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UMass leaving the MAC after 2015 season

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In an era of expanding conferences, the MAC is headed in the other direction.

In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, the MAC announced that UMass will be leaving the conference following the completion of the 2015 football season.  UMass has been a football-only member of the MAC for the past two seasons, with most of its other sports parked in the Atlantic 10.

Part of the contract between the MAC and UMass when it agreed to join the conference in April of 2011 was that, if the school was offered full membership, it could either accept or remain as a football-only member for two additional years if the offer was turned down.  The MAC offered UMass full membership in February and the university declined, leading to the Minuteman’s departure after the next two football seasons.

The conference did not hide its disappointment in UMass’ decision.

“This is not the outcome we anticipated when UMass was admitted as a football-only member. However, circumstances changed regarding our football membership and this is a result of those circumstances,” commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement. “I want to thank University of Massachusetts Chancellor, Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy, and Director of Athletics, John McCutcheon, for their professionalism and understanding in reaching this amicable decision.”

By any measure, the Minutemen’s brief time in the MAC has been an unmitigated disaster.  UMass has finished each of the past two seasons 1-11 overall and 1-7 in conference play.

UMass began its transition from the FCS to the FBS in 2011; a school spokesperson stated that the Minutemen intend on remaining at the highest level of college football and join another FBS conference.  Just which league they could be targeting — and would have them — remains very unclear.

Following the departure of UMass, the MAC will be back down to a 12-team league: an East division consisting of Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami (Ohio) and Ohio, with Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan comprising the West.

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14 Responses to “UMass leaving the MAC after 2015 season”
  1. manik56 says: Mar 26, 2014 4:09 PM

    They will regret this decision to leave like Marshall now regrets theirs.

  2. kombayn says: Mar 26, 2014 4:13 PM

    I have a feeling that UMass may be getting into the American in the near future or they’ll join the Sun Belt Conference as a football-only member and someone like Belmont will join in all-sports except football. I have a feeling it’s more about UMass not wanting to leave the Atlantic 10 conference for the much weaker MAC.

  3. iwishwvuwouldbeatbama says: Mar 26, 2014 4:13 PM

    Man this event will echo through the halls of college football as one of the most important events of its time!

  4. pettytom says: Mar 26, 2014 5:26 PM

    Yep, just filed under who gives an F!

  5. Jesse Alber says: Mar 26, 2014 5:41 PM

    Perfect … lets move C).incy & UCF to the Big XII in 2015. Replace them with UMass, Navy & Army in the American. That gets all 10 conferences to at least 12 members and only BYU and Notre Dame as Independents (OD should be joining C-USA soon.)

  6. h0c2000 says: Mar 26, 2014 5:42 PM


  7. thefiesty1 says: Mar 26, 2014 5:46 PM

    Ho Humm! It’s just the MAC. If they all dropped to D-2 no one would notice.

  8. ancientcougar says: Mar 26, 2014 6:06 PM

    The MAC has surprised big teams almost every year that I can remember. Where does UMass think they are going?

  9. dawgpoundmember says: Mar 26, 2014 6:22 PM

    You can really tell the realist, the jokesters, and the trolls with the comments on this thread. UMass could use a few years in MAC as football only.

  10. vincentbojackson says: Mar 26, 2014 8:14 PM

    The top half of the MAC has been consistently better than the bottom two-thirds of the Big Ten for some time now.

    The MAC had the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft last year and most of the mocks have a MAC player coming off the board in the first 5 picks this year with the draft’s top rated LB.

  11. steeler1nation says: Mar 26, 2014 10:21 PM

    Penn State belongs in the MAC…after they’re death penalty.

  12. steeler1nation says: Mar 26, 2014 10:23 PM


  13. kombayn says: Mar 27, 2014 4:55 AM

    “Jesse Alber says:
    Mar 26, 2014 5:41 PM
    Perfect … lets move C).incy & UCF to the Big XII in 2015. Replace them with UMass, Navy & Army in the American. That gets all 10 conferences to at least 12 members and only BYU and Notre Dame as Independents (OD should be joining C-USA soon.)”

    I think if the Big 12 expands they will take Cincinnati & Memphis.

  14. kansacity88 says: Mar 27, 2014 3:33 PM

    Dear UMass
    Thanks for all the blowout wins!
    – NIU

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