[Ed. note - Front Page'd. HATE HATE HATE!]
I know I'm not the only one thinking this way, but there's no way, NO WAY, Umass fans can be as obnoxious about their jump to the FBS as they really are. They can't possibly be this delusional, this insane, or this just plain arrogant about their move.
I'd like to think there's someone over there who can be realistic about their chances.
Here are my problems with the UMass fan base right now, listed down in easy-to-read, numbered articles for those of us with the state school diploma (bearing in mind I did, indeed, graduate from the UMass system, just not Amherst....thank God):
1) Yes, you are now an FBS program, but you are not a good FBS program. You are coming off sub-standard FCS seasons the last two years, and your substandard FCS roster is now a putrid FBS roster. There is a minimal difference between the worst teams in the FBS and the best teams in the FCS, but you're not one of the best teams in the FCS. You're a bad CAA team, and the last time you guys really won anything was 2007. BC fans know all about rough hauls; it stinks, but it's better for all of us if you just admit it.
UMass fans are living in the sense that because they're the state school, they'll just get to the FBS and automatically qualify as a good team. They think within 5 years they'll be bringing in the best athletes in the state, and they'll become the best of the best in New England. Problem with that theory is that you're still competing for the top recruits with places like BC - schools who are in BCS conferences who can offer them more. AND, just in case you were wondering - there isn't a ton of talent up here to be had period. BC's pipelines outside Massachusetts are places like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, states with substantially better players than Massachusetts. Mass kid go D2 or D3. Of the 90 or so guys on the BC roster, there's less than 2 dozen Massachusetts guys. So that's actually a completely invalid argument. Oh..and the QB actually came from California.
2) You jumped up to the FBS's worst conference. The MAC has pride, and they go out and they play good teams. They receive paychecks to get creamed. There is not a single time BC scheduled a MAC team and we worried about defeat. Central Michigan, Toledo, Northern Illinois, Kent State... whoever it is. You just know that they're coming out this way with the intention of getting beaten. That's not to say the MAC programs don't have pride, and they can't put on good football games. They're just a bad football conference.
I know you're scheduled to play UConn this year on the road and Indiana at home. I know that you're scheduled to play Wisconsin and Florida in the future. But know your role. Those teams are scheduling you so you can go to their place and get fuzzy. You're going to get beaten, and you're goig to be beaten BAD. It doesn't happen often when James Madison beats Va. Tech or Appy State beats Michigan. And it's probably not going to happen for you. By the way, when you go to Michigan this year, I know you competed well the last time, but Denard is going to win the Heisman this year. If you stop him, there's no way it's not a fluke.
3) Yes, you are playing at Gillette Stadium, which is a world-class facility. Guess what... the Revolution play there too (have you ever seen the stadium with the tarps all over the stands to make it look full.......and even then, it doesnt.). Temple also plays at the Eagles' stadium and Pittsburgh plays at Heinz Field. It doesn't mean anything. Those places hardly sell out, and Pitt is coming to the ACC as an actually good program.
You played two years there against UNH and got waxed, with dwindling attendance in Year Two. The first year was a curiosity factor. The second year - not so much. It's kind of annoying to hear everyone talk about how they got the best stadium in New England.
One other thing about Gillette - it's 100 miles from your campus. I understand a lot of UMass people live inside Route 128, but even then, that's still an hour from Boston. Gillette Stadium is horribly inconvenient to get to, and the neighboring town of Foxboro actually hates the stadium events that aren't the Patriots. The nearest place to Foxboro is legitimately Providence Place, a half hour away. So I can't believe students will make that drive without having to make plans to stay at someone's house, and I can't believe alumni will want to trek to Foxboro every week to see you guys play Central Michigan.
About those students - will they really make the drive to Foxboro? UMass students are notoriously apathetic when something doens't go their way. Either that or they get drunk and riot (or so they brag). You really want drunken UMass students shlepping 100 miles one way, probably drinking in the car, getting to Gillette, and then having to drive 2 hours back to Amherst. By the time they get back, their Saturdays will be ruined. So that's out.
4) and probably the one that everyone is ignoring the most - "UMass was great in the 1990s." Yes. UMass was a huge draw when Calipari coached the basketball team. I loved playing as them in Coach K Basketball on my Sega Genesis. But then again in 1996, what did we have to look forward to? We were still a year away from Pedro with the Sox (Aaron Sele anyone?), the Bruins were in the playoffs but it was a real downer to watch hockey at that point because they lagged behind teams like Detroit and New Jersey....and Bettman was starting to kill the NHL. And the Celtics just plain stunk. BC was terrible. Even BC football was down. There was nothing. UMass basketball gave us something to root for when they were ranked #1 in the nation. Not that anyone knows that because according to the record books it NEVER HAPPENED (Marcus Camby's check book says otherwise).
I just wish UMass students would do what BC fans have done all year. BC fans admit their program's shortcomings with Spaz these days, and they look at ways to clean it up. They want them to be good, but they admit this year probably won't be. UConn fans are the petulant little brother who says they could ace the AP exam because they have an A in the college prep course. And then there's UMass...
UMass is the drunken guy who randomly shows up at a wine-and-cheese party, gets belligerently drunk, throws up on the front porch, wakes up the next day not remembering it and goes "THAT WAS AWESOME YOU GUYS KNOW YOU LOVED WHEN I DID IT." No. No we don't. Please stop and admit you have a problem. And then we can have constructive discussion about what they need to do if they intend to be a viable option in the FBS.