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Thread: New WCHA is dead

  1. #281
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkTrainPolka View Post
    personally i think UAH will end up being the 8th team.
    It could happen, I suppose. But there are a lot of variables here.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkTrainPolka View Post
    who else is out there?
    I don't have any inside knowledge. But in thinking about the agendas of everyone involved, I imagine the first step will be to see if Miami or Western Michigan would like to join the new CCHA.

    Many RedHawk and Bronco fans don't see this as a serious possibility, and perhaps they are right. But I do think this would be the first step and I do think both of these schools would need to at least give it some thought. The opportunity to join a more geographically sensible league that is stronger than the WCHA may not come around again for a while. As a Bowling Green fan, I'm certain the Falcons would love to be back in a conference with these other two MAC schools.

    If Miami and/or Western Michigan say yes, perhaps this would open up a spot for Arizona State, Minnesota State, or another school departing the WCHA in the NCHC.

    Once Miami and Western Michigan have made firm decisions, the next step would probably to see who else out there wants to join the CCHA. Here, the focus is probably primarily on the Pennsylvania and Western New York schools in Atlantic Hockey. My impression -- and I'll stand corrected -- is that Atlantic Hockey imposes tougher scholarship limitations than the rest of college hockey. Do a couple of these western schools want to step it up and play in a league without these restrictions?

    As part of this second step, the new CCHA might also take a look at Arizona State. The fact that the Sun Devils made the Frozen Four tournament as an independent is impressive. I do think there is probably room in this new CCHA for up to one new member outside the core CCHA footprint. There is an argument to be made for Arizona State here. It is a P5 school, it is playing good hockey right now, and a wintertime annual trip to Arizona could be used as a recruiting tool for the other CCHA schools. An argument against is that Arizona State may have its heart set on the NCHC, which is more geographically logical anyway. If there is a strong chance the NCHC is going to admit them in the near future, maybe the CCHA stays away from Arizona State, particularly if Arizona State would put the new CCHA at an odd number of schools when it all shakes out.

    After working through these two steps, I think the new CCHA then sees where it is at. If the new CCHA is at an odd number of schools and Arizona State isn't in the fold, then I think they look at Alaska and Alabama-Huntsville and pick one. Given that Alabama-Huntsville is said to be planning a new arena, perhaps the Chargers get an invitation. If one of these schools is admitted, the other two (if there are two, given the Alaska state budget situation) would probably have to look at Atlantic Hockey, I guess.

    As a Bowling Green fan, I'm delighted that we are pursuing this new league. We were a founding member of the CCHA and were the last school to leave. I relish the opportunity to try to get Miami and Western Michigan back in our league, if such an effort is happening (and I'll bet it is).

    I do feel bad for the situation that Alabama-Huntsville and the Alaska schools find themselves in. They've been important parts of the fabric of college hockey for decades. But much has happened to get us to this point, and the blame certainly does not rest solely on Bowling Green or the other six would-be CCHA schools. The other two western leagues walked away from these outlier programs years ago, leaving the whole burden of all the travel on the WCHA. Bowling Green made two trips to Alaska and one to Alabama last year, and we will repeat those trips this year. That's a lot to ask. Bowling Green is not oozing in money. No MAC school is.

    I hope, when this all shakes out, a way can be found to structure college hockey so that programs from Alabama to the Arctic can all thrive. But that doesn't mean all of these programs should be in one conference.
    Last edited by Schadenfreude; 07-02-2019 at 08:42 PM.
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  2. #282

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Hockey View Post
    they want a short bus ride league....
    Define short. BSU <-> BGSU is a long bus ride.

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by dogs2012 View Post
    Is this hypothetical? I don't see any NCHC teams making a change anytime soon.
    Very hypothetical but I think it makes a lot of sense. I understand SCSU & UMD are not dying to leave the Nacho but to have all 4 (Yellow Rodents don't count) mn teams in one conference would be a very good thing for college hockey, IMHO.

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  4. #284
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    So obviously, there's the tendency among quite a few of us to sort of fanboy out some (not necessarily reasonable) predictions for how things could shake up in this round of realignment. Even the USCHO podcast did a little bit of this in their episode on this news over the Weekend.

    Some conference-by-conference thoughts:

    B1G: Stays as is. Adds UI in a few years.

    Hockey East: Stays as is. Trefzger and Connelly were toying around that ASU shows up here, but I doubt it for the same reasons that they didn't particularly seem too into Notre Dame.

    ECAC: Stays as is. We can play the "will the Ivies split off?" game in our heads, but short of Penn and/or Columbia starting up programs, let's not get our hopes up.

    nnWCHA: It's the runaway 7. Maybe UAH joins up. Maybe not. Trefzger and Connelly were talking about maybe Mankato and Bemidji head to NCHC and WMU and Miami come in here and we end up with WCHA 3.0 and CCHA 2.0, but that seems like fanboy daydreaming to me.

    NCHC: See above about a switchup with nnWCHA. Otherwise stays as is, short of the conference being impressed by any upcoming ASU facilities.

    Atlantic Hockey: [Insert endless stream of Navy rumors here, which Trefzger and Connelly claim has more legs than ever these days]. Also a possible home for UAH.

    Wildcards:
    - The nnWCHA doesn't stay together. Minnesota schools go to NCHC, MI/OH schools do their own thing (link up with UAH and/or some of the more western AHA schools?)
    - The remaining D-II schools petition to play up as there is no D-II title, link up with AIC and Bentley (they're all in the NE-10 conference in other sports) to form either a supersized AHA, or a breakaway from the AHA
    - New programs that we never knew about or never took seriously come to fruition out of nowhere
    - Great West Hockey Conference 2.0 featuring ASU, UAA, UAF, and mystery school(s) TBD. Remember Simon Fraser University?
    - A black hole forms and we all die
    Last edited by ExileOnDaytonStreet; 07-02-2019 at 12:39 PM.

  5. #285
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by MTUHuskies View Post
    I would not be surprised to hear that UAH was actually part of the discussions but held out of the joint press release as a way to push harder to get funding for the new rink.
    We were not.

    Quote Originally Posted by FMR_Alaskan View Post
    I don’t get all the fuss over Huntsville. It’s a 2 hour straight shot south of Nashville, which is not a hard place to fly to these days. If they are committed to building a new rink then it shouldn’t be seen as going out on a limb to include them with the Shady Seven.

    The Alaska schools are cooked either way.
    Here is the the upshot of traveling to Huntsville: getting a full hockey team here sucks. HSV is one of the most expensive airports in the US to fly through for its passenger volume (Google it). We don't get big body aircraft into and out of here, so your options are 1) chartering and 2) flying to Nashville or Atlanta and then busing. 1) No one in the nWCHA/Shady Seven charters and likely never will; flying into either airport adds six hours to the trip. It's simple.

    People joke that someone winning the lottery should fund a UAH rink first. HELL NO. Endow a charter service that not only flies UAH direct to road trips but flies road opponents direct into HSV. You wouldn't be able to do a UAH livery without a lot of money, but a subsidized/free charter would make UAH a palatable conference and non-conference foe. I figure $85MM would work this given how UAH's foundation rules govern endowing University activities.

    Yep, I'd pay more to endow travel than I would want us to spend on a barn. It's that important. Until there are five other teams within an eight-hour bus ride of Huntsville, it's not worth hoping for an easy league.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExileOnDaytonStreet View Post
    - The nnWCHA doesn't stay together. Minnesota schools go to NCHC, MI/OH schools do their own thing (link up with UAH and/or some of the more western AHA schools?)
    - The remaining D-II schools petition to play up as there is no D-II title, link up with AIC and Bentley (they're all in the NE-10 conference in other sports) to form either a supersized AHA, or a breakaway from the AHA
    - New programs that we never knew about or never took seriously come to fruition out of nowhere
    - Great West Hockey Conference 2.0 featuring ASU, UAA, UAF, and mystery school(s) TBD. Remember Simon Fraser University?
    - A black hole forms and we all die
    This is an interesting thought here on the division II schools in the Northeast-10 that have no home right now other than playing themselves for the conference title.

    It would be nice to see an exception given how small and niche the sport of hockey is but we all know how difficult it is to get the ncaa to embrace those kind of things.

    With the potential of St. Thomas going Division II, you’ll now have Saint Anselm, st. Michael’s, assumption, southern NH, Franklin pierce and stonehill all without homes and a chance to compete for a NCAA title.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfmorris View Post
    We were not.



    Here is the the upshot of traveling to Huntsville: getting a full hockey team here sucks. HSV is one of the most expensive airports in the US to fly through for its passenger volume (Google it). We don't get big body aircraft into and out of here, so your options are 1) chartering and 2) flying to Nashville or Atlanta and then busing. 1) No one in the nWCHA/Shady Seven charters and likely never will; flying into either airport adds six hours to the trip. It's simple.

    People joke that someone winning the lottery should fund a UAH rink first. HELL NO. Endow a charter service that not only flies UAH direct to road trips but flies road opponents direct into HSV. You wouldn't be able to do a UAH livery without a lot of money, but a subsidized/free charter would make UAH a palatable conference and non-conference foe. I figure $85MM would work this given how UAH's foundation rules govern endowing University activities.

    Yep, I'd pay more to endow travel than I would want us to spend on a barn. It's that important. Until there are five other teams within an eight-hour bus ride of Huntsville, it's not worth hoping for an easy league.

    GFM
    Last year, NMU flew into Nashville. The year before, it was Birmingham.

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Schadenfreude View Post
    It could happen, I suppose. But there are a lot of variables here.

    My impression -- and I'll stand corrected -- is that Atlantic Hockey imposes tougher scholarship limitations than the rest of college hockey. Do a couple of these western schools want to step it up and play in a league without these restrictions?
    A few years back, AHA set up a time line to allow teams that wished to offer the full allotment of scholarships. Not sure where they stand on the timeline, but the opportunity is there for its members.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrezdeJohnson09 View Post
    This is an interesting thought here on the division II schools in the Northeast-10 that have no home right now other than playing themselves for the conference title.

    It would be nice to see an exception given how small and niche the sport of hockey is but we all know how difficult it is to get the ncaa to embrace those kind of things.

    With the potential of St. Thomas going Division II, you’ll now have Saint Anselm, st. Michael’s, assumption, southern NH, Franklin pierce and stonehill all without homes and a chance to compete for a NCAA title.
    AFAIK, there is a process allowed for D-II schools to play up even with the moratorium on play-ups imposed in I-forgot-which-year. It’s been discussed here and elsewhere in the forums.

    Now, what would happen if we had 30 D-II schools (aside from those grandfathered in as proper D-I hockey programs) playing up, and the NCAA decided to sponsor a D-II championship again? I have no idea.

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by gfmorris View Post
    We were not.



    Here is the the upshot of traveling to Huntsville: getting a full hockey team here sucks. HSV is one of the most expensive airports in the US to fly through for its passenger volume (Google it). We don't get big body aircraft into and out of here, so your options are 1) chartering and 2) flying to Nashville or Atlanta and then busing. 1) No one in the nWCHA/Shady Seven charters and likely never will; flying into either airport adds six hours to the trip. It's simple.

    People joke that someone winning the lottery should fund a UAH rink first. HELL NO. Endow a charter service that not only flies UAH direct to road trips but flies road opponents direct into HSV. You wouldn't be able to do a UAH livery without a lot of money, but a subsidized/free charter would make UAH a palatable conference and non-conference foe. I figure $85MM would work this given how UAH's foundation rules govern endowing University activities.

    Yep, I'd pay more to endow travel than I would want us to spend on a barn. It's that important. Until there are five other teams within an eight-hour bus ride of Huntsville, it's not worth hoping for an easy league.

    GFM
    Flying to Huntsville is not even the easiest for a single ticket. I remember flying there a couple of times on business quite a few years ago and it was Kalamazoo to Chicago, switch planes, Chicago to Atlanta, switch planes, and finally Atlanta to Huntsville. And reverse that coming home.

    Lake State takes a sleeper bus on their trips to Huntsville.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Hockey View Post
    short bus..
    I see what you did there.

  12. #292
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Flying to Huntsville is not even the easiest for a single ticket. I remember flying there a couple of times on business quite a few years ago and it was Kalamazoo to Chicago, switch planes, Chicago to Atlanta, switch planes, and finally Atlanta to Huntsville. And reverse that coming home.

    Lake State takes a sleeper bus on their trips to Huntsville.
    I remember my one trip into Huntsville by plane..... Trip down was no problem as I flew out of Brainerd, MN on a puddle jumper to MSP, then to Detroit and then Huntsville. Wasn't bad at all.

    The way back, my departure got delayed and then cancelled. I was rebooked but went HSV-Memphis-Cincy-Chicago-MSP-Brainerd. Made the last connection flight to Brainerd by ten minutes. Never had more than an hour to make a connecting flight.
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    It's been a very informative thread. Mostly with bad news, of course.

    Let me see if I can sum up the most likely realities here, just because I want to make sure I have it right.

    The 7 schools essentially want a conference without the Alaska schools and Huntsville. Given GFMorris' post above, I guess it's completely feasible to say that travel costs and burdens are the reason for this. Would this be the assumed truth?

    If so, does it follow that these are the correct conclusions?
    1- At least in every part of the country except the NE, college hockey travel sucks a big portion out of team budgets. This means that even schools with strong traditions like MTU, LSSU, etc, are in some sense struggling.
    2- That being true, it seems as if the landscape is going further delaminate, with one section being rich (B10, NCHC), and the rest poor and struggling.
    3- If this is true, then the future is going to look very different from the present, because the little schools aren't going to make it. I think we are all really lamenting this truth.

    As for the short-term future...
    1- GFMorris' post suggests that the 7 schools really DO NOT want Huntsville or Alaska. That would be the direct conclusion of their 'announcement.'
    2- If that's true, the question becomes, why were the Alaska schools included in the first place? Anchorage had an 'in' because they already belonged to the WCHA. But, why let the others in only to kick them out a few years later? I haven't seen a good answer to this question.

    Next category.
    1- Is there something about the present environment which may be cyclical, which is creating the crunch? If so, can we expect the cycle to change and the pressure to come off?
    2- If not, this is really a sad week for Alaska and Huntsville.

    Sorry everyone. If I have anything wrong here, please correct me. I always want to understand as well as I can.

  14. #294
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by davyd83 View Post
    Last year, NMU flew into Nashville. The year before, it was Birmingham.
    I hope we keep Huntsville. It's my annual college hockey trip since I am only a five hour drive away. It was a good trip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gfmorris View Post
    We were not.



    Here is the the upshot of traveling to Huntsville: getting a full hockey team here sucks. HSV is one of the most expensive airports in the US to fly through for its passenger volume (Google it). We don't get big body aircraft into and out of here, so your options are 1) chartering and 2) flying to Nashville or Atlanta and then busing. 1) No one in the nWCHA/Shady Seven charters and likely never will; flying into either airport adds six hours to the trip. It's simple.

    People joke that someone winning the lottery should fund a UAH rink first. HELL NO. Endow a charter service that not only flies UAH direct to road trips but flies road opponents direct into HSV. You wouldn't be able to do a UAH livery without a lot of money, but a subsidized/free charter would make UAH a palatable conference and non-conference foe. I figure $85MM would work this given how UAH's foundation rules govern endowing University activities.


    GFM
    This explains a lot, thank you.

  16. #296
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by PrezdeJohnson09 View Post
    This is an interesting thought here on the division II schools in the Northeast-10 that have no home right now other than playing themselves for the conference title.

    It would be nice to see an exception given how small and niche the sport of hockey is but we all know how difficult it is to get the ncaa to embrace those kind of things.

    With the potential of St. Thomas going Division II, you’ll now have Saint Anselm, st. Michael’s, assumption, southern NH, Franklin pierce and stonehill all without homes and a chance to compete for a NCAA title.
    Why would the NE10 DII schools be looking to play up to DI?? They aren't even competitive in a DIII league.
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildog View Post
    I hope we keep Huntsville. It's my annual college hockey trip since I am only a five hour drive away. It was a good trip.
    Huntsville and Anchorage are two of my favorite trips. I’m so looking forward to Huntsville this year with the Nashville/Vegas game Wednesday, my old minor league team from Birmingham playing at Huntsville that Thursday night and the Cats on Friday & Saturday!

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by ticapnews View Post
    Hence the respect part of my statement.

    The NCAA has zero interest in solving the issue. It's up to someone who does care about college hockey and has the gravitas to tell college administrators, coaches and fans "This is what we're doing," and have them do it. I don't know if such a person or organization exists.
    The NCAA has zero ability to solve any issue. They can pick on individuals and that's about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkTrainPolka View Post
    i think that you will end up with a single team out of fairbanks... and try that out until more western teams possibly emerge or there is a new shake-up.
    I believe if either school loses hockey, they’d need to replace that sport with another to meet minimum NCAA standards yes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfmorris View Post
    1) No one in the nWCHA/Shady Seven charters and likely never will;
    BGSU was using a charter plane for a few games last season. Paid for by a very generous donor.

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