MAC to head east, expand membership by one

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Way back in the middle of last December, it was reported that the MAC was on the verge of adding UMass to their conference membership roll.

Nearly four months to the day that report appeared, the expansion of the MAC is about to come to fruition.

In a press release issued by the conference, the MAC and UMass will host a press conference on Wednesday, April 20 at 3:30 pm ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Following that press conference, commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher and UMass athletic director John McCutcheon will take part in a media conference call.

While it was not specified in the release, it’s believed UMass will join the MAC as a football-only member in 2012.

The addition of UMass would give the MAC 14 teams divided into two seven-team divisions.  Currently, there are seven teams in the East division and six in the West, but it’s likely the conference would move a team from the East to the West (Bowling Green?  Miami?) and place UMass in the same division as Temple, the only other football-only member of the conference.

Such a move would also involve the Minutemen moving up from the Div. 1-AA (FCS) level to Div. 1-A (FBS).  It’s been previously reported that, if the school made the move up a level, they would play an handful of home games each season at the home of the NFL’s New England Patriots.