“We’d like to, we want to, and we’re looking into it,” said UMass spokesman Jason Yellin.Translation: "This one game will fund our entire athletic department's budget for 2010, and would be one of the biggest athletic events in UMass history. Yes, we're interested."
UMass plays in the Colonial Athletic Association...yes...an FCS conference.
Say what you will...and I know you will...but Michigan is getting into a pattern of playing FCS schools. Good FCS schools, but FCS none-the-less. First it was the apocalyptic Appy State game of 07, Delaware State on Oct. 17th, and now UMass in 2010.
Let me go on the record as saying that I am not in favor of this pattern. I can forgive the rare FCS game on the schedule once every 10 years or so. But 3 in 4 seasons? What is this, Penn State?
mgoblog feels similar as I do...and goes ahead and blames Bill Martin for scheduling the Irish every year until his grand-children have grand-children. And blame he should.
The ONLY good thing about playing ND once a year...I can count on more than one hand how many people I know who are Michigan fans purely because they can't stand Notre Dame. Sure, those fans are probably 40 years of age and older, but it's still a decent % of the fan-base...but that's it. Michigan against Notre Dame is played...so played.
Now, yes it would be sweet to line up a home-and-home with LSU or Oklahoma...and if I were the AD at Michigan, I'd surely take any calls from Norman or Baton Rouge (or Knoxville or Austin or Los Angeles or Boise or Tuscaloosa) . But it seems clear that Martin wants to keep the Irish, a couple MAC games and a FCS game on the schedule every season. And that is definitely LAME.
Show me a September night game against an SEC opponent and I'll get excited. But a noon kickoff against Eastern Michigan is never going to move this program forward. Let 2007 be the lesson. We lose to Appy State and go on to beat Florida in the Capital One Bowl. How's that for meaningful non-conference scheduling?
There is zero up-side to playing weak non-conferenec opponents...win or lose. And only up-side for the opponent, win or lo$e.