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UMass, Sun Belt discuss football-only membership

UMass football UMass, currently in the MAC, will play its third season at the FBS level this fall. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Massachusetts has had preliminary discussions with the Sun Belt Conference about joining the league as a football-only member, CBSSports.com reported Wednesday.

The Minutemen made the jump from FCS to FBS in 2012 and joined the MAC, but the school announced in March that it was ending its football affiliation with the conference following the 2015 season after choosing to not become a full member for all sports.

After losing multiple schools to Conference USA and adding Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Idaho, New Mexico State and Appalachian State, the Sun Belt will be comprised of 11 teams in 2014. Adding one more team is a logical move, allowing for the creation of divisions as well as the possibility of a championship game. The Sun Belt has had talks with multiple FCS schools and will discuss the possibility of adding UMass at its upcoming spring meetings, according to the report.

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Although Massachusetts isn't anywhere near the Sun Belt region on any map, as we’ve learned over the years, realignment moves aren’t always driven by what makes sense geographically. We're already talking about a conference that brings together Idaho and South Alabama. Clearly, any consideration of geographic proximity has already been cast aside.

So, to review: UMass to the Sun Belt? Why not?!

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