UMass adds 19 Games to Future Football Schedules

By Kevin Kelley -

In a release this morning, UMass Director of Athletics John McCutcheon announced the addition of 19 games to their future football schedules.

The additions include a four-game, home-and-home series with BYU and Army, home-and-home series with Appalachian State, Charlotte, Hawaii, Ohio, and Troy, and a single game at Tennessee.

UMass is currently a football-only member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), but will leave the conference after the 2015 season and compete as an FBS Independent in 2016 and 2017.

“We are very excited to announce these games as they give us a great mix of regional rivalries along with national exposure,” said McCutcheon. “Our primary focus now is to finalize the 2016 and 2017 schedules as we move forward.”

The two games against BYU in 2018 and 2019 will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. All other games will be played at either Gillette Stadium or McGuirk Stadium in Amherst. Those will be announced at a later date.

Listed below is each opponent announced today by UMass:

Appalachian State

UMass will travel to play the Mountaineers at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, NC on Oct. 29, 2016 and will host them on Oct. 28, 2017.


UMass will host Army on Nov. 21, 2020 and Nov. 12, 2022. The Minutemen will travel to Michie Stadium in West Point on Nov. 9, 2019 and Nov. 20, 2021.


BYU and UMass will play a four-game, home-and-home series. The first two games are set for LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Oct. 8, 2016 and Nov. 18, 2017.

The last two BYU-UMass games will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Nov. 10, 2018 and Nov. 23, 2019.


UMass will host Charlotte on Sept. 22, 2018 and will travel to face the 49ers at Jerry Richardson Stadium on Sept. 14, 2019.


UMass will travel to face Hawaii at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu on Nov. 26, 2016 and will then host the Rainbow Warriors on Oct. 7, 2017.


The Minutemen will host the Ohio Bobcats on Sept. 30, 2017 and will then travel to face them at Peden Stadium in Athens on Sept. 29, 2018.


UMass will play a single-game at Tennessee on Nov. 4, 2017. The Minutemen will receive a $1 million guarantee for the game.


UMass will travel to face Troy at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Nov. 5, 2016 and will then host the Trojans on Nov. 3, 2018.

UMass Football Schedules

Comments (33)

BYU is playin’ anybody who will return their calls. If it’s a P5 school, all the better. Regionally close good, but will go anywhere. Which is not cheap. They are covering more travel distance this year than any other College team. Good luck filling out a 12 game schedule that makes sense for you UMass.

The notion of a program with zero pedigree being a FBS independent is really not good for long term viability. They turned down full membership in the MAC. It appears they have some notion they can get into the AAC if not they are insane to turn down the MAC.

UMass is such a strange situation in the FBS landscape. I mean, first of all, is there any other school out there who plays their home games as far away from their campus as UMass? I mean, according to google maps, even without traffic, it’s 1 hour and 40 minutes drive to the stadium in Foxborough! I mean, I understand to some extent why schools like UMass and Temple would like, at this point, to play in a pro stadium rather than shelling out the money it would take to have an attractive enough on-campus stadium to attract similar home game opponents, but that’s a hell of a drive for home fans to make considering that, in most cases, your team probably isn’t going to win.

And then they’re going independent? I mean, I understand that they might feel that the MAC isn’t the ideal conference for them. They’re the 13th member that makes for some awkwardness and they aren’t in a conference where the financial benefits will ever likely outweigh the travel situation that goes along with not really fitting the regional profile of the rest of the conference. If they were trying to swap to a conference that is a better regional fit and or a conference that would be considered an upgrade from the MAC (both the ACC and AAC fit those descriptions and the ACC would basically not be an option anytime in the foreseeable future for an athletic program like UMass) that would be one thing. But look how quick most schools visit to the land of independents is. The exceptions have been Notre Dame (who actually is less of an independent than ever), BYU (who would still jump at the opportunity to join the Pac 12 or Big 12, but has decided the MWC would be too much of a step backwards now that the chance of it becoming a power conference went away with Utah and TCU, but who has a national following because of the Mormon faith), and service academies… and even the service academies are slowly giving in and joining conferences (Air Force in 1980, Navy in 2015, with Army being the oddball who joined a conference and then later favored independent status again later).

Even if UMass intends to try to join the AAC (is there actually any evidence that the AAC would be interested? I mean, it does sortakindaalmost fit the metropolitain status that landed several of the programs a spot in the conference… if you accept that Boston is somewhere kind of almost near Amherst and Foxborough) then why would they go independent first? A chance to schedule whoever they heck they want for a couple years before they’re confined to a conference schedule again? Because mostly this just looks like a bad situation if they intend to be an independent long-term.

“Hopefully the upcoming homecoming game against BGSU will show them that they should play as many games on campus as possible.”

I think it showed the opposite, given what happened to the video board.

4 1-A home games needed for 2016 to meet NCAA scheduling requirements. That means they use their Hawaii exception and play all 13 weeks. How are they possibly going to be able to schedule that?

14 weeks to schedule in for teams with no conference championship game. I thought BYU and UMass might do December games to ensure extra bye weeks for cross-county schedules.

But I believe the UMass AD indicated 12 games for 2016.

5 home games should be split 4 at McGuirk and one at Gillette. Contractually the only caveat was playing “at least” half their home games at Gillette through 2016. They played every game there in 2012 and 2013, then from 2014 to 2016 it was a 50/50 split. From what I’ve heard the game in 2016 against UConn is guaranteed at Gillette, but the current game against URI can be moved to Amherst. If that’s the case the other three home games they play that season should be in Amherst. I don’t know if Gillette would really hold them to any agreement since they’re playing there rent-free to begin with; Gillette only makes money off the concessions (and sadly those aren’t too high during UMass games there). The UMass AD did say that 13 games in 2016 was unlikely. The Krafts allowing them to play there was to help them gain a footing in 1-A, so I don’t think they’d force them to play 4 there if they only had 5 home games.

2015 will be 3 and 3. Temple likely Gillette, FIU already in Amherst, that leaves a split of the MAC schedule.

2017 already has ODU and now Hawaii at McGuirk, which means that should be a 4-1 split for Amherst. BYU in 2018 and 2019 are at Gillette which also leaves a 4-1 split for McGuirk.

I hope soon enough (I guess 2019 would be the last season) that they get out of Gillette completely and only play on campus. That’s the best move for the program by far. Of course I know the UMass administration and unfortunately I don’t have 100% confidence that they won’t cock it up and play 4 games as Gillette like you mentioned. Hopefully the upcoming homecoming game against BGSU will show them that they should play as many games on campus as possible.

“Hopefully the upcoming homecoming game against BGSU will show them that they should play as many games on campus as possible.”

I think it showed the opposite, given what happened to the video board.

The Hawaii Exception is just an option. They can also take an extra bi week which, I’m sure they’ll do. I couldn’t figure out why BYU didn’t take an extra home game when they went to HI a few years ago but when you are independent you are struggling to get 12 as it is, much less to get 6 teams to come to you.

Of course this video board was not something anyone wanted to see happen, and thankfully there were no injuries, but let’s be honest, that has no bearing at all on the school’s ability and/or desire to host their games on campus. I know it seems in vogue here to bash UMass, but they can hardly be held responsible for a failed hydraulic system on a rented video replay board. Freak accident, nothing more.

They’ve already said there will be another board when they host Ball State in November. The real issue that people should be concerned about is the amount of students who left after the first half. I was there and that was embarrassing as an alum, especially one who’s passionate about the team. Heard a lot of “it was too hot” nonsense from people, and while the student section is on the sun side this year, and it was warmer than normal for September 27th, you have to stick it out, especially for this particular game.

I do have faith that some winning will do wonders for getting the students to stay for an entire game, and that was an extremely exciting contest to watch against BGSU. Unfortunately UMass lost, and they’ve still got things to work on, but with the next three games against Miami (OH), Kent State, and Eastern Michigan respectively, I’m expecting them to win those games. I never would have said that at any point in the last 2 years. That’s a huge step in the right direction.

It was foolish to turn down the MAC. UMass essentially clung to the A-10 and put its football program in the worst positions possible–no bowl tie-ins, no TV contract (for which the MAC just received a raise from ESPN), annual scrambling for scheduling–rather than go to the MAC for basketball. Heck, the A-10 likely would have taken them back someday if UMass ever decided to go independent in football or if some other league like the AAC, for whatever reason, decided to take them for football only. After all, the A-10 didn’t want to lose UMass. And it’s hard to see why basketball would have fallen apart in the MAC. They could have been for that league what Butler was to the Horizon or Gonzaga is to the WCC, while beefing up out of conference as best as possible to help with RPI. Rivalries would have been missed, sure, but that happens in a world where football is #1. Just ask UConn, or Syracuse, or West Virginia. Would it have been smart for them to stay in the old Big East in order to protect basketball rivalries, while limiting their athletics budget by tens of millions? Then why is it so important for UMass to protect hoops rivalries at the expense of football?

It’s not really about basketball rivalries, it’s about not crippling the rest of the non-revenue sports by forcing them to play in the MAC which would add millions in travel costs across all sports without counterbalancing it with any improvement in competition. It’s not just about men’s basketball.

Obviously men’s basketball is a big component of UMass’ athletics program, but they will certainly leave the A-10 if the right conference is interested in them, namely the AAC. And it is worth pointing out that the MAC basketball league is really terrible. The A-10 is a mid-major but it’s highly competitive and it would have really hurt the university financially to have all their sports have to travel to MAC locations. That’s even with the revenue of having football as a member.

It’s a risk to go indy, of course it is, but the school isn’t in this blind. If we’re fortunate, they will be able to join the AAC within the next handful of years and be better for it.

Going to the AAC will reduce travel costs versus MAC? How does that compute? Sure the AAC has UConn and Temple and maybe ECU, which are not distant from UMass.

But ALL the other AAC programs (Houston/SMU/Tulsa/Tulane/USF/UCF/Memphis/ECU) are relatively distant, much further away than any MAC programs (Buffalo, 6X Ohio / 3x Michigan / Ball St / UNI).

So I don’t understand the travel cost argument yet UMass wants to get into the AAC.

This is all about a program putting their nose in the air, that UMass is too proud and too good for the MAC. When UMass has proved absolutely nothing.

If travel costs are a fundamental concern then UMass should join the Patriot League, NEC or the MAAC. Or beg the CAA.

Travel in the AAC would be easier than in the MAC. You’re right, there’s UConn, Temple, ECU (sort of) and Navy as of 2015. The other programs are further away than the MAC schools, but that is easily offset by the amount of $$ each member school in the AAC gets as part of the TV deal, far more than each MAC member school receives. And it’s all sports travel costs, not just football. UMass would gladly take a spot in the AAC for all sports (of course, since they’re homeless after next season).

If people want to think that UMass is “putting their nose in the air” regarding the MAC they can go ahead. I personally don’t see what’s so hard to understand about the team choosing to be independent rather than harm every single sports team they have to join the MAC for all sports. The MAC wanted UMass and UMass declined. That’s that. They’re back to playing home games in Amherst now as well, which will only help the program, especially in attendance.

You’re right, UMass has a lot to prove at the 1-A level of college football, but the MAC also leaves a lot to be desired. Good luck to the MAC after 2015, no hard feelings, I’m sure they’ll be fine without UMass as a football member. I hope that in a few years we’ll be able to see UMass as a member of the AAC with yearly matchups against UConn, Temple, and Navy.

MAAC doesn’t sponsor football, Maybe best UMass joins the Pioneer League for football. Good luck at going Indy and playing games in Gillette.

Do games played at Gillette Stadium count toward UMass required 4 home games against FBS schools? Also do they have a football stadium on campus and what is it’s capacity.
Thanks. Good luck to UMass it is a big enrollment school, New England does need another FBS football school .

Bylaw states that 5 home games must be against 1-A (FBS) opponents are required. Unless I missed something and Rhode Island is jumping to 1-A by then, or the 2016 schedule on this site is incorrect, UMass only has one home contest scheduled against 1-A with UConn. That means they have to come up with 4 more 1-A teams willing to come to UMass. Can’t see how they can pay for a 1 and done, and home and homes will be hard to come by. 2017 has only two dates left where they can travel and they still need one more 1-A home game for that season. They are looking a little better for 2018 and 2019 for scheduling a home and home, but look at BYU’s schedule with them. First two games in Provo while UMass will still be 1-A. Bet that contract has an out for BYU if UMass falls to 1-AA again.

This is from the NCAA FAQs page. I fully admit I do not know if URI meets this requirement, however the UMass AD has publicly stated that the 2016 schedule is likely going to be 12 games, not 13.

“Q. Is it permissible to count a contest against a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision
(FCS) opponent to satisfy the football scheduling requirement specified in Bylaw

A. Each year, a FBS institution may count one contest against a FCS opponent to satisfy the
football scheduling requirement, provided the Football Championship Subdivision
opponent has averaged 90 percent of the permissible maximum number of grant-in-aids per
year in the FCS over a rolling two-year period. [Bylaws and]”

Given that UMass is seemingly looking for 3 games and not 4, URI likely meets this standard. Also, AD John McCutcheon was quoted yesterday as saying that they only needed 3 home games. He also said that UMass has had discussions with the Sun Belt regarding 2016 and that the Sun Belt was willing to accomodate them given that they only had 11 football schools.

It seems like they’ll only need 3 more games and they could likely have them as soon as the Sun Belt settles its conference slate for 2016.

The Rhode Island home game in 2016 has been cancelled. Is UMass in fact assuming a waiver for 2016 and not scheduling home games in an effort to meet home game requirements for late years?

The American is all set for a good long time, the Sun Belt on the other hand needs just one school to hold a championship game in football, and UMass for football only makes sense since they need an Eastern school

UMASS has a heck of a schedule thru 2019. Most G5’s would kill for the schedule their AD came up with

Great 2016 schedule with a late trip to Hawaii thrown in too ! A heads up watch out for recent commit Taylor Riggins this kid is the real deal , check his on line video.