The talk, for now, of finding a conference for the football team has been muted. All that matters at this point for the University of Massachusetts is that the schedule is filled for the next few years. There is enough money–by way of guaranteed payoffs for being pinatas of teams from Power 5 conferences–to sustain the costs of running a FBS football program on the outer fringes.

“Before we do anything else,” said UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford, who is the foreman for the reconstruction of the football and basketball programs, ” is to start winning some games.”

Life in the fast lane–FBS level football for the past five seasons, two years as an independent–hasn’t been an easy or a pleasant ride.  In the past five years, the Minutemen have won a total of 10 games. They exited from the Mid-American Conference as football only member last season and staggered as an independent to a 2-10 finish with a schedule which included five Power 5 conference teams. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.