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BISON Thunder
November 16th, 2012, 08:06 AM
When NDSU decided to make the move up to D1 several years ago, I remember taking inventory of the top football teams in the division...of which UMass certainly was one. A couple nights ago I was speaking with a New Hampshire fan and he essentially burst out laughing when I questioned UMass's transition to FBS. His expectation that UMass getting its a$$ handed to themselves currently, will be followed by more a$$ handing well into the future. To the other FCS fans out east...is the future really that bleak for UMass football?

NHwildEcat
November 16th, 2012, 08:46 AM
I don't think so, they are in a bad conference so I think once they get a few recruiting classes into this transition they will begin to look better.

I am surprised though at how backwards they appear to have gone this year. I honestly think if thay were in the CAA right now they may have 4-5 wins at max. Some of this might be the coaching, I don't know. I haven't seen any of their games since the season opener against UConn.

Bottom line, I would expect them to get to 3-4, maybe 5 wins next year. It is too early to pass judgement on their decision IMO.

Hood
November 16th, 2012, 08:49 AM
I don't know the quality of high school football in that region, but off the top of my head I can't think of many other FBS programs, sans UCONN, in the area. Eventually the quality recruits that travel far or trickle down to FCS might start winding up at UMASS. Do they compete for the same recruits as Pitt/Temple/Rutgers?

NHwildEcat
November 16th, 2012, 08:51 AM
I don't know the quality of high school football in that region, but off the top of my head I can't think of many other FBS programs, sans UCONN, in the area. Eventually the quality recruits that travel far or trickle down to FCS might start winding up at UMASS. Do they compete for the same recruits as Pitt/Temple/Rutgers?

Yes, same recruits. Most of the UNH recruits for example come from PA, NJ, NY etc...mostly a northeast deal with a few TX, CA, FL kids sprinkled in here and there.

Go Lehigh TU owl
November 16th, 2012, 09:58 AM
I don't think so, they are in a bad conference so I think once they get a few recruiting classes into this transition they will begin to look better.

I am surprised though at how backwards they appear to have gone this year. I honestly think if thay were in the CAA right now they may have 4-5 wins at max. Some of this might be the coaching, I don't know. I haven't seen any of their games since the season opener against UConn.

Bottom line, I would expect them to get to 3-4, maybe 5 wins next year. It is too early to pass judgement on their decision IMO.

The MAC is much better than people give it credit for, especially at the top. Umass will continue to struggle until they return to compus imo. The whole Gillette Stadium deal is a train wreck. The football team has very affiliation with the actual university.

UNH72Plus
November 16th, 2012, 10:03 AM
I don't know the quality of high school football in that region, but off the top of my head I can't think of many other FBS programs, sans UCONN, in the area. Eventually the quality recruits that travel far or trickle down to FCS might start winding up at UMASS. Do they compete for the same recruits as Pitt/Temple/Rutgers?

Boston College is just across the state and they likely will compete with Syracuse as well.

Vitojr130
November 16th, 2012, 10:04 AM
The MAC is much better than people give it credit for, especially at the top. Umass will continue to struggle until they return to compus imo. The whole Gillette Stadium deal is a train wreck. The football team has very affiliation with the actual university.

Isn't that an entire hour drive away from campus?? Why would the admin at UMass do that!?

Sader87
November 16th, 2012, 10:21 AM
The MAC is very good (for them anyway) this year with about 6 teams (NIU, Ohio, Bowling Green, Kent St, Ball St and Toledo) who are having very good years and could go bowling.

The Gillette Stadium solution, in theory anyway, is supposed to be a stop gap with refurbishment of McGuirk to take place in the next few years.

darell1976
November 16th, 2012, 10:25 AM
I think UMASS should look get their own stadium not the Patriots stadium. U of Minnesota moved out of the Metrodome leaving it for the Vikings and I think (despite their losing records) it has worked well for the Gophers (TCF Bank Stadium is on campus). You need a stadium that has your own identity. When I hear Gillette Stadium I don't think UMASS football plus like Vitojr130 said its over an hour away. Its around 100 miles from the UMass campus to Foxboro they can't get a stadium closer to Amherst?

DFW HOYA
November 16th, 2012, 10:26 AM
UMass is looking ahead as a potential Big East target by the end of the decade. They can't jump up from the CAA to get there, however.

BISON Thunder
November 16th, 2012, 10:28 AM
The MAC is very good (for them anyway) this year with about 6 teams (NIU, Ohio, Bowling Green, Kent St, Ball St and Toledo) who are having very good years and could go bowling.

The Gillette Stadium solution, in theory anyway, is supposed to be a stop gap with refurbishment of McGuirk to take place in the next few years.

Yeah, found the following link from USA Today from April of last year...looks like you are spot on. The comment section is interesting:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/2011-04-20-umass-football-move_N.htm

Dane96
November 16th, 2012, 10:29 AM
I don't know the quality of high school football in that region, but off the top of my head I can't think of many other FBS programs, sans UCONN, in the area. Eventually the quality recruits that travel far or trickle down to FCS might start winding up at UMASS. Do they compete for the same recruits as Pitt/Temple/Rutgers?

Football in Massachusetts high schools is VERY VERY VERY VERY good. I mean really good. Lot's of DI talent for a small state. Issue is you are recruiting against every Northeast teams...plus powers that steal the cream of the crop. Lot's of talent goes to Syracuse, BC, Rutgers, UCONN among others at the "mid-level 25-60 level" ranked teams.

Dane96
November 16th, 2012, 10:32 AM
Not to belabor the point...but without a sugar daddy...UMASS will be at Gillette until the Krafts get bored. There is ZERO money from the state to A) refurbish the stadium (two upper decks, one on each side) to get to about 40k seats.

The biggest hurdle is egress/ingress. It is one road in and out...and the study shows they MUST expand that local road before they expand the stadium (or in parallel). It is HUGE dollars and right now the Commonwealth is not supporting it.

Personally, the Commonwealth is dumb. No matter what that road should have been expanded and they could have applied some ARRA monies there....,instead of elsewhere in the Commonwealth that didn't need it.

Welcome to MA politics.

Sader87
November 16th, 2012, 10:35 AM
Mass. hs football is solid given its relative size (which actually isn't that small population-wise) but UMass has historically recruited the entire Notheast (NJ is/was a big area for them) and like Delaware, have been very big on FBS transfers the last decade or so.

darell1976
November 16th, 2012, 10:36 AM
http://web1.ncaa.org/mfb/2012/Internet/attendance/FBS_AVGATTENDANCE.pdf
Avg Attendance:

UMass 11,824

Only 3 teams are worse than UMass...Akron (9275), San Jose St (9228), and of course Eastern Michigan (4437).

Sader87
November 16th, 2012, 10:55 AM
http://web1.ncaa.org/mfb/2012/Internet/attendance/FBS_AVGATTENDANCE.pdf
Avg Attendance:

UMass 11,824

Only 3 teams are worse than UMass...Akron (9275), San Jose St (9228), and of course Eastern Michigan (4437).

I'm not saying that's a great #...but it would put UMass 24th this year in the FCS. Which isn't all that bad considering.

http://web1.ncaa.org/mfb/2012/Internet/attendance/FCS_AVGATTENDANCE.pdf

dbackjon
November 16th, 2012, 10:57 AM
MAC is a very underrated conference, especially this year.

Much, much better than C-USA, better as a whole than MWC, Sunbelt. Probably better top to bottom than the Big East

clenz
November 16th, 2012, 10:58 AM
I don't think so, they are in a bad conference so I think once they get a few recruiting classes into this transition they will begin to look better.

I am surprised though at how backwards they appear to have gone this year. I honestly think if thay were in the CAA right now they may have 4-5 wins at max. Some of this might be the coaching, I don't know. I haven't seen any of their games since the season opener against UConn.

Bottom line, I would expect them to get to 3-4, maybe 5 wins next year. It is too early to pass judgement on their decision IMO.
The MAC is much much better than you give it credit for...


They have a record for wins this year as a conference. It was something like 80ish if I remember the Ball State/Ohio broadcast correctly. They have 6 schools at 8-3 (one is 7-3 but haven't played this week) or better. Conference has wins over the Big 10 and Big East this year.

The MAC is still rating as stronger than ever FCS conference - but quite a ways in pretty much every computer model. Only the Sagarin (of the 6 computer models I looked at) had any FCS conference in front of the MAC....and that was the MVFC by a whopping .19 points.

ITmonarch10
November 16th, 2012, 11:01 AM
http://web1.ncaa.org/mfb/2012/Internet/attendance/FBS_AVGATTENDANCE.pdf
Avg Attendance:

UMass 11,824

Only 3 teams are worse than UMass...Akron (9275), San Jose St (9228), and of course Eastern Michigan (4437).
Mac, Sunbelt, and WAC attendance are comparable to the Top 25 in FCS. Honestly, If the Big Sky and MVFC higher attendance level teams got together they could reform the WAC.

Vitojr130
November 16th, 2012, 12:57 PM
I think UMASS should look get their own stadium not the Patriots stadium. U of Minnesota moved out of the Metrodome leaving it for the Vikings and I think (despite their losing records) it has worked well for the Gophers (TCF Bank Stadium is on campus). You need a stadium that has your own identity. When I hear Gillette Stadium I don't think UMASS football plus like Vitojr130 said its over an hour away. Its around 100 miles from the UMass campus to Foxboro they can't get a stadium closer to Amherst?

I was wondering the same thing. It's got to be very, VERY hard to get students to go! I heard that they had some sort of busing system in place for shuttling students, but that has got to be terrible for pregaming and the likes...

BisonFan02
November 16th, 2012, 01:30 PM
Mac, Sunbelt, and WAC attendance are comparable to the Top 25 in FCS. Honestly, If the Big Sky and MVFC higher attendance level teams got together they could reform the WAC.


Let's not start this again....

UNH72Plus
November 16th, 2012, 02:01 PM
Isn't that an entire hour drive away from campus?? Why would the admin at UMass do that!?

As noted elsewhere in this thread it's about 100 miles from Amherst to Foxborough, but the stadium is a great venue and I think they believe that the UMass supporters in the metropolitan Boston area will provide a bigger draw than rural western Mass. UNH played UMass at Foxborough twice and it was well worth the drive, even from central NH.

bluehenbillk
November 16th, 2012, 02:33 PM
I agree with some other posters, the MAC is enjoying one of its best seasons ever - there are many MAC teams that knocked off BCS teams this season & forgive me for saying it on here - would be favorites to win the FCS crown if they played here this year. UMass got caught in a storm this year with that & their record shows it. The attendance doesn't shock me - UMass was never a huge draw & still isn't.

grayghost06
November 16th, 2012, 03:01 PM
I think UMASS should look get their own stadium not the Patriots stadium. U of Minnesota moved out of the Metrodome leaving it for the Vikings and I think (despite their losing records) it has worked well for the Gophers (TCF Bank Stadium is on campus). You need a stadium that has your own identity. When I hear Gillette Stadium I don't think UMASS football plus like Vitojr130 said its over an hour away. Its around 100 miles from the UMass campus to Foxboro they can't get a stadium closer to Amherst?

Agreed, and I think the program will struggle until they are playing a majority of the games on campus. Play a couple of big names at Gillette and the rest on campus. Couldn't they put portable bleachers in the endzones? JMU had a rented 4000 seat structure put in one endzone for several years. Use two of those and you're at 25k while the admin figures out how to renovate McGuirk. Those ugly walls in each endzone don't look to be necessary anyway.

WH49er
November 16th, 2012, 03:42 PM
http://web1.ncaa.org/mfb/2012/Internet/attendance/FBS_AVGATTENDANCE.pdf
Avg Attendance:

UMass 11,824

Only 3 teams are worse than UMass...Akron (9275), San Jose St (9228), and of course Eastern Michigan (4437).




You can't lump them with those schools playing 100 miles away from campus.

Go Lehigh TU owl
November 16th, 2012, 03:46 PM
Umass drew fairly well for a FCS program. Their attendance for football is far better than it is for basketball, relatively speaking imo. The hoops team has been pretty decent lately but barely averages 4,000 people at the Mullins Center.

CHIP72
November 16th, 2012, 03:57 PM
MAC is a very underrated conference, especially this year.

Much, much better than C-USA, better as a whole than MWC, Sunbelt. Probably better top to bottom than the Big East

The MAC isn't better top-to-bottom than the Big East; the bottom end of the MAC is a lot worse than the bottom end of the Big East, not just this year but every year. The top teams in the MAC are roughly the same caliber as the top teams in Big East this year and most years however IMO.

bluehenbillk
November 16th, 2012, 04:00 PM
The MAC isn't better top-to-bottom than the Big East; the bottom end of the MAC is a lot worse than the bottom end of the Big East, not just this year but every year. The top teams in the MAC are roughly the same caliber as the top teams in Big East this year and most years however IMO.

Kent won at Rutgers & Toledo beat Cincinnati this year, you can easily argue the top of the MAC is better this year.

Lehigh Football Nation
November 16th, 2012, 04:04 PM
Dave Clawson and Pete Lembo, two Lehigh guys, a big part of the MAC resurgence.

Yet another reason that a 10-1 Lehigh team should get an at-large xlolx

Seriously, the MAC is doing very well this season particularly. Don't forget Ohio vs. Penn State.

CHIP72
November 16th, 2012, 04:04 PM
As noted elsewhere in this thread it's about 100 miles from Amherst to Foxborough, but the stadium is a great venue and I think they believe that the UMass supporters in the metropolitan Boston area will provide a bigger draw than rural western Mass. UNH played UMass at Foxborough twice and it was well worth the drive, even from central NH.

There's a problem with this idea - Boston College has long established itself as the primary Division I-A football program in Massachusetts and New England. I think most Boston area fans who follow college football and don't have ties to UMass probably are BC fans. Furthermore and probably even more importantly, in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Megalopolis in general college football ranks way below pro football (and more generally, pro sports) in terms of fan interest, so UMass football (and even BC football to a degree) isn't going to be prominent on the sports radar in the Boston area unless they play and beat some nationally-prominent teams (like BC did during the Doug Flutie years and when they beat Notre Dame in 1993).

CHIP72
November 16th, 2012, 04:13 PM
Kent won at Rutgers & Toledo beat Cincinnati this year, you can easily argue the top of the MAC is better this year.

I'm not sure I'd make that argument (due to the fact the better MAC teams fatten up their overall records by playing the bad MAC teams), but I agree it has validity.

I view and sometime post on a Temple football message board (the Owls are my team in Division I-A football; that wouldn't be the case if Penn State hadn't joined the Big Ten and was still playing their old eastern independent rivals but that's the topic for another thread), and there was a decent amount of discussion prior to the Temple/Rutgers game last month between fans of both teams about the strength of the Big East and MAC. I said, as I stated above, that the top teams in the MAC are comparable to the top teams in the Big East in most seasons; I based that opinion on Temple's performance in the MAC from 2009 to 2011 and how they and other MAC teams played against Big East and other BCS conference foes. (Exhibit A: Temple beating Connecticut in 2010; UConn was the Big East's BCS bowl representative that year while Temple wasn't even invited to a bowl; the Owls did not win their division in the MAC, much less the MAC as a whole.) Some of the Rutgers fans scoffed at that idea. I wonder if they still scoffed at the idea after the Scarlet Knights lost at home to Kent State the following week.

NHwildEcat
November 16th, 2012, 04:24 PM
As noted elsewhere in this thread it's about 100 miles from Amherst to Foxborough, but the stadium is a great venue and I think they believe that the UMass supporters in the metropolitan Boston area will provide a bigger draw than rural western Mass. UNH played UMass at Foxborough twice and it was well worth the drive, even from central NH.

UNH should have been the school to use that stadium. Durham is closer then Amherst.

Maybe history would have been different if Kraft moved the team to NH and placed his stadium off 93, Exit 1. Hell, it would be a better drive in and out for all events!

NHwildEcat
November 16th, 2012, 04:27 PM
Umass drew fairly well for a FCS program. Their attendance for football is far better than it is for basketball, relatively speaking imo. The hoops team has been pretty decent lately but barely averages 4,000 people at the Mullins Center.

I have no knowledge on the topic, but what is the average attendance of other D1 hoops programs? Esp. those in the A-10?

NHwildEcat
November 16th, 2012, 04:35 PM
There's a problem with this idea - Boston College has long established itself as the primary Division I-A football program in Massachusetts and New England. I think most Boston area fans who follow college football and don't have ties to UMass probably are BC fans. Furthermore and probably even more importantly, in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Megalopolis in general college football ranks way below pro football (and more generally, pro sports) in terms of fan interest, so UMass football (and even BC football to a degree) isn't going to be prominent on the sports radar in the Boston area unless they play and beat some nationally-prominent teams (like BC did during the Doug Flutie years and when they beat Notre Dame in 1993).

Yup! College football in New England is at the bottom of the list, it's not even the top college sport up here which I wold argue is hockey. I think the reason for that is a lot of people attend smaller schools that are around here but are not as nationally known. I attended a much smaller private D-2 school and I am a rarity in my fandom of small college sports.

There are a lot of people who root for BC because they just don't know better and have been presented with no other options. Most of them also couldn't get into BC but that is something else.

It made college fun for me, because all my fraternity brothers and I loved watching Hockey East and we all supported a different program, UMaine, UNH, Providence --seriously, BC, BU, and Vermont. That is just what we did.

Now, I have always loved UNH so I have always kept up on the programs and supported the school when possible. It helps to have gone to a non-football school for sure. But by and large BC is the top dog here.

It seems as though half of Mass. residents attended UMass though, it is so cheap for them. Fan base can grow when they realize or accept that the school wants this to work long term.

Go Lehigh TU owl
November 16th, 2012, 04:37 PM
I have no knowledge on the topic, but what is the average attendance of other D1 hoops programs? Esp. those in the A-10?

It ranges pretty drastically. From last year (rank is national), no rankings for teams outside Top 100

#28 Dayton 12, 154
#39 Xavier 10,155
#58 Temple 8,165
#66 St. Louis 7,757
#70 VCU 7,622
#78 Butler 6,599
#89 Charlotte 6,001
#93 Richmond 5,660
Umass 4,279
St. Joe's 4,197
St. Bonaventure 3,926
Rhode Island 3,829
Duquesne 3,204
George Washington 2,561
Fordham 2,343
La Salle 2,209

NHwildEcat
November 16th, 2012, 04:40 PM
It ranges pretty drastically. From last year (rank is national), no rankings for teams outside Top 100

#28 Dayton 12, 154
#39 Xavier 10,155
#58 Temple 8,165
#66 St. Louis 7,757
#70 VCU 7,622
#78 Butler 6,599
#89 Charlotte 6,001
#93 Richmond 5,660
Umass 4,279
St. Joe's 4,197
St. Bonaventure 3,926
Rhode Island 3,829
Duquesne 3,204
George Washington 2,561
Fordham 2,343
La Salle 2,209

Wow, Dayton. I don't watch enough college basketball to reaize how large of crowds these schools can pull in.

CHIP72
November 16th, 2012, 04:58 PM
Wow, Dayton. I don't watch enough college basketball to reaize how large of crowds these schools can pull in.

Dayton has hosted the play-in and opening round NCAA Tournament games for a reason. Those people in southwest Ohio are crazy for their hoops. (As a side note, I've long thought that particular region of the country - the southern half of Ohio/southern half of Indiana/most of Kentucky area has some pretty strong programs - Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio State, Louisville, Cincinnati, Xavier, Dayton, Butler, plus a few others a little lower on the totem pole - that should try to play each other more often. I know some of them already do, but man, there would be some pretty awesome non-conference games with electric atmospheres if those teams played one another more often.)

I personally don't like Dayton though because ever since Villanova started their Cinderella run to the 1985 NCAA Championship at Dayton Arena, that facility has been where the hopes of the teams I root for - the Philadelphia City Six and Lehigh and Lafayette - go to die, whether it be in A-10 play, A-10 Tournament play (I think it was in Dayton where St. Joe's perfect season came to an end against Xavier in 2004), non-conference play, or even the NCAA Tournament play-in game in 2004 (which Lehigh should have never had to play in to begin with). Maybe they can tear down Dayton Arena and build a new facility or something.

Gordon Shumway
November 16th, 2012, 06:30 PM
The really sad thing for Umass is they have never won a game in their home stadium (Gillette) pre or post FCS, and averaged over 30K attendance there when playing UNH before their move to FCS.

Jazzman1522
November 16th, 2012, 06:57 PM
Ok, I'm about to say something in response to this thread that is going to be extremely difficult for me. In fact, just thinking about it makes me die a little inside. Lord help me, but here I go...

Western Kentucky began the transition to the FBS in 2007. I believed that it was a poor decision, because, as a rule, I discredit everything Western does. Why? Irrational hatred. I digress.

In 2007, the Hilltoppers (What a stupid name) went 7-5. Not bad. However, most of their wins came against FCS competition (or lower), with only 1 coming against an FBS team, Middle Tennessee State. In 2008, it really started to get ugly (Like their mascot. What a dumb mascot. Nobody even knows what it is. A blood clot?). In their second year of transition, playing a schedule against mostly FBS teams, they went 2-10. Their two wins came against Eastern and Murray State. In 2009, their first season as members of the Sun Belt, they went 0-12. It was glorious. They were in the Sun Belt, which is probably the second worst conference in the FBS, in my opinion (At that time, I would've placed the WAC above it though), and they were sucking it up bad. David Elson was let go after that season and Willie Taggart replaced him. In 2010, it didn't get much better. They went 2-10, with wins against Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State.

In 2011, it started to turn around. They lost their first 4, including getting smoked by Indiana State. They turned it around and went 7-5. Currently, they are 6-4, with a win over Kentucky (Although, I think I could beat Kentucky this year). Ok, here comes the hard part.

A couple of years ago, it looked as though Western had made a very bad decision and dug themselves into a pit of despair they would never rise from. Now, just 5 years since beginning the transition process, they are bowl eligible for the second year in a row. I don't know what changed (Aside from the coach), but somebody's doing something right over there. AAARRGHHH I hate giving them credit!!!

The point is, the situation is bleak for UMass now, but it's not hopeless. I do think it's gonna take them more time. Western began expansion of their stadium immediately. As many have mentioned, I can not imagine playing games over an hour from campus is, doing anything to help interest in the team. The MAC is a better conference than the Sun Belt but there are some pretty awful teams at the bottom. If they get the right guy in there to coach and recruit, as Western appears to have done, they'll get it turned around. But they need to be prepared for some rough times along the way.

Oh, and Western's logo is a hand holding a towel. That's just dumb.

EKU Toss Sweep
November 16th, 2012, 08:56 PM
Easy there Jazzman. I don't want to see you wearing red at the Kidd. Go brush your teeth already, just typing that had to put a bad taste in your mouth. Good move or not we don't need to go admitting it.