Just win.
But forking over upwards of $20 million to gain an extra couple million a year in the Big 12 isn't going to fix anything. And it sure isn't going to make them any more likely to gain a place in the coming four-team playoff.
All it would do is raise expenses. Tallahassee is a long way from everything, so the travel issues might not seem like a big deal to folks marooned in the Florida Panhandle. But don't think for a minute that Clemson – a charter member of the ACC – is going to give up bus trips to places like Atlanta or Raleigh so it can fly its tennis and soccer teams to Ames, Iowa, and Lubbock, Texas, and everywhere else in the geographically-challenged Big 12 footprint.
Perhaps this is all posturing to push ACC commissioner John Swofford into finishing what he started with his expansion plan and bring Notre Dame into the fold. Perhaps they just want to feel more loved. Perhaps they really want to see if the SEC might consider growing to 16 teams and are just using the Big 12 as bait.
Whatever the motive, the prudent option – and the one Clemson will ultimately stick with in the end – is patience and commitment to the conference they already have.
Build winners on the field that don't get embarrassed on the big stages, and the money will come.