If moving up to play their first season as a college football bowl subdivision outfit wasn’t motivation enough for the UMass Minutemen, then maybe what happened at Ford Field in Detroit Tuesday will be.
At the Mid-American Conference’s media day, UMass was picked to finish last in the seven-team East Division. Ohio, which received all 17 first-place votes, was the choice to win the East. Toledo was the pick in the West Division.
If coach Charley Molnar’s Minutemen were to pull off the improbable and win the East, they would be ineligible to play in the MAC championship game because this is just their second year of reclassification to the FBS.
“I don’t put much stock in [preseason polls],’’ Molnar told reporters. “Nobody here has ever seen us play a game, they don’t know the names of our players or probably most of the coaches and they don’t even know where we play our home games.’’
For the record, the Minutemen will play at Gillette Stadium.
Joining Molnar in Detroit to face the press were Darren Thellen, a senior safety from Brockton and Quinton Sales, a senior center from Fort Washington, Md.
TCU players sentenced
Three former TCU players who were among more than a dozen students arrested during a drug sting have been sentenced to probation on marijuana delivery charges. A spokeswoman for Tarrant County prosecutors said 21-year-old David Yendry pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to three years of probation and fined $300. Tanner Brock and Tyler Horn, both 21, pleaded guilty to the same charges last month. Brock received four years’ probation and was fined $1,200. Horn was sentenced to three years’ probation and was fined $300. The convictions will be cleared if the players complete probation.
Michigan suspended defensive end Frank Clark after authorities said he took a laptop from a campus dorm room. Coach Brady Hoke called it a ‘‘serious accusation.’’ A university police spokeswoman said Clark was arrested June 19 following the theft of the $1,800 laptop at Stockwell Hall, where he was living. He is charged with second-degree home invasion and was released on bond June 20. He is due back in court Aug. 2 . . . Mississippi tight end Jamal Mosley has been suspended indefinitely after he was arrested Saturday night for public drunkenness and disturbing the peace in Oxford, Miss. ‘‘Jamal is suspended indefinitely while we review the situation,’’ Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said . . . Michigan State said junior snapper Steve Moore will miss the 2012 season after fracturing his spinal vertebra during a freak accident Saturday. Moore cracked his C4 vertebra after diving off the back of a boat and landing on a sandbar . . . Southern Cal, which is eligible to play in the Pac-12 championship game and a BCS bowl game after a two-year probation, was the pick to win the Pac-12 South Division, while Oregon was the choice in the North.