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What I'm hearing about Conference USA, UMass, the CAA and more:

IMO, UMass fans should take a deep breath and enjoy the holidays

Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

Last week, Conference USA announced Delaware as the league’s 11th full member, with the Blue Hens joining the conference in 2025-2026. The move represented a change of heart for Delaware, as well as many in Conference USA, as the two sides were not considered a likely pair as late as this summer. But as the college sports landscape changed, and as the two sides got to know each other a little better, the partnership started to make more and more sense.

But it’s not exactly a state secret that Conference USA would prefer to not be at 11 teams forever. Maybe the number is 12, maybe it’s 14 (it’s not going to be more than 14)…but eventually, the league would like to expand.

But who are they going to add? And when? And what do those potential changes mean for the rest of college sports?

I’ve been hitting the phones for the last few weeks. Here’s what I’ve been hearing:

Let’s talk about UMass

It makes perfect sense for fan speculation to immediately turn to UMass. The Minutemen are a bus ride away from Delaware, share meaningful FCS football history, and are similar institutions (academically selective, state flagships, etc). The UMass athletic administration has also been clear that the school does not want to be an FBS independent long-term, and views securing a conference invite to be critically important.

Multiple industry sources have told me that during their conversations with Conference USA, Delaware indicated that they would be very happy about UMass potentially joining the conference, although Delaware’s invite and interest in CUSA were in no way dependent on anything happening one way or another in Amherst. I’m also told that UMass would be receptive to continued conversations with CUSA.

But is anything imminent? Is anything going to be announced this calendar year?

I’m told….no. And here’s why.

Real quick, even though I’m turning on the paywall below, let me just offer this for any UMass fan readers. Do not panic. Enjoy your holiday season. I am not trying to play with your emotions. Again, do not panic. What is below this paywall fold is not bad news. It is just regular ol’ news.

Okay, back to the story:

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