Tuesday, November 30, 2010

UMass is looking up!

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The Boston Herald says UMass is "exploring" the possibility of moving to the MAC.

Relavent Quote: "Patriots spokesman Stacey James would say only, “The Kraft family has been very supportive of football at all levels of competition throughout New England. They are proud to have hosted Pop Warner, high school and college football games at Gillette Stadium. College football has a rich history in New England, and I know that the Krafts would welcome the opportunity to celebrate the college game’s rivalries and traditions at Gillette Stadium.

If the Kraft family are on board for a UMass upgrade, that would the political and prestege push that could put UMass over the top.

The Blog would like to see ALL UMass games at Gillette. The fan base is in the East. Access to McGuirk is impossible due to the roads. UConn put their stadium near an interstate and Hartford. They knew no one was going to Storrs. The UMass fan base is already trained to use Gillette. Don't spend any money on McGuirk. Instead of a McGuirk upgrade, use the money for a new fieldhouse/training facility that would benefit all UMass sports.

There would be nothing wrong with being the "little brothers" of the Patriots.

27 comments:

Zach said...

I really don't like this idea at all. The MAC is college football purgatory. The attendance for the league is horrible, they have those horrible Tuesday night ESPN2 games that no one watches, they rarely have a ranked team(s), FCS teams frequently embarrass them, and it costs more to run. What are the upsides? We need to stick with the CAA and FCS. It is a lot more fun having a chance at winning a National Championship every year than watching our team play Central Michigan at the MAC Championship in Detroit. No team from the MAC will ever have the opportunity to play in a National Championship game.

Now, if we were moving to the Big East or the ACC, then maybe I would be OK with it. But definitely not the MAC. This is a horrible idea!

Joe said...

This may be the smartest thing John McCutcheon has ever had any part in. I would LOVE to see Gillette be the home field, but good luck trying to get any students to go to games. It's already impossible to get them to come into games now, nevermind get them to foxboro.

Anonymous said...

This is great news but i disagree w/the blog about Gillette. Gilette would be okay for a game two each season to aid the transition, but they should play on campus or at the very least in a new stadium in WMass. The off campus stadium is one of the least desirable aspects of the uconn football upgrade.

Anonymous said...

For all of you people who think its a bad move to move up to the MAC. Below is a list of MAC players we would have seen over the last 10 years.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/157939-the-nfls-all-mac-team-mid-major-schools-major-talent

Taylor said...

This is delusional . The MAC? Please...The MAC is a place where FBS teams go to die, with no hope of advancing to a mid-level bowl game, let alone a major bowl. How many times since its creation has the MAC had a team that made national headlines? How many times has the league been even 4 deep in bowl eligible teams? Their revenue sharing from the BCS is a joke. Less than 250k per school. There TV tie-ins are non-exsistent other than a occasional Tuesday night game. The Umass program will lose more real money (cash) in the MAC than it does in the CAA. The coaching staff salaries will need to go up signigicantly, the infrasture and logistics costs will go up. The support staff will have to increase and this is all just to meet minimum requirements of a FBS team. Debt service on new practice facilities and possibly a new stadium will need to be paid. If it is at Gilette then the cost of stadium use will need to be factored in. It is not going to be given to UMASS out of the Kraft's kind heart. Beyond that, there is no appeal to go to Foxboro and support a team that will not be very good initially and will be playing unkown schools who have no local connection and most of these schools do not travel well. There non-conference games will be against Big 10, ACC, and Big East schools who they will have to travel to and more than likely get beat, only lessening their chance for any postseason bowl game. Then their is the non-cash impact. The increast of 22 scholarships. The impact on Title IX requirements will be huge. The school will have to create 22 more scholarships for women's athletics, which means scholarships in other men's sports will be reduced, as their is no way the school is going to just add another 22 for women's sports.
An offer to join the ACC or Big East which offers some better regional tie in's and most importantly BCS revenue sharing in the millions of dollars per school makes sense. Otherwise quit dreaming about something that will turnout to be nightmare.

MinuteFan said...

I agree with Zach. Unless the options are "MAC or drop football", this does not excite me at all. FCS and the CAA are a great place to play. Those dreams of UMass football being "big time" are just that....dreams. What's wrong with improving the team to be an FCS power? I'd much rather keep going to Amherst on a beautiful fall saturday and make a yearly road trip to William and Mary, JMU, etc. Travel to Bowling Green? Please. Gillette was a fun diversion and I'm looking forward to going again. But it was a novelty. UMass - Toledo at Foxboro would draw about 12,000 on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Play in Gillette for a couple of seasons until the students are sufficiently motivated to attend the games; after a few seasons, move the team to a renovated facility on campus. Target the area alumni and Patriot faithful for the UMass games at Gillette. After a few seasons UMass should join the Big East--or even the ACC. Rome wasn't built in a day. With support from the Krafts, this would mean exceptional infrastructre and fan base for the team. How far is Gillette from Amherst? thirty minutes?

vetteson said...

My, my, my, what a difference a day makes. Move to the MAC. My feelings about this are on earlier posts. The school is facing a minimum of an 8% budget cut. Currently football "looses" 3 million/yr, about 10% of the anticipated shortfall. Do not believe for a minute that there is not an equally strong sentiment to end football! The Boston Herald is stirring things up, as it likes to do, because of unfounded utterance, inference or vague statements. The university has long said that it is "exploring" options for football and that is all this is. I will wait to hear from the Trustees themselves before I believe any of this.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a bad idea all around. Games at Gillette will have poor attendance and the MAC is not for them. The CAA is the top conference in 1AA and it's good football. Unless the BigEast or ACC come calling, stay put.

Brooks Rownd said...

1) NO WAY

2) Football must stay on campus.

Zach said...

A half hour to Gillette from Amherst? HAHAHAHA. Try closer to two hours with no traffic at all. It's pretty darn far.

And how drunk do you think the students would be after a 2 hour bus ride from Amherst to Gillette? We would end up with some bad press from that.

I think they need to add 10,000 seats to McGuirk, update the bathrooms, and update the press box, among other things. Where is this money going to come from? Isn't the school predicting a budget shortfall of $18 million this year?

Anonymous said...

This is great news. Staying put in the dying CAA is a death sentence. Following uri on the walk of shame into the nec would be a disaster. The acc/be isn't going to invite umass this season. However the mac did and the move affords umass the opportunity to move up, survive, upgrade, gain tv exposure, increase revenue, improve the program and be poised to move up again when the next good opportunity presents itself. Playing in the MAC is much better than playing in the CAA in terms of the opportunities available for the program. Not to mention if they are successful they get to play in a bowl game.

Anonymous said...

Please UMASS go to atleast Big East or Conference USA.

Anonymous said...

Big East would be perfect, even conference USA would be a better solution.

izy said...

Stay put at McGirk in the CAA for now since they (the university) have made no definitive action to go FBS. A few games at Gillette would be smart for the local "adult" fan base. It does not make sense for a whole season.
Without your state lending more support financially to UMASS (the states "flagship" university??)moving to FBS is unlikely. UMASS sporting 22 more scholarships? Not likely anytime soon. I agree 100%, MAC is not a smart move. UMASS deserves better than that. Who watches MAC football games anyway?
If UMASS really wanted to make an FBS move, they needed to be in serious negotiations now. I don't see it happening with all the financial requirements that UMASS would have to meet. A new stadium? Why build a new stadium if the students can't be bothered to attend? I travel 3 hours one way to get to UMASS, they can't walk 1/4 mile from the dorms (except to hit tailgate row, then can't manage the other 500 feet across the road to McGirk and support "their" team). Moving to MAC is a slapdown. At least in FCS/CAA they have a shot at showing their stuff against the token FBS teams they play.

TopUMassFan said...

I'd be for a couple of games a year being played at Gillette but not all. Much of the appeal of UMass football for me is making the peaceful two-hour trip across MA, seeing beautiful scenery, Dinning at "The Hanger", enjoying the cozy confines of McQuirk and then making the peaceful trip home afterwards. UMass football would lose much of its appeal for me if I had to battle traffic on Rt.1, 95 & 128 or 93. Plus the overall cost of being a season ticket holder would greatly increase, not good in this economy.

I understand the move to the MAC may be necessary as the CAA continues to move south, but I feel the majority of the games need to be played on campus. Look what the Red Sox did with Fenway. Couldn't improvements and additional seating be built at McQuirk? Put small second level behind and above last existing row on both side of stadium. Take down wall at locker room end (south) and insert curved end to make McQuirk a horseshoe shaped stadium with tunnels for teams to Reagan locker rooms. Place scoreboard at north end. I would think that would bring seating capacity to 25-30 thousand. More than enough for the MAC and maybe BE (not sure). Keep the games at campus.

Anonymous said...

Honestly I think its stupid to play home games at foxboro. It's nowhere near the campus and is not at all appealing to the students. I know alot of students dont go to the games or just tailgate and never watch the game. but what student is going to get up at 9 and get on a fan bus to foxboro week after week. A big game once a year, good idea would be all for it every year. But 6 home games they would draw nothing and it would get old quick. they wouldnt draw 5,000 fans for a home game against buffalo or toledo. nothing wrong with being a caa powerhouse.

Anonymous said...

Gillette as a permanent home field would be horrible. Have 1 or 2 games a year there, not every home game.

Anonymous said...

you give mark whipple 30 more scholarships they would be national powerhouse in the fbs in a hurry. whipple is a great recuiter with solid ties to florida and new jersey.

Anonymous said...

Frank- I'm glad to see you are on board with the changes I told you would be happening with UMASS in December and January. These are indeed great changes for UMASS and UMASS football. Here is another heads up-$ome great news for UMASS Athletics will be reported on in the newspapers this weekend. Hopefully thi$ will lead to more UMASS fans getting on board the new path forward. All aboard!!

John said...

"How far is Gillette from Amherst? thirty minutes?"

try two hours?

Anonymous said...

It's about economics, and the CAA has become an expensive proposition for New England teams. I agree that playing all home games at Gillette would make trip far too long for most; still, for all the alumni in the state, playing at Foxboro for a season or two until McGuirk could (presumably) be upgraded would be a viable but inconvenient alternative. I think that the move to FCS is inevitable, and with football a growing sport in the state, we can compete with BC and UConn for recruiting.

Anonymous said...

Whipple will always be tied to the program, and he is always recruiting helping it one way or the other. Where, do you think magically out of nowhere Brandon Hill came from?

Anonymous said...

Hill was jilted by rutgers and Umass was there to scoop him up. Morris recruited Hill.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Taylor. Perhaps the idea has some positive financial benefits but I seriously doubt it. It would clearly destroy Umass football as we currently know it.
Akron, Toledo, Buffalo, Bowling Green???? No history or rivalries. Football success initially highly doubtful. No reason for anyone to attend. Hard to create enthusiasm at any location.

Scott said...

Agree with most of the comments here. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd rather have tough games and strong competition in a top-tier I-AA conference than be anywhere in a forgotten I-A conference. And having all games at Gillette would be silly. Way too far away to be considered a home game, and if you think there's poor turnout from students now... not to mention how sad a half-empty NFL stadium would seem. Yeah there was good turnout for UNH/UMass, but much of that was the novelty of the one game being played there. If all the games were there that would wear off and the place would seem depressingly empty. Not good ideas IMO.

Anonymous said...

The MAC is our best option to continue football and control expenses at this time. The cost of CAA football will continue to rise as they add ODU and Ga. State with no revenue enhancements.

By going to the MAC we will have the opportunity to get a few more Michigan, BC type pay days each year as well as some TV revenue from their ESPN deal. I view this move as similar to BC 20 years ago playing Penn State and Alabama at Foxboro and the balance of their schedule on campus.

I, like everyone else wish it was the BE or ACC but they both have said they aren't taking FCS programs in expansion. So I welcome the MAC while we build our athletic department and football facilities until we earn an invitation to a BCS conference. Had we done this 14 years ago we would probably have had a chance at an invitation now but hindsight is 20/20.

I look forward to seeing FBS football in WMass and can't wait for the next season to begin so we can get to 2012 and 2013.