So I've noticed that an old post by Conrad has gotten some attention on UMass Bulletin boards. UMass has slipped into the MAC as a step child. As a football only member there is not a lot of inertia in calling them a Rival, any more than there was in calling Temple a Rival.
There is, however, more than a couple of reasons to consider it.
Right now culturally and institutionally I don't believe any MAC school fits the UB profile better than UMass. That's big. Buffalo is not a mid west city, trust me I lived in Buffalo for 25 years and have lived in the mid west for over a decade. The Queen city is *close* to a mid west culture but the people of Buffalo seem to be on an island between the East coast and the Mid West.
UB, having a very large body of down state students is even less a mid west culture than Buffalo at large.
There is also the fact that everyone in the MAC, save Buffalo, has a rival. The directional Michigan schools all hate the heck out of each other, Kent and Akron hate, Ohio and Miami despise one an other, there is a mild dislike growing between NIU and Ball State.
And don't get me started on Toledo and Bowling Green. I'm all for heated rivalries but those two really need some couples counseling.
So here we are. In a 12 member conference our best chance for a Rival might be EMU, but we play them only a few times a decade and have nothing in common with the school. UMass, for football, feels better.
Finally there is history. When UB's program was on the rise in the 60's we dominated UMass, going 4-1 between 1964 and 1970. When the Bulls dipped their toes back into the division one level the Minutemen got their licks in going 4-0 from 1995 to 1998.
During the 90's, despite losing, some UB legends were born. You had Salisbury's 459 yards passing in 1997. Future Bill Drew Haddad hauled in 11 of those catches. It was a 26 to 20 loss in which the Bulls moved the ball far more than the score indicated.
So while Conrad, in a rather tongue and cheek fashion, suggested the Lord Amherst trophy. I think a more appropriate trophy might be "The Powder Horn".
The minutemen fought with Muskets that required they carry powder around with them and that powder was usually kept in a Bull Horn. Seems like a fitting symbol to both schools.