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Armageddon in College Hockey

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Armageddon in College Hockey

Unread postby fairvis » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:23 pm

I know that I'm probably one of the only college hockey wonks in this place, but I wanted to know what you guys think about the recent realignments going on in college hockey. With the introduction of Penn State and premier of the Big Ten Hockey Conference in 2013-2014, the schools out west seem to have fired back by forming the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, leaving the CCHA and WCHA scrambling after losing 11 of the big money teams.

Questions that I have:

1. What remains of the CCHA/WCHA? Do they poach Atlantic Hockey? Merge?
2. Where does Notre Dame end up? Head west to the NCHC? Or do they go Hockey East (which has a lot of other Big East schools that they're familiar with)?

3. Where does my school (Alabama-Huntsville) land after this? In a reformed CCHA? Back again with the former College Hockey America teams of Robert Morris and Niagara?

Interesting to see this complete realignment happen in what is still very much a niche sport.
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Re: Armageddon in College Hockey

Unread postby Spin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:29 pm

You're not the only college hockey fan here. But my team is in D2, in the ACHA, TSCHL conference. The only change there is Ohio U joining.

I haven't started following D1 yet, other than catching games on TV. Sounds like a real shakeout though...
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Re: Armageddon in College Hockey

Unread postby StewieG » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:44 pm

I'm a Miami Ohio fan, so this directly affects my team
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Re: Armageddon in College Hockey

Unread postby fairvis » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:29 am

I know that there's some other college hockey fans around here. The NCHC is an exciting development, I think, to counteract the formation of the BTHC, and should be able to stand with it.

I'm really just hoping that my school doesn't get left alone on the dance floor again, as they did when they got denied CCHA admission last year. People seem to think that Alabama's in the middle of nowhere compared to most hockey schools, but the fact of the matter is that I regularly drive back up to Columbus... sure, it's 8 hours, but it's a certain bus trip from Ohio State, Bowling Green, Miami, ND, MSU, and Michigan. With this development, however, most likely the closest non-affiliated team will be BGSU.
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Re: Armageddon in College Hockey

Unread postby skatingtripods » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:29 am

Can't say I follow college hockey real closely. The WCHA tournament and the CCHA tournament were good to compete against Hockey East. It's not like this was done for TV or for ratings. Certainly not for casual interest because casual interest doesn't really exist in college hockey.

Should have left it alone. I guess it became necessary with the Big Ten Conference.

You could see re-alignment with teams like Bemidji, Air Force, Minnesota St. Mankato, St. Cloud State and some others. I don't see where they can keep some teams in the Atlantic and then have others in the midwest floating around homeless.

If they continue major re-alignment and don't leave any teams orphaned, it can work well.
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Re: Armageddon in College Hockey

Unread postby Govbarney » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:33 pm

I wonder if the Big(12)Ten would consider allowing hockey only schools like the Big East does for BBall. Big(12)Ten hockey would game a lot more credibility if teams like Minnesota St, North Dakota, Faris St., or Miami of O where competitors.

I can see the Big(12)Ten Network really enhancing the availability, and popularity of College Hockey outside of its traditional hotbeds (e.g. Minnesota, Michigan, and Boston)
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Re: Armageddon in College Hockey

Unread postby fairvis » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:20 pm

I'm pretty sure that the Big Ten isn't going to allow hockey-only members. While it would boost the conference, I think that they want to stay with their own groups of schools.

It also does put a little bit of a push to Notre Dame. If they want into the Big Ten Hockey Conference, well, they can just join the Big Ten proper and it'll all be good. That may explain some of Notre Dame's reluctance with the NCHC and Hockey East at the moment as they suss it out and consider all options. Geographically, Notre Dame would most likely prefer the BTHC due to traditional hockey rivalries (especially considering that Notre Dame has been a member of both the WCHA with Minny and Wiscy as well as the CCHA with MSU, Michigan, and Ohio State) as well as the fact that all trips would be busing trips, which is similar to the vast majority of CCHA trips right now.

It looks like there may be 4 "Western" hockey conferences after this all gets worked out, especially with Northern Michigan announcing that it's seeking a WCHA membership. So, either the CCHA dies completely, or it's going to have to be absorbed.
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