B1G Hockey Conference Official

Submitted by IdealistWolverine on March 21st, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Here it goes... the B1G is taking over the world one sport at a time...


I looked on the boards in the past and I don't think there's been an official announcement thread...

As a BG student who was super excited to see them play Michigan in the CCHA's... this really sucks because I was hoping to see BG make a turnaround in conference over the next few years.

Oh well... guess it was going to happen either way.



March 21st, 2011 at 12:57 PM ^


Unlike a lot of people here, I think this will be a good thing. The BTN is getting bigger every year, and seeing college hockey regularly on TV can only help hockey grow as a sport. Some of the rivalries will be reduced, but they'll have to play a bigger OOC schedule to make up for the disparity in teams, I would think. 

I don't think this means that M stops playing BG, Miami and ND every year.

Wolverine In Exile

March 21st, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

Not surprised at announcement, but timing. well, if the schedule does go to 20 games, then it will leave plenty of room for UM, MSU, Minn, Wiscy to schedule games against smaller instate schools as OOC's... still providing revenue streams for those schools (expect a lot of home and homes with schools within driving distance-- Western, Ferris, etc). Basically we're losing our OOC's with Wiscy & Minn we played every year in excahnge for conference games against them and OOC's against Western/Ferris/Northern/Lake St/Mich Tech & 1-2 top east coast teams. And I'd imagine our series with MSU at JLA will be expanded to maybe 2 games (1 front end, 1 back end of schedule). Plus, I'd guess some of our Penn St games might be played at "neutral" sites like Pittsburgh, Philly, or NYC. Might even see a neutral site game against ND @ Grand Rapids or against Miami @ Dayton's Nutter Center / Toledo's new ice rink.

Also, looks like Sparty's targeted a Comley replacement.. and we should be slightly worried:

"Denver, which won back-to-back championships (2004, 2005), is coached by George Gwozdecky, who is believed to be the front-runner for the Michigan State job opened by Rick Comley's resignation."


March 21st, 2011 at 2:11 PM ^

I have heard differently about MSU's coaching search. Blashill wants to stay in K'zoo for the long term to turn them into a Miami like program like his former mento Rico. I have heard they are looking at Air Force's and Bemidji State's coaches. 

Blashil right now is my favorite young coach. He placed in a great system of clean hockey, albeit boring as hell, and is a great motivator. 

Wolverine In Exile

March 21st, 2011 at 2:26 PM ^

MSU was looking for a coach, but Mason wanted his boy Comley. If Hollis wants somebody who can recruit in the big leagues (which lets face it, MSU hasn't done in a couple years now) and can coach a championship level team, Gwoz is the guy. He's proven and still has gas in the tank as he's 57. He's got MSU ties being an ass't to Mason. He coaches a decent style of hockey.


AF's coach is Frank Serratore. He's 53 and has been at AF 14 years now. No MSU ties (he played at Western & Bemidji, ass't coach @ NoDak). I'd think he'd be more inclined to wait to see if Gwozdecky left and return to Denver (he left Denver when the Minnesota Moose pro job opened up so he could be GM & coach, and let his Minn wife be closer to family).

Bemidji's coach is Tom Serratore. He's another one where he might not be inclined to jump ship as Bemidji would have a chacne at moving into the top tier with Minnesota and Wiscy leaving in a revamped WCHA. He's a lifer Minnesotan, playing at Bemidji, coaching at the Minn HS level, and St Cloud St, and finishing the job taking Bemidji from Div II to Div I established program. No MSU ties, no Michigan ties.

If not Gwoz, I think MSU looks at a USDP alumni coach who can recruit the USDP program and western Ontario.


March 21st, 2011 at 4:12 PM ^

I don't think if coming.  According to the posters at USCHO, they think MSU is announcing this week who their next coach will be (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?94051-Now.-Who-is-coming-to-East-…).  Which probably rules out any coach in the tournament, but most especially a high-profile name like Gwoz.  If they do announce this week, most likely it's going to be former-Spartan, former-UAH coach and current NTDP coach, Danton Cole.  He's the "Brady Hoke" choice.

Personally, I'm more scared of MSU going out and getting a young up and comer that's pretty proven as a head coach.  Seth Appert at RPI is the first name that jumps to mind.  If DB doesn't want Mel/Billy next, for whatever reason, I want Appert to replace Red and if he'd be available i wouldn't mind taking him after Mel/Billy.  I think he's going to be very, very good.  He coaches well, he recruits well, I like him and I would be scared if he went to MSU/PSU/any school we regularly compete with.

The other two are the coaches of Union and Merrimack.  Dennehy and Leaman, both schools made big splashes this year, but that's about it.  Merrimack is probably somewhat legitimate, I'm skeptical of Union.  Either of those would probably be decent choices.


March 21st, 2011 at 5:46 PM ^

I am of the school that if Mel or Billy doesn't take the reins when Red hangs them up we should poach Blashill. I have a huge hockey crush on Blashill at the moment. I love the system they have in place at western. I also love how he focuses on good hockey fundamental unlike at Ferris and at Ohio State. His players seem to love him and he really reaches out to the fans at Lawson.


March 21st, 2011 at 6:54 PM ^

Blashill would be a great candidate too, but I still like Appert more.  I have a couple friends at RPI (not the team) that absolutely love him.  I lost some respect for Blashill with all the blatant holding Western got away with in the CCHA semis.  We probably lose anyways, the way we played after their first goal and actually losing probably makes me like it even less in retrospect, I don't know how much of that was gameplanned and how much was spur of the moment and I respect playing to what the refs are going to call, but that definitely soured me on him a little bit.


South Bend Wolverine

March 21st, 2011 at 1:10 PM ^

The only danger here is if ND & Miami bolt for the WCHA.  If they do that, then they are dead to me for ruining college hockey.  If they stay, we will have 3 viable Midwestern conferences, the teams that are currently good middle teams in the CCHA (WMU, NMU, Ferris, etc.) can contend for titles & there will be room for expansion as well.  The Big Ten, meanwhile, will be tough with a lot of high-quality games & of course room for growth w/ other B10 teams.  The additional BTN coverage, etc. will be a great boon to the sport.  But if Miami & ND can ruin everything, and if they do, then F them.

Will Vereene

March 21st, 2011 at 2:58 PM ^

I am not sure if the B1G will even allow this, but since ND is indi in football, big East in basketball, and who knows how they spread themselves in other sports, then they should consider playing in the B1G for Hockey. On the other hand, they'll have to play other B1G hockey powerhouse teams so they probably will opt out of that and play in the fallout conferences where they could recruit and dominate until, the tournaments where the'll just crash 'n burn.


March 21st, 2011 at 3:55 PM ^

can stay the Mason Cup.  MSU coach or not, whatever you think of him and his style of play, he won a ridiculous amount of games (leader all time in # of wins and winning percentage as well, I believe).  He also won 13 CCHA tournament titles (10 at MSU, 3 at BGSU), which is the most ever.  Red has 9.

On the other hand, Red now has 11 CCHA regular season (most ever) titles to Mason's 10 (7 at MSU, 3 at BGSU).  Of course, Mason had 35 years to do both of those in and Red's only had 27. 

You can leave the tournament championship as the Mason Cup and make the regular season championship the Berenson Cup.  Winning the regular season is more impressive than winning the tournament anyways, I've always thought. 

As to whether the names stay in the CCHA/migrate to the BTHC, I have no clue.  2 more years would put Red ending his coaching career in 2012-2013, the year before the BTHC starts, so assuming he does retire then, neither he nor Mason will have coached in the BTHC.  However, Red played at Michigan, won the "Big Ten" a couple times as a player and has coached at Michigan, a Big Ten school, his entire career and has the highest winning percentage in the Showcase.  So I would guess that the CCHA keeps the Mason Cup and the BTHC institutes a Berenson Cup or the CCHA takes both.  If the BTHC does honor Berenson, it could be as either tournament or regular season champion, though obviously I hope it's the regualr season.  Or they could screw Red and he won't get anything named after him since he's leaving the CCHA and never was in the BTHC.


March 21st, 2011 at 1:41 PM ^

BTHC is good because it'll create way more exposure for all of us BTN hockey schools and it should grow interest in college hockey. (seriously, can you get women's college basketball off tv fast enough?)

if miami and ND bolt, i will hate them even more than i already do. the WCHA is a strong conference now. the CCHA will get weaker, but it should be fine. if miami and ND bolt then they will turn the CCHA into Atlantic Hockey West

Wolverine In Exile

March 21st, 2011 at 2:06 PM ^

They can pick up Alabama Huntsville, let the other Alaska school go to the new WCHA, and be the two power teams fighting each other for a auto-bid each year. Maybe ND is sad that they lose the two games guaranteed each year vs. Michigan and Ohio State, but Miami under  Blasi would be ecstatic they'd be the big dog in their own conference now and almost guaranteed they'd get either a autobid or at-large every year into the tournament. Hell, they'd probably even be able to strong arm the CCHA tournament out of Detroit  every other year to Dayton or Cleveland or Columbus.


March 21st, 2011 at 2:33 PM ^

Regarding conference and nonconference games, the U-M press release says:

The Big Ten regular-season schedule will include 20 games -- two home games and two road games against each opponent -- as well as the Big Ten Tournament in March, which will determine the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.


A member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) since the 1981-82 season, Michigan will make a concerted effort to schedule non-conference games against CCHA member schools. The NCAA permits each team to have 34 games on its regular-season schedule. Over its 30 years in the CCHA, U-M has won 11 regular-season titles and nine postseason championships.

Wolverine In Exile

March 21st, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

the 14 OOC's will be a combo of 1-2 big name East coast schools (2 games), 1-2 small name east coast schools (2-4 games), 2 GLI games, and then between 6-8 former CCHA'ers... like:

home and home vs Western

home and home vs Ferris

alternating weekend with Northern & Lake St

alternating weekend with BG / Miami / ND rotation


March 21st, 2011 at 6:51 PM ^

Really, really like this. As Brian mentions on the front page, there's no reason Michigan couldn't spearhead a "Michigan Cup" competition. If you think about it...

Michigan and Michigan State could be split up with the other Michigan schools so...

Group A: Michigan/Lake Superior/Western

Group B: MSU/Northern/Ferris

Home and home against each team in the group. Group winners play each other at the Joe for the "Michigan Cup". Minnesota/Wisconsin could do something similar with St. Cloud, UMD, Minn St, and one other team.

20 - Big 10 games

4-5 - Michigan Cup competition

2 - GLI

8 - other opponents

I see no reason why this wouldn't work...




March 21st, 2011 at 10:27 PM ^

There was a State of Michigan hockey trophy awarded to the winner of the round robin between Michigan, Michigan State and Michigan Tech every season from 1949/50 through (I think) 1980/81.  It was called the "Michigan Press Trophy."  Michigan won 14, Michigan Tech 14 and Michigan State won 7 (it was shared a few times in the 32 years it existed).