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ASUN Expansion into Northeast - Is there a possibility this could happen
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basketball_guy Offline
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ASUN Expansion into Northeast - Is there a possibility this could happen
UMASS, UCONN, UNH were all members of the old Yankee Conference and that worked for all these State Schools in New England for over 100 years. Now UMASS and UCONN are Independents in Football. Maine, UNH and Rhode Island are all in the CAA. But Maine just got 120,000,000 dollar gift from the Alfond foundation in Maine. Alfond owned Dexter Shoe in Maine but he sold it and set up the Alfond foundation.

Maine is going to make the move at some point but probably not until they start to dominate the CAA division. I think UMAINE would make the move if UMASS and UCONN join an Atlantic Sun as an FBS Conference and I also believe JMU of the CAA would make the move. But UMAINE would have to play their marque games in Portland in an expanded Fitzpatrick Stadium or join NSL (National Soccer league) franchise which is expanding into Portland. Once that happens they could join forces on a new Stadium but it is all up the Board of Trustees in Maine to decide. UMAINE would do well to look at it as the ASUN wants to set up TV contracts. It could work I believe and they could still play lesser known opponents in Orono. You gotta remember the Portland Metroplex has over 650,000 people in Maine and that is where the fanbase for College Football is in Maine. It is easier to bus 90 football players down to Portland for a marque football game than it is to sell football fans
in Portland to drive 200 miles to Orono.

The big question is what about UNH in Durham, New Hampshire. Would they follow UMAINE, UMASS, UCONN into an FBS division of the Atlantic Sun Conference and join JMU, Liberty in a New Northern Division of the ASUN. You understand that the CAA is not going to move into the FBS division in football. And I am afraid that once JMU leaves the CAA is in a bit of trouble. And they are going to move up to the FBS soon. The commisioner of the Atlantic Sun is really a true visionary and expanding to 20 teams would work for these football programs in an FBS division going forward. When will it happen? Soon I hope because UMASS and UCONN need to get into an FBS division where all these teams are close by. What these schools are missing are their true rivals in football. UMASS and UCONN have made the commitment. Will UMAINE join as well. Under the direction I have indicated I believe they would take a serious look at it but they can not even draw 8000 for a playoff game against Jacksonville State in Orono. That is why the Portland market for home
games is more appealing from a ticket sale standpoint.

Things are in flux right now with the Atlantic Sun but at least the Commish has a vision which is more than the Commish for the CAA has. I see changes coming in the not too distant future.
08-21-2021 05:08 AM
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basketball_guy Offline
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RE: ASUN Expansion into Northeast - Is there a possibility this could happen
The Atlantic Sun is expanding into the FCS division but they plan on expanding down the line into the FBS division. They want to bring in 20 teams and I see a new Northern division of the ASUN for football at D1 level coming.

https://forgotten5.com/2021/01/30/the-at...landscape/
08-21-2021 05:32 AM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: ASUN Expansion into Northeast - Is there a possibility this could happen
Doubtful. The Sunbelt did not want the travel the expense, so think the same for ASun as don't think that type of expansion will happen unless the CAA falls apart. Perhaps AnygivenSaturday would be the best forum as UMass will not step down to FCS. Doesn't matter how much of struggle it has been, just won't happen. Your audience is Maine, Rhody and New Hampshire a fcs forum topic. Not for UMass unless the ASun becomes a FBS conference for football. Then it would only be for football only.

My hope is that some day UConn would actually work with UMass for a football only pair to a conference such as the mythical new Eastern Conference or the MAC. I'm in the minority but actual like the MAC and fine with MACtion once or twice a season, (home and away).
(This post was last modified: 08-21-2021 11:40 AM by Steve1981.)
08-21-2021 11:38 AM
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basketball_guy Offline
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RE: ASUN Expansion into Northeast - Is there a possibility this could happen
(08-21-2021 11:38 AM)Steve1981 Wrote:  Doubtful. The Sunbelt did not want the travel the expense, so think the same for ASun as don't think that type of expansion will happen unless the CAA falls apart. Perhaps AnygivenSaturday would be the best forum as UMass will not step down to FCS. Doesn't matter how much of struggle it has been, just won't happen. Your audience is Maine, Rhody and New Hampshire a fcs forum topic. Not for UMass unless the ASun becomes a FBS conference for football. Then it would only be for football only.

My hope is that some day UConn would actually work with UMass for a football only pair to a conference such as the mythical new Eastern Conference or the MAC. I'm in the minority but actual like the MAC and fine with MACtion once or twice a season, (home and away).

No you and I are on the same page about all this. The Commish with the ASUN plans to expand to 20 teams. They have created a new FCS Conference for football which is starting this Fall. The plan is however to expand to 20 teams and create a new FBS division in football. See below

https://forgotten5.com/2021/01/30/the-at...landscape/

Ted on ASUN football expansion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRQdGU785-8

No I never expected that UMASS and UCONN would ever go back to FCS. As far as travel costs go, having UMAINE expand to the FBS would fit in with UMASS and UCONN in New England for football only in the case of UMASS and UCONN. Then you would have three teams in an ASUN FBS division and Boston College in the ACC, and possibly UNH (Not sure on UNH), but Rhode Island would probably stay in the CAA. I don't see them making the move up.

The ASUN is planning on expanding into the FBS. Once that happens then i do see
UMAINE, UMASS, UCONN in an expanded ASUN FBS conference along with LIBERTY
and JMU. The CAA is a strong FCS Conference for football but they don't have a TV Revenue package. If they can get UCONN, UMASS, UMAINE and possibly UNH along with LIBERTY and JMU in a new Northern Division of an expanded ASUN football conference I believe it could work. How far down the line is that? Its hard to say the ASUN is expanding into FCS football starting this FALL but the Commish for the ASUN has much bigger plans to move into the FBS (see article above). He wants to be up to 20 teams in the FCS by 2023. A number of those teams could move up as well from the Southern Schools in a FBS Southern Division. It makes logistical sense for these schools to join now and then expand to FBS football when the Conference makes the move up. For UMAINE however they are going to have to split their home games between Portland and Orono with marque opponents playing in an expanded Fitzpatrick Stadiumm or joining with the NSL(National Soccer league) to build a new stadium in the Portland metroplex (Over 650,000 people). The NSL sees Portland as a new market for Soccer, but they could split some of the costs with UMAINE to build a new stadium that could support 20,000 to 30,000 fans then both are off and running from ticket sales. Orono can not support FBS football but UMAINE could still play lesser known opponents in Orono. It is a lot easier to bus 90 football players from Orono to Portland than it is to convince fans to drive 200 miles to Orono for an FBS football game. Ticket sales would drive the fanbase in Portland much easier for UMAINE athletic budgets.
08-22-2021 05:59 PM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: ASUN Expansion into Northeast - Is there a possibility this could happen
Will have to see, but personally favor the MAC. They are of peer size and really identify with Ohio. Academics is important to the MAC and that is a nice match as well. Really do not see UMass moving out of the A10 and currently would be suicide for the AD. That said Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the MAC said he would only consider a football only university if it was financially beneficial to the MAC. Many rabid basketball fans do not like MAC teams. Honestly they would feel the same way about ASun teams. Don't agree with the link regarding Liberty. They are fine and in a nice location for several conferences. UConn think their sh-t does not stink and don't they would be in as well. Just don't see it happening.
08-22-2021 09:28 PM
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RE: ASUN Expansion into Northeast - Is there a possibility this could happen
(08-22-2021 09:28 PM)Steve1981 Wrote:  Will have to see, but personally favor the MAC. They are of peer size and really identify with Ohio. Academics is important to the MAC and that is a nice match as well. Really do not see UMass moving out of the A10 and currently would be suicide for the AD. That said Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the MAC said he would only consider a football only university if it was financially beneficial to the MAC. Many rabid basketball fans do not like MAC teams. Honestly they would feel the same way about ASun teams. Don't agree with the link regarding Liberty. They are fine and in a nice location for several conferences. UConn think their sh-t does not stink and don't they would be in as well. Just don't see it happening.

It may be wishful thinking for UMAINE to move into the FBS division. UMASS was already in the MAC (Mid American Conference) and left in 2015. Its wishful thinking to think they would ever go back. UCONN was already in the AAC (American Athletic Conference) and left so the basketball program could rejoin the BIG East Conference. I think for UCONN, UMASS and frankly UMAINE they need to stick with what worked and that was all three in the same football conference. I can not speak for UNH or Rhode Island but if the right conference came and talked to all three and they had a decent TV Package for football only (because lets face it UCONN with never leave the BIG East in foortball and UMASS will never leave the Atlantic 10 in basketball). What we are talking about is a Northern division of an FBS football only conference in the FBS division with
UMAINE
UMASS
UCONN
LIBERTY
UNH - ?(Not sure on them)
JMU - LIBERTY AND JAMES MADISON ARE NATURAL RIVALS IN VIRGINIA AND LIBERTY IS ALREADY A MEMBER OF THE ASUN IN THE OTHER SPORTS).

BUT I am not sure about the AD at Maine. He was at Colorado College before he took over the UMAINE job. He dismantled their football program after 100 years
in existence, and destroyed their hockey program as well and in looking at where he is spending the 120,000,000 dollar gift it appears to be going to all the other sports including a new womens facility at UMAINE. Not that they don't deserve it but all the football program has gotten is new turf for the football field in Orono, hardly much of an investment in expanding facilities at Orono or working with the USL (United Soccer league) in Portland on a new stadium. I am afraid this guy is certainly no
visionary for UMAINE athletics. He has kept Richard Barron around for a fourth year
of last place Mens basketball in the America East Conference. Barron will be gone after this season. He should have been gone after last season. His record in Mens basketball is bad news. Last place for the past three seasons. UMAINE is experiencing growing pains to be sure but they need to invest some serious money in the football program because that is where they can expand ticket sales. He does have major facility upgrades planned for Orono certainly and has revealed those plans and that is all well and good, but they will never be able to play at the FBS level in football unless they have a plan in the works to play some of their home games in the Portland metroplex. The fact of the matter is UMAINE is better than many lower tier FBS programs and I would put UMASS in that category, not UCONN
however. UCONN has their own internal issues with football but I don't see them going back to FCS either. I am sure the AD's at all three of these Universities have had conversations with the ASUN about their expansion plans but we won't hear anything until the ASUN has something to say about it for obvious reasons, the CAA does not want to hear that UMAINE could leave the CAA and UMASS and UCONN would not join until the ASUN makes a move into the FBS division. That won't be untol after 2023 at the earliest.

https://www.csbj.com/news/daily/opinion-...fb11f.html
08-23-2021 10:32 PM
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WesternSkillet Offline
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ASUN Expansion into Northeast - Is there a possibility this could happen
Hello UMass fans,
A lot of realignment movement is happening. The AAC is likely to add a few teams soon. Rumors are that the Sun Belt is also looking to add members. I think CUSA might soon have an opening or more.

Any word on UMass looking into a new conference? I think CUSA should give UMass a good look.

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09-10-2021 03:20 PM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: ASUN Expansion into Northeast - Is there a possibility this could happen
(09-10-2021 03:20 PM)WesternSkillet Wrote:  Hello UMass fans,
A lot of realignment movement is happening. The AAC is likely to add a few teams soon. Rumors are that the Sun Belt is also looking to add members. I think CUSA might soon have an opening or more.

Any word on UMass looking into a new conference? I think CUSA should give UMass a good look.

Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk

UMass despite the public line does not like being independent in football. That said there is a lot of love for the A10. UMass is always paying attention. But unlikely to go all sports with CUSA. It would in a heart beat accept a FB only invite to CUSA or MAC. CUSA as you say may be willing to entertain UMass or a UMass/UConn combo. There is no chance UConn would ever go all sports and there is a slim chance we would ever go all sports, but the door will always be cracked open. It was us that put the all sports invite into the contract with the MAC the first time around.
09-11-2021 07:58 AM
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basketball_guy Offline
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RE: ASUN Expansion into Northeast - Is there a possibility this could happen
(09-11-2021 07:58 AM)Steve1981 Wrote:  
(09-10-2021 03:20 PM)WesternSkillet Wrote:  Hello UMass fans,
A lot of realignment movement is happening. The AAC is likely to add a few teams soon. Rumors are that the Sun Belt is also looking to add members. I think CUSA might soon have an opening or more.

Any word on UMass looking into a new conference? I think CUSA should give UMass a good look.

Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk

UMass despite the public line does not like being independent in football. That said there is a lot of love for the A10. UMass is always paying attention. But unlikely to go all sports with CUSA. It would in a heart beat accept a FB only invite to CUSA or MAC. CUSA as you say may be willing to entertain UMass or a UMass/UConn combo. There is no chance UConn would ever go all sports and there is a slim chance we would ever go all sports, but the door will always be cracked open. It was us that put the all sports invite into the contract with the MAC the first time around.

I'd like to see UMAINE, UMASS and UCONN all in the same football division. They are all rivals in football and that bodes well for New England football but UMAINE has got to make the move up and right now the way UMAINE is playing after that embarrassment at JMU the FBS conferencers won't be knocking on UMAINE'S door anytime soon. UCONN just fired their coach. Things are definitely up in the air for UCONN and UMASS with UMAINE limping(literally) into an FBS conference if at all.
09-12-2021 10:24 PM
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