Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Breaking: UMass to depart MAC

So, the news broke this afternoon.

UMass will complete its last two years and then leave the MAC.

Apparently, here is how it went down.

UMass joined as a northeast partner for Temple, but Temple left the MAC before UMass officially joined.

UMass was a football-only member.  After two years, there was a clause in the contract that allowed the MAC to invite UMass to be a full member in the MAC.  The MAC exercised that clause, which UMass declined--they don't want to leave the A-10 or might even been thinking of jumping to the AAC.

When they declined, that triggered another contract clause that meant they will play football for two more years in the MAC and then leave.

I am for it.  The football-only members of the MAC have viewed us only as a way station, and whether we are talking Temple, UCF or UMass, they weren't committed to our program.  We did get some basketball games thrown in, but it wasn't enough.

It also gave the MAC an odd-number of football teams, leaving situations like this year, where BG does not play Miami.

I think this has worked out for everyone.  UMass has taken a lot of internal flack for being in FBS football at all and especially in the MAC, so if they end up in AAC it is better for them.  Or they could go back to the FCS.  Those would appear to be the only two options.

If the MAC wants to expand, and I suspect they do, then I would encourage us to look for teams willing to join the conference in all sports and who exist within our normal footprint.

Beyond that, does anyone think that the whole New York/Buffalo thing is the first step to them hopping to the AAC?  Asking for a friend.

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