Mississippi State, UMass Schedule Three-Game Football Series

By Kevin Kelley -

The Mississippi State Bulldogs and the UMass Minutemen have scheduled a three-game football series for 2016, 2017, and 2020, Gazettenet.com has reported.

In the first game of the series on Sept. 24, 2016, UMass will host Mississippi State at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. This will be only the second time that UMass has hosted a team from the SEC following a visit from Vanderbilt in 2013.

The second and third games of the series will both be played at Mississippi State’s Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville. The two schools will meet there on Sept. 23, 2017 and Oct. 17, 2020.

UMass, which will be an FBS Independent in 2016, now has four home games scheduled and only needs one more to meet the NCAA minimum of five. The game will most likely be against an FCS opponent.

Home games for the Minutemen in 2016 include UConn (Sept. 10), Mississippi State (Sept. 24), Tulane (Oct. 1), and Louisiana Tech (Oct. 15).

UMass will visit Florida (Sept. 3), Boston College (Sept. 17), Old Dominion (Oct. 8), Appalachian State (Oct. 29), Troy (Nov. 5), BYU (Nov. 19), and Hawaii (Nov. 26).

Since the Minutemen play at Hawaii in 2016, they are allowed to schedule a 13th regular-season game under NCAA rules. However, new athletics director Ryan Bamford tweeted over the weekend that a 13th game is “not happening.”

In 2017, UMass only needs one more game to complete their schedule. Currently, they have five home games and six road games. A trip to Indiana was previously scheduled for Sept. 23, but Mississippi State now occupies that date.

Mississippi State has now tentatively completed their 2016 non-conference schedule. The Bulldogs are also slated to host South Alabama (Sept. 3) and Samford (date TBA) and travel to BYU (Oct. 15).

In 2017, the home game against UMass joins a game vs. BYU (Oct. 14) and a trip to Louisiana Tech (Sept. 9). The Bulldogs have one other game currently scheduled in 2020 — a Sept. 12 trip to NC State.

Football Schedules

Comments (20)

A SEC team leaving the south to play an out of conference game!! I guess it does happen once or twice in a lifetime!! Lol!!

You must not pay very much attention to college football if you only think it happens “once or twice in a lifetime”.

I look forward to all the posts railing UMass as a joke and calling for us to drop football. Always fun.

I’m very excited we have a series on the books with a team like Mississippi State, and look forward to seeing them at Gillette in 2016.

2016 is UMass’ first season of independent football, and it’s going to be a tough one. Hopefully the program continues to improve and makes its way into a conference in the next 3-4 years.

In the interim, the new AD has done a great job filling out the schedule with qulaity games and opponents. Exciting time for UMass football.

A surprising as this announcement is, how does it change the outlook for UMass football? They are without a conference home, without a television contact, have disinterested student and alumni fan bases, have horrible on campus facilities and have an agreement to play at Gillette stadium (over 100 miles from their campus) that favors the Kraft family. How does all of that translate into a successful program?

UMass isn’t a joke, it’s a populous state’s land grant institution and central state university. It has a fine academic tradition. And, it’s not all that different than how it once was for Boston College before the Big East football conference was formed. You take games when and where you can get them.
Great catch on getting one of last season’s #1 teams in the nation to go on the road, and using Gillette Stadium to an advantage that could never quite be done playing MAC schools. IF this is Bamford’s plan, then there’s a rationale that BYU doesn’t have. Of course, there’s only one 2016. Games have to be played at McGuirk at some point. How will that happen trading two road trips just to get one home game? Serious questions that Bamford needs to step up and answer. Partly, because his outright rejection of a 13th game is FOOLISH. Pick up an extra FCS game! UMaine and UNH both relish a chance to play at Gillette. Other former A10 Football rivals such as URI, Villanova and maybe James Madison or William & Mary would be glad to play UMass again at McGuirk. (UMaine and UNH would sell a lot of seats in Gillette more than McGuirk though…) Nearby state schools such as Albany and Stony Brook that weren’t in the A10 but are in the CAA now would also be good FCS games.
But don’t expect any conferences to come calling soon. Must stay aggressive along with getting independents BYU and Army on the schedule every year, and offering Gillette games to big schools like Mississippi State. Kudos.

This is for all the SEC haters.

I went back and looked at SEC teams’ football schedules, starting in 2002. I’ve included Missouri and Texas A&M, too.

What I also considered was road trips that would have been longer than traveling to Lexington, KY. For example, LSU @ Tulane and Ole Miss @ Memphis don’t count, but Ole Miss @ Texas Tech and Georgia @ Oklahoma State do.

Auburn – @ S Cal ’02, @ W Virginia ’08, @ Kansas St ’14

Alabama – @ Oklahoma ’02, @ Hawaii ’02, @ Hawaii ’03, @ Penn St ’11

Ole Miss – @ Texas Tech ’02, @ Wyoming ’04, @ Missouri ’06, @ Fresno St ’11, @ Texas ’13

Miss St – @ Oregon ’02, @ Houston ’03, @ W Virginia ’07

LSU – @ VA Tech ’02, @ Arizona ’03, @ Arizona St ’05, @ Washington ’09, @ W Virginia ’11, @ Syracuse ’15

Arkansas – @ S Cal ’05, @ Rutgers ’13

Texas A&M – @ Pitt ’02, @ VA Tech ’03, @ Utah ’04, @ Clemson ’05, @ Miami (YTM) ’07

Georgia – @ Arizona St ’08, @ Oklahoma St ’09, @ Colorado ’10

South Carolina – @ Virginia ’02

Florida – none

Tennessee – @ Notre Dame ’05, @ Cal ’07, @ UCLA ’08, @ Oregon ’13

Missouri – @ Illinois ’02, @ Bowling Green ’02, @ Ball St ’03, @ Illinois ’07, @ Arizona St ’11, @ Indiana ’13, @ Toledo ’14

Vanderbilt – @ Navy ’04, @ Michigan ’06, @ Miami (NTM) ’08, @ Army ’09, @ UConn ’10, @ Northwestern ’12, @ UMass ’13

Kentucky – @ Indiana ’03, @ Miami (NTM) ’09

Looking at this list, there are some obvious homebodies, with Florida being the most glaring. However, the notion that the SEC as a whole is unwilling to travel anywhere outside of its footprint is just plain wrong.

This is not a lot of traveling, buddy. It’s embarrassing actually that you can list this off… Plus, the Great SEC only plays 8 conference games. What a disgrace.

Seems like ’02 was picked to make the statistics look better. Go back just a decade and you lose almost 40% of the games you have listed. Also including A&M and Missouri while they were not SEC also helps the % of away games. A&M has had no OOC games as SEC and Missouri faced Indiana & Toledo, hardly difficult games. And, finally, The PSU/Alabama game was originally scheduled for the early 2000’s and would not be listed if it had been played as originally scheduled.

The fact that you only have one game, LSU @ The mighty Orangemen, for this year, kind of make the opposite point that you argue. Although the Orangemen did spank Florida back in 1991, causing the Gators to never venture North again.

I didn’t do this from memory by any means, I have this on file and just bring it up when I think it’s necessary.

I’m not saying the SEC is the benchmark for out of conference scheduling, but I bet if you took a look at power programs from other conferences, their travel is about as short as the SEC’s.

I went back to 2002 because that is ESPN’s first year of having all of the scores for the FBS teams in one place. Anything beyond that I would have to use individual team sites, etc. Way too much time and effort. I used this site for the 2015 schedules and beyond.

You can’t count Texas A&M. They joined in 2012. Mizzu only had 2 road games since joining the SEC.

What a joke. They could of done that with a Power 5 team. Somebody is dodging competition. UMass really!!!!!

Texas Tech just scheduled a series with UTEP. Why have you not bashed them? Only the SEC scheduled bad, right?

They do but this story is on Miss St.

So hot head when was the last time Miss St scheduled somebody legit and beat them?????

I am not defending Miss State….don’t like them at all. I just hate how it is OK to blast an SEC school but not a Big 10 or Big 12, etc..

Don’t get the hot head comment. State has upgraded the schedule look at the up coming games.

The thing about the SEC is they use their conference strength as a excuse when they’re really not worlds apart from the other conferences. They’re beatable, it’s just hard because they have better resources than most but the media and over opinionated individuals make them out to be Titans among men when they’re not. The BCS era worked in their favor because it catered to these flawed beliefs and then we moved to the playoffs and people were saying we would see 2-3 teams from the SEC in the playoff picture and what happened? There was only 1 (Alabama) and they lost in the semi-finals to a team in a conference that was believed to be extremely weak in comparison and at one point OSU was ranked 16 in the polls and a lot of people wrote them off. The SEC needs to let go of their pride and schedule better on the whole and move to 9 conference games especially since they have permanent cross-division rivals and 14 teams. You can’t be mad at this series though because it really helps UMass a lot but they need 2 more home games in my opinion.

There’s no doubt the SEC doesn’t like to travel… but can you blame them? They FILL their hometowns with 100,000+ seat stadiums and more outside in tents. That’s a heck of a lot of revenue to give up. And for what in exchange? Less tongue-wagging? It wasn’t that long ago that my alma mater, Auburn, had to play a majority of its games on the road. Historically, Auburn’s home games for ‘Bama were forced to be in Birmingham (first by state law, then by Bryant — it took Dye’s standing up to him to end that), the home games with Tennessee were in Birmingham because UT wouldn’t travel to Auburn. Home games with LSU when they happened were often in Mobile, and the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” with Georgia? Originally those were played in Columbus, GA for Auburn’s home games. So, yeah, Auburn dealt with that for many years, so what. They went to Manhattan, KS last year, and they’re taking on Louisville away from home this year. Oh, and that list up there is missing AU’s trip to Clemson.
UMass isn’t doing anything that its fellow land-grant Auburn was having to do fifty+ years ago. So, more power to ’em. Travelling 100 miles to Gillette isn’t any different from Auburn having to travel 100 miles to Legion Field for home games for many decades.