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UMass jumping to FBS in 2012, MAC play in 2013


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#1 Infield Infidel


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:20 AM

Pulling this from the conference realignment thread, given how this is local to SoSH. This is gigantic news

In a move that would alter the college sports landscape in New England, UMass plans to upgrade its football program to Football Bowl Subdivision status.

Moreover, the Amherst school has had talks with the Patriots [team stats] about playing several home games each season in Foxboro at Gillette Stadium, which in effect would give Greater Boston two competing FBS programs, the other being Boston College.

According to several sources, UMass would take its program, currently in the Football Championship Subdivision, to the Mid-American Conference, whose football schools include Temple, Bowling Green and Miami of Ohio.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a MAC spokesman would say only that the conference is “exploring” the possibility of adding the Minutemen for football.

UMass would play a “provisional” FBS schedule in 2011 and ’12, and make the full jump to FBS status in ’13.

http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1299775&srvc=sports&position=3


Edited by Infield Infidel, 29 April 2011 - 04:20 AM.


#2 jsinger121


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:22 AM

They are going to need to tear that dump Mcguirk Stadium down and build a stadium similar to what UConn has.

#3 Vinho Tinto

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:32 AM

This would be a big scoop for Buckley since no one else is reporting this.

If you're one of the local guys who covers UMass for a Springfield or Valley newspaper, do you just hang yourself for being so out of the loop?

#4 URI


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:47 AM

Much like Villanova, UMass has a high wall to climb, only because they don't have the attendance, and they don't have the money to be Title IX compliant right now.

Unlike Nova though, they have a stadium where they can average the 15k needed, and they have a huge alumni network which can be hit up for donations to add the necessary women's scholarships.

#5 gopats84

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 10:45 AM

If UMass leaves for FBS and with Rhode Island already announcing it was leaving the CAA, have to imagine Maine and New Hampshire looking elsewhere as well. Especially Maine given how they have struggled to compete in the conference in recent years can't envision them staying in a league where its second closest opponent is Villanova.

#6 Captaincoop


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 11:25 AM

If you're one of the local guys who covers UMass for a Springfield or Valley newspaper, do you just hang yourself for being so out of the loop?


If you're one of the local guys who covers UMass for a Springfield or Valley newspaper, shouldn't you just hang yourself anyway?

#7 amfox1

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:10 PM

The MAC football league would presumably be:

EAST (7)
Akron
Buffalo
Kent State
Miami (Ohio)
Ohio
Temple (football only, A-10 in everything else)
UMass (football only, A-10 in everything else)

WEST (7)
Ball State
Bowling Green (assume BG shifts to the Western Conference for football-only)
C.Michigan
E.Michigan
N.Illinois
Toledo
W.Michigan

Presumably, they would play 8 games in conference (the other six teams in the East and two from the West) and 3-4 non-conference games.

Edited by amfox1, 30 November 2010 - 12:11 PM.


#8 HoyaSoxa

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:11 PM

If they make this happen, could a move to the Big East be far behind? Certainly seems like a better fit than TCU.

#9 RedOctober3829


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:17 PM

If they make this happen, could a move to the Big East be far behind? Certainly seems like a better fit than TCU.

TCU fits the conference's needs perfectly. Football is the most important thing to college athletics, so having a team the quality of TCU joining the league only enhances their profile. TCU needs a BCS conference to join to gain access to an auto BCS bid every year. It's a match for both.

#10 HoyaSoxa

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:28 PM

TCU fits the conference's needs perfectly. Football is the most important thing to college athletics, so having a team the quality of TCU joining the league only enhances their profile. TCU needs a BCS conference to join to gain access to an auto BCS bid every year. It's a match for both.


I get why TCU is right for the Big East now, much as I hate it. But it is purely a marriage of convenience, and I expect TCU will end up playing in a more geographically suitable league somewhere down the road as the BCS/FBS evolves. UMass, on the other hand, is a natural fit for the Big East assuming their football program can get in shape.

#11 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:34 PM

I get why TCU is right for the Big East now, much as I hate it. But it is purely a marriage of convenience, and I expect TCU will end up playing in a more geographically suitable league somewhere down the road as the BCS/FBS evolves. UMass, on the other hand, is a natural fit for the Big East assuming their football program can get in shape.


Also, Dallas/FtW is a much bigger tv market than the 413

#12 RedOctober3829


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:41 PM

I get why TCU is right for the Big East now, much as I hate it. But it is purely a marriage of convenience, and I expect TCU will end up playing in a more geographically suitable league somewhere down the road as the BCS/FBS evolves. UMass, on the other hand, is a natural fit for the Big East assuming their football program can get in shape.

The MWC was just as bad geographically as they had multiple long trips to the Northwest and the West Coast. They also don't have to directly compete with OU, Texas, A&M, and Nebraska for a BCS spot which is also beneficial.

#13 amfox1

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:43 PM

Big East football:

W.Virginia
UConn
Pitt
Cincinnati
Louisville
Rutgers
S.Florida
Syracuse (Private)
TCU (Private/Christian)

All are public, except as noted. UMass would fit squarely into this group. UMass' undergraduate enrollment and endowment would put it in the middle of the league (football-only schools).

Villanova is being recruited heavily to upgrade their program and become the 10th member. They are a private, catholic school, as are all of the other non-football Big East schools (DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, St. Johns and Seton Hall). Notre Dame is never joining the Big East for football, and Georgetown is not upgrading its football program to be a BCS program.

#14 amfox1

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:45 PM

I get why TCU is right for the Big East now, much as I hate it. But it is purely a marriage of convenience, and I expect TCU will end up playing in a more geographically suitable league somewhere down the road as the BCS/FBS evolves. UMass, on the other hand, is a natural fit for the Big East assuming their football program can get in shape.


Not necessarily. TCU not only gets the chance for a BCS bid, but they make tons of money off sharing the NCAA basketball proceeds. This is a big money jump for them, and I expect them to stay for a while, unless a big four league bid comes around.

#15 RingoOSU


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:48 PM

They also don't have to directly compete with OU, Texas, A&M, and Nebraska for a BCS spot which is also beneficial.

Nebraska?

#16 RedOctober3829


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:17 PM

Nebraska?

If they were to go to the Big 12, chief.

#17 Awesome Fossum

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:32 PM

Nebraska is going to the Big Ten.

UMass may "fit" with the Big East, but what do they really offer that, say, Temple doesn't? The Boston market?

#18 BigA27

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:41 PM

As a Umass Alum, regardless of conference I am excited that they are considering making this jump. The fact that this has been leaked shows that they are taking this quite seriously.

The Big East would of course be a much better fit and they do have stuff to offer that Temple does not. First of all they offer competence. Temple has historically been terrible, while Umass has generally been a very good to excellent FCS team. Second is a return to the Boston market. If they play some games in Gillette they will be able to attract the large pool of alumni in the area. I know I would go to a game in Gillette and I know many other people who would too. Third is this provides a natural ingrown rival to Connecticut. That always helps a conference to have a nice rivalry with some venom behind it (at least on the Umass side).

#19 HoyaSoxa

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:57 PM

Nebraska is going to the Big Ten.

UMass may "fit" with the Big East, but what do they really offer that, say, Temple doesn't? The Boston market?


Temple was not a good fit for all sports because the Philly market is already covered by Villanova. UMass is not really a "Boston" school, but I bet they would get as much support/viewership as BC ever did in the Big East just given the size of the alumni base.

#20 berniecarbo1

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:28 PM

Why is it taking so long? They should have done this years ago, joined C-USA in football and hoops and expanded McGuirk to 40,000 when the economy was good and UMass was a national hoops power. Now? they are mediocre in everything and there. is no guarantee the football team will be any good at the FBS level. There isn't a big recruiting pool in New England for D1 players and now you will have 3 schools in the mix. Timing is everything and I think they missed the boat here. Will they join the MAC in hoops too? That's a step down in basketball.

#21 jsinger121


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:34 PM

Why is it taking so long? They should have done this years ago, joined C-USA in football and hoops and expanded McGuirk to 40,000 when the economy was good and UMass was a national hoops power. Now? they are mediocre in everything and there. is no guarantee the football team will be any good at the FBS level. There isn't a big recruiting pool in New England for D1 players and now you will have 3 schools in the mix. Timing is everything and I think they missed the boat here. Will they join the MAC in hoops too? That's a step down in basketball.


My guess is they will stay in the A-10 like Temple does.

#22 RingoOSU


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:37 PM

If they were to go to the Big 12, chief.

And this would be retroactive to the 2010 season?

#23 Huntington Avenue Grounds

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:46 PM

I applaud the move, about time they make the jump. They have got to be positioning themselves here for a Big East invite though, going MAC doesn't do a whole lot for them overall.

The Big East football/basketball split looks inevitable and a 12 team football-centric conference seems preordained now. I don't know specific situations but inviting four schools from a Houston/Tulane/Army/Navy/Temple/Villanova/UMass mix would get them there. Getting big markets Houston and Philly into the fold would be the main focus I would think. Add Houston/Navy/Temple or 'Nova/UMass and you then cover 6 of the top 10 media markets, which is what this is all about.

#24 doldmoose34


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Posted 30 November 2010 - 07:41 PM

as much as I mock Mass Aggie, I wouldn't mind seeing them step up to FBS, but as others have said, this is a tough sell, they don't have the $$$ just re-read the Globe series a few weeks ago about how poorly funded by the state it is, campus buildings falling apart, etc. This is going to take big money, like the dude who is bankrolling the Hockey start-up @ Penn State X100

Look there are Big'ens (Tex, tOSU, MIch PSU 99% of the SEC) that are state schools whhat do they have that Cow College/Amherst dosen't? a culture built around football and athletics. if they had to cut the women's Quidich (or whatever gay game they play in the Harry Potter movies) to fund FBS football there would be riots in Amherst.

#25 RedSoxFan

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 11:28 PM

With the changing landscape of FCS football in New England, going to the MAC is the best option IMO. The CAA is becoming an increasingly southern conference and it's going to be difficult to stay in it. Northeastern already dropped their program, and URI is going to the NEC in 2012. Jumping up to FBS is much more desirable than going non-scholarship or dropping football entirely. I feel bad for UNH and Maine who are going to have tough decisions to make, but this is the best decision for UMass.

The MAC isn't a great conference now, but I think the future looks good once the WAC crumbles in a few years. I think it will have a chance to compete for a BCS bid within a few years, especially if Temple stays. Also, maybe this will spark a few other eastern FCS schools to make the jump. Delaware and James Madison round out the conference nicely.

Also, the Big East is probably a pipe dream now, but if there's any hope of ever getting an invite, gotta be an established FBS school. If the Big Ten decides to become a mega-conference in 5 years and grabs Syracuse and Rutgers, and UMass can prove themselves as a decent MAC team, prospects for a Big East invite become much better.

#26 BigA27

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 02:30 PM

http://www.boston.co...to_move_to_fbs/

Looks like this thing is gonna happen. I am very glad, this an excellent move and will set the program up for bigger and better things.

#27 Vinho Tinto

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 11:19 AM

Press Conference At Gillette Tomorrow

#28 Corsi


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 11:37 AM

According to sources at UMass, the Minutemen will join the Mid-American Conference in football beginning in 2012 and will play a majority of their home games at Gillette Stadium.

http://www.boston.com/sports/colleges/extras/colleges_blog/2011/04/umass_moving_to.html

#29 jsinger121


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 11:51 AM

I'm guessing they will play the majority of the games in Gillette until they can raise the funds to replace that dump McGuirk Stadium.

#30 bowiac


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:10 PM

Are they expected to be able to come close to selling out Gillette? As far as terrible experiences go, seeing a game in an empty stadium is up there.

#31 BigA27

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:13 PM

This is great news. Having my alma mater be an FCS team always frustrated me. I know the MAC is not great shakes, but at least they are in proper division.

#32 berniecarbo1

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:24 PM

I'm guessing they will play the majority of the games in Gillette until they can raise the funds to replace that dump McGuirk Stadium.


I certainly hope so. They cannot sustain a long term FBS program when their home field is 85 miles from the campus, even if their alumni base is there. If they are a MAC school in football it gets them to the level of D1. I think you will see them "privatize" the football program to the extent that they will develop a huge capital campaiagn to build a 40,000 seat on campus stadium in Amherst and set up a chair for the HC, much like BC does now for its HC and asst coaches salary. This is clearly posturing to get into the Big East by 2016, IMO. UMass, like other D1 schools will eventually play a 12 game schedule with 7 home games and 5 road games. They will probably play 2 "home games" a year at Gillette and don't be surprised if they sign a long term deal to play BC home/home every year. Except the UMass "home" game will be at Gillette. The other Gillette game will be either against UConn or a non conference big name opponent like a Michigan, Florida, tOSU, UCLA, Oregon, etc. If they can get a stadium the size of Alumni at BC in Amherst, and play 2 games a year at Gillette against BC/UConn and an at large big time school, I think it might, might work.

The only fly in the ointment in my opnion is that they will have to really, really ramp up recruiting and bring in a good, young, hot shot coach to sell UMass. New England is very limited in the number of BCS caliber football players it produces. They are going to have to rapidly expand their recruiting base to include Florida, Texas, western Pa and Ohio. Playing in the MAC helps with exposure in the Midwest but I just don't know if they will be able to compete on the recruiting level with BC and UConn, not to mention Syracuse and Rutgers that will tap the same recruit pool. We'll see.

#33 WayBackVazquez


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:38 PM

UMass, like other D1 schools will eventually play a 12 game schedule with 7 home games and 5 road games. They will probably play 2 "home games" a year at Gillette and don't be surprised if they sign a long term deal to play BC home/home every year. Except the UMass "home" game will be at Gillette. The other Gillette game will be either against UConn or a non conference big name opponent like a Michigan, Florida, tOSU, UCLA, Oregon, etc. If they can get a stadium the size of Alumni at BC in Amherst, and play 2 games a year at Gillette against BC/UConn and an at large big time school, I think it might, might work.


I think you're being way overly optimistic. There is little reason for BC to agree to a home and home against a brand new FBS school from the MAC unless it actually take the lion's share of the $$$ from the UMass "home" game. And there's absolutely no way in hell that a team like Michigan or Florida would play UMass on the road. UMass will be looking at the 5 or so home games they get from the conference schedule only, unless they want to host FCS teams. And I doubt they'll want to do that rather than take the money they can get from playing on the road at a big-time BCS conference school.

#34 gopats84

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:39 PM

So what is left in the CAA? Maine, UNH and a bunch of southern schools?

#35 RedOctober3829


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:49 PM

So what is left in the CAA? Maine, UNH and a bunch of southern schools?

Maine, UNH, William and Mary, Villanova(for now), James Madison, Delaware, Towson, Georgia State will be, and I'm assuming UNC Charlotte will join. There's going to be realignment not too far down the line. Don't be surprised to see the northern I-AA schools(Maine, UNH, URI, Stony Brook, Monmouth, Delaware, Albany, Central CT, St. Peter's off the top of my head)form a conference.

#36 gopats84

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:55 PM

Maine, UNH, William and Mary, Villanova(for now), James Madison, Delaware, Towson, Georgia State will be, and I'm assuming UNC Charlotte will join. There's going to be realignment not too far down the line. Don't be surprised to see the northern I-AA schools(Maine, UNH, URI, Stony Brook, Monmouth, Delaware, Albany, Central CT, St. Peter's off the top of my head)form a conference.


Definitely something has to give. The southern trend the CAA is taking with Georgia State, NC-Charlotte and Old Dominion coming on board soon is definitely unsustainable for Maine and UNH.

#37 berniecarbo1

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 02:11 PM

I think you're being way overly optimistic. There is little reason for BC to agree to a home and home against a brand new FBS school from the MAC unless it actually take the lion's share of the $$$ from the UMass "home" game. And there's absolutely no way in hell that a team like Michigan or Florida would play UMass on the road. UMass will be looking at the 5 or so home games they get from the conference schedule only, unless they want to host FCS teams. And I doubt they'll want to do that rather than take the money they can get from playing on the road at a big-time BCS conference school.


I am not being way too optimistic. First BC plays a MAC team every year. One of the biggest things GDF is famous for is saying how much he wants to keep the New England thing in the BC football program, hence he scheduled all the New England CAA schools on a rotating basis. Unfortunately, the CAA is falling apart in New England. So, the "godfathah" kills tow birds with one stone, namely he plays UMass as his "New England connection" and he plays his low level D1 school out of the MAC top ge that infamous 6th win to be bowl eligible. Bear in mind Bob Kraft sits on the Board of Trustees at BC. You don't suppose he is talking to Leahy and GDF and saying he would really "love" to have the Eagles play a game at Gillette every other year?? It would rally the 2 biggest alumni bases for HIS football team, and fill up Patriot Place on an off weekend in thre Fall when the Pats are on a bye or on the road. Since the game is a UMass "home" game, BC doesn't lose one of its 7 home dates. It adds an 8th regional game for its fans and, here'e the big score, it keeps UConn out of Gillette and hence out of their media market at least every two years.

Since UMass, in my hypo, has "privatized" the football program, they will cut a nice deal with the Krafts and will have a gate guarantee for the opponenets they put in there. Big time schools will play non conference road games if,and only if, the $$$ is there. UMass will make sure that the Gillette games are profitable for a non conference big name team to come to Foxboro. BC is playing USC at Alumni Stadium in a few years, UConn is playing ND at the Meadowlands, Tennessee plays at UCLA , these non conference games are played because the $$$$ is there. None of these road teams need to do it for any other reason. Tennessee has enough trouble playing on the road in the SEC. FSU has its hands full these days playing on the road in the ACC, they don't need to go to Lincoln, Neb....but the $$$ is there so they go.

BC built their program by bringing in non conference big name opponents and guaranteeing them a certain sum. Part of UMass' capital campaign and footbal fund raising will be to carve out a very attractive lease arrangement with Gillette, and have money set aside to lure opponenets like Florida, Michigan and the like into Gillette for an early season road game with a nice pay day and a weekend vacation in Boston for their boosters. And those teams will draw decent crowds. And BC will bite on it because if they are part of a home/home where the games are at BC and Gillette, it keeps UMass from drawing the casual college fan away from their product since they (BC) are one of UMass' opponents every other year in Foxboro. Don't kid yourself, these kinds of things have been in the works for a long time. It's not just the UMass administration that is involved here. It is in the best interest of both UMass and BC to see that this takes off and works. UConn is a major problem for both institutions. A viable BC and equally viable UMass are keys to keeping UConn football in check. The big 900 lb gorilla in New England college sports in UConn. UMass and BC both know it.

#38 WayBackVazquez


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 02:31 PM

Since UMass, in my hypo, has "privatized" the football program, they will cut a nice deal with the Krafts and will have a gate guarantee for the opponenets they put in there. Big time schools will play non conference road games if,and only if, the $$$ is there. UMass will make sure that the Gillette games are profitable for a non conference big name team to come to Foxboro. BC is playing USC at Alumni Stadium in a few years, UConn is playing ND at the Meadowlands, Tennessee plays at UCLA , these non conference games are played because the $$$$ is there. None of these road teams need to do it for any other reason. Tennessee has enough trouble playing on the road in the SEC. FSU has its hands full these days playing on the road in the ACC, they don't need to go to Lincoln, Neb....but the $$$ is there so they go.

If you don't see the difference between UMass and all these BCS conference teams with major television deals, I don't know what to tell you.In your last post you said Umass would be playing a home game against a "big name opponent like a Michigan, Florida, tOSU..." This just is not. going. to. happen. Michigan hasn't played a non Big 10 road game against anyone other than Notre Dame since 2003. I'd guess it's been at least that long for Florida, and OSU will schedule a game against USC or Texas or the like every few years, but they are just not coming to Foxboro to play a MAC team. Do you understand how much income is generated by a game at the Big House or the Horseshoe? There is no way they can match that with a smaller percentage of an appearance fee on the road against UMass. Not even close. And by the same token, there is no way UMass is going to be able to do better with who they CAN get, then they'd be able to do by playing AT Tennessee, or Michigan, or OSU, and collecting $1 million for it.

If you think you will see UMass playing 7 home games any time before 2020, you are absolutely dreaming.

#39 mabrowndog


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 02:55 PM

The stadium issue in Amherst could get ugly. There are wetlands along the west and south borders of the parcels on which McGuirk sits, and neither the Amherst town conservation commission or the Mass DEP will just roll over and let them do anything that threatens those lands. That'll make it difficult to follow the popular stadium replacement model of building a new stadium adjacent to the old one and then leveling the old one for parking or other use. The school may be forced to raze McGuirk first and rebuild on its footprint, which would mean playing ALL their home games at Gillette for a season or two. Their other option would be to build a stadium elsewhere, and unless they can create land out of thin air I doubt there are any other parcels large enough to accommodate this project and accessible enough to traffic. The McGuirk site already has ample parking and is right off the Route 116 exit.

I offer the above not as a tree-hugger, but as someone who's covered such development/environment controversies for the local press. As an alum I'm skeptical of an FBS football program becoming a success out of the gate as UConn's did, and I'm also skeptical of private efforts to finance the stadium without taxpayers and students somehow ending up footing most of the bill. But it will certainly be exciting and interesting to watch the process unfold -- at least until the L's and $'s start piling up.

#40 berniecarbo1

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 03:44 PM

If you don't see the difference between UMass and all these BCS conference teams with major television deals, I don't know what to tell you.In your last post you said Umass would be playing a home game against a "big name opponent like a Michigan, Florida, tOSU..." This just is not. going. to. happen. Michigan hasn't played a non Big 10 road game against anyone other than Notre Dame since 2003. I'd guess it's been at least that long for Florida, and OSU will schedule a game against USC or Texas or the like every few years, but they are just not coming to Foxboro to play a MAC team. Do you understand how much income is generated by a game at the Big House or the Horseshoe? There is no way they can match that with a smaller percentage of an appearance fee on the road against UMass. Not even close. And by the same token, there is no way UMass is going to be able to do better with who they CAN get, then they'd be able to do by playing AT Tennessee, or Michigan, or OSU, and collecting $1 million for it.

If you think you will see UMass playing 7 home games any time before 2020, you are absolutely dreaming.


OK....why is BC playing USC at Alumni Stadium? Why did they play tOSU and Michigan and Texas at Alumni Stadium? I fully understand how much revenue is generated at Michigan. Revenue generated for Michigan football in 2009 I beleive was $63M....just football. Football operations cost them $24M. The football profit at Michigan was ~$40M. I fully understand that. I also see the difference between a MAC team and a BCS level team. You missed my ealrier point in that they will be in the BE by 2016. The MAC is a landing pad while they ramp up the program. According to the press reports, they will be in the MAC full time in 2012. By the time my "dream" becomes reality it will be 2016 (only 5 years from now). About 7 years ago UCF was in the MAC. They were a low end D1 program, used it as a launching pad and got into C-USA. Once they got to C-USA they built an on campous stadium and played Texas at home on campus in Orlando, about 5 years from the time they started to really ramp up the program.

And the fact that they are going to have 2 games at Gillette as home games...no 2020 is way too far out. IF, and I say If, they put the $$$$ committment into this, they will be in the BE as its 11th or 12th team. They will play all home conference games in Amherst (as I think you will see the BE either play an 8 or 9 game schedule at that point) and they WILL play 2 games in Foxboro, against BC every other year, perhaps one of the service academies and a yup Way Back, big name BCS school...starting in about 2017 or so. In the meantime, they will play 3-4 MAC games in Amaherst and maybe one game in Foxboro for the firswt couple of years. But this will ramp up fast if they have the financial committment and get a coach who wants to win.......hmmmm, Mark Whipple is available!

#41 Corsi


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 04:15 PM

Their other option would be to build a stadium elsewhere, and unless they can create land out of thin air I doubt there are any other parcels large enough to accommodate this project and accessible enough to traffic. The McGuirk site already has ample parking and is right off the Route 116 exit.


What about the huge area of land right next to the Mullins Center? Unless my eyes are deceiving me (and they most definitely could be), the area is large enough to drop a stadium onto (and possibly w/ parking?).

However, this is where all intramural sports are played, so those would have to be relocated elsewhere. I suppose these could then be played where McGuirk is now, but that would be kind of a pain to walk all the way over there.

Just spitballing here, but that's really that only area of land I can think of. Or maybe they just start building on top of the farms on the other side of 116 haha

#42 Vinho Tinto

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 04:22 PM

Just spitballing here, but that's really that only area of land I can think of. Or maybe they just start building on top of the farms on the other side of 116 haha


I'd advocate annihilating Shutesbury and building a 70,000 seat modern football stadium that's full of 3-D LED screens and fireworks in its rubble.

#43 Rossox

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 04:43 PM

As a Syracuse fan & UMass alum, this is exciting news. If you like college football and you live in the New England area, what is not to like about having 3 Div-1A (sorry, FBS) schools in the area? Yes, I know it's not exactly SEC country but any additional interest IMO is a good thing.

That being said, this is going to be a long, painful process for UMass that will likely result in a lot of L's. But I would definitely make the 25 minute drive to Foxboro a couple of Saturdays in the fall to see the Minutemen play.

I just hope that by the time my kid is looking at colleges, UMass football is a relevant draw in the region.

#44 Andrew


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 04:56 PM

What about the huge area of land right next to the Mullins Center? Unless my eyes are deceiving me (and they most definitely could be), the area is large enough to drop a stadium onto (and possibly w/ parking?).

However, this is where all intramural sports are played, so those would have to be relocated elsewhere. I suppose these could then be played where McGuirk is now, but that would be kind of a pain to walk all the way over there.

Just spitballing here, but that's really that only area of land I can think of. Or maybe they just start building on top of the farms on the other side of 116 haha


Are you talking about the area directly south of the Mullins Center? Those are athletic fields for UMass's other sports, including their best sport, Lacrosse. Unless this new stadium is going to accommodate that and the women's sports I don't think there's a lot of room there.

If you mean the area northwest of the Mullins Center, that is agricultural land for the school. I don't see them giving that up.

I guess they could trash the Mullins Center and lose part of the athletic field and Lorden field for a new stadium, but that would leave them without a place to play anything for a couple of years.

#45 LoneWarrior1

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:40 PM

Are you talking about the area directly south of the Mullins Center? Those are athletic fields for UMass's other sports, including their best sport, Lacrosse. Unless this new stadium is going to accommodate that and the women's sports I don't think there's a lot of room there.

If you mean the area northwest of the Mullins Center, that is agricultural land for the school. I don't see them giving that up.

I guess they could trash the Mullins Center and lose part of the athletic field and Lorden field for a new stadium, but that would leave them without a place to play anything for a couple of years.


Lacrosse, for the most part, practices on the Garber Turf right next to Boyden, They only use the fields next to Mullins in the off season. I played on those fields and I think you may run into that same "wetlands" problem that mabrowndog spoke of concerning the expansion of McGuirk. The drainage in that area is horrendous.

#46 E5 Yaz


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 08:01 PM

I'd advocate annihilating Shutesbury and building a 70,000 seat modern football stadium that's full of 3-D LED screens and fireworks in its rubble.


I vote for this option, just to see the field built on rolling hills and sharp corners.

Do they still own the former Young Meadow Horse Farm property?

#47 bowiac


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 08:56 PM

And the fact that they are going to have 2 games at Gillette as home games...no 2020 is way too far out. IF, and I say If, they put the $$ committment into this, they will be in the BE as its 11th or 12th team. They will play all home conference games in Amherst (as I think you will see the BE either play an 8 or 9 game schedule at that point) and they WILL play 2 games in Foxboro, against BC every other year, perhaps one of the service academies and a yup Way Back, big name BCS school...starting in about 2017 or so. In the meantime, they will play 3-4 MAC games in Amaherst and maybe one game in Foxboro for the firswt couple of years. But this will ramp up fast if they have the financial committment and get a coach who wants to win.......hmmmm, Mark Whipple is available!



You're right that big name schools will play road games for a big enough payday. Michigan agreed to play Alabama at Jerryworld in 2012 for instance. That said, it tends to take enormous amounts of money guaranteed to pull that off - including potentially taking a loss on the game as a whole. If you're right that UMass is going to be willing to pay that kind of money, then sure. It's just a question of if they dollars are there. Michigan and the like will travel only if the money makes sense. They can get a big payday and an easier game just by staying home and playing a MAC team otherwise.



#48 Infield Infidel


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:17 PM

The other Gillette game will be either against UConn or a non conference big name opponent like a Michigan, Florida, tOSU, UCLA, Oregon, etc. If they can get a stadium the size of Alumni at BC in Amherst, and play 2 games a year at Gillette against BC/UConn and an at large big time school, I think it might, might work.

Florida hasn't played a non-conf game outside of the state of Florida since 1991.

There is almost no way BC schedules UMass after this year. Why play FBS-UMass when they can plays UNH, URI, or Maine? It's a lose-lose, since BC gains nothing if they win, and cede credibility with recruits to UMass if they lose. A lot of the same reasons BC won't play UConn. For a "home"/home, BC would likely ask for 50/50 split at Gillette and 100% of the gate for a home game (minus minimal travel expenses). UMass shouldn't agree to that, since they could play at, say, Michigan or OSU or Pitt for $600k-$1M.

BC would also look bad if Gillette isn't filled if they play there. And it's not like BC blew them out the last time they played.

I could see a UConn/UMass series at Gillette. And maybe a game vs ND at Gillette if UMass gets into the Big East AND ND is still in the Big East for other sports, but that's at least 4 years down the line. They do make sense for the Big East.

Also, like Temple, UMass is staying in the A-10 for basketball. MAC basketball sucks.

#49 mabrowndog


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:28 PM

Lacrosse, for the most part, practices on the Garber Turf right next to Boyden, They only use the fields next to Mullins in the off season. I played on those fields and I think you may run into that same "wetlands" problem that mabrowndog spoke of concerning the expansion of McGuirk. The drainage in that area is horrendous.

I assume you put wetlands in quotes as a pun (in which case it's funny). But if not, I'll just clarify that the wetlands near McGuirk are naturally occurring water-based habitat, not areas of poor drainage. In particular, there's a stream that hosts several protected species that nobody really gives a shit about but which will stop bulldozers and excavators in their tracks.


You're right about the fields near Mullins, though. They were a muddy disaster to play on even back in the 80s. Of course, they built Mullins atop several of the football and soccer fields I played on, so drainage shmainage.

#50 Skeesix

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:46 AM

I have no particular opinion on UMass moving up to FBS but I think that generally schools, especially schools in the northeast, have to be cautious about the direction in which they take their football programs. I believe that FBS football is at or near a peak in this country and the inevitable downturn will be felt first in the northeast where people are more likely to read the papers and thus better educated about the dangers of football which are still coming to light.