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View Full Version : WCHA lifts moratorium on expansion



ditt1605
04-28-2009, 03:55 PM
http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/43900612.html


It will be interesting to see who they're looking at for a 12th team.

MrGopher
04-28-2009, 08:34 PM
I would like to see either Neb-Omaha or Air Force join.

I respect Michigan Tech, and I realize its location is better suited for the WCHA (as it exists now) than it does for the CCHA, but I think the WCHA should shift westward a bit and trade MichTech for Alaska Fairbanks. It never made sense to me why the two AK schools are not in the same conference.

Here is my ideal WCHA: Minn, Mankato, St. Cloud, UMD, UND, wisc, Bemidji, Denver, CC, AK-Anch, AK-Frbnks, and.... UN-Omaha. That's 12. (Omaha needs the WCHA more than Air Force)

My ideal CCHA: NorthernMich, MichTech, Mich, Mich St., Lake Superior St., Ferris St, WesternMich, NotreDame, OSU, MiamiOH, BowlingGreen and Alabama-Huntsville (from CHA). That's 12.

In the (probably distant) future of College Hockey, maybe they could develop a Pacific Coast Conference. U of British Columbia is pushing for NCAA acceptance...

lakesbison
04-28-2009, 09:10 PM
NDSU (dont ask me why) said NO to hockey, even though there is a 5000 brand new arena in fargo *that hosted the U 18 Worlds)
and Dean Blais was willing to start it. ONLY to now have those boosters goto MOORHEAD STATE.


Moorhead State had a press conf. 2 weeks ago to say they are pusuing it.

(only they said, they need to #1 - $10 million donor dollars #2 - a CONFERENCE.)

I don't see it happening, but who knows, Bemidji State should be included for sure.


BIG TEN HOCKEY?? on BIG TEN NETWORK?? NOOO???

Minn
Wisc
Mich
Mich St
Ohio St
Notre Dame?

MrGopher
04-28-2009, 09:30 PM
BIG TEN HOCKEY?? on BIG TEN NETWORK?? NOOO???

Minn
Wisc
Mich
Mich St
Ohio St
Notre Dame?

Never. I will not support going to a Big Ten (plus Notre Dame) hockey conference.

Surrender North Dakota, UMD, St. Cloud, Mankato, Denver, CC as conference rivals? I would hate that. I hope it never happens.

Now a mid-season tournament with a trophy, that's a different story. I'm on board with that. The U, wisc, Mich, and MchSt already have something like that in the annual College Hockey Showcase.

It could definitely work: Each team has only four teams to play (forget about notre dame), so they play them each once (four games, in two weekends) the team with the best record (shootouts after ties) gets the Big Ten Hockey Tournament Trophy.

RodentRampage
04-29-2009, 08:34 AM
You say "don't ask me why" NDSU didn't add hockey, as if it is some sort of mystery. I can give you five reasons: money, money, money, money and money. I believe that NDSU has already had quite a lot of expenses in moving up to D-I as it is. Most on the posters on Bisonville don't find the lack of hockey at NDSU quite so mysterious. If NDSU had had hockey, they might not have moved up to D-I.

Moorhead State considering D-I hockey is rather preculiar. If the CHA were still around, sure, it would make sense. But there is little room these days in conferences for a brand new D-I hockey team, since it has to be created from scratch, rather than upgraded from an existing D-II or D-III team. While geograpically Moorhead makes a lot of sense for a D-I hockey team, it just doesn't seem all that practical.

ditt1605
04-29-2009, 02:53 PM
I'm pretty sure that the WCHA is not going to get rid of any of the current teams, just add 2 more. I don't think that the schools would have opened up the moratorium if they thought that current members would get kicked out. I've heard rumors of switching out teams for geographic reasons, but I doubt any of those rumored teams are willing to go to a lesser conference just to save on some travel. UAA and fairbanks would still have to fly to the "main land" for every other game regardless if both were or were not in the WCHA (one less weekend of major travel if they were in the same conference). MI tech is basically the same only with Northern MI.

RodentRampage
04-29-2009, 03:45 PM
I'm sure the two Alaska teams would love to be in the same conference. But it might not be so appealing to the other teams in the conference, who would have to make two trips out to Alaska, instead of one. I suppose they could cram in two series in one trip, playing one series at Anchorage and one at Fairbanks before returning home.

Bemidji seems by far the most likely choice for the 11th team.

magpie
05-01-2009, 08:47 PM
Bemidji is in, but not until a 12th joins. I agree Air Force is a logical one, as is Alaska. Both share their states with other current WCHA members. I also agree that a Tech-Fairbanks swap makes sense. To have a western conference, you'd think the western most teams would be in it. That's the 3 Colorado schools, 5 Minnesota schools, 2 Alaska schools, plus No Dak and Wiscy.

I'd be down with a Big Ten conference as well, assuming one more school makes the leap or a current school joins the conference. I could care less about playing St Cloud, Mankato, or Bemidji. We have what, 4 or 5 NC series each year? Trade off CC & DU every two years, as well as UND & a small town MN school. Then keep UMD permanent, and add a random eastern school (ME, BC, BU, NH, etc).

Again, that would only happen if Notre Dame, Bowling Green, or Miami joined the Big Ten -- or if Penn St ups their team as has been rumored. I don't see it happening any time soon, and it'd be a delicate situation, but it's stupid to not play OSU yearly. I'd take OSU over Anchorage or Tech any day of the week.

magpie
05-01-2009, 09:00 PM
Here is my ideal WCHA: Minn, Mankato, St. Cloud, UMD, UND, wisc, Bemidji, Denver, CC, AK-Anch, AK-Frbnks, and.... UN-Omaha. That's 12. (Omaha needs the WCHA more than Air Force)

My ideal CCHA: NorthernMich, MichTech, Mich, Mich St., Lake Superior St., Ferris St, WesternMich, NotreDame, OSU, MiamiOH, BowlingGreen and Alabama-Huntsville (from CHA). That's 12.

WCHA (10): Air Force, Alaska, Anchorage, Bemdiji, CC, Denver, Duluth, Mankato, Omaha, St Cloud

CCHA (10): Bowling Green, Ferris, Huntsville, Lk Superior, Miami, Niagara, No Mich, Robert Morris, Tech, W Mich

Big Ten (6): Minnesota, Michigan, Mich St, Ohio St, Wisconsin, Notre Dame (by invite)

CHA: disbanded

Why? Minnesota still rules the state, but the prestige will shoot back up when the Big Ten dominates the otherwise powerful WCHA. We'd no longer have UND, and in-state rivals fighting for our star players. We'll also return to the conference that we play ALL other sports in, as we should.

GopherFan75
05-01-2009, 09:00 PM
I would hate not getting to play UND or St. Cloud as much. Those are great rivalries and always entertaining games.
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GopherFan75
05-01-2009, 09:02 PM
WCHA (10): Air Force, Alaska, Anchorage, Bemdiji, CC, Denver, Duluth, Mankato, Omaha, St Cloud

CCHA (10): Bowling Green, Ferris, Huntsville, Lk Superior, Miami, Niagara, No Mich, Robert Morris, Tech, W Mich

Big Ten (6): Minnesota, Michigan, Mich St, Ohio St, Wisconsin, Notre Dame (by invite)

CHA: disbanded

Why? Minnesota still rules the state, but the prestige will shoot back up when the Big Ten dominates the otherwise powerful WCHA. We'd no longer have UND, and in-state rivals fighting for our star players. We'll also return to the conference that we play ALL other sports in, as we should.

Maybe I'm reading it wrong but where does UND fit in?
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MrGopher
05-01-2009, 10:57 PM
WCHA (10): Air Force, Alaska, Anchorage, Bemdiji, CC, Denver, Duluth, Mankato, Omaha, St Cloud

CCHA (10): Bowling Green, Ferris, Huntsville, Lk Superior, Miami, Niagara, No Mich, Robert Morris, Tech, W Mich

Big Ten (6): Minnesota, Michigan, Mich St, Ohio St, Wisconsin, Notre Dame (by invite)

CHA: disbanded

Why? Minnesota still rules the state, but the prestige will shoot back up when the Big Ten dominates the otherwise powerful WCHA. We'd no longer have UND, and in-state rivals fighting for our star players. We'll also return to the conference that we play ALL other sports in, as we should.

Okay. I very much disagree. Here's why.

1. The U is the top rival of St. Cloud, Mankato, Duluth, North Dakota, and Bemidji St (if they joined the conference). The popularity of Hockey in those schools is (partially) motivated by their only chance to compete with the Big Boys who are big nationally in other sports (The U, and Wisconsin). The same goes for N. Mich, Bowling Green, etc. when they get a chance to play Mich and Mich St.

2. Having a 'big school' conference is elitist in a way, suggesting that we are 'above' those smaller schools is not the right attitude for hockey, especially in the State of Hockey. Football and Basketball both struggle with their 'ranking' of BCS conferences over 'mid-major' conferences. It sucks that the MAC and the Big10 occupy the same geography, but the MAC schools really don't compete on the same level. The MAC is essentially the 'irrelevant' conference of the region. Your proposed CCHA and WCHA would become like the MAC of college hockey. College Hockey as it exists is beautiful because it is above that.

3. College hockey is special in places like Minnesota, Michigan, and the Northeast because the rivalries are between schools that are so much more closer (geographically) than the rivalries in football and basketball. It is a sport that divides hockey fan families because brothers could just as easily go to The U as to St. Cloud or Duluth. The state of Minnesota is united in its love for hockey, and it is intensified by the internal competition we have. It emphasizes the 'cult' feel of College Hockey.

4. That internal competition is just as important and fierce on the recruiting front. When we watch players from St. Cloud and North Dakota and Duluth play each other, the rivalries are intense because many of them were rivals back in their high school hockey days.

5. The WCHA final five is THE best event in college hockey. Period. Do you think a big ten tournament could even come close to that level of intensity? They probably would put it in indiana or chicago just like the basketball tournament. Absolutely ridiculous. The CCHA tournament is great too (from what i hear) because of the fact that geographical rivals can meet and compete in a great environment.

6. Rivalries are infinitely more intense if they are within the conference. See what happened to the Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry? and they are only in separate divisions now. Part of the intensity of the NoDak-Minn rivalry is that the conference title is often on the line when they play. Michigan and Ohio St. Football play each other once a year, right? Lets say Ohio St joins a different conference, but they still play their one game a year with Michigan. The rivalry would be very diminished, especially after a few years. This is how it is with NoDak and The U. It would be criminal to divide them.

7. Your Big Ten conference is hardly the Big Ten, anyway. First of all it is less than half of the big10 schools. Second of all, you have to add a school just to have half as many schools as the WCHA currently wants to have. Six teams is not a conference, even if all the schools are huge.

8. I think the Big Ten status of these schools should be acknowledged in College Hockey by having a mid-season tournament. Five teams: each team play the other four once. Four games. Two weekends. Shootouts after tie games. A bigten tournament champion trophy. There is your Big Ten Hockey champion. That way you dont have to sacrifice all of the points I made above and you have your Big Ten champion.

magpie
05-02-2009, 12:57 PM
Maybe I'm reading it wrong but where does UND fit in?

WCHA (10): Air Force, Alaska, Anchorage, Bemdiji, CC, Denver, Duluth, Mankato, No Dak, St Cloud

CCHA (10): Bowling Green, Ferris, Huntsville, Lk Superior, Miami, Niagara, No Mich, Omaha, Tech, W Mich

Big Ten (6): Minnesota, Michigan, Mich St, Ohio St, Wisconsin, Notre Dame (by invite)

CHA: disbanded

oops -- that actually works better. Robert Morris is the silly one here anyway.

magpie
05-02-2009, 01:56 PM
1. The U is the top rival of St. Cloud, Mankato, Duluth, North Dakota, and Bemidji St (if they joined the conference). The popularity of Hockey in those schools is (partially) motivated by their only chance to compete with the Big Boys who are big nationally in other sports (The U, and Wisconsin). The same goes for N. Mich, Bowling Green, etc. when they get a chance to play Mich and Mich St.The U is a rival to local teams due to geography, and national teams due to prestige. The U will always be high on opponents lists. That argument means little.

As for small schools motivation? I agree to a point, but they are still considered D-I, why not let them face common opponents (SCSU, BSU, UMD play many sports together) and meet the mighty U in the national level when they've earned the right?

Minnesota leads series with Bemidji 6-0, Duluth 127-68, Mankato 28-5, and St Cloud 47-23.
(I looked for examples of Michigan, MSU, and Wisconsin series records, but alas -- can't find a site for them). Point is, I'm sure all of them dominant their in-state younger siblings. Those series are ~typically~ entertaining only when the smaller school has a good season.


2. Having a 'big school' conference is elitist in a way, suggesting that we are 'above' those smaller schools is not the right attitude for hockey, especially in the State of Hockey. Football and Basketball both struggle with their 'ranking' of BCS conferences over 'mid-major' conferences. It sucks that the MAC and the Big10 occupy the same geography, but the MAC schools really don't compete on the same level. The MAC is essentially the 'irrelevant' conference of the region. Your proposed CCHA and WCHA would become like the MAC of college hockey. College Hockey as it exists is beautiful because it is above that.It's not elitist -- the BigTen is our conference in ALL sports, hockey the exception. Why?? We babied the small schools enough to get them up to D-I level, now prepare to cut the cord and let them dictate their own futures. As for comparing the MAC and football and such -- we're not being elitist, again, they just aren't competing. When they do produce a league champ, they are usually solid. They still get national attention, same as us.


3. College hockey is special in places like Minnesota, Michigan, and the Northeast because the rivalries are between schools that are so much more closer (geographically) than the rivalries in football and basketball. It is a sport that divides hockey fan families because brothers could just as easily go to The U as to St. Cloud or Duluth. The state of Minnesota is united in its love for hockey, and it is intensified by the internal competition we have. It emphasizes the 'cult' feel of College Hockey.It's not like we'd never play them. I'll touch on this later per one of your other points. For now, look at the reverse. Ohio State is a notable school, Big Ten or not. They are a multi-sport rival, yet we rarely play them in hockey. That's a bunch of crap.

As for cult links? Yes, it's kind of cool. At the same time, hockey struggles for this same reason. All these large northern schools, and so few with teams. These smaller schools can barely afford teams, but why would a Penn St or the likes want to join, just to play Ferris St, Robert Morris, or Alabama-Huntsville?


4. That internal competition is just as important and fierce on the recruiting front. When we watch players from St. Cloud and North Dakota and Duluth play each other, the rivalries are intense because many of them were rivals back in their high school hockey days.Not much to comment on here. Minnesota dominates and will continue to. More D-I schools mean more kids going to their local school, meaning less to the U -- which means more highly touted out-state kids coming here. I liked Vanek, Kessel could've been more well liked, but I'd rather have the Wooger's full MN-roster, than 90% MN and a few 'elitists' -- to use your term.


5. The WCHA final five is THE best event in college hockey. Period. Do you think a big ten tournament could even come close to that level of intensity? They probably would put it in indiana or chicago just like the basketball tournament. Absolutely ridiculous. The CCHA tournament is great too (from what i hear) because of the fact that geographical rivals can meet and compete in a great environment.Let's see. Final Five typically includes Minnesota and Wisconsin, so we'll assume both make a Big Ten tourney as well. That said, you're comparing the next 3 best school in the WCHA to the next 3 best schools in the Big Ten. North Dakota, Denver, CC -or- Michigan, Michigan St, Ohio St. I think we'd agree it's a draw on that one. So to answer, yes, the intensity would still be the same. Argument moot.


6. Rivalries are infinitely more intense if they are within the conference. See what happened to the Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry? and they are only in separate divisions now. Part of the intensity of the NoDak-Minn rivalry is that the conference title is often on the line when they play. Michigan and Ohio St. Football play each other once a year, right? Lets say Ohio St joins a different conference, but they still play their one game a year with Michigan. The rivalry would be very diminished, especially after a few years. This is how it is with NoDak and The U. It would be criminal to divide them.Again, I agree it would suck to lose No Dak as a conference rival. However, it would be awesome to gain Michigan and Michigan St in it's place. Denver and CC are cool, but not big time rivals. We'd gain more to be with 2 top schools than 1.


7. Your Big Ten conference is hardly the Big Ten, anyway. First of all it is less than half of the big10 schools. Second of all, you have to add a school just to have half as many schools as the WCHA currently wants to have. Six teams is not a conference, even if all the schools are huge.I agree, I'm not saying this would happen soon. In our lifetime though? It could. I'm just speculating on how it'd shake down if it happened in the immediate future. My result is feasible, but hopefully something better happens.

Either way, a conference of Minnesota, Michigan, Mich St, Ohio St, Wisconsin already has 5 powerful programs. No other conference in the country can beat that, so it really doesn't matter if the BigTen was short on overall teams. It would still likely send 4 to the national tourney every year.

Also, Notre Dame, Bowling Green, and Miami all have D-I teams and all have been brought up as possible BigTen additions. None are likely, but in 20 years, one could be in. Penn State also has a hockey team and they have researched adding an arena and joining D-I hockey. If we can encourage 3 small MN schools to make the leap, and carry them while they create a foundation -- why can't we support a school we have financial links with, let alone athletic links, and create a BigTen with them? we could have 7 teams within 20 years. That's not too shabby. The WCHA was 8 teams for a long time...


8. I think the Big Ten status of these schools should be acknowledged in College Hockey by having a mid-season tournament. Five teams: each team play the other four once. Four games. Two weekends. Shootouts after tie games. A bigten tournament champion trophy. There is your Big Ten Hockey champion. That way you dont have to sacrifice all of the points I made above and you have your Big Ten champion.This is the smartest thing you've said so far. I would scrap the Dodge Classic and Showcase to see this happen. I doubt they'd drop the Great Lakes Inv though.

MrGopher
05-02-2009, 08:02 PM
I think we just see college hockey in very different lights. I see your arguments, but I disagree that they would be better for college hockey as a whole. You think that a conference of the biggest power hockey schools (plus OSU), is good. I think that geography is much more important than school size.

Do you really think that all of those smaller schools (St. Cloud, Mankato, Duluth, CC, Denver, Bemidji, LSupSt, Bowling Green, Miami, etc) would agree to do this? This 'elite' conference totally shafts them.

Just wondering, and I'm not trying to judge you here, but have you been to a UMD-Gopher hockey game, or SCSU-Gopher game, or Mankato-Gopher game? Have you been to any of those schools' rinks when the gophers or wisconsin or north dakota comes to town? I was in Mankato the season before last when they beat us in double overtime 1-0 in the WCHA first round. It sucked as a gopher fan, but you could tell that this game meant everything to that school it was like they won the Super Bowl. But then I was there also for game three when we beat them in overtime to take the series, they were so dreadfully crushed in that arena. Don't take that away from them.

College hockey is NOT a national sport. It is a regional, cult sport. That is what is so beautiful about it. It is not even close to big enough to be put into tiers based on school size. It would hurt rivalries.

The rivalries are so damn intense because all of us minnesota hockey fans have friends who are st. cloud, duluth, mankato, UND and Wisconsin fans. We see people with those teams' logos on baseball caps and t-shirts at the grocery store and we want to body check them into a pile of frozen yogurt. I never see a Michigan St. hockey fan anywhere. OSU.... never. Michigan... never. I see fans of those football teams around, however. Why? because it is a sin in Minnesota to be a fan of a Non-WCHA team. A SIN. It is part of what makes people proud of being part of the Minnesota Hockey culture, and part of what makes us think that Massachusetts and Michigan Hockey cultures are crap compared to us.

It is great that only the best from each of the Western, Central, and Northeastern hockey cultures get to fight over the National Championship.... that is what makes it a national championship.

I grew up in Illinois and college hockey DOES NOT EXIST in illinois. I would say that nine out of ten people in ill. are not aware that it even exists. Yet this is Big Ten country, right? Hockey is not part of Big Ten culture. It is part of pieces of the Big Ten geography. A hockey team in Champaign competing in the Big Ten hockey conference would seem weak, and forced and lame, even though we play them in everything else.

So ...sure, I would rather play Michigan, Michigan St. and maybe OSU over Alaska anchorage and Michigan Tech. BUT... you would have to agree that the the same should be said for ANY of the other schools in the Big Ten, if they join before you formed a Big Ten hockey conference.

GopherFan75
05-02-2009, 10:21 PM
I think we just see college hockey in very different lights. I see your arguments, but I disagree that they would be better for college hockey as a whole. You think that a conference of the biggest power hockey schools (plus OSU), is good. I think that geography is much more important than school size.

Do you really think that all of those smaller schools (St. Cloud, Mankato, Duluth, CC, Denver, Bemidji, LSupSt, Bowling Green, Miami, etc) would agree to do this? This 'elite' conference totally shafts them.

Just wondering, and I'm not trying to judge you here, but have you been to a UMD-Gopher hockey game, or SCSU-Gopher game, or Mankato-Gopher game? Have you been to any of those schools' rinks when the gophers or wisconsin or north dakota comes to town? I was in Mankato the season before last when they beat us in double overtime 1-0 in the WCHA first round. It sucked as a gopher fan, but you could tell that this game meant everything to that school it was like they won the Super Bowl. But then I was there also for game three when we beat them in overtime to take the series, they were so dreadfully crushed in that arena. Don't take that away from them.

College hockey is NOT a national sport. It is a regional, cult sport. That is what is so beautiful about it. It is not even close to big enough to be put into tiers based on school size. It would hurt rivalries.

The rivalries are so damn intense because all of us minnesota hockey fans have friends who are st. cloud, duluth, mankato, UND and Wisconsin fans. We see people with those teams' logos on baseball caps and t-shirts at the grocery store and we want to body check them into a pile of frozen yogurt. I never see a Michigan St. hockey fan anywhere. OSU.... never. Michigan... never. I see fans of those football teams around, however. Why? because it is a sin in Minnesota to be a fan of a Non-WCHA team. A SIN. It is part of what makes people proud of being part of the Minnesota Hockey culture, and part of what makes us think that Massachusetts and Michigan Hockey cultures are crap compared to us.

It is great that only the best from each of the Western, Central, and Northeastern hockey cultures get to fight over the National Championship.... that is what makes it a national championship.

I grew up in Illinois and college hockey DOES NOT EXIST in illinois. I would say that nine out of ten people in ill. are not aware that it even exists. Yet this is Big Ten country, right? Hockey is not part of Big Ten culture. It is part of pieces of the Big Ten geography. A hockey team in Champaign competing in the Big Ten hockey conference would seem weak, and forced and lame, even though we play them in everything else.

So ...sure, I would rather play Michigan, Michigan St. and maybe OSU over Alaska anchorage and Michigan Tech. BUT... you would have to agree that the the same should be said for ANY of the other schools in the Big Ten, if they join before you formed a Big Ten hockey conference.

Mr. Gopher this is the best post I have ever read. I completely agree with everything you said and this nearly brought a tear to my eye. I would be absolutely devastated if the WCHA was ever broken up and all these great rivalries ruined just so we can play a few Big Ten teams.

By the way, I was also at game 3 of the MSU playoff series last year in Mankato. One of the greatest games I have ever witnessed.
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lakesbison
05-04-2009, 09:11 AM
BIG TEN hockey should happen.

leave the others in the dust.

RodentRampage
05-04-2009, 10:23 AM
If Lakes wants Big Ten hockey, then that surely means it's a bad idea.

GopherFan75
05-04-2009, 03:09 PM
BIG TEN hockey should happen.

leave the others in the dust.

Good contribution
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ditt1605
05-04-2009, 03:11 PM
I thought Illinois had a hockey team in the past... Anyway, I agree that the WCHA should not be broken up. I don't mind that UAA and MI tech are in our conference. Regardless of who's in the conference, you're always going to have teams that are constantly at the bottom so that's not a good excuse to get rid of them.

In theory, I guess I like the idea of a big ten hockey conference. But with only 5 current teams and no hopes of the others (maybe PSU), it's not a good idea.

Bronko Nagurski Gopher
05-04-2009, 03:21 PM
I thought Illinois had a hockey team in the past... Anyway, I agree that the WCHA should not be broken up. I don't mind that UAA and MI tech are in our conference. Regardless of who's in the conference, you're always going to have teams that are constantly at the bottom so that's not a good excuse to get rid of them.

In theory, I guess I like the idea of a big ten hockey conference. But with only 5 current teams and no hopes of the others (maybe PSU), it's not a good idea.

actually, the idea that is most often thrown around is that notre dame (who has a very good hockey program) would join as well making it a six team league to start (UM, Michigan, UW, Mich State, Ohio State, Notre Dame). then if you can get other logical Big Ten geographic locales with hockey tradition such as Penn State and Illinois to move up to full D1 status in hockey you are at a nice round number of 8 teams, which would work out great.

i am all for a Big Ten Hockey Conference and hope it happens sooner rather than later.

The prestige of the WCHA and CCHA are both getting watered down way too much with the recent additions of teams like Bemidji State (possible), Nebraska-Omaha, Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, etc. it is not good for college hockey's perception. as more and more of these no-name teams are added the national media just starts to think well this is rather bland, who are these schools?

maroonfive
05-04-2009, 04:07 PM
Colorado and Colorado State do not have hockey teams. You already have CC, Denver, and Air Force and this would seem to make sense.

Go Gophers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MrGopher
05-04-2009, 07:09 PM
Colorado and Colorado State do not have hockey teams. You already have CC, Denver, and Air Force and this would seem to make sense.

Go Gophers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I wonder that as well. If you could have 5 colorado schools, two alaska schools, and 1 University of British Columbia..... That's a conference I would have no problem with! I would sacrifice the rivalries with CC and Denver for a conference that looked like that.

If college hockey were to become much more nationalized, then I would reconsider my loyalties to the WCHA as a conference. There would need to be schools with D1 hockey programs all around the country and at least eight big ten schools with hockey for me to consider the Big Ten as a hockey conference.

But I do not want college hockey to make the same mistake that the NHL made in committing to southern states where hockey is not important (we can all list the teams...Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas, Miami, Tampa, etc.). I think that having college hockey be a two-nation sport is something to at least look into.
I am running on three assumptions: 1. Canada has universities... 2. those universities have ice hockey teams....3. they would would be competitive with US college hockey.

Just a thought.

Bo Darville
05-05-2009, 02:22 PM
I worry that the WCHA is getting watered down with teams that will never be competitive. That being said, we need a 12th. It sounds like Northern Michigan looked into it but doesn't want to. Is the WCHA talking to UNO or UAF?

magpie
05-06-2009, 05:39 PM
I think we just see college hockey in very different lights. I see your arguments, but I disagree that they would be better for college hockey as a whole. You think that a conference of the biggest power hockey schools (plus OSU), is good. I think that geography is much more important than school size.
The Big Ten is based on geography. The small schools have their own conferences which are also geographically based, but consist of schools on the same level. As I stated in the first reply to you, yes -- these small schools win some times, but Minnesota wins 66% of the time - or in some cases 90%.

Let me clarify at this point that I do enjoy the WCHA as is. I thought it was awesome 10 years, 20 years ago. However, college hockey is growing -- in 20 years from now, it may get more national attention as the NHL continues to pick up more American born players. Much like other sports, where you go is usually more important than how successful the team is (though there's an obvious correlation), due to exposure.


Do you really think that all of those smaller schools (St. Cloud, Mankato, Duluth, CC, Denver, Bemidji, LSupSt, Bowling Green, Miami, etc) would agree to do this? This 'elite' conference totally shafts them.
Honestly, who cares? It's not their choice. They will still be Div-I, competing for the same National Title. I'd rather see the best of [Mankato, Bemidji, St Cloud, Duluth] each year, than to see them all and have 3 sweeps and 1 good weekend of hockey.


Just wondering, and I'm not trying to judge you here, but have you been to a UMD-Gopher hockey game, or SCSU-Gopher game, or Mankato-Gopher game? Have you been to any of those schools' rinks when the gophers or wisconsin or north dakota comes to town? I was in Mankato the season before last when they beat us in double overtime 1-0 in the WCHA first round. It sucked as a gopher fan, but you could tell that this game meant everything to that school it was like they won the Super Bowl. But then I was there also for game three when we beat them in overtime to take the series, they were so dreadfully crushed in that arena. Don't take that away from them.
I've been going to Gopher Hockey games since '82. I went to the U, I've skated at Mariucci, I have a bucket full of souvenir pucks from games... I remember when CC was the doormat of the WCHA the way Gopher Football was in the Big Ten. I was on campus the night that a guy named Don Lucia brought his surprise Tiger team into Mariucci to battle the Gophers for the lead, and ultimately the title, in the WCHA's final stretch. I remember the excitement of Crowley scoring the winning goal in that 2-1 game. Yet, it was CC - not Colorado (as a close friend asked). I know how exciting it is for them (small schools), but we don't play for them. We play for US. It's fun to sweep St Cloud 6/6 on the season, but it's more fun to beat Michigan (our western clone, it seems) more.


College hockey is NOT a national sport. It is a regional, cult sport. That is what is so beautiful about it. It is not even close to big enough to be put into tiers based on school size. It would hurt rivalries.
As I said earlier, yes, it's not national -- yet. 20 years ago there was a handful of schools and the deadweights local to them that they supported (by drawing fanbases in to that one big weekend a year). Today, college hockey is much, much larger. In 20 years, a Big Ten conference may be necessary.


The rivalries are so damn intense because all of us minnesota hockey fans have friends who are st. cloud, duluth, mankato, UND and Wisconsin fans. We see people with those teams' logos on baseball caps and t-shirts at the grocery store and we want to body check them into a pile of frozen yogurt. I never see a Michigan St. hockey fan anywhere. OSU.... never. Michigan... never. I see fans of those football teams around, however. Why? because it is a sin in Minnesota to be a fan of a Non-WCHA team. A SIN. It is part of what makes people proud of being part of the Minnesota Hockey culture, and part of what makes us think that Massachusetts and Michigan Hockey cultures are crap compared to us.Yes, but there's nothing like an Ohio St fan mocking our football team - and us mocking their hockey team. We respect the sports, respect the conference rival. A localized fan may be proud to beat up on a school 1/10 our size. A national fan knows it counts in March, when we have to beat Michigan, Michigan State, Boston, Boston College, New Hampshire, etc to win a National Title. I'm not for being a bully. I'm for taking out the best the nation has to offer.


It is great that only the best from each of the Western, Central, and Northeastern hockey cultures get to fight over the National Championship.... that is what makes it a national championship.You like the fact that a National Title is won by beating northern regions? I like that the Gophers have 3 National BASEBALL Titles in a sport dominated by the south.


I grew up in Illinois and college hockey DOES NOT EXIST in illinois. I would say that nine out of ten people in ill. are not aware that it even exists. Yet this is Big Ten country, right? Hockey is not part of Big Ten culture. It is part of pieces of the Big Ten geography. A hockey team in Champaign competing in the Big Ten hockey conference would seem weak, and forced and lame, even though we play them in everything else.Indiana sucks in football, but they play. N'western sucks at basketball, but they play. Every conference has it's elite, it's 'sometimes', and it's weak. Illinois has had some great teams in the past (state, not the specific university). It can be done again. Where's the argument here?


So ...sure, I would rather play Michigan, Michigan St. and maybe OSU over Alaska anchorage and Michigan Tech. BUT... you would have to agree that the the same should be said for ANY of the other schools in the Big Ten, if they join before you formed a Big Ten hockey conference.The Big Ten is a conference consisting of various sports (where various schools dominate or are dominated), as well as academic and financial ties. It makes no sense for an exception -- especially when it comes with the 4th biggest sport in the country. I would maybe shrug off the argument if we were talking about rugby, rowing, etc.

~~

The point I'm making is that in the past, only the north had teams due to geography (weather = frozen rinks = more talented/interested kids). Today, travel = nothing. Kids can go to school anywhere. Arenas can be built anywhere. If Nashville and Atlanta can have NHL teams, Alabama and Nebraska can have college teams -- wait, they do! So why can't Penn State, Purdue, or Illinois? Ahh... but they do too, just not Div-I. Of course, why go Div-I and play a bunch of Junior Colleges? No fans would show an interest in seeing them. Now if there was a Big Ten... ;)

magpie
05-06-2009, 06:05 PM
I thought Illinois had a hockey team in the past... Anyway, I agree that the WCHA should not be broken up. I don't mind that UAA and MI tech are in our conference. Regardless of who's in the conference, you're always going to have teams that are constantly at the bottom so that's not a good excuse to get rid of them.
Illinois-Chicago had a team for many years. That school was also one of the founding Big Ten schools waaay back.


In theory, I guess I like the idea of a big ten hockey conference. But with only 5 current teams and no hopes of the others (maybe PSU), it's not a good idea.
Right, this is assuming Notre Dame joins, or other Big Ten schools take the next step.


The prestige of the WCHA and CCHA are both getting watered down way too much with the recent additions of [small schools]. it is not good for college hockey's perception. as more and more of these no-name teams are added the national media just starts to think well this is rather bland, who are these schools?
Exactly!


If college hockey were to become much more nationalized, then I would reconsider my loyalties to the WCHA as a conference. There would need to be schools with D1 hockey programs all around the country and at least eight big ten schools with hockey for me to consider the Big Ten as a hockey conference.
This is all I'm saying. My argument is food for thought on this foreshadow of things to come, not for today.


I do not want college hockey to make the same mistake that the NHL made in committing to southern states where hockey is not important. I think that having college hockey be a two-nation sport is something to at least look into.
I am running on three assumptions: 1. Canada has universities... 2. those universities have ice hockey teams....3. they would would be competitive with US college hockey.
Interesting. Travel may be an issue, but then conferences would be regional.

1. Yes they have universities.
2. Yes these Canadian universities have hockey...:p
3. Yes they are competitive -- A few years back, when the Gophers were defending American champs, we started the year in an exhibition against the University of Calgary. Coincidently, Calgary was the reigning Canadian college champ. Gophers won the playoff-calibur game 4-3. ;)


I worry that the WCHA is getting watered down with teams that will never be competitive. That being said, we need a 12th. It sounds like Northern Michigan looked into it but doesn't want to. Is the WCHA talking to UNO or UAF?So you want a watered down league to become more watered down?

Northern Michigan was a long-time WCHA member, and is one of 2 schools on record as inquiring about joining. The other was Nebraska-Omaha, who tried to join last expansion time: http://www.uscho.com/news/college-hockey/id,17088/UpdateWCHAsCallNoDecisiononBemidji.html). Alaska-Fairbanks and Alabama-Huntsville were the others mentioned as possibilities.

magpie
05-06-2009, 06:45 PM
One more thing to note is that Div-I schools can't be Div-III in sports. That means the next highest level they can participate in, in hockey terms, is the ACHA. The Big Ten has Penn State, Indiana, and Illinois in this league. In the ACHA's 20 year existence, Penn St has 6 titles and 7 runner-ups. Illinois has 2 titles - including an undefeated year - and 2 runner-ups. If arrangements were made to time it, the 5 current Div-I teams could realign into the Big Ten at the same time that the 3 lower schools step up. If the Big Ten expands by then, Notre Dame is already Div-I, and of the other potential schools talked about, Pitt, Iowa St, WVU, Syracuse, and Rutgers also have ACHA teams.

How does this reflect the national scene?

There are 58 college hockey teams. That's about a 40% increase in the last 20 years. In the next 20 years, the schools one level below who could move up to Div-I (of note) include: Arizona, Arizona St, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa St, Maryland, Navy, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Villanova, and W Virginia.

FarmGopher
05-06-2009, 08:39 PM
Here's the best possible "mythical" solution: The WCHA adds Bemidji, and trades the CCHA Michigan Tech for Michigan and Michigan State. 12 Teams, all current UofM rivalries are kept in tact and UM and MSU rivalries are fully restored.

I'm not a big fan of a BigTen hockey conference. Even upgrading Penn State, Illinois, and somebody else would still lead to a watered down conference. Schools don't just add a DI hockey program and start being competitive. It's way to early to consider a BigTen Hockey Conference, at least 3 other BigTen schools would have to add DI programs and exsist for I would say 15 years in a different conference before Minnesota would leave the WCHA to play teams with no hockey history or rivalries.

GO GOPHERS!