Skip to content

UMass shouldn’t expect AAC invite, per report

Moving Up To FBS Football AP

Where will UMass head in football in 2016? Not the AAC. Not yet, at least.

AAC commissioner Mike Aresco commented about the stability of the conference moving forward and said further expansion is not necessarily on the radar at this time. The AAC will lose Louisville to the ACC and Rutgers to the Big Ten later this year, but will add East Carolina, Tulsa and Tulane. Navy is set to join as a football-playing member in 2015, which will allow the conference to hold a conference championship game with 12 members.

“That’s the configuration we expect the conference to have going forward,” Aresco said according to Daily Hampshire Gazette.  “Now you never rule out anything. We would always be, alert, in terms of expansion down the road. But I don’t know there’s going to be much realignment the next few years,” Aresco said.

UMass is presumed to be hoping the conference has a change of heart soon though, because it is the conference that seems to make the most sense for a future conference home. Earlier this week UMass announced they have agreed with the MAC to leave the conference as a football-only member after the 2015 season.

“We have a lot of respect for UMass. It’s a flagship university, a high quality northeast presence. UMass has a lot of things going for it,” Aresco said. “We don’t have any plans to expand.”

It would help if UMass could be viewed as an attractive option for the conference, but the transition from FCS to the FBS has gone poorly in the early going for the Minutemen. The good news is the program has two seasons to reshape that image. Will that be enough? Even if UMass does show signs of improving and growth to be a competitive program, the AAC is already at 12 members. Adding just for numbers is no longer a need for the conference since it will meet the NCAA requirement to hold a conference championship game. This is why partnering up with Army in some sort of unified sales pitch may be required by UMass if the AAC is to be convinced expanding would be a benefit.

“We think we’ll be a cohesive stable group of 12,” Aresco said. “That doesn’t rule out us thinking about expanding down the road if the right institution made sense, if there was good, academic, athletic and cultural fit. That’s not our goal right now. Our goal is to build the league and build value in football and basketball like we have in our first year.”

Permalink 7 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: American Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference, Rumor Mill, Top Posts, UMass Minutemen
7 Responses to “UMass shouldn’t expect AAC invite, per report”
  1. musketmaniac says: Mar 29, 2014 6:02 PM

    conference usa say hello

  2. thefiesty1 says: Mar 29, 2014 9:37 PM

    Why would they even consider leaving the MAC to go to the AAC? They are both the same. Should just drop down to D-II.

  3. ggabe5451 says: Mar 29, 2014 11:41 PM

    UMass can’t win in the MAC (like 2 wins in 2 years)and they want a better conference to invite them?…please, be serious…who ever is making the decisions at that school has their head up their butt

  4. musketmaniac says: Mar 30, 2014 4:13 PM

    they just moved up, remember uconn

  5. kombayn says: Mar 30, 2014 5:05 PM

    Well, I think UMass will wait and see if Navy does intend to join the American as a football member. I could see them backing out and taking a 4 to 6 game scheduling agreement with the conference with UMass getting the full-invite.

    Or you could see Army join as a football-only member and UMass in all-sports, I suspect it will eventually happen. For the time being, I believe UMass will join the Sun Belt as a football-only member until they get to a better situation.

  6. Bo Darville says: Mar 30, 2014 8:58 PM

    It’s too bad the WAC is gone. There seems to be a need for another conference.

  7. fflnick says: Apr 2, 2014 6:46 AM

    UMass, at this point, has nothing to offer the American. (tv market). UMass would be further down on the list of schools if AAC wants expansion. North Texas & Florida International would rate higher due to market growth and enrollment presence. I imagine UMass could be able to stay in the MAC if they can convince another quality east coast school to move up from FCS to join the MAC like Delaware as football only member. They were subjected to a term limit to join fully or leave once Temple left to join Big East/ AAC. School like Delaware would want to join Atlantic 10 in other sports. Saint Joseph’s and LaSalle wouldn’t be too pleased to welcome them in. (Delaware actually had an offer to join A10 many years ago and declined (regretfully).

    UMass other options…
    1.Drop back down to FCS which is not something they are wanting to do.
    2a.Hope for an invite to join another conference. Conference USA has already committed to 14 schools right now with Old Dominion joining this year & Charlotte joining in 2015. They would have to hope Conference USA wants further expansion and geography is a problem adding to program costs.
    2b.Invite to the Sun Belt Conference as football only member. They are looking for a 12th school. This is obviously not ideal as closest school is Appalachian State (North Carolina) who joining Sun Belt this July. The rest of the schools are in the bible belt. This seems to be the most logical destination.
    3. Play as FBS independent which is not feasible. They don’t have the built-in tv market like BYU and Army so revenues would be a big problem. They would have to take many money generating road games which would result in more lopsided scores. It would be extremely difficult to resurrect their football program being an slaughter for programs.

    They have to build their program to be attractive to other conferences. Right now they’re a grease fire.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!