UMass football is joining the MAC, but that doesn't mean it was its first choice. After all, they've been trying to make the jump to Division 1-A (now FBS) for 20 years, so it's hardly surprising to hear they had bigger conferences in mind.â†µ
[Former athletic director Bob] Marcum toyed with the idea of joining Conference USA and the MAC, but no agreements could be reached.â†µ
When the Big East decided last fall to expand from eight to 10 teams in football, UMass officials, using the Kraft family as contacts, lobbied hard for consideration.â†µ
But Big East officials were focusing on conference member Villanova and were reluctant to add two more schools after announcing that TCU would join as a ninth full-time member starting in the fall of 2012. So UMass officials resumed talks with the MAC.â†µâ†µ
Ta-da! That's how the UMass-Temple rivalry was born!