fighting muskie wrote:
What worries me about UMass is they could potentially become an island in the New Big East and their football program does not appear ready to move up to the level of competition that will exist in the new Big East. If they were attracting 30,000 a game and slaying MAC opponents left and right it would be one thing but they aren't. I'm not sure where UConn was attendance-wise in 2004 and 2005 but UMass seems to be really hurting to generate interest. Let's look at UMass's attendance this year vs. UTSA:
Texas A&M-Commerce 30,416 Indiana 16,304
Northwestern OK St 25,742 Ohio 8,321
San Jose St 30,862 Bowling Green 10,846
Utah St 23,519 Buffalo 12,649
McNeese St 25,784 Central Mich 6,385
Texas St 39,032
To me this is not indicative of a healthy program. UTSA's worst game attracted 7,000 more people than UMass's best--or to put that in perspective, if you put all the people who were at the Indiana game in Gillette with all the people that watched the CMU game you still wouldn't have as many people who came to see UTSA vs Utah St in person.
With that said, I'm not completely anti-UMass. In a few years, possibly when UConn leaves, if UMass's program has improved and they are MAC contenders on a regular basis and get their attendance up I would like to see them come in to give Temple a rival. I'm also a believer in the maxim "wins build fanbases" and I think UMass needs to get some wins under its belt in the MAC in order to build a fanbase on par with the nBE average.
Not a UMass hater or fan but they aren't playing anywhere near their campus, the attendence issue should be better once the on campus stadium is ready...still UTSA is the attendence gold standard for FCS upgrades in years one, probably not realistic to compare them to that.
Indeed. Much of what we thought about in the past regarding what is a gauge for the attractiveness of a program, has started to change. Look at Georgia St.
They became attractive not due to their on field success, attendance, or even market penetration. They were brought in almost solely on potential and the market they are in. A small viewership share in Atlanta has value, a small share in Chattanooga doesn't. So for UMass, I think the only reason they are brought up ever is because of that: potential and market. If UMass football could get anything near the UMass basketball viewership from the 1990's, in todays TV economy, that would be huge. But just being on TV in the Boston AND Western MA region (Springfield) is why they are on the radar. If we were talking Maine in FBS, they wouldn't be in the conversation as Orono just wouldn't cut it.
Brought to you by the same moron that brought NMSU, Idaho to the WAC and attempted "the project" Georgia So., App St. would do more for the SBC than Ga St. plus much less worry of losing Ga Southern and App since they are not in a big market(see Troy).