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Well UMass fans, it’s finally here. Go celebrate!
The UMass football team will join the MAC conference in 2012, as they join Boston College and Connecticut as the three FBS schools in New England. UMass has lobbied for this jump for years now, and the program’s continued success has paid off.
Interestingly enough, UMass will play it’s home games at Gillette Stadium, which is roughly two hours away from UMass’ campus in Amherst. According to a report in The Sun Chronicle, this move was made to draw school alum who reside in the Boston area to Gillette Stadium. If UMass doesn’t average 15,000 fans per home game in their first two seasons, they could be put up for review by the NCAA.
UMass joins Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami of Ohio, Northern Illinois, Ohio University, Temple, Toledo and Western Michigan in the MAC.
Last season, the Minutemen went 6-5, and came close to upsetting No. 20 Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sept. 18. Next season, UMass will try and replace quarterback Kyle Havens with a slew of young arms. Look for a heavy dose of Jonathan Hernandez and John Griffin to help take the load off the new quarterback.
UMass kicks off the 2011 season against Holy Cross, before hosting Rhode Island and traveling to Chestnut Hill to square off against Boston College. UMass and their fans will get a taste of what it will be like to call Gillette Stadium home on Oct. 22, when Maine and UMass face each other in the Colonial Clash.
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