WCHA dissolving?

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I thought this warranted a new thread. The top conference in college hockey looks to be no more. With a few teams leaving for the Big 10 conference, and the rest of the marquee teams leaving for a new conference, the days are numbered for the WCHA.

Official announcement supposedly coming Wednesday. This new conference will include UND, Denver, Colorado College, Nebraska-Omaha, Minnesota-Duluth and Miami. Notre Dame and another team are expected to sign on soon as well.

http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/a ... id/209049/
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Sad day for college hockey, teams like SCSU, MSU, UAA, Tech, and the other small CCHA school are almost sure to fail now.

Too bad that the best conference in the country had to be broken up, all for money's sake.

I hope all the AD's are happy with their new conferences when all the small teams start dropping out of the NCAA :roll: :roll:
Last edited by MN_HockeyGuy on Fri 07.08.2011, 16:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Also sucks for a team like Bemidji State. Just built a new arena and joined the WCHA, now they don't have a conference. A lot of programs like them are going to be put in dire straights without the WCHA
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vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:Also sucks for a team like Bemidji State. Just built a new arena and joined the WCHA, now they don't have a conference. A lot of programs like them are going to be put in dire straights without the WCHA


I suppose all of those schools who got left out of the new conferences will join up together. Gets them enough teams for an automatic bid, but not much in terms of competition.

The new conference takes the place of the WCHA as the top conference IMO.
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und2006 wrote:
vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:Also sucks for a team like Bemidji State. Just built a new arena and joined the WCHA, now they don't have a conference. A lot of programs like them are going to be put in dire straights without the WCHA


I suppose all of those schools who got left out of the new conferences will join up together. Gets them enough teams for an automatic bid, but not much in terms of competition.

The new conference takes the place of the WCHA as the top conference IMO.

The schools who got left out will die.
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vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:
und2006 wrote:
vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:Also sucks for a team like Bemidji State. Just built a new arena and joined the WCHA, now they don't have a conference. A lot of programs like them are going to be put in dire straights without the WCHA


I suppose all of those schools who got left out of the new conferences will join up together. Gets them enough teams for an automatic bid, but not much in terms of competition.

The new conference takes the place of the WCHA as the top conference IMO.

The schools who got left out will die.


It's even worse than that to me. Who (besides the other Big 10 schools) will ever start up a new program? It will be interesting to see if Western MI is still considered a desirable partner with their coach leaving for the Red Wings. Notre Dame makes sense to woo. I don't see the small schools banding together for another conference. They can get the schedule taken care of, but there won't be enough draw to fund the programs...especially if they have to play the big boys out of conference on the road.

I see my alma mater (Ferris State) dropping to D III (if that's allowed) hockey since they already have a facility. If not, then Club hockey?
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beerbarian wrote:
vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:
und2006 wrote:
vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:Also sucks for a team like Bemidji State. Just built a new arena and joined the WCHA, now they don't have a conference. A lot of programs like them are going to be put in dire straights without the WCHA


I suppose all of those schools who got left out of the new conferences will join up together. Gets them enough teams for an automatic bid, but not much in terms of competition.

The new conference takes the place of the WCHA as the top conference IMO.

The schools who got left out will die.


It's even worse than that to me. Who (besides the other Big 10 schools) will ever start up a new program? It will be interesting to see if Western MI is still considered a desirable partner with their coach leaving for the Red Wings. Notre Dame makes sense to woo. I don't see the small schools banding together for another conference. They can get the schedule taken care of, but there won't be enough draw to fund the programs...especially if they have to play the big boys out of conference on the road.

I see my alma mater (Ferris State) dropping to D III (if that's allowed) hockey since they already have a facility. If not, then Club hockey?

Yeah I see the small schools in the WCHA and CCHA eventually going D-III

The only way to save the small schools is to have the big schools play in their buildings. I hope the Gophers (and Wisconsin) make trips to SCSU, MSU, and BSU. We need to help the other MN schools by going to play there, and I think we will.

There are 5 D1 hockey programs in MN and they will now be spread across 3 different conferences :roll:
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Did anyone watch the news conference? Did Western Mi make it in?
Edit: Nevermind. No announcement by Notre Dame or Western MI yet. Also Northern MI admins have given permission to seek a slot with the WCHA.
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Wheeeeee, money!!
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marik7772003 wrote:Wheeeeee, money!!

That's exactly it, unfortunately #-o

The thing that sucks, is that in the past with UMD, UND, Denver, SCSU, we always played them for WCHA bragging rights. It was fun because we were in the same conference. Now I feel like it will turn into a "My conference can beat your conference" pissing match :(

Sadly, I think the glory days of college hockey are behind us. Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but I just don't think this is a good move for the sport.
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Northern Michigan is joining the WCHA after the mass exodus.
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vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:Northern Michigan is joining the WCHA after the mass exodus.


Another nail in the Ferris coffin.

I'm surprised Lake Superior is not trying to do the same. Travel for them sucks regardless, but I would think that away games against the other 2 yooper schools would take some of the pain away (hell, the UP makes up half of a conference).

I admit though that I would have rather seen it work the other way (Tech coming to the CCHA). With 4 MI teams, a smaller, budget-minded CCHA could have still existed.
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beerbarian wrote:
vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:Northern Michigan is joining the WCHA after the mass exodus.


Another nail in the Ferris coffin.

I'm surprised Lake Superior is not trying to do the same. Travel for them sucks regardless, but I would think that away games against the other 2 yooper schools would take some of the pain away (hell, the UP makes up half of a conference).

I admit though that I would have rather seen it work the other way (Tech coming to the CCHA). With 4 MI teams, a smaller, budget-minded CCHA could have still existed.

Do you think Michigan and Michigan St. will play NC games against the smaller Michigan schools like I presume the Gophers and Badgers will do with the smaller MN schools?
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vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:
beerbarian wrote:
vikes_fan_4_life! wrote:Northern Michigan is joining the WCHA after the mass exodus.


Another nail in the Ferris coffin.

I'm surprised Lake Superior is not trying to do the same. Travel for them sucks regardless, but I would think that away games against the other 2 yooper schools would take some of the pain away (hell, the UP makes up half of a conference).

I admit though that I would have rather seen it work the other way (Tech coming to the CCHA). With 4 MI teams, a smaller, budget-minded CCHA could have still existed.

Do you think Michigan and Michigan St. will play NC games against the smaller Michigan schools like I presume the Gophers and Badgers will do with the smaller MN schools?


Yes, I'm sure they will. It's just getting harder to see Ferris as part of that equation. They go from a travel/schedule scenario where they had confernce games in their "region" (MSU, U-M, WMU) to having a conference with only 4 teams to build on (assuming ND, NMU, WMU leave) and having to travel to Alaska, Bowling Green, and Lake Superior. Admittedly, a 4-5 hour bus ride is doable for 2 of those, but the only options to fill out the CCHA would appear to be on the east coast (and that's IF the can recruit some teams from Atlantic Hockey), or in Alabma, and I just don't see us having the draw power to pay for a program.
Our arena holds <2500, and we're not exactly known for deep-pocket alumni. We are a D-II school for all other sports, and don't have the athletic budget of even the MAC schools that used to be in the CCHA. I see LSSU in similar dire straits, but they have more legacy success than we've ever had (0 conference tourney titles, 1 NCAA appearance). In many ways the realignment could have been a good thing for us. With other similar smallish schools we could have better competed for conference titles. But I think the reason we've had a program was our geographical proximity to other schools to play, and now that has gone away.
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Coach Daniels is saying all the right things, but with 19 years under his belt is he just trying to keep recruits for the next 2 seasons then retire?

I can't see the possible rationale for thinking his travel remains constant, especially if we go to the WCHA (crossing lake Michigan will mean either flying or extra long bus rides to go around).

Daniels sees opportunity with all the changes. "I think Ferris State is ideally located to look both east and west (for new conference membership). We've got the WCHA, which is looking at some different teams and we would be within that footprint. Northern Michigan's already made the move. Michigan Tech would be in it. At that point, probably Lake Superior State, ourselves and three or four Minnesota schools."

Daniels is convinced Ferris will continue long-standing rivalries with Michigan and Michigan State despite no longer having conference affiliations with the two Big Ten schools. And even with the changing geography of a new league, travel costs for the program could be similar to what they are now. "Our travel expenses as far as I can see are going to remain constant. It's just that some of the games that used to be conference (will now be) non-conference. Some of the games that are non-conference now are going to be conference games. We'll continue to play Michigan and Michigan State. We'll continue to be part of the fabric of Ferris State and the Big Rapids community."

Daniels says he hopes the school has made a final decision on which conference to join by Thanksgiving of this year.
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