It's been a hot topic in the northern part of New England recently -- The UMass Minutemen may be thinking about a move up to FBS football, something all Villanova Wildcats fans are very familiar with in recent times.
While Villanova is at a much more advanced stage in the decision process, it appears as though UMass is looking into what the Connecticut Huskies went through about 10 years ago as a roadmap to anything plans they may have. The Boston Globe recently wrote an excellent article detailing the perspective of the big move from influential figures at both UConn and UMass.
In the end though, it once again comes down to cost, as it does for Villanova.
UMass has studied the possibility of big-time football for years, but has backed away repeatedly because of concerns about cost, university officials said. Now, as an NCAA moratorium barring teams from changing divisions is set to be lifted next August, UMass is once again contemplating the move.
My thoughts, after The Jump.
On a very very basic, level -- I invite this with open arms if I am the BIG EAST. It gives you a 10th football member (assuming the rumours about TCU Horned Frogs are just that - rumours) and although you'd have to kick out a basketball only member, it's worth it because you're adding another true Northeastern school who could eventually be a competitive presence in both sports..
For UMass though? The timing isn't right just yet. The state still has enormous financial limitations and in no way could support the school with this move without putting themselves even further in the hole. Villanova has the same issues, but we also aren't supporting as large an infastructure as UMass.
It's always tough to know what the administration is thinking as what they say in public may not be exactly what they have in mind, so I decided to go to someone who was a fixture at the football games throughout his college career.
I asked my roommate Eddie Millions (a UMass grad) on his thoughts about the potential move. Here's what he had to say:
Well it would be a much better tailgate. Wait, what was the question?
So they've got that going for them too, I guess.