More Big East expansion talk from Boston Globe BC beat writer Mark Blaudschun, who noted yesterday that Big East expansion could impact UMass' transition to Division I-A. With MAC football-only member Temple being courted by the Big East as a possible expansion candidate, this could temporarily put the breaks on the Minutemen's move to the MAC and Division I-A.
"According to the agreement, if Temple, which is high on the list of potential candidates to move back into the Big East, leaves the MAC, the conference can then use an option that could put a 2-year limit on UMass's membership. Other options include leaving the arrangement as it currently exists, or taking the Minutemen in as a full member.
Of that group, the 2-year limit seems most likely and would cause the greatest uncertainty for UMass, which is trying to morph itself from an FCS level program into the more desirable FBS competition, which includes both bowl games and potential affiliation with the higher paying BCS conferences."
Personally, I don't see what the big deal is here. The MAC, currently at 13 football playing schools, could easily slot UMass into Temple's slot on the schedule and in the MAC East and not miss a beat. It's not like any other MAC program is being courted by a BCS AQ conference at this point. Plugging in one MAC football program that plays in an NFL stadium for another seems to be a pretty seamless transition.
Still, if the MAC or UMass put the breaks on any move to Division I-A and the MAC, this could put UMass' three-year deal with Boston College, which is all but signed, in jeopardy. The plan was for the Eagles and Minutemen to meet in 2014, 2016 and 2018, with two games at Alumni and one at Gillette. But if UMass hasn't made the jump to the MAC and isn't playing their home games in Foxborough by then, there's almost certainly no return trip to 17,000-seat Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium.