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UMass Looking To Join Mid-American Conference

The University of Massachusetts is looking to join the Mid-American Conference for football beginning in 2011, according to various sources associated with the school:

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Citing sources with the league and the school, the newspaper reported that MAC officials visited the campus and also Gillette Stadium -- home of the Patriots -- where some UMass home games could be played.

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UMass is currently a member of the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division 1-AA. The FCS uses a playoff format to determine its champion, but that's obviously not the factor driving the Minutemen in this decision--they were national runners-up in 2006. The move to the MAC would mean a chance at a bowl game, but the shot at a national championship is slim to none.

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In the MAC, UMass would join current Michigan schools Central Michigan (Mt. Pleasant), Western Michigan (Kalamazoo) and Eastern Michigan (Ypsilanti). The Minutemen also played the University of Michigan this past season, nearly beating the Wolverines in a 42-37 thriller at the Big House.

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UMass would be the easternmost MAC school; Temple (Philadelphia, PA) currently holds that distinction. The Minutemen would remain in the Atlantic 10 conference in all other sports should they make the move, but would agree to play MAC schools in non-conference contests.

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