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.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.