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.