The UMass football program is searching for a new conference home following the 2014 season. The Minutemen will part ways with the MAC as an associate football member and is in a difficult situation in the evolving college football landscape. Could the Sun Belt Conference, centered in the south, really be the best for for UMass?
Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com reports UMass and the Sun Belt have entered preliminary discussions about the possibility of having the Minutemen join the conference. From a conference membership standpoint, UMass could become the Sun Belt’s 12th conference member, which would open the door for potentially starting up a football championship game for the first time in conference history.
Unfortunately for UMass, joining the Sun Belt could present even more challenges for operating a football program at the FBS level than they have experienced as a member of the MAC. If UMass was isolated as a football member in the MAC, they will be totally out of this world as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. At least in the MAC the closest school to the school was Buffalo. As a member of the Sun Belt the closest conference rival would be found in North Carolina (Appalachian State). Perhaps it might be time to suck it up and consider a move back to the FCS level, where the school could better manage travel.
The Sun Belt will be adding Idaho, New Mexico State, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern as conference members this fall. Texas State, Georgia State and South Alabama have recently joined the conference as well.
Miami is hiring Lance Guidry, who was defensive coordinator at Marshall last season and recently accepted the same position at Tulane, to lead its defense, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized between Guidry and Miami.
The 51-year-old Louisiana native was hired way from Marshall by Tulane just last month. Now he’ll replace Kevin Steele on Mario Cristobal‘s staff at Miami. Steele is reportedly on his way to Alabama to become Nick Saban‘s defensive coordinator after holding that position for one season with the Hurricanes.
Alabama has yet to make the hiring of Steele and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees official. Rees had been assistant at Notre Dame.
Tulane announced the hiring of Guidry on Jan. 23 to replace Chris Hampton, who left the New Orleans-based school to join Oregon’s staff as an assistant coach.
Guidry’s defenses at Marshall ranked third in the nation in yards per play this season (4.56) and 26th nationally in 2021 (5.14 ypp).
CHICAGO — Wrigley Field will host a college football game for the third time since 2010 when Iowa plays Northwestern next season.
Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs announced that the Wildcats’ home game will be played Nov. 4.
Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley in 2010 in the MLB ballpark’s first college football game since 1938, and the Wildcats hosted Purdue there in 2021.
Wrigley Field has a long history of hosting football games. The Chicago Bears played there from 1921 to 1970 before moving to Soldier Field. The old Chicago Cardinals also played at Wrigley, as well as DePaul until its program folded in 1939.
Northwestern had been scheduled to play Wisconsin at Wrigley in 2020, but the game was moved to Ryan Field in Evanston because of the COVID-19 pandemic.