It is being reported that the long rumored Maine trip to Gillette is now final.
This should mean the 2013 non-conference schedule is full. The team opens at Wisconsin (Aug. 31); vs. Maine (Sept. 9); at Kansas State (Sept. 14), vs. Vanderbilt (Sept. 21).
All of the 21 non-conference games scheduled through 2019 are viewable here.
This means that the Minutemen have their first must win game of the FBS era. Is that overstating it? I don’t think so. Maine is the only 1AA team which UMass has scheduled thus far. Beyond that, they are the only non-BCS conference team.
There’s more, though.
Matty V’s sources say UMass would pay Maine for the game. Vautour writes, “The source expects it to be less than $200,000.”
This is why this is a must win game. If UMass pays Maine to come down from Orono to play at Gillette — and the Black Bears pull an upset — UMass nation won’t hear the end of it for quite some time.
[via Matty Vautour]