Constructing the (inevitable) Big Ten Hockey Conference - EDITED 3/6 with more CCHA games

Submitted by BeileinBuddy on January 19th, 2011 at 3:54 AM

It's 3:22 AM on a school night and for some odd reason I was struck with insomnia. I was also struck with the effort to put into words how the Big Ten Hockey Conference would be created and managed thanks to an impromptu logo designing session. Below is how I feel the BTHC should be constructed.

 

Scheduling

14 conference games total

(ex. Michigan)
4 games versus main rival Michigan State
4 games versus secondary rival Ohio State
2 games versus each Minn, Wisc, and PSU (6)

Rivalry pairings:

Team Rival 1 Rival 2
Michigan Michigan State Ohio State
Michigan State Michigan Ohio State
Minnesota Penn State Wisconsin
Ohio State Michigan Michigan State
Penn State Minnesota Wisconsin
Wisconsin Minnesota Penn State

Obviously, the rivalry series are to maintain the rivalries between teams from the same former conference (CCHA or WCHA...with Penn State involuntarily thrown into the WCHA rivalries)

Playoffs

Top 2 seeds (via conference record) receive first-round byes.
#3 vs. #6 and #4 vs. #5 have a best of 3 series with the higher seed receiving home ice.
Teams re-seed after the first round, therefore the #1 seed plays lowest remaining seed, #2 seed plays highest remaining seed.
Second round is also a best of 3 series, with the higher seed in each matchup receiving home ice.
The Big Ten Championship round is best of 3, with the series played at  Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI.

 

CCHA/WCHA Competition

In order to help keep the CCHA/WCHA competitive and afloat, each Big Ten conference team will face a significant number of opponents from their former conferences. For Penn State, they could be free to schedule a lot of non-conference opponents from all over the country. Approximately 12 games could be devoted to former conference opponents.

14 conference games + 12 former conference games = 26, which leaves about 5-7 out-of-conference games to fill in.

For Michigan, their 12 former conference games will include all Michigan schools (WMU, Ferris, LSSU, NMU) along with Miami and ND. These can all either be home-and-homes or double homes and double aways with a rotation the following year.

Sample Conference Schedule: Michigan

Bolded dates are conference opponents

10/6/12 vs. USTDP-18 (exhibition)
10/7/12 vs. out-of-conference opp.
10/13/12 @ out-of-conference opp.
10/20/12 @ out-of-conference opp.
10/26/12 vs. Ferris State
10/27/12 @ Ferris State
11/2/12 @ Ohio State
11/3/12 vs. Ohio State

11/9/12 @ Notre Dame
11/10/12 vs. Notre Dame
11/16/12 @ Michigan State
11/17/12 @ Michigan State

College Hockey Showcase - Ann Arbor, MI
11/23/12 vs. out-of-conference opp.
11/24/12 vs. out-of conference opp.

11/30/12 vs. Northern Michigan
12/1/12 @ Northern Michigan
12/7/12 @ Penn State
12/8/12 vs. Penn State

12/14/12 vs. Ohio State
12/15/12 @ Ohio State

12/28/12 Great Lakes Invitational
12/29/12 Great Lakes Invitational

1/4/13 @ Minnesota
1/5/13 vs. Minnesota

1/11/13 vs. Miami (OH)
1/12/13 @ Miami (OH)
1/18/13 vs. Lake Superior
1/19/13 vs. Lake Superior
2/1/13 @ Wisconsin
2/2/13 vs. Wisconsin

2/8/13 vs. Michigan State
2/9/13 @ Michigan State

2/15/13 @ Western Michigan
2/16/13 @ Western Michigan

2/21/13 - 2/23/13 First Round of BTHC Playoffs
2/28/13 - 3/2/13 Second Round of BTHC Playoffs
3/7/13 - 3/9/13 BTHC Championship Round

This prediction of the BTHC may be obvious and not too challenging but I feel this is what may happen and I hope happens. Seeing as the Big Ten is all about inclusion, they may cycle the BTHChampionship round between different cities like Chicago (United Center), Detroit (JLA), Minnesota (XCel Energy Center) as well.

I would like to know your thoughts and your insights into the (inevitable) BTHC.

Bonus Graphic: Our current jerseys with the new B1G logo on the right shoulder

 

EDITS: Restructured Big Ten conference games, increased number of games vs. CCHA, edited potential Michigan schedule 3/6/11

Comments

KJ

January 19th, 2011 at 4:18 AM ^

This is actually really well done. I applaud you, sir. It would be nice if we could come up with more than six teams, but this actually seems pretty realistic.

Edit: Wouldn't the opponents of Penn State in the "rivalry" matchups have somewhat of an advantage though?

BeileinBuddy

January 19th, 2011 at 4:25 AM ^

Yeah, the rivalries with PSU will be a bit one-sided until PSU gains some traction with their program, that's one area that could be addressed differently. You also have to take into account strength of schedule and the pairwise and all those things, factors that might prompt Minnesota and Wisconsin to bulk up their OOC slate in the beginning as well.

erik_t

January 19th, 2011 at 12:46 PM ^

Minnesota and Wisconsin would still absolutely demand a pile of games against the likes of UMD and UND. I mean, we frankly don't give more than a tenth of a shit about playing the Michigan schools or Ohio State.

 

If you can't tell, I'm not really a fan of the idea of a Big Ten hockey conference.

hockeyguy9125

January 19th, 2011 at 9:34 AM ^

However, I do not think it would be that long for them to become respectable. It is a big name school, with what will be outstanding facilities. I think it will be a very attractive school for college hockey players.

dlanny22

January 19th, 2011 at 8:45 AM ^

In addition, I also heard rumblings of Illinois, though I don't remember the exact source.  It may have been a prior board  topic on here.  However, I don't know how the remaining four schools would be towards hockey.(NW, Pur, Iowa, Neb) .  Only time will tell obviously.

hockeyguy9125

January 19th, 2011 at 9:31 AM ^

They are by far the next two candidates for the jump to D1 Hockey. While their programs are having decent success, it will still be a while until they even try to make the move because of a few reasons:

1. Money needed for an acceptable arena. 2. Money needed for college hockey scholarships. 3. Title 9 concerns and the need for a women's program to also make the jump.

PSU had one guy basically fund the program up to D1. It will be a while for Indiana and Illinois to make the jump, but they are the next logical candidates.

justingoblue

January 19th, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

Just did a quick search on Google.

They're a middling club team at least this year, but the real question is a) do they have facilities? Yost anyone? And b) can they recruit talent that can compete? They're sitting on arguably the best recruiting territory south of the border, and Canada is what, 45 minutes from Yost?

Vasav

January 19th, 2011 at 10:41 PM ^

I've read on this site before that Red is very against a women's program because (understandably) he doesn't want to have to share ice time at Yost with another varsity program.

Until the Red Berenson Ice Hockey Practice Center is built by Stephen Ross, I don't think we'll have a women's team.

justingoblue

January 19th, 2011 at 11:29 AM ^

Illinois has the facilities and the community support to go D1 right now. However, Title IX wouldn't allow them to do so.

Indiana and Iowa would require more of a university investment than it's probably worth. They have decent club teams but there isn't an arena that would make for a worthwhile B1G crowd.

Northwestern has a terrible team right now (but they'd have great recruiting territory and they have deep pockets). I have no clue about Nebraska or Purdue.

Bronco648

January 19th, 2011 at 8:57 AM ^

You would think that if UN-O can atrract pretty good talent, Neb. might be able to do the same.  I realize there's more to it than just location but with UN's resources, it should be feasable.

Sideline

January 19th, 2011 at 9:04 AM ^

Just because they're club, doesn't mean they can't compete at a varsity level in year one. I know that Illinois' club team could move up to Varsity and play a handful of teams (and win) and stay competitive. Usually Club teams get talent that was pushed out of the USHL/NAHL due to age, not talent. Look at Davenport University's club team; They could play LSSU and probably beat them.

justingoblue

January 19th, 2011 at 6:30 PM ^

Because PSU is going to be going all out.

Obviously someone wouldn't go to Iowa with a M/MSU/ND type offer, but one friend of mine had one or two smaller D1 offers, along with a bunch of D3. For him he thought he was better off paying to play a couple levels down in order to stay closer to home.

You're right that only a few from the club team will make it though. It's a whole other world of competition.

Wolverine In Exile

January 19th, 2011 at 9:10 AM ^

24 league games leaves you with about 12 OOC's... that seems like a good number, but for this to work, you're probably going to have to drop the rivals games to get to 20 in-conf games leaving 16 games to play in season tourneys, OOC's for small market schools in home states (i.e. the token games Michigan will play with Lake St, Northern, Ferris et al to keep them viable programs after leaving the CCHA).

UAUM

January 19th, 2011 at 9:28 AM ^

Indeed, very well done!  And you're right, it's a pretty straighforward analysis.

Really, the CCHA wouldn't implode, either.  It would still have (in order of current standings):  Notre Dame, Miami, Ferris State, Alaska, Western Michigan, Northern Michigan, LSSU, and Bowling Green.  That's 8 teams, 4 of whom are ranked in the USCHO top 25.

The Big Ten conference, however, is still a bit touch and go in my opinion.  The pluses are:  it would be nice to have hockey on the same page as most other sports, promote big rivalries, watch more games on the Big Ten Networks (big plus!), and there surely are others that I can't think of right now.  On the other hand, the minuses are:  playing all teams at least 4 times an two teams 6 times is booring and will hurt the rankings of the stronger teams who invariably loose to each other, it will pretty much be 3 really good teams versus 3 really bad teams.

I'm really torn, but I would like to see more hockey games on the Big Ten Network, and this seems like the only way that will happen.  It will create more national attention for the sport too.

turd ferguson

January 19th, 2011 at 10:43 AM ^

I'm probably in the minority, but I actually think it's fun that we get to play teams like LSSU, FSU, and NMU "in conference" in hockey. 

I'm fine with more games against Big Ten schools - and know that's the direction we're heading - but this has always struck me as one of the cool things about Michigan hockey.

Vasav

January 19th, 2011 at 10:36 PM ^

I'm pretty sure most college hockey fans are in agreement with you. But B10 Hockey seems to be inevitable because of the money and the BTN.

What I'm hoping is that we minimize the amount of conference games in the eventual B10HC, so that all those amazing in-state rivalries can still occur as home-and-home OOC series.

Let's limit ourselves to a couple of two game series against every conference opponent. That's 20 conference games. Home and homes against the three rivals you mentioned and Western every year would still leave us with 6 extra OOC games. That's enough to still do the GLI, a College Hockey Showcase replacement (would that be necessary with a B10HC?), an extra game against FYS, and still have one OOC game left over for some big time opponent.

Hopefully the BTN would be satisfied with 60 extra games to broadcast on weekend nights. But who knows? They may need even more, and that would kill all those fun in-state rivalries we love.

hockeyguy9125

January 19th, 2011 at 10:01 AM ^

well done...I like the schedule breakdown and room for non-conference games...which will be very important. Here are my issues with what you proposed and things that might not be practical, and a thought:


1. Instead of two protected rivalry bonus series...I would only have one, and then rotate the other around. I would want some years where we would play Minnesota/Wisconsin twice instead of Ohio State in hockey. We would play MSU 4 times each year for sure, but the rest would rotate around. That might be tough if we are OSU's big rivalry game, but this is from U-M's view and I think a rotation should be in place.
2. Realistically, there is no way in hell Minnesota and Wisconsin would support playing the championship in Detroit every year. The title game/series would have to be rotated between Detroit and Minneapolis (and maybe Pittsburgh for PSU, screw playing in Chicago lol).
3. This is a suggestion, it might not be practical, but just food for thought: Would you possibly set up the best of three series up as a home-away home format. Higher seeds host game 1, travel for game 2, would host a deciding game 3...It might not be practical, but it could also have its advantages. It would strengthen things like PWR rankings/image if you get a few extra road wins, while making sure the lower seed will still have to win on the road. Also, the road team could be rewarded for a game 1 win. Just a thought...but I would make the championship series, a championship game.
5. One other concern. The B1G season would have to start a couple weeks later (more room for beginning of the year OOC games). Currently, the NCAA Regionals do not start until March 25th. That is a long time off for teams who are in this conference until the NCAA tournament starts, It is too long to wait from the 9th until the 25th for teams who advance to the finals. What if a team loses in the semifinals? It is impractical for them to wait from the 1st/2nd to the last week in March to play in the NCAA tournament (if they would qualify).

A good proposal though, it will be interesting to see what happens...

ZooWolverine

January 19th, 2011 at 10:32 AM ^

I don't envision this would actually happen, but is there a strict reason why we couldn't start a Big Ten hockey conference and add Miami and Notre Dame?  Like the Big East with ND added in all sports except for football, we just add the two of them in hockey only.

It's partly that I would just miss them from the CCHA but that would make the conference much, much stronger, and 8 teams seems like a better size (6 just seems incredibly small).  Since we're starting our own conference, the revenue sharing rules could be up to us, but I think it's reasonable that a fair share of the hockey revenue on TV would be way more than they would make elsewhere and would only add to the value of the conference.

justingoblue

January 19th, 2011 at 11:38 AM ^

Just talking politically, ND will never be invited for anything that isn't a package deal for their football team. Even if they did get invited, I doubt they'd accept. Going into the Big East for their other sports was probably only feasible because even the most emo of domers didn't think it was even a remote possibility that their football team would follow. Something tells me that B1G patches on ND jerseys wouldn't go over well on either side.

funkywolve

January 20th, 2011 at 1:26 AM ^

If the Big Ten's play were to have a Big Ten hockey conference and showcase it on the Big Ten TV network, it would probably be pretty tricky to include teams like Miami and ND do not participate in other sports in the Big Ten conference.  I'm not sure how you would divide the TV revenue since I'm guessing right now all 11 teams get an equal share of the annual money the Big Ten TV network makes.

jehu22

January 19th, 2011 at 10:50 AM ^

Very well thought out. The only criticism would be in your sample schedule. You wouldn't have so many home and home series. Wisconsin and Ohio State would be better off playing two games in the same place on the weekend, with a return trip.

So it would look like: 

11/2/12 @ Ohio State
11/3/12 @ Ohio State

11/30/12 vs. Wisconsin
12/1/12 vs. Wisconsin

 

1/25/13 vs. Ohio State
1/26/13 vs. Ohio State
2/1/13 @ Wisconsin
2/2/13 @ Wisconsin

Alton

January 19th, 2011 at 11:38 AM ^

1. Scheduling.  I wouldn't want to play MSU and OSU 6 times every year--that's 12 games out of 34 against only 2 opponents.  On the other hand, a 6-team conference doesn't have many choices.  Either a 4-game balanced schedule with only 20 conference games, or else they have to play each team more than once.  My proposal--a 25-game schedule, where each team plays each other team 5 times--2 at home, 2 on the road and 1 at a neutral site.

Every year, we would have a "B1G Hockeyfest" in Detroit (hosted by UM/MSU), Minneapolis (hosted by UMn/UW) and Pittsburgh (hosted by tSIO/PSU).  Each pair of teams will play in 2 Hockeyfests--1 at their local neutral site and 1 on the road.  So the first year, UM and MSU would play Minnesota & Wisconsin at Joe Louis (like the old College Hockey Showcase format) and would later go to the Pittsburgh Hockeyfest to play Ohio State & Penn State.  The next year the teams would switch, with Michigan & MSU going to Minneapolis and Ohio State & Penn State coming to Joe Louis.  Complicated, but fun!

2. Playoffs:  All 6 teams in a "final six" tournament that rotates among Minneapolis, Detroit and Pittsburgh every 3 years.  Thursday is 3v6 and 4v5.  Semifinals Friday and Consolation & Championship Saturday.

3. Sample Schedule--

Oct. 13:  Western Michigan

Oct 19-20:  at Alaska

Oct 26-27:  Miami (Home & Home)

Nov 2-3:  Penn State

Nov 9-10:  Boston University

Nov 16-17:  Ohio State (Home & Home)

Nov 30-Dec 1:  Notre Dame (Home & Home)

Dec 7-8:  at Minnesota

Dec 14-15:  Michigan State (Home & Home)

Dec 28-29:  Great Lakes Invitational

Jan 4-5:  Wisconsin

Jan 18-19:  Michigan State (Home & Home)

Jan 25-26:  at Penn State

Feb 1-2:  vs Minnesota & Wisconsin (at Joe Louis Arena)

Feb 8-9:  Ohio State (Home & Home)

Feb 15-16:  Minnesota

Feb 22-23:  vs Ohio State & Penn State (at Pittsburgh)

March 1-2:  at Wisconsin

March 9:  vs Michigan State (at Joe Louis Arena)

March 14-16:  Big Ten Tournament (at XCEL center, St Paul MN)

Michigan Arrogance

January 19th, 2011 at 6:55 PM ^

if we play at AK, we get 2 extra games since OOC games in AK don't count against the schedule.

 

also, that's a brutal schedule. I'm afraid playing BU and MiamiOH would be really tough... replace BU for Mercyhurst/Quin/UMASS or replace miami w/ LSSU or ferris.... that's more possible

Alton

January 19th, 2011 at 9:30 PM ^

Actually, that does count the extra games from playing Alaska.  You get 34 games total not counting the games in Alaska--I have a 36-game schedule there.

You're right, that is a brutal schedule.  Maybe play Ferris and Bowling Green instead of 2 with BU.  I would think that Michigan would try to get WMU, FSU and BGSU on a 2-for-1 rotation over 3 years, so they host 2 of them and play the other one on the road every year.  Something like that.

Srock

January 19th, 2011 at 12:09 PM ^

One of the issues here with the schedule is Non-Conference games. One of the main reasons Wiscy wanted out of the College Hockey Showcase was to see some other teams on their schedule. Also, a home and home with Wiscy is not going to happen. I know these teams can fly, but that is too far. Remember, hockey still is not a true revenue sport. 

I do agree you'll see a Big Ten Hockey Conference when PSU gets their varsity status and plays their 2 years as an independent. I think it is safe to say you'll see 20 game schedule - 4 times (2 @ home 2 on road) vs. the other 5 BT Teams. That leaves open dates for non-confernce games.

You may then also see more 4 team events. Say a night @ The Joe where ND and Miami play MSU and UM once each. Minny and Wiscy host North Dakota and CC or something like that.

Don't under estimate that PSU might want to play some east coast schools - UNH, Maine, BU, BC, etc.

And finally, if the Big Ten was weak one year, and it could happen - these teams might get killed in their Pairwise Rankings if all they did was play themselves.

 

funkywolve

January 20th, 2011 at 1:22 AM ^

Maybe that's to far to travel for UM but I doubt it's to far to travel for Wisconsin.  Wisky is currently in a hockey conference with the Univeristy of Denver and Colorado College, which is in Colorado Springs.  I'm guessing Madison to Ann Arbor is no longer than Madison to Denver or Colorado Springs.

Michigan Arrogance

January 19th, 2011 at 1:41 PM ^

Yeah, this is awesome.. but I hope we can set up a lot of OOC games vs Lake State, Miami, and still have room for a couple series with eastern schools.

 

also, PSU won't win a B10 game until their 3rd year. or until the play MSU. whichever comes first.

Wolverine In Exile

January 19th, 2011 at 3:59 PM ^

is of course, money. (Straight cash money, homey)

The motivating factor for a B1G hockey conference is the increased revenue you get from having more hockey games on BTN. Since most B1G basketball teams don't play on Friday or Saturday night, hockey would give the BTN additional live events (probably at the cost of some volleyball or water polo matches), and live events drive up advertising rates. Now hockey isn't a cash cow for ratings by any means, but you'd have in the B1G hockey conf arguably 3 out of the 4 top college hockey markets (Minneapolis/St Paul, Detroit, Boston, and Wisconsin) in captive, add in the auxilliary Chicago market that's included in any B1G footprint, and it's a new, profitable revenue stream for BTN, which then of course gets divvied up amongst other B1G institutions.

Trick is you'd need to have enough conference games involving the Big 3 (Minn, Wisconsin and Michigan) on TV, and if that occurs, tOSU, Mich St, and Penn St get pulled along for the ride. Add in the fact that if you leave enough OOC's on the schedule, you probably get a lot of good interregional matchups that get TV coverage, like one off's against Boston U, BC, North Dakota, or tournaments, and that increases the revenue pie as well.

MGoBorracho

January 20th, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

I love hockey.  Played it my whole life.  Went to camp at Lake Superior State every summer for 5 years (and if you've ever been to the Soo, you know you only voluntarily spend time if it's really important) but anyone who follows college hockey has to know that to the non-hockey maniac world it occupies the shaky  ground between big time athletics and cult activity.  My point is, if you want to tinker with it and improve it you should proceed with caution unless you want to fall behind women's soccer fan support (again).

So can we move towards an eventual, legit, 8-10 team BTHC without ripping the guts out of college hockey as we know it?  Let's face it, extracting the biggest name brand schools* would not only cripple two conferences in a sport that always seems to be struggling to get over the hump financially, but it would create a new conference that even the biggest Big Ten fan would have to admit was not a guaranteed success.  Why?  Because even with TV money, a Big Ten hockey conference would struggle to grow into a true Big Ten athletic conference.  Hockey isn't cross country or lacrosse**.  You need fans in hockey-- real asses in real seats every weekend-- to get even marginal recruits, which is the only way you'll compete.  Of course, competing is the only way you'll get even better recruits and start winning which is, in turn, the only way you'll fill even the tiniest hockey barn you can afford to rent/build.  My point here is that establishing a legit program that can even suck at the Div. 1 level can take years.  

Which brings me back to my original question.  Why not establish a virtual Big Ten Conference first?  One that only requires non conference scheduling changes and shows up on winter weekends on the Big Ten Network?  If the problem is resistance from CCHA/WCHA officials, well, isn't a non destructive, TV shadow conference (that can cut you in on TV $ and promote the sport) better than the outright gutting of your conferences? 

The bonus here is that you can build momentum for the eventual establishment of the real thing slowly while providing time and revenue for the Penn States and Illinoises to build legit programs.

*I mean this in a general Div 1 sports way, not a hockey specific way.  

**For the record I ran cross country and played hockey and lacrosse in high school, so don't take this as a dump on any of these great sports.

cm2010

January 19th, 2011 at 6:19 PM ^

What about UNO (if they wanted)? Even though UNO and Nebraska are apart of the University of Nebraska system, they are separate schools that students have to apply to separately. So, it would be a stretch at best to call UNO a Big Ten team. But the only reason the hockey program wasn't started in Lincoln as opposed to UNO was because of the significantly larger population in Omaha. And, people wouldn't want to drive an hour to Lincoln every weekend in the middle of winter to see a hockey game, whereas they can make UNO hockey apart of a fun night out in downtown Omaha. Being from Omaha, I was very sad when UNO moved to the WCHA and would love for them to get a special exemption to a Big Ten Hockey conference (once again, assuming they would want to join). Thoughts?

SyracuseWolvrine

January 19th, 2011 at 7:31 PM ^

Call me a traditionalist, but I don't WANT to see a Big Ten Hockey conference.  I think it will pretty much destroy college hockey as we know it.  I like the fact that in hockey, some of the smaller schools get a chance to be powerhouses.  Without UM, MSU and tSIO, the only "Name" school in the CCHA is Notre Dame.

With ND as the marquee name in the conference, what do you think the likelihood is of having a CCHA TV contract? What network would pick that up?  I realize that the other schools in the conference are competitive, but names drive tv viewership.  Nobody, outside of the most devoted fans of those schools or diehard college hockey fans would ever tune in to watch Bowling Green - Ferris State.  However, once you add a team that people across the nation recognize, then you'll get some viewership.  

The problem becomes even worse in the WCHA. Without UW and UMn, one could argue that the only schools that are at all well known outside of hockey are CC and DU.  Unless you live in the state of Minnesota, chances are, you probably haven't heard of Saint Cloud State or Mankato. Would anyone, even the most diehard college hockey fan tune in to watch a game between Bemidji State and UNO?

Alton

January 19th, 2011 at 9:47 PM ^

You are a traditionalist.

"destroy(ing) college hockey as we know it" is different than destroying college hockey altogether.  Yes, it would absolutely change the landscape--some teams would get better and others would get worse.  That happens anyway without conference realignment.  When is the last time any college hockey fan paid any attention to Lake Superior or Michigan Tech, both multiple NCAA tournament winners?  They are not good, and are unlikely to ever be great again. 

College hockey is stuck right now.  Teams are not adding hockey, not just because of Title IX reasons, but because they have nowhere to go if they did add hockey.  Only Penn State has added hockey in the last decade, because only Penn State had a conference to go to when they added it.  What if Iowa State wanted to create a hockey team?  What would they do?  The WCHA is full with 12 teams, and the CCHA would be unlikely to be interested as things sit right now.  But if you make the existing conferences smaller--give the WCHA 10 teams and the CCHA 8--you create room for the sport to grow.

Look at lacrosse.  Conferences have 6-10 teams, and schools are creating lacrosse teams left and right, because they have a place to go.  Michigan will likely create a varsity lacrosse team, and they don't have to worry about what they will do--there is more than enough room in the ECACLL, where Michigan can join Ohio State and Bellarmine and Air Force and Denver and I forget who else.

A lot of people are opposed to change, because while the change might be good for the sport overall, it would be bad for their favorite teams.  College hockey is stagnating, and a lot of people within college hockey are quite happy for it to do so because their interests are served by stagnation. 

Brewcityitalian

January 19th, 2011 at 11:02 PM ^

my thoughts on conference realignments

Big Ten Hockey 6 to start,( 8 in the future with Illinois and Indiana eventually joining)

Michigan

Minnesota

Wisconsin

Penn state

Michigan State

That other school 187 miles AA that smells like horsecrap

--

Future CCHA -10 teams

Bowling Green ,Ferris State,,Lake Superior ,Miami OH,Northern Michigan,,Notre Dame,Michigan Tech ,Western Michigan,Nebraska – Omaha, Alabama-Huntsville

 

----

Future WCHA -10 teams

Alaska Anchorage, Alaska, Colorodo College, Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State, St Cloud State, Bemidji State, Air Force

or each conference with 9 teams, without Air Force and set up a rivalry weekend where the team that does not play in conference that weekend, plays a series against that other conferences team that has that week of non conference games also

WCHA vs CCHA

 

                                                                                                                                                  

matt mich

January 20th, 2011 at 10:34 PM ^

I think that its great that Big 10 as we know it is going to start hockey.  I think the CCHA is going to be fine, with them still having Miami (OH), Ferris State and Notre Dame (even though i hope Notre Dame come to the Big 10).  Not only are we going to be playing more of Ohio St. and Michigan St., but we are going to see a lot more of Wisconsin and Minnesota then just one lousy game a year.  I also think that its going to be a good face for College Hockey to bring the Big 10 in, since its a big name conference.