The Mid-American Conference announced a new divisional alignment in football beginning with the 2012 season as UMass joins the conference to bring the number of football membership to 14 beginning this fall. With the addition of UMass, who will compete in the East Division, Bowling Green State University will move to the MAC West Division.
The divisional alignment was a unanimous vote by the MAC Council of Presidents, as recommended by the Council of Director of Athletics. This alignment will be for football only.
MAC East: Akron; Buffalo; Kent State; UMass; Miami; Ohio and Temple.
MAC West: Ball State; Bowling Green; Central Michigan; Eastern Michigan; Northern Illinois; Toledo and Western Michigan.
"Ever since our announcement of the addition of UMass in football last spring, divisional alignment has been a topic of conversation among our Presidents and Directors of Athletics," said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, MAC Commissioner. "We considered a number of different paradigms and ultimately we focused on the core principles of geography, travel and rivalries. We now have a true rotational cycle for football and a scheduling model that will extend for future years."
This will be the first time since 2006 that the MAC will have balanced divisional schedules. Each member will continue to play an eight-game conference schedule, however each member will now play six divisional games and two non-divisional cross-over games. There will no longer be protected cross-over games.
UMass will begin conference play for the 2012 football season and will be eligible for the conference football championship game and a bowl game beginning in the 2013 football season.