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Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 3 (Sept. 15)

Do you remember the last time Notre Dame took a trip to East Lansing? You might not remember the game’s first 60 minutes and change, but that’s fine: things didn’t get wild until overtime, when Michigan State answered a Notre Dame field goal with the most audacious coaching decision of the 2010 season. Now you remember, right? Dan Conroy is lined up for the potentially game-tying 46-yard field goal; Aaron Bates, the punter and team captain, was the holder; tight end Charlie Gantt was lined up one spot inside from the edge to Conroy’s right. The call: “Little Giants.” The snap went to Bates, as expected – and then came the unexpected. You’ll see the rest of the play later tonight, when the Irish and Spartans meet in one of the day’s marquee games. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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    A Few Talking Points for Confident Teams

    Nick Saban is tired of everyone loving his team. No, not just tired – Saban is upset, and you won’t like Nick Saban when he’s upset, as beat reporters from Toledo to East Lansing to Baton Rouge to Miami to Tuscaloosa can attest. Said Saban on Wednesday, upon being asked how much time his backups might see in Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky, “when you people start writing stuff about people that we’re playing that doesn’t give them the proper respect, that’s not fair. It’s not fair to them, to their players who work hard. It’s not fair to our players, who need to respect them.” And then he got upset.

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      UMass Wants to be New England’s Best

      New England occupies the majority of the upper right portion of your U.S. map, though the region’s F.B.S. footprint is significantly smaller. New England is composed of six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The six combine to house three F.B.S. programs, with UMass now joining Boston College and Connecticut — with the Huskies, which joined the F.B.S. in 2000, a relatively recent addition in their own right. Over the years, thanks in large part to being the only show in town, B.C. has been considered New England’s de facto football power; since 2000, however, UConn has been able to steal some of the Eagles’ thunder.

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        No. 120: Massachusetts

        Welcome to Amherst, Mass., once voted the nicest college town in America, and as of a year ago this Thursday, home of the newest member of the MAC. Yes, change is afoot: Kevin Morris is out, Charley Molnar is in; the C.A.A. is out, replaced by the MAC East. During non-conference play, the Minutemen will substitute teams like Central Connecticut State and Old Dominion for teams like Connecticut — the big school in the Nutmeg State — Indiana, Michigan and Vanderbilt. Isn’t simply moving up the F.B.S. hard enough? Before its bye week on Oct. 13, UMass will face a team from the Big East, two teams from the Big Ten and two reigning bowl teams from the MAC. UMass will play five home games all season. And about that: home games will be played at Gillette Stadium while the university refurbishes its own stadium. Welcome to the F.B.S., Minutemen.

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          At Long Last, the MAC’s 2012 Schedule

          @PeteThamelNYT @PreSnapRead Mid-week MAC is vital to me avoiding spending weeknights with my family. A lot riding on this.Thu Mar 29 18:03:26 via web

          The MAC would have released its conference schedule sooner — a month or so ago, in fact — had it not been for Temple, which left for the Big East on March 7. If you remember from earlier this month, the move was fairly devastating to the MAC, which was planning on entering the fall with 14 teams, seven in each division. Temple’s bolt returns the MAC to its customary 13-team layout, with Massachusetts the new face, but the move had another, largely untouched ramification: Bowling Green was pegged to be part of the MAC West with the addition of the Minutemen, but the Falcons will instead remain part of the East. That’s good news for Bowling Green.

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            Is S. Alabama Provisional or Reclassifying?

            What’s the story with South Alabama? Are the Jaguars in the F.B.S., the F.C.S. or floating in the ether between both levels? For me, the answer would mean the difference between 123 previews and 124 — a drop in the bucket in terms of overall word count, but a fairly important distinction nonetheless, if only for my own mental sanity. Here’s the presumption: Texas State, Texas-San Antonio and Massachusetts are full-fledged members of the F.B.S. after spending last season on the F.C.S. level; South Alabama is a “provisional” member. That’s not the case. The N.C.A.A. provides the details.

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              Scheduling Note: It’s That Time Again

              It’s that time of year again. The project-that-shall-not-be-named is about a month and change away — remember, there are 123 teams this year — which means it’s time for a break. It’ll last one week, like last year’s vacation. It’ll begin tomorrow and run through next Sunday. It’ll be at an undisclosed location on the West Coast. As a slight hint, I’ll be within 150 miles of three F.B.S. programs. It won’t be one of those extreme vacations: it’ll be calm, and sleepy, and calm, and relative tasteful. I like to think of it as a glimpse of retirement life, should that ever come to pass. Let’s discuss that and a few other housecleaning notes.

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                Eying the F.C.S. (Again) for No. 14 (Again)

                Since 2007, when Temple joined the fold, the MAC has featured a seven-and-six split between its East and West divisions. This led to a degree of scheduling awkwardness, as you’d expect. Teams from the West, which housed six teams, would play all five of its divisional rivals and another three teams from the East. Six of the seven teams in the East would play six games against divisional foes and two games against West teams. The seventh team, Bowling Green, played five games against the East and three against the West, with Toledo an annual rival.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.