The official announcement alleged to herald the departure of UMass for the MAC is still hours away, but the chattering classes are up and at 'em. SB Nation's BC Interruption doesn't like how this bodes for Boston College:
Can't say my thinking on this has changed much since this report surfaced in December. BC doesn't have much to gain from scheduling UMass going forward and a lot to lose. Worst-case scenario is that GDF plans on adding UMass to future football schedules to replace the annual game against a Division I-AA opponent, but I doubt it.
It will be certainly be interesting to see how the BC Athletics Department plays this. Playing UMass could be a lose-lose for the program for all the same reasons that playing UConn would be, except for that whole "lining the pocket of the party that tried to sue you" thing.
Our MAC community, Hustle Belt, is taking a sunnier approach:
First off, welcome UMass! You may want to bookmark this site. We all kind of look out for each other, since it's popular for larger schools to dump on us, much like the rich French aristocracy thumbed their noses at the poor people. You're on our side during nonconference bouts and bowl games, but when it's time to play each other, it'sawn. You'll become a provisional member in 2012, but until then, do your best. And hey: you might even finish better than last place your first year. And while we sort of wish you'd become a full-fledged member; we understand. The Atlantic 10 is pretty solid in basketball. If you want to know what it's like to be a half-member, talk to Temple.
Hustle Belt has also done some ruminating on possible seven-team divisions within the newly-expanded MAC; more on that at the above link. UMass' press conference is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EDT.