We knew Florida State wasn't going to be a member of the ACC in 2036, judging by its recent bluster. But what occurred Friday in a streamed board of regents meeting -- FSU announcing an unprecedented lawsuit against its own conference -- was bad off-Broadway theater.

That bluster now has more definition, sure. Florida State is suing to extricate itself from a grant of rights contract that it signed -- and re-signed -- in good faith, but that's a mere detail when a school's financial interests are at stake. FSU flexed Friday reminding anyone watching that it is the biggest brand in the ACC.

That doesn't mean it isn't bluster.

We already knew Florida State wanted out of the ACC. Now, we know some of its strategy to that end. We also know it's going to be messy, it's going to be expensive and it's going to take years.

Sort of like a version of Florida politics itself.

"The system is broken," said Drew Weatherford, FSU regent and former Seminoles quarterback. "This is us looking out for ourselves."

That was a reinforcement of what the gluttony of realignment has wrought. Everybody wants theirs. Now. Get in line, Seminoles.

It only took about 20 minutes after the regents meeting for the ACC to respond.

The lawsuit, the conference quickly noted, was "in direct conflict with [FSU's] longstanding obligations and is a clear violation of their legal commitments [to the league]."

In other words, hunker down for a long legal battle.

Florida State filed suit against its own conference, but what really changed Friday? The action was so anticipated, it turns out the ACC actually filed suit against FSU a day earlier saying the legal jurisdiction should be in North Carolina, not Florida.

Plus, we knew it was unlikely FSU would remain an ACC member 13 years from now, assuming the ACC still exists 13 years from now. With no immediate changes, the school would likely be able to buy its way out by, say, 2030.

This legal filing is not much different than the others that constantly circle college athletics. Cut to the chase: Both sides are dug in. That is obvious. How much, now, are the ACC and FSU willing to spend in court before eventually settling?

That question gets less compelling each year. And by 2030 -- when the two sides could still be in court -- many millions will have been spent to what end, exactly?

FSU administrators laid out the bullet points in its lawsuit. According to the school, it would take $572 million for a school to buy its way out of the league. (FSU's entire athletic revenue is $161 million.)

Somehow, Florida State considers the buyout unfair (if the figures are accurate at all) despite the school being one of the signatories to a media rights extension in 2016.

There were veiled shots at former ACC commissioner John Swofford. For the first time, FSU officials hinted at what had been speculated in the industry for years: The ACC got its much-sought cable network in exchange for cost certainty going to ESPN as part of the media rights extension through 2036.

We know one thing: ESPN isn't going to budge. Neither is the ACC. FSU is on a legal island waiting to be swept up by a richer conference.

Of course, FSU (and others) are approximately $30 million per school behind their peers in the SEC and Big Ten. That's not going to change anytime soon ... or perhaps ever. Industry sources continue to suggest Florida State isn't worth the going rate in the SEC or Big Ten.

But as California, Stanford and SMU proved recently by joining the ACC, there is desperation to play at the top level of major-college football. FSU merely has a different level of desperation.

What changed? Not the ACC so much as the market. The sky is falling? It's been falling since this round of realignment began in 2021 when Texas and Oklahoma decided to head to the SEC.

Maybe the ACC will never be the same.

The SEC covets North Carolina and Notre Dame more than Florida State. But that's not really the issue. FSU will eventually have a new home whether it's five, 10 or 13 years from now.

The school is alleging -- among other things -- antitrust violations, breach of contract and general unfairness. The details really don't matter. FSU v. ACC would have seemed weird a year ago.

On Friday, it was all but assumed when the regents began streaming their intentions at 10 a.m.

Florida State might be doing the dirty work in the legal trenches to pave the way for the likes of the Magnificent 7. Remember that group? Florida State, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech all had voiced displeasure with ACC revenue splits.

But there is an ACC plan to reward schools more revenue for championships. That would help the likes of Florida State now that the Seminoles are back on top. Apparently not enough.

Chip Kelly's comments last weekend became even more compelling. The UCLA coach said the Power Four conferences basically need to separate with their own commissioner. Friday's action showed why it, tragically, won't happen any time soon. Unity? Self interests have torn college athletics apart.

Like it or not, self interests will continue to reshape whatever college athletics looks like. Settle in. This is one of many high-stakes college sports battles that is going to take a while to reach resolution.

Hopefully, the bluster diminishes. The off-Broadway productions seemingly never will.