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AAC is not interested in a terrible football program. Maybe that changes and I hope it does for UMass's sake but why would they take a chance on that it might improve? Maybe you can look past that given if they had an excellent basketball program like Temple or UConn.

The Northeast college football market is one of the worst in the country. So many programs have been trying to grab ahold of some of it outside of Penn State. Rutgers is trying to get their program there. Syracuse, Pitt, UConn and Temple etc are some others. Yet, these programs have struggled for most of their years.

It won't matter how big the market is and if you grow into a good team if the market isn't interested. The northeast market outside of a few P5 conference programs do not do well. The northeast just isn't nearly as heavily interested as other markets.

Temple is a great example. They had a great season right? Yet, outside of Penn State and Notre Dame they couldn't draw big #'s despite how big the market is and how well they were doing. UConn Temple, AAC championship game, a New Years eve/day game on the line. Temple is ranked....can barely even draw 28,000 fans.
Recent on field/court results are a very short-sighted way of looking at the quality of a program. The northeast has shown a willingness to support college basketball and pro football, I'm confident that college football can grow in popularity if they have the option of rooting for meaningful football beyond BC. Fan support doesn't just appear out of thin air though, it's going to take years to cultivate it, but it can be done.
 

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Just out of curiosity, and not trying to debate where UMass may go or what conference is plausible, but where do most UMass fans sit on the football vs. basketball discussion? Do you want to see the school move to a conference for football decisions that could hurt the basketball program? Do you want UMass to stay in the A10 and not try to go FBS?
 

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...I'm confident that college football can grow in popularity if they have the option of rooting for meaningful football beyond BC. Fan support doesn't just appear out of thin air though, it's going to take years to cultivate it, but it can be done.
I disagree with this. And not trying to start a fight or anything, I just don't see it ever happening, certainly not in New England. From the NE perspective, the sports fans there are entrenched in Boston sports (4 majors) or NY sports (8 majors). There is no shortage of options outside college FB on Thursday nights or Saturday afternoon.

From an overall perspective, I think sports infatuation is going to decline in the coming decades. Particularly in college athletics and definitely where there is little to no interest at present time. We are in the baby boomer age of college FB attendance... the stands are filled with 50-65 year-old bleed-their-colors fans. Unfortunately, those people aren't getting any younger. There have been articles about the changing attitudes and interests of the college kids towards athletics. When a school like Duke can start allotting unused student seating you know the interest, while still high, is no longer at its peak.

There's a paradigm shift going on right now. Who knows the root cause, is it apathy, technology, other non-sport interests, parents who no longer care therefore kids don't care? I'm not sure. Behavioral scientists and sociologists can tackle that one. But if I'm UMass, knowing the sports landscape in NE, and an already somewhat fickle fan base towards their best/biggest program, I'm not sure I'd be banking on FBS football for anything.

Along the same line of discussion - is there any FBS program that started up in the last 20 years that has an incredible fan base today? If so, where are they located? I'm thinking of USF and UCF in particular but they are in football gold mine Florida.

I'm not saying it couldn't happen, I would just think it highly unlikely, and unless a school has major economic stability with money to spare, to me, it looks like a losing proposition.
 

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Just out of curiosity, and not trying to debate where UMass may go or what conference is plausible, but where do most UMass fans sit on the football vs. basketball discussion? Do you want to see the school move to a conference for football decisions that could hurt the basketball program? Do you want UMass to stay in the A10 and not try to go FBS?
I think the vast majority of UMass basketball fans are ok with the possibility of moving to the AAC, but they're not thrilled by it. Football fan or not, the move is generally regarded as a mostly sideways move for the basketball program. UConn, Cincinnati, Memphis, Temple and SMU are able to recruit and generally operate at a high level while in the AAC. I don't see how moving to the AAC would negatively impact UMass. Big picture, that move is also necessary if UMass is to have any chance at one day moving into a P5 league which I have to assume is the really long-term goal.

The A10 has been good to UMass, but ever since Temple bolted I don't think there are a lot of fans out there who are adamant that UMass should stay. The overall basketball package in the A10 is on par with the AAC but could shift to favoring the A10 depending on who leaves the AAC. From a basketball perspective there's a fair amount of mediocrity in the AAC and there would be a lot of games that are of little interest to fans. That being said, the prospect of adding rivalry games with Temple and UConn is huge and way more appealing to the vast majority of UMass fans than anything the A10 can offer.

All that being said, if UConn departs the AAC before UMass joins, it might change some people's tune.
 

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I disagree with this. And not trying to start a fight or anything, I just don't see it ever happening, certainly not in New England. From the NE perspective, the sports fans there are entrenched in Boston sports (4 majors) or NY sports (8 majors). There is no shortage of options outside college FB on Thursday nights or Saturday afternoon.
Football (of the pro variety) is already popular in the northeast. College sports have shown the ability to be popular (UConn basketball, UMass basketball when they were consistently good). It's not a giant leap to think that UMass football can become popular if they're playing teams not in the MAC and if the product on the field improves. BC has been the biggest college football program in the northeast for a long time and BC is not likeable unless you're a BC alum, they're viewed at elitist and snobby. UMass and UConn have the potential to become far bigger.

There are certainly a lot of hurdles to getting into the AAC (and beyond), it's going to take some major lobbying by the UMass president and AD to make it happen and some forward thinking from the AAC. Then it's going to take a lot of time, money and work to grow the fan base. But it is doable.
 

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I think the vast majority of UMass basketball fans are ok with the possibility of moving to the AAC, but they're not thrilled by it. Football fan or not, the move is generally regarded as a mostly sideways move for the basketball program. UConn, Cincinnati, Memphis, Temple and SMU are able to recruit and generally operate at a high level while in the AAC. I don't see how moving to the AAC would negatively impact UMass. Big picture, that move is also necessary if UMass is to have any chance at one day moving into a P5 league which I have to assume is the really long-term goal.

The A10 has been good to UMass, but ever since Temple bolted I don't think there are a lot of fans out there who are adamant that UMass should stay. The overall basketball package in the A10 is on par with the AAC but could shift to favoring the A10 depending on who leaves the AAC. From a basketball perspective there's a fair amount of mediocrity in the AAC and there would be a lot of games that are of little interest to fans. That being said, the prospect of adding rivalry games with Temple and UConn is huge and way more appealing to the vast majority of UMass fans than anything the A10 can offer.

All that being said, if UConn departs the AAC before UMass joins, it might change some people's tune.
Thanks. I can see where that makes sense, but I guess the next question is if the dominoes start falling and the AAC looks to expand and UMass is not one of the teams chosen, then what? It seems like this all hinges on getting into the American; if that doesn't happen will UMass still pursue FBS football into some other conference and then what would fan response/preference be?
 

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Thanks. I can see where that makes sense, but I guess the next question is if the dominoes start falling and the AAC looks to expand and UMass is not one of the teams chosen, then what? It seems like this all hinges on getting into the American; if that doesn't happen will UMass still pursue FBS football into some other conference and then what would fan response/preference be?
If the Big 12 expands and UMass can't make it into the AAC during all of the realignment then I have to think they're royally screwed. Moving to conference USA or Sunbelt or whatever else might be an option would be met by a lot of angry UMass basketball fans.
 

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They might risk becoming the next Charlotte. Has anybody disappeared from the basketball landscape any quicker than Charlotte. I'd hate to see that happen to UMass.
ODU disappeared very quick, but they are starting to work their way back into relevancy. We'll see for how long, though.
 

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ODU disappeared very quick, but they are starting to work their way back into relevancy. We'll see for how long, though.
But that had little to do with football, really, just crappy basketball thanks to Blaine Taylor, who's a terrible NBCSN color man.
 

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But that had little to do with football, really, just crappy basketball thanks to Blaine Taylor, who's a terrible NBCSN color man.
It's true that Blaine was at the end of his ODU career, but the school making large investments into its football program had a lot to do with it, as the resources for basketball were diverted.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
I would definitely disagree with the idea that George Mason was an add for short-term benefit. I mean, Paul Hewitt.

They're in it for the long game, and have unique advantages similar, or in addition, to what other members of this conference have.

If anything, Davidson is the one recent add for which it could possibly be argued is for the short-term benefit. Seeing their great academics and considerable endowment, I wouldn't make that argument myself.
I meant GMU I think was based on a short term success: Laranaga's epic run. A truly weird outlier when compared to their history which they've regressed to since getting here. Not trying to bash Mason probably they will contribute to the A10's long term success, however, they don't go the final four I'm not sure they are here.
 

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I disagree with this. And not trying to start a fight or anything, I just don't see it ever happening, certainly not in New England. From the NE perspective, the sports fans there are entrenched in Boston sports (4 majors) or NY sports (8 majors). There is no shortage of options outside college FB on Thursday nights or Saturday afternoon.
NY actually has 9 majors.

Football: Giants/Jets
Baseball: Yankees/Mets
Basketball: Knicks/Nets
Hockey: Islanders/Rangers/Devils
 

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Well done, sir. Although the Devils actually call themselves NJ.

Even more reason to not attempt FBS in NE!
The Nets called themselves New Jersey for a long time (1977-2012 via Wikipedia) before they moved to Brooklyn, yet, they have always been considered one of the NY Majors.

How many other cities have more than 4 majors? LA/6 (only 3 sports), Chi/5 . I'm pretty sure that's it.
 

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The Nets called themselves New Jersey for a long time (1977-2012 via Wikipedia) before they moved to Brooklyn, yet, they have always been considered one of the NY Majors.

How many other cities have more than 4 majors? LA/6 (only 3 sports), Chi/5 . I'm pretty sure that's it.
LA a stretch giving them the Ducks and Angels? SF Bay has 6-ish.

We're getting off track.
 
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