More Big Ten Hockey Conf. talk (B10 statement soon?)

Submitted by BeileinBuddy on March 16th, 2011 at 5:00 PM…

tl:dr version: BTHC was a subject of discussion during B10 meetings in Indy. May release a statement as soon as Monday about their intentions of going through with it for 2013-2014. WCHA and CCHA also preparing plans for their contractions.



March 16th, 2011 at 5:42 PM ^

wow thats gonna be a tough conference....but then i realize all of the big ten teams suck right now. michigan is currently the only big ten team with a realisitic shot of making the tournament which is kind of amazing. the big ten team nearest to michigan is minnesota which is currently 19th in the PWR and just got done being swept by Alaska-Anchorage at home.

another thought: penn state is starting hockey in '12-'13 but the BTHC wont start (tentatively) till '13-'14. so would they just be an independent that year? seems unlikely theyd join a conference for one season (or that any conference would allow that)


March 16th, 2011 at 5:56 PM ^

I had that same thought - everyone but us "sucking" right now.  But you never know by 2013. At times in the recent past, OSU / MSU / MINN /WISC have all been good (at points).

Also, i wonder if the lure of the Big Ten brand and the TV exposure (from the BTN) means that over time all 6 schools will be getting better recruits, etc. and have a better platform to succeed.



March 16th, 2011 at 6:20 PM ^

Just looking at the states represented, I think it'd be hard to up recruiting much more. Minnesota and Michigan are obviously huge hotbeds for talent, Wisconsin can recruit their own state, Illinois and Minnesota easily. No clue how PSU will do though, obviously. I've also never played in PA, so I have no idea if they have the in-state talent to build a base from.


March 16th, 2011 at 7:09 PM ^

IU might be, but I haven't heard anything from the couple people around hockey here. You probably know better if you've heard anything.

Illinois might be there in 5-6 years, but until they find a Title IX sport, they're not doing anything. Illinois could probably end up being very good if they were able to get a team.


March 16th, 2011 at 6:18 PM ^

Michigan already plays a conference schedule against MSU and OSU. Basically, you only need to add 3 games for Wisconsin, 3 games for Minnesota, and 4 games for PSU. That's 10 games you have to offset from our current schedule. Drop Alaska, Mercyhurst, 1 game against FSU, 1 game against MSU, and Nebraska-Omaha. That's 9 games, so either drop another game or add a game to the schedule. That lets you play all the directional schools, ND, Miami(OH), etc.

It's not the end of the world. The schedule gets a bit more interesting and we get to watch hockey games on BTN.


March 16th, 2011 at 7:46 PM ^

Since the Big Ten would only have 6 teames, we would start our conference tournament a week later than the CCHA. This adds room for another weekend series, so that's two more games if you want. Taking this model, the Big Ten teams would have room for 20 conference games and 18 non-conference games, plus a conference tournament. And if we really wanted to, we could play our conference tournament in a single weekend (one site, single-elimination), opening up room for two more non-conference games, bring the total up to 20 non-conference games.


March 16th, 2011 at 9:10 PM ^

Actually, it won't open the schedule up any more.  The NCAA limit is 34 games plus exempt games (such as games played in Alaska) plus conference tournament games. 

The basic schedule will be 20 conference games plus 2 games in the GLI plus 12 other non-conference games, plus any games that we play in Alaska.  It doesn't matter how many weeks the Big Ten tournament takes, they can't add any more non-conference games.

It will be interesting to see how they distribute those 12 games.  I assume they will want to play 2-4 every year against Miami and Notre Dame and 4-6 against other CCHA schools (NMU, LSSU, FSU, WMU, BGSU), leaving 2-6 games against Eastern teams or WCHA teams and a trip every other year or so to Alaska.



March 17th, 2011 at 2:26 AM ^

The reason the NCAA has exempt games is to keep programs afloat that could not survive without the exemption. If the WCHA and CCHA teams all press for either an increased games limit or more exemptions (for instance, the formation of more in-season tournaments which would happen to invite Big Ten teams), then the issue would likely disappear because the NCAA does listen to its member schools and does not want to see a bunch of programs fall apart. If the Big Ten schools were willing to play a couple games apiece in Alaska, the NCAA may be inclined to make concessions that would effectively allow Big Ten schools to play more games than everyone else so that more programs would live, particularly as the Big Ten Tournament would be shorter than most conference tournaments, so allowing Big Ten teams to play more games in the regular season would not increase the load of games on student athletes. Such a system, therefore, would be to everyone's benefit.


March 17th, 2011 at 8:56 AM ^

If the NCAA wanted to change game limits to help programs survive, they would reduce the game limits, not increase them.  The schools considering dropping hockey are losing money (duh).  If they wanted to help those schools, they would reduce the number of games and thereby limit the losses of the money losers.  Also, the hockey season is by far the longest team sports season in the NCAA--it starts 5 and a half weeks before basketball and ends 1 week after basketball.

Of course, that isn't going to happen either.  The NCAA actually doesn't care that much about programs failing.  What did they do about the CHA?  What are they doing about wrestling?  What are they doing about Cal baseball?  Essentially nothing.  Within the last 20 years, the NCAA reduced the hockey game limit from 38 to 34.  Within the last 10 years, the NCAA eliminated a large number of exempt tournaments in hockey and basketball in the name of fairness.  Within the last 12 months, an NCAA group tasked with finding ways to save the members money gave its list of suggestions, with a reduction in the length of the hockey season as the very first item on the list.

Big Ten teams will have a maximum of 34 games permitted, not counting games in Alaska, just like every other school.


March 17th, 2011 at 1:50 PM ^

First of all, my proposal doesn't call for an increase to the games limit, but for an increase in the number of exempt tournaments. This proposal has no real downside. It does not give the Big Ten a competitive advantage because it would not increase the number of games Big Ten schools play compared to what they do now and it would allow them to schedule more teams that need to play bigger schools, preferably in televised games, to help raise revenue to offset their losses. At the same time, by allowing these games, the profile of both the sport and the other schools playing in the tournaments would be enhanced.

Second of all, this proposal is likely to receive the support of virtually every D-1 hockey school because it would benefit all of them. The NCAA is not likely to refuse a proposal that is supported by most-to-all of its members*, so long as it has no ill effect on fairness or the general mission of the NCAA.

I do not actually expect this to happen, incidentally. But I do think it could happen if the Big Ten schools actually pushed for it. Which they probably won't because the extra games they would get wouldn't necessarily earn them much.

*The WCHA and CCHA schools would unanimously support this, and I don't see many eastern schools getting upset over getting the chance to play more televised games against Big Ten schools.


March 17th, 2011 at 8:50 AM ^

It will be interesting to see how they distribute those 12 games. I assume they will want to play 2-4 every year against Miami and Notre Dame and 4-6 against other CCHA schools

You have to wonder what the drop in prestige that is inevitable in the CCHA with the loss of Michigan, MSU, and OSU would do to recruiting for those teams remaining. I can see Notre Dame maybe staying competitive on a national level, but does Miami?


March 16th, 2011 at 6:53 PM ^

I think psu will probably focus their recruiting toward the east coast. Tons of talent there. Do that and steal a recruit from the Midwest occasionally and they will be set.


March 16th, 2011 at 7:32 PM ^

If not enough of the Big Ten schools are going to have hockey teams, maybe Miami and BG belong in a BIG hockey conference to make it have enough teams to make both commercial and sporting sense?


March 16th, 2011 at 9:34 PM ^

If this does happen Penn St is gonna have a hell of a time building up their program against elite talent that the big ten teams already bring to the table.  And when state finally comes back penn st. is gonna be a perennial loser so I can see them wanting to stay in the ccha for a while.  Plus any big ten team that starts up a hockey program gets an autobid into the ccha, which would be pointless with a B1G hockey conference.  Plus off-setting the Title IX implications of starting up a very expensive  sport deters many programs from starting a hockey team anyway.  If a B1G conference would start up, I'm sure we would definetly keep a few ccha teams on the schedule anyway.


March 16th, 2011 at 9:43 PM ^

but when you look at college hockey as a whole, penn state is one of the top 10 in name recognition easily. they've got a brand new rink too. they'll recover after a while i'm sure. even if they're recruiting kids who don't quite get the looks from other B1G schools but they're hearing from other D1 schools. "well son you have the choice between directional michigan university, minnesota state college university, random tiny new york D1 hockey school, and penn state. whats it gonna be??"

so theyll be fine, but i will enjoy crushing them for the first 5-10 years of their D1 existence


March 17th, 2011 at 8:54 AM ^

Penn State will be fine.  They are located smack dab in the middle of tons of hockey talent   Short term they will struggle, but with the right coaching staff and a little patience, I think we'll all be surprised at how quickly they become competitive. 


March 16th, 2011 at 10:55 PM ^

As far as potential teams go, Illinois would likely be the next school to get a team, imho. They have a pretty solid D-1 ACHA team and there are a lot of solid players coming out of that area. Whether it happens or not remains to be seen, but I just think that they could pull it off. 


March 17th, 2011 at 9:19 AM ^


There needs to be a B1G hockey conference for the sole reason that there would be more hockey games on TV. 

Right now the CCHA tourney is only on Fox Sports Detroit.  I don't live in the Detroit metro area, so naturally, I don't ge FSD.  However, I do get the B1G network and right now their scheduled programming for Friday evening and Saturday, when Michigan will play in the CCHA finals is wrestling, womens gymnastics, track and field, and golf. 

Seriously, playoff hockey is the best, and now I'm going to have to go to some random bar and watch the game instead of enjoing it on my couch.  Argh....