The Mid-American Conference has realigned its football divisions beginning in 2012, with newest member UMass joining the East Division and Bowling Green moving to the West. The seven-team divisions will have a balanced schedule for the first time since 2006.
Each team will play every opponent in its division along with two cross-division games per season. Thus, Kent State will continue its annual rivalries with Akron, Ohio, Miami and Temple and will also take on Buffalo for the first time since 2009. The Golden Flashes will also play UMass, owners of three FCS national title game appearances, for the first time in program history.
"UMass has always had a very strong program and we know they will challenge us right away," KSU head coach Darrell Hazell said. "We look forward to playing out there, which should help our recruiting on the East Coast."
The Flashes 2012 conference schedule will include home games against Akron, Ohio, Temple and Western Michigan, with dates to be announced in early March. Kent State ill travel to Miami, UMass, Buffalo and Eastern Michigan.
"We get three bowl teams at home and I like our road schedule," Hazell said.
In non-conference play, Kent State hosts Towson (Aug. 30) and will play road games at Army, Rutgers and Kentucky.
The Golden Flashes won four-of-five games to end the 2011 season and will announce its incoming recruting class Feb. 1 on National Signing Day, the same day season tickets go on sale. Kent State will hold its annual Spring Game April 21.