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The University of Massachusetts Amherst, better known as UMass, is extremely terrible at football. And as it begins the 2022 season, its depth chart is complete and utter chaos.
The Minutemen moved to the FBS level in 2012 and have not won more than four games in a single season since. In fact, their most successful seasons in the modern era came in 2017 and 2018 when they went 4-8.
Outside of those two years, it has been even uglier. UMass went 1-11 in 2019, lost all four of its games during the COVID-shortened 2020 season and followed it up with another 1-11 season last fall.
The Minutemen’s only win in 2022 came against UConn, a team that recorded just one win against Yale. That led to fans storming the field after their first win in more than two seasons.
As a result of the poor final result, head coach Walt Bell was relieved of his duties.
In his place, the school looked backward to go forward and hired former head coach Dom Brown. Brown, who served in the same role at the same school from 2004 to 2008, led UMass to winning seasons in four of his five years, reached the FCS playoffs twice, and played for an FCS national championship in 2006.
Following the 2008/09 season, Brown left to become the defensive coordinator at Maryland, and then UConn, Boston College, Michigan and most recently Arizona. Now he is back in Amherst coaching the Minutemen once again.
Returning UMass Football to a state of success is going to be a rather difficult task.
Brown, 67, does not have a particularly talented roster to work with and it appears as though he has no idea who is going to be playing where or when. The Minutemen released their official depth chart prior to their Week 1 matchup against Tulane and it is mayhem.
Although there is a lot of uncertainty about starting and backup roles across the entire field, the quarterback position in particular stands out as unusual. Where some teams may list two quarterbacks as the starters amid a competition, Brown and his staff took things to the next level.
UMass football listed not one, not two, not three, not four, but five potential starting quarterbacks for Saturday.
There are two reasons that this could be the case. Either UMass has absolutely no idea who is going to play quarterback this weekend and is hoping that the situation figures itself out before kickoff, or Brown is so old school that he is taking every tactical advantage that he can get.
By listing five quarterbacks, Tulane doesn’t know which player to prepare for during practice. The staff in New Orleans has to assume that it could be any of the five guys and can’t focus-in on the style of one named starter.
Regardless of who takes the field for the Minutemen on Saturday, they are listed as 28-point underdogs on DraftKings and a win over the Green Wave would be miraculous. That doesn’t mean that listing five potential starting quarterbacks is any less wild.
Chess, not checkers!