Friday, February 02, 2007

Wayne State Applies to CCHA

This week's INCH CHA Notebook says that Wayne State has applied to join the CCHA in 2008-2009.

Everyone would like to keep the CHA around as a conference, but it's looking like that isn't feasible anymore. They don't have enough teams right now, and I don't see anyone on the horizon that looks poised to join the conference and save it.

If Wayne State did join the CCHA, obviously that would put them at 13 teams, which would make the league schedule even more messy than it already is.

A potentially interesting solution that I think is worth looking at is allowing Wayne State into the conference, then sending Nebraska-Omaha to the WCHA and allowing Bemidji to join the WCHA. That would put 12 teams in each of the two conferences.

There would be other benefits as well. Namely, it cuts down on travel costs. A trip to Detroit is a lot closer than a trip to Omaha for everyone in the CCHA except Fairbanks. Omaha is a nice fit for the WCHA. Interest in college hockey has declined a bit in Omaha, but they've got a beautiful facility and a huge potential fanbase. It's also pretty centrally located. Mankato, Minneapolis, St. Cloud, and Denver would all be within a 7 hour drive of Omaha. Omaha may lose a few fans since they draw a lot of fans for Michigan and Michigan State because they're football schools and Wisconsin is the only school in the WCHA with a D1-A football program, but it probably wouldn't be that big of a drop. Adding Bemidji to the conference would also create less travel for most of the schools in the conference.

Of course that leaves the other three CHA teams kind of hanging. Niagara and Robert Morris could take Atlantic Hockey from 10 teams to 12. That still leaves Alabama-Huntsville without a place to play. I have no idea what will become of them, but no matter where they go, things are going to be tough for them.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Wisconcin is the only school in the WCHA that plays D-1 Football" I always love that one! That should get the Gopher fans riled up. Although when you think about it....you are right!

Anonymous said...

Would it be best to do 2 6 team divisions with a 12 team league? CC, DU, AA, UND, UNO, Bemidji. UW, MN, UMD, SCSU, MTU, MSU...???

That'd probably be best geographically, and seems pretty good competitively.

Not sure how it's setup with "rivals" currently, other than UW-MN and CC-DU? But those would be intact, and the rest aren't exactly big rivalries.

Anonymous said...

UMN-UND isn't a big rivalry? That's the biggest rivalry of the year for the U of M. Wisconsin is big, but not as big to them as North Dakota is.

And the U of M has a very nice and improving DI-A football program, thank you very much. It has beaten Michigan State the last two years now, so it's hard to say that that's a "better football school" than the U of M.

Anonymous said...

Wayne State will fold in 2 yrs....

Atlantic Conf
RIT
SHEART
ARMY
AIR FORCE
HOLY X
BENTLEY
MERCY
CANIS
AIC
RMORRIS
ALB HUNTS
NAVY

Andy said...

Chris,

I like the Idea of adding Bemidji and Omaha to the WCHA and allowing Wayne State into the CCHA.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous Gopher - I meant rivals for WCHA scheduling purposes. Each team has a "rival" that they are guaranteed to play 4 times each year. UW and MN are guaranteed to play 4 times each year, as are CC and DU. MN and UND only play 2x every few years. I'm not sure who the other 6 teams are paired up with.

And that football team is improving? What, next year they're going to beat NDSU by 4 points? (-;

Anonymous said...

While it might cut down on travel, face it, what good does adding Wayne State do and shipping out UNO? The CCHA, which is currently perceived as a lesser league than the WCHA (though on the rebound a bit), would be adding a cup cake team while losing one of their decent mid-level teams. The weak get weaker and the strong get stronger. I'm sure the WCHA would love that move.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:22 makes a few points but it is clear to say that ending the UND-UMN matchup is about as worthwhile as saying that Michigan and tOSU should never play football against each other.

Next thing you know we'll have the Big Ten Hockey Conference again. Please.

Adding UNO and BSU to the WCHA make sense. However, that does screw UAH and, oddly enough, would screw NDSU as well if those overused rumors are actually true.... Unless the WCHA wants to send MTU to the CCHA, the CCHA lets UAH join their league (which brings it to a 14 team league) and NDSU joins the WCHA which makes that still a 12 team league.

Almington said...

At this point I think that inclusion into the CCHA is the only way to keep Wayne State from folding it's program. The problem is that with all of these options Niagara and UAH are left without a conference. I think that Niagara will be able to survive as an independant because of their location between the CCHA and ECACHL, but UAH wouldn't as they have a difficult enough time filling their schedule with the CHA conference games.

WCHA rivals
UMN-UW
CC-DU
UND-SCSU
MTU-UMD
MSUM-UAA

The issue is that nearly EVERYONE wants MN as a rival, so Gopher's would almost never play some teams while always playing others 4 times every year.

There is no good way to schedule 12 teams, everyone is going to have unbalanced schedules and teams are going to have even more opportunities to whine about not playing the Gophers 4 times in a year. I'd rather the WCHA and CCHA drop to 24 conference games per year (2 against everyone, alternating home teams every year) and having 4 games against their rival. That would open up 4* more non-conference games for each team which could be filled with some type of Start of the season CCHA-WCHA conference challange or, has been mentioned before, expanding the College Hockey Showcase to 2 weekend so that the games are played at other times then just over Thanksgiving.

The other option is that I could see is a push to have NMU more back to the WCHA or to have UAF move to the WCHA if the WCHA is willing to drop down to 24 games so that no one would have to travel to AK twice in any year (other then in the case of the playoffs).

* I realize that with some team losing the Alaska exemption that the total number of NC games added will be slightly smaller then 4 per team every year.

Anonymous said...

Always tossing little digs at the Gophers. Must be tough being a little sister.......

Anonymous said...

Why can't the NCAA get more involved to try to "recruit" other schools to move up to Div 1, and save the CHA? We keep hearing rumors of club or lower division teams moving up .... Penn State, Iowa State, Illinois, Navy, Liberty, Syracuse, even British Columbia (sounds like a hockey school to me)... but nothing ever becomes of the rumors. Granted, it's all about money and the individual budgets of the schools (and also having to add another sport for the women to be fair), but the NCAA could make some concessions to help "start up" some new programs. NO conference should have more than 12 teams.

Anonymous said...

Isn't North Dakota moving all athletics to Div 1 next year? I remember reading that Minnesota refuses to play them (execpt in hockey) because of their "abusive and hostile" nickname.

Anonymous said...

WSU vs. NTDP 6-5 win for the Tartars in OT.

Anonymous said...

If Syracuse gets a hockey program as reported, where would they play?

Anonymous said...

I beleive Mn is also a D1 program as well
Thanks,

Ed
Duluth

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:17

Syracuse will not be going D-1 in hockey anytime soon. They purposely built their new rink to be too small for D-1 hockey, because the AD at the time was against it. To make the move, they'd have to build a new arena, which isn't going to happen soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where this "everyone wants to be a rival with Minnesota" mentality comes from. Maybe that's true for UW and UND fans but from a CC fan's perspective I can tell you that we are very happy with just the CC/DU rivalry. It's nice to play a team like MN that is normally one of the better teams in the conference, but certainly would never be a deal breaker in terms of scheduling. I think DU fans would probably say the same.

As for WSU and their situation. It's been said before but maybe the best thing is to absorb all the mid-majors into the CCHA and split it into two divisions. I doubt the WCHA is going to want to add teams at this point since they seem to have the perfect size as it is. The CCHA is already way too big, so maybe it's time to take a serious look at splitting it. Bemidji and UNO I think would be fine playing in the WCHA, but twelve is just too many for this conference.

Goon said...

Syracuse probably would go to the Atlantic Hockey I'd assume.

Almington said...

Anon, 2:19:

I said nearly everyone, see the modifer nearly, CC-DU is the only one in the WCHA, UAA-UAF and MTU-NMU are there primaray rivalries for those schools buit the other team is in the CCHA. But for UMD, UND, SCSU, MSUM, and UW all would love to have MN as there primary rival as would BSU if they were to join the WCHA.

If that were to happen UMN would have 20 games tied up which means that they would play CC, DU, MTU and UAA only twice every year. There are a fair number of people who would prefer that the WCHA was still only 8 teams so that they could play everyone 4 times a year.

Goon said...

Your right but BSU might actually pick UND, the games between the two teams have gotten better with each game. Like one of BSU said, this is getting to be a heated battle.

Of course is the UND and Jan Brady State game as well.

Goon said...

Correction: Sorry or I should say the Games between UND and SCSU are as well.

Actually thats the point the games in the WCHA are all getting to be like this.

DU and UND has become a battle royal too. UMN and DU was a lot of back and forth in your face stuff.

Chris said...

Those would certainly like a guaranteed four games against Minnesota per year, but I don't think any consider them primary rivals.

In fact, if UNO and BSU were added, the only change to the rivalry/travel partner system that the WCHA currently has is to pair MSU and UNO, and then stick Bemidji with UAA.

Goon said...

I really think the Rivalry thing is stupid and should be revisited, if and when the league expands.

Isn't this something Lucia dreamed up, of course he maximized it for his own good. If they go to 12 teams they are going to have to address the number of games and the unbalanced schedule. Think about it based who your schedule against a team could realistically get a more easy schedule than another team.

Lets say UND ends up playing BSU and UNO four times each and DU and C.C. only twice their schedule is going to be a lot easier, hence they have an opportunity to wrack up more league points.

Kevin said...

Wouldn't SCSU and MNSU be a good pairing for a "rival"? I hear the battle for the Traveling Athletic Trainer's Kit is quite intense.