Finally the speculation may be over. The MAC has announced that they are doing a joint press conference with UMASS tomorrow at Gillette stadium. Obviously having a joint conference at the venue UMASS would try to use for big games (if not all games) means the minutemen are in (or that someone in the MAC front office has a truly evil sense of humor).
MAC Media Advisory:
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) will host a press conference on Wednesday, April 20 at 3:30 pm ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The press conference will be streamed live on http://www.mac-sports.com<http://www.mac-sports.com>.
In addition, the MAC and UMass will host a media conference call following the announcement at 5:00 pm ET with Mid-American Conference Commissioner, Dr. Jon Steinbrecher and UMass Athletic Director, John McCutcheon.
WHAT: MAC and UMass media conference call
WHEN: Wednesday, April 20 at 5:00 pm
WHO: MAC Commissioner, Dr. Jon Steinbrecher
UMASS Athletic Director, John McCutcheon
No official word on the conditions yet but lets assume the following
- UMASS is a football only member
- There will be some back pay with basketball games against another A-10 team
- UMASS starts MAC play in 2012 but will not be bowl eligible until 2013
Now the question is what do we do with Temple? does adding UMass indicate that there has been some progress at getting the Temple Extension inked or are the Minutemen a fill in for the Owl's should they get caught up in expansion (likely to conference USA if they lose two).
In football Bowling Green is going to slid back to the MAC west. No I don't know that for sure but it's the only logical move. That would make the MAC East's Football roll call (Buffalo, Temple, UMass, Akron, Kent, Ohio, and Miami) putting the center of the division somewhere in northeast PA.
I am of two minds about this, the last thing I want is for the MAC to become a temporary port of harbor for any FCS school looking to make the move up, even the Sun Belt won't let themselves become that.
Temple was an outlier, the only school ever booted from a BCS conference. They were already division one so we had absolutely no leverage with them. It was a nice market to add and the conference got some respectable OOC basketball games.
But UMASS was an FCS school in a geographical area where FCS schools are dropping like flies. Their conference geography is rapidly sinking south and they had no options to move up to FBS without a conference to adopt them. If Ever the MAC was going to press for full expansion (and not affiliate members) this was the time.