So, the 2018-19 college sports season has already begun, with Division 1 soccer kicking things off in the middle of August, and the first Division 1A football game being played between Duquesne and UMass Amherst last Saturday. I do a New England college sports radio show Wednesday nights from 6-8 on WMWM, 91.7 FM, and this year I’m giving extra coverage to football at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, for a few reasons. Sometimes I think I should get away from the bullet point format, but then again it works for me sometimes. Anyway, below are some things that jump out at me about UMass football.
1. UMass has had a rough five seasons, but then again moving from 1-AA to 1-A football is always rough. Most people refer to these leagues as FCS and FBS, but I guess I’m old-fashioned. However, it looks like this year could be a break out year for them.
2. If UMass football does well, it could change the landscape of football in New England, in the sense that Massachusetts would then have a second solid Division 1 program. Although this wouldn’t rock the national college sports world, it would mean that the western part of the state would have an exciting new venue for people to go to. Sure, going to a UMass game already represents an awesome way to spend a Saturday for many, but some wins would boost that some.
3. UMass is only one of a few teams left that doesn’t belong to a conference, along with Notre Dame, BYU and one other, I believe. What that means is they have a wide variety of opponents, from Hawaii to Georgia.
4. Someday I really do want to take a ride out to Amherst and check out what is a beautiful part of the state and a stadium I’ve never seen before, McGuirk.
5. I have heard rumblings of tearing down McGuirk and building a new, bigger stadium, but I for one like to emphasize working on making the experience of a UMass game as fun as possible for the whole family, including looking at areas for kids and adults to be able to throw the football and run around, serving really good hot dogs and pretzels, and most of all creating an atmosphere that all members of the family can enjoy.
6. I really enjoy marching bands, and I’m looking forward to see what kind of entertainment they provide. Because, as I have learned, all college bands are great, but some are more fun than others. Then again, sometimes I think the band has more fun than anyone else.
i’ll add little tidbits about NE college sports in the days to come and do a new post next Wednesday.