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  1. #1

    Default A second CWS? Minnesota coach says northern colleges should split from South

    per the Omaha World Herald:

    During the first weekend in April, brutal weather threatened to cancel the University of Minnesota’s first Big Ten home series. So coach John Anderson got busy.

    He moved the series to West Lafayette, Indiana, where Purdue was away for the weekend. He loaded up his Gophers and they drove eight hours to play Penn State on Purdue’s home field.

    They swept Penn State. But so much for good ideas.

    “On the way home, the bus broke down,” Anderson said.

    If you’re looking for a team to root for to get to Omaha these next two weeks, hug a Gopher.

    Big Ten baseball needs the boost. The southern-fried sport of college baseball needs the variety.

    Mostly, Anderson needs the proof.

    The sun is shining in Minnesota. The Gophers have had their best season in decades, sweeping the Big Ten and hosting their first NCAA regional since 2000. In their first regional game on Friday night, they drew a record crowd of 2,291.

    It’s the kind of season that makes an old coach dream again. But Anderson keeps seeing the clouds.

    I had a conversation with the 63-year-old veteran coach of the Gophers during the recent Big Ten tournament in Omaha. I was expecting optimism. But the cold, harsh realities of coaching 37 years in the Great White North came out.

    Start with the idea of the change of the college baseball season. A lot of northern coaches, including most in the Big Ten, support the famous Gene Stephenson plan to move the season to the summer and play the CWS in August.

    Anderson takes it a step further.

    “I loved that plan,” he said. “I made that proposal to the (Big Ten) coaches over the years and talked to (commissioner) Jim Delany about it. We’re never going to get the southern people to agree to play in the summer. They have the weather and they can plan when they want.

    “I think we’re going to have to create another league.”

    Another league?

    “Have a northern league and a southern league in baseball,” Anderson said. “We’re going to start at this time and you guys (in the south) can start whenever you want.”

    But what about the CWS?

    “You have two championships,” Anderson said. “You could have two championships right here (Omaha) if you wanted to. What league do you want to play in? Play in the summer or play now?”

    How many schools would be interested in playing in a summertime Northern League?

    “We’ve had those conversations,” Anderson said. “There’s interest, but someone’s got to take it and run with it. Oregon, Oregon State, Washington. East schools, the MAC, the Missouri Valley.

    “We’d keep more of our kids in the north. The third-hole hitter for North Carolina is from Minnesota. The Friday night pitcher for Oklahoma is from here. They come and raid our states because they sell weather and beautiful facilities. ‘If you want to go to Omaha, you got to come here.’ ”

    http://www.omaha.com/sports/cws/shat...df556d846.html

    Go Gophers!!


  2. #2

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    Keep US Bank Stadium on standby I guess. Anderson does have a point though.

  3. #3
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    The weather is just beginning to get nice when the regular season ends. A summer schedule would fit the northern climate.

  4. #4

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    There has been push the last few years to at least back the season up a month or so but no the southern leagues like the SEC are big time against it because it takes away some their advantage. I mean just backing it up to late March wouldn't make it even ground but it would make it a lot closer. Southern schools use to have the huge advantage of being able to practice and play games earlier in the winter but now with a set practice start date and game date they don't have quite the advantage they use to in early season games.

  5. #5
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    I just looked at the attendance for the Gophers game against Penn State at Purdue's field. There were 23 for the double header and 32 for the game the next day. I figured 23 people made the road trip, and then maybe 9 locals figured they'd watch some baseball.

  6. #6

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    I love this idea. Wonder if it will ever happen.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by cncmin View Post
    I love this idea. Wonder if it will ever happen.
    Probably not, but if the B1G could could convince the Pac 12 to sign on, it would put some real pressure on the small minded bureaucrats at the NCAA to do something to level the playing field.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holy Man View Post
    Probably not, but if the B1G could could convince the Pac 12 to sign on, it would put some real pressure on the small minded bureaucrats at the NCAA to do something to level the playing field.
    This all depends on whether or how badly the NCAA would want competitive balance in the sport(s, if you include softball) as well as comfort for the fans in the north. I understand why the high schools have to play spring sports in the early spring, but as a softball dad I never enjoyed the HS season because of the miserable weather. Give me the summer club leagues, which are all my best softball memories. If that was the college season, the popularity of the college games would go up a good deal, I believe.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holy Man View Post
    Probably not, but if the B1G could could convince the Pac 12 to sign on, it would put some real pressure on the small minded bureaucrats at the NCAA to do something to level the playing field.
    THis is correct. The Pac12 is likely the lynch pin for any such a plan. But all they'd really have to do is start the wheels of motion for a compromise of a end of March start date and early August CWS.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Gopher View Post
    This all depends on whether or how badly the NCAA would want competitive balance in the sport(s, if you include softball) as well as comfort for the fans in the north. I understand why the high schools have to play spring sports in the early spring, but as a softball dad, I never enjoyed the HS season because of the horrible weather. Give me the summer club leagues, which are all my best softball memories. If that was the college season, the popularity of the college games would go up a good deal, I believe.
    I would much rather enjoy a late spring/early summer game at Siebert than watching the Twins or Saints.

  11. #11

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    I’d be all for this. However, there are a lot of northern teams but fewer northern conferences (consider PAC-12 and ACC). Not sure how you’d build enough steam.

  12. #12
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    Never going to happen.

  13. #13

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    You have to wonder if you got the Pac12 and ACC on board if they would consider moving it back just to the first or second weekend after the 4th, depending on the year. I do think that even just two weeks would be a big help for getting games in. This year we didn't play a home game at Siebert until april 12th, which is a bit ridiculous.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnGopher View Post
    You have to wonder if you got the Pac12 and ACC on board if they would consider moving it back just to the first or second weekend after the 4th, depending on the year. I do think that even just two weeks would be a big help for getting games in. This year we didn't play a home game at Siebert until april 12th, which is a bit ridiculous.
    In the ACC, you have Boston College which played their first 18 games on the road and you have Clemson, which didn't play a single non-conference game outside of South Carolina. While some teams in the ACC are disadvantaged by the weather, there are enough teams that benefit from it that the ACC would be unlikely to find a later schedule appealing. You could put together some of the lower-tier northern conferences for a summer schedule, but it would probably wind up being like the baseball equivalent of FBS vs FCS.

  15. #15

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    I know the odds of a summer/northern split are small, but it sure would be fun to watch happen. I'm guessing there could be potential for decent TV revenue too given the size of the markets in the northern half of the U.S. You could call it the Intercollegiate World Series. The conferences might need to be different from other sports...like hockey.

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