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College Hockey:
Big Ten confirms plan to sponsor hockey starting in 2013-14 season

The Big Ten Conference will recommend to its Council of Presidents/Chancellors that it establish a men’s hockey conference starting in the 2013-14 season, the league announced Monday.

The presidents and chancellors must approve sponsoring the sport, and they will get that recommendation forwarded to them in June.

The addition of a Penn State program for the 2012-13 season will bring the number of Big Ten teams with men’s hockey programs to six. Minnesota and Wisconsin will leave the WCHA, while Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State will leave the CCHA.

The Big Ten announcement, released via e-mail Monday, said the Big Ten schools “will continue to proactively work to maintain a strong schedule of non-conference competition” with the CCHA and WCHA.

Big Ten teams will play 20 conference games — 10 home and 10 away — and will play their first conference postseason tournament in March 2014.

Penn State’s announcement in September that it will add men’s and women’s hockey led to speculation about the formation of a Big Ten men’s hockey conference.

“Since Penn State’s announcement, the conference has researched and investigated the establishment of men’s ice hockey as a conference sport,” the league said in a statement. “The conference has sought input and communicated both internally with conference chancellors, presidents, administrators and coaches, and externally with members of the hockey community, including the CCHA and WCHA.”

Said Terry Pegula, whose donation launched the Penn State program: “I am glad to see that the conference formation came together so quickly. One of the main reasons I decided to make the gift to Penn State was to see the great sport of college hockey evolve. Congratulations to the Big Ten Conference for making this leap of faith and I hope it can serve as a catalyst for the growth and exposure for the game of hockey in North America.”

CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos said the announcement wasn’t a surprise.

“We have been engaged in discussing this topic with Big Ten officials for several months now,” he said in a news release. “We are studying the potential impact of this change and will continue to work closely with our membership and other stakeholders in college hockey to ensure the ongoing long-term success of our league.”

Said WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod in a statement: “Today’s announcement from the Big Ten conference has been anticipated for some time now, and this will obviously have an impact on the WCHA. But change creates opportunity, too. The timeline of this Association spans seven decades and has included expansion and contraction on numerous occasions, but the success of this organization has remained constant. The commitment to excellence by our member institutions will not waver and working together we will push forward to assure our future remains bright.”

Reaction from Big Ten schools was quick in arriving via prepared statements:

Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi: “It’s worth celebrating that a BCS conference institution in Penn State has joined the great landscape of college hockey. We are also pleased that the Big Ten has embraced this move by recommending that men’s hockey be added as an official conference sport. At the same time there are some mixed emotions for us, as Minnesota is an original and proud member of the WCHA. We would depart with fond memories, and the sincere belief that many of the great WCHA rivalries that the Gophers have been a part of will continue through non-conference play.”

Ohio State associate athletic director for sport administration Chris Schneider: “This is an exciting time for college hockey and for Ohio State hockey. We have had a great relationship with the CCHA and the member institutions. We look forward to continuing those relationships while building stronger relationships with our fellow Big Ten hockey programs.”

Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki: “Adding hockey to the Big Ten Conference helps keep the sport moving in the right direction. Having even more games on the Big Ten Network will raise awareness both of Ohio State’s program and college hockey in the United States and Canada. It will make it even easier for our alumni to follow the team throughout the year. It is exciting both for our program, and for Ohio State fans, hockey is going to become a part of the great tradition of the Big Ten Conference.”

Minnesota coach Don Lucia: “We are excited about the possibility of a Big Ten hockey conference beginning with the 2013-14 season. Our rivalry with Wisconsin is well documented and it will be nice to play Michigan and Michigan State more than once a year. It will also be exciting to create new rivalries with Ohio State and Penn State. Right now we enjoy playing in the WCHA and will work with the league and WCHA schools to maintain established and traditional rivalries to ensure a competitive and entertaining non-conference schedule.”

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis: “We are excited about the launch of hockey in the Big Ten Conference. I believe that sponsoring men’s ice hockey will enhance the Conference, its member institutions, and college hockey. Already, there is intense competition among the six programs on the ice, and this will quickly develop into one of the most exciting leagues in the nation. We’re looking forward to a schedule being filled with conference games against Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan, which will be great games for home venues and the Big Ten Network. Playing only 20 conference games will allow our programs to continue to play non-conference contests against in-state rivals, important tournaments like the Great Lakes Invitational, and a competitive national schedule.”

Michigan State president Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon: “If approved by the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors, this will be a welcome and exciting addition to Big Ten athletics. When one considers the locations of the Big Ten universities, competing athletically on the ice is a natural next step for the conference. A 20-game conference schedule and a season-ending tournament that will secure a spot in the NCAA tournament will be exciting for college hockey fans everywhere. Our relationship with the Central Collegiate Hockey Association has been beneficial both in terms of athletics and academics, and we are pleased that we will continue to face off against CCHA teams in non-conference competition.”

Penn State athletic director Tim Curley: “The Big Ten Conference represents competing at the highest level, regardless of sport. We always want to provide the very best experience for our student-athletes. As we transition to a Division I hockey program, we’re humbled to align with some of our Big Ten peers who, year after year, represent the nation’s elite in college hockey.”

Penn State associate athletic director for ice arena and hockey development Joe Battista: “I recently visited all the Big Ten hockey venues and the passion and enthusiasm among the Big Ten fans is the best in the country. We are really excited about the design plans we have for the Pegula Ice Arena and our goal is to make it the best atmosphere in the nation. We can’t wait to bring Big Ten hockey to Happy Valley!”

Also see: As Big Ten prepares to announce plan, CCHA, WCHA commissioners look forward


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  • michiganryan

    what does this mean for the other ccha teams like bowling green, ferris state, lake superior st, northern and western, and even miami?

    • Cgp_999

      It means those teams will be forgotten and hopefully don’t fold but they certainly will not command any national attention anymore. On the bright side, it does allow those schools an easier route to the national tournament via the autobid.

    • Bronco

      Most likely Bowling Green, Ferris, LSSU, and Northern will fold, then Miami, Alaska, ND, and Western will be forced to join the WCHA. That’s what I see happening. Maybe Michigan Tech closes too, but we’ll see

      • DJT

        On the other hand, the Big Ten Hockey conference could suddenly raise the awareness of college hockey and smaller schools suddenly become the Morehead St., Northern Iowa’s, et al. of college hockey.

        I’m a Badger fan and while I don’t have attendance figures in front of me, I’m quite certain Michigan Tech wasn’t pulling in big crowds when Wisconsin or Minnesota came to town this year… I just don’t see the correlation as to why this move would hurt smaller schools (especially when there’s going to be plenty of opportunities for non-conference games each season).

        It will enhance the overall product in the eyes of the laymen. Suddenly Joe Schmoe is going to college hockey games… That helps everyone.

        • Bronco

          I guess time will tell whether this helps or hurts college hockey. Either way, I think BIG changes are on the horizon

        • squirtcoach

          Because Wisconsin or Minnesota will never travel to Michigan Tech again. Or Bemidji. Like USCHO mentioned, Wisconsin and Minnesota will only play 4 games on the road against non-conference teams. That would be two series.

          Which 4 non-Big Ten schools would the Badgers want to lock into a rotating reciprocating schedule? I can give my guess and they only include 1 of the 4 Minnesota teams.

          • spooker

            Exactly correct and Minnesota doesn’t exactly have a track record of playing a tough non conference schedule so would they want a UND or a UMD road game? doubtful, They’ll schedule it for home but I doubt there will be any kind of committment to play UND on a consistent basis in GF. They’ll bring in Tech and Bemidji to play in the holiday tourney and that will be best the small WCHA schools can ask for.

          • Gophers

            actually theres been talk about doing a Minnesota Invitation type tournament around Christmas break being hosted by Minnesota. They would invite SCSU, MSUM, and BSU but exclude UMD since they will be guaranteed on their schedule every year since its a big rivalry game

      • Csitzman

        Very possible these teams could drop down a level if they survive. Bowling Green has been looking at dropping hockey, and this just might lead to that shoe finally dropping. If ND and Miami stay in the CCHA, they will likely dominate that conference.

      • bluetell

        Derp.
        I can see Bowling Green folding, but no way in hell is Ferris, LSSU, or Northern going down. Believe it or not, those teams entire hockey budget is not based off of 2-4 home games against Michigan & MSU each year. They’ve all been around for a long time and hockey is the primary sport at LSSU & Northern

      • WMUBronco86

        Michigan tech would not fold. A few years ago they were going to cut football but huge alumni and community support saved the program. And if you have ever been to Houghton you know hockey is MUCH bigger there than football (despite terrible records recently)

      • RamboWildcat

        Bronco man….are you an insider or an expert? Then why make such a stupid statement??? Unless you have facts, don’t post dumb stuff like this. Bowling Green, LSSU and NMU have 5 national titles between them.

  • Just_Say_No_2_BTN

    It’s all about the money, not the integrity of college hockey.

    • Erick

      Couldn’t agree more

    • Thedude

      I live on the west coast, can’t get a lot of Big Ten games without BTN. I am grateful for it. Capitalism is all about money, and America is all about capitalism.

      gotta feed the monkey

      • Tdzro

        I moved from Michigan to Florida, and if this means that I get to see more UM hockey, then I am all for it. The only thing that blows is losing Miami and UND as teams to play consistently since it makes for good hockey. It will make for a semi-lame end of season tourney. I would love to see UND and Miami added to the mix, maybe this opens up Notre Dame to the Big 10??? Hmmm. My biggest problem with college hockey is that there are so many in-conference games, that we do not know how good these conferences are relative to each other and then they only play 1 and done in the NCAA. I would love to see the first 2 rounds of the NCAA be best of 3, then shrink the regular season by a week. Then we would get a much more representative Frozen Four.

  • Anonymous

    Sparty better update their facilities and coaching or they’ll be sitting at the bottom of the Big 10 as well–and this coming from a rapid MSU fan!

  • AHA fan

    NoDak and Notre Dame push to get in. Maybe Notre Dame joins for all sports – including football – just to get hockey in there. NoDak wants to remain in a league with Minnesota and the gophers want the souix there too. And why wouldn’t the big ten want NoDak in. Bring the league to 8 teams and be a super-power.

    • guest

      I don’t think thats likely. If anything the B1G Ten will push member schools into creating hockey programs. I can only think of 2 that would be able to support it, in Iowa, and Illinois.

      • guest

        I think Indiana could be next. Like everyone else (ill and iowa) they need a good amount of funding. But hen the new assembly hall is built, they could add ice in it and have supposedly been looking at the designs of the kohl center and value city arena.

        Biggest cost is getting an arena to play in. Looks like Indiana is the closest

        • B.D.

          THe key is that the poulation base values hockey. I see no evidence of this in Indiana nor Iowa. Do they have high school hockey? A state tournament?
          Anything elss means they will have to not only import larger numbers of players, but also import the fans.

          • Goobs123c

            The fact is that Northwestern, in the Hotbed of Hockey, Chicago, is looking for the right time to announce and recruit the best Big 10 Team, so that they can finally compete against Yale, Harvard, and the rest of the Ivy League while maintaining a semblance of respectability against Michigan State, Michigan, and Minnesota.

            United Center has already been contracted for two years, and RObert Crown Center will be renovated and expanded to be the Gem in Evanston.

          • B.D.

            Do they currently have a team? A following?
            Does the Northwestern community SUPPORT and VALUE hockey?
            Its nice to have plans, but those plans will fail if they do not value what is planned.

      • bluetell

        Iowa has a decent ACHA D-II team but I don’t think they’re ready to make the jump. Here are the other B1G schools and where they are with their hockey programs
        Illinois ———- ACHA D-I
        Indiana ——— ACHA D-I
        Iowa ————- ACHA D-II
        Nebraska —— ACHA D-III
        Northwestern – ACHA D-III
        Purdue ——— ACHA D-III

        I’d guess Illinois and Indiana are the only ones who are anywhere near moving up.

      • Gophers4Life

        Indiana wants it really badly actually and i guess northwestern would try. Heck, who knows, maybe some of those blackhawks “fans” would come if northwestern was winning. That’s the only way they go to blackhawks games lol

    • guest 2011

      No way Notre Dame gives up its football revenue (mainly its NBC contract) so that it’s hockey team can be in the Big 10. That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. And I can’t see the Big 10 allowing any teams in besides current conference members. They are not going to share the Big 10 TV revenue. Period. U of M and the Sioux will play at least 1 non-conference series a year, maybe even two.

    • Nyq

      There is NO Chance that NoDak will go to the Big 10. I don’t think they would go even if they were asked but there is no chance that they will play in that league.

    • Bulldog07

      The Big 10 refuse to take Notre Dame unless it brings its football team. And Notre Dame refuses to change its independent status in football. I highly doubt they’re going to change that approach for a hockey team that they just recently decided to have stop playing in a glorified gymnasium.

      NoDak is not D1 in most other sports, so that’s even less likely that the Big10 is going to take them.

      • squirtcoach

        Really name one sport they are not D1 in.

        • sue

          Academics.

          • Anonymous

            Anyone that says UND academics is a joke hasn’t done their research… of course we’re not Minnesota… but we have one of the top aviation programs in the country and have a decent med school, business school, and nursing program.

          • sue

            Compared to what? The community college down the road?

          • B.D.

            Actually, do you know who has the higher recruitment rating for post educational employment?

            Employers as far away as California and Texas know a good deal when they see it and recruit the North Dakota kids….. They know they will work hard for a living.

          • Gophers4Life

            actually the community college down the road has a better nursing program than UND lmao. Not even a joke

          • B.D.

            Then you would be mistaken. Of this my family has firsthand knowledge.
            Does yours?

          • Gophers4Life

            Yes, i live in Grand Forks, Northland Tech has a better nursing program than UND does

          • B.D.

            I personally have no experience with Northland Tech.

            But a cursory examination of the Northland Tech website shows it does not offer a program to become an RN. Therefore one must assume that regardless of the potential quality of its LPN program, it could not match the UND Nursing program which does offer such a program.

        • squirtcoach

          Academics is a sport at your school, Missy? Glad you don’t go to my alma mater at the University of Minnesota.

        • Badgers4ever

          Trev Alberts will ax UNO’s hockey program just like he screwed football and wrestling. He only wants teams to play in the Summit League.

      • Christopher Burns

        UND is Division 1 for all sports now.

        • denveh

          Being D1 in all sports and being on a level that would receive an invite into the Big 10 in all sports in a big difference. No chance the Big 10 invites UND in any capacity. Same for ND. I think they will expand from within their current conference if they do at all (ex: who has 88 million lying around to start a program?)

        • B.D.

          Yeah, but not doing well in most.
          I wish they would, but honesty makes me say they are not.

        • Gophers4Life

          UND is not DI, they are at the JV level of DI and will never compete at a real DI level in anything other than hockey. But I still love UND football and can’t wait til they get a new retractable roof stadium!

          • B.D.

            I cannot imagine the Grand Forks area provind the resources for such a stadium, particularly with how under used the Alerus Center is. I believe Alerus is barely breaking even if it is at all and thus a new facility could not be justified.

          • Gophers

            they actually have the plans for that new stadium completely done and it will incorporate the existing part of Memorial Stadium. The architects said it was constructed for when the alerus center can no longer hold UND football and said that they figured it would be built in about 20 years

          • B.D.

            Really?
            Owned by the University?
            That will ensure the demise of the Alerus which has never exactly set the world on fire with its management.

            I have often wondered what they intended to do with Memorial Stadium. Its such a class facility in a rustic sort of way. Perhaps they can also do something with the old Winter Sports Arena next door. I heard the roof is leaking?

    • bluetell

      North Dakota doesn’t want to play in the Big Ten
      The Big Ten doesn’t want North Dakota

      • Northmetro

        I think the Gophers are done playing football games against any school in N or S Dakota :>

        FYI – the Sioux are joining the Big Sky Conference

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A6MVLJ7YGE6FYHXIUPLNUS4H6Q Jayme Johnson

    Miami and ND will likely move to the WCHA.

    • Nyqi

      I hope they do. At this point both of them are better than MN and WI so that would only help the WCHA and the rest of the teams. The problem with that is it could mean that the CCHA becomes totally irrelevant but since the little 10 decided that this was what was best for college hockey there are going to be some teams that fold I would think. Just don’t see how it can’t happen at this point.

      • Phoenixfyre1313

        it not just about filling up your own arena, look past yourself for a minute! This is not good for college hockey as a whole.

        • Nyqi

          I never said it was about filling up our arena. I don’t think that this will benefit the smaller programs and feel bad for them but at some point if this is the kind of thing that huge programs like MI, MN and WI are going to do there are going to be consequences and I fear that may mean some of the programs fold. I don’t like it and I hope there is a way around it but I think that with the little 10 deciding to do this the WCHA and CCHA are going to have to do what is best for their leagues and if the WCHA feels like having a 12 team league is what is best they are going to go after a few of the CCHA programs. Maybe they can just combine the leagues and do an east and a west division or something but I would think that this is just the start of programs moving not the end.

    • David

      Miami doesn’t have the resources (cough cough $$$$$) to have a travel budget like that.

    • Siouxfan

      North Dakota’s in the WCHA. They just one the WCHA cup for having the most wins in it, plus the WCHA tournament trophy.

      • Ring_of_Fire

        We understand that this concept is somewhat difficult for you to understand, but to the average college sports fan who lives more than an hour away from the depressing wasteland that is Grand Forks, ND means NOTRE DAME.

        • Suture1

          Ring, I am a Sioux fan and I have to tell you your response was pretty funny…:) I was offered a scholarship to play at ND (Notre Dame) in the early ’80′s only to see their program go to the club level due to Title IX financial constraints (or so I was told??). Anyway, keep in mind Ring there are a number of “younger” people on here so it is hard to truly compare every post to another. I think North Dakota is about like any other place in this country. There are some pretty smart people and some others that are a little more challenged. There are some pretty cool folks and some that are a bit more on the bipolar side…:) I have lived in a several parts of the country and people are all basically the same (with a small degree of regional differences). But, your comment was funny because I am a huge ND fan and when I see “ND” I think of Notre Dame and who their next football recruit might be. But, in the context of college hockey I suppose “ND” means North Dakota…..but I am biased so I understand not everyone will see it this way. Anyway, I am being a little self deprecating in that I have to tell you many North Dakotans (which I am as well) probably do understand ND to mean one thing only. I am sure you can probably understand this since it is our biggest and most popular sport. But, we do like football…… someone said we don’t in an earlier post. Granted, we are new to Division I in all other sports (hockey was our only D-I sport heretofore) and are taking a pounding at the moment…..I am hopeful we can start to play better football in time. The only problem? Western Canadians don’t play much football…lol…just kidding….:)

          • Css228

            How about we call ND notre dame and UND north dakota and call it a day

          • B.D.

            Hey, I have not been home lately to UND in the fall. But when I was there football was not even close to being on par to hockey in the hearts of the population.

            Things changed?

        • UNDnursing

          ND is also the state abbreviation. relax ring of spazzing

        • Jdorf40

          I’m from North Dakota and lived in Grand Forks for 10 years. I went to UND and now live in SE Michigan and work full time in Ann Arbor. If I could make the same money in Grand Forks that I make working in this liberal wasteland, I’d move in a second. Anyone who bashed North Dakota because it’s in a more desolate area is a complete idiot. It’s one of the few places that doesn’t have 50% of it’s population living on welfare. People actually get up and go to work in the morning and don’t shy from saying hello to strangers that they pass on the street. I’ve lived in S. Florida, SE Michigan, the Chicago area and Minneapolis. Out of all those cities, Minneapolis was my favorite because it was clean, had professional sports and the people there were pretty cool (comprised of many people from the Dakotas and WI). But none of them had nicer or more respectful people than North Dakota did. There are some real clowns on this chat board that think they’re representing UND, but I can assure you that a majority of the people aren’t as ridiculous as this forum may suggest. I see people from other schools that act like idiots too, but I don’t assume that everyone from that area is an idiot because of what a few lunatic fans post. Get real.

          • gopher99

            @Jdorf, unfortunately for UND the fans that travel are just as much if not more obnoxious than the guys on this board. I grew up in the Wisconsin, went to Minnesota, and have been a CC season ticket holder for years. I lost complete disrespect for UND fans this season when a self-proclaimed elementary teacher wearing a Sioux jersey got blasted on green beer, and started yelling obscenities at my 3 year old between periods. Her friends, also UND fans, joined in the encouragement. Say what you want, but that’s classless.

            I agree, North Dakota has good people. I’m not so sure that Sioux hockey brings out the best in them, though, especially when the ever-present green beer starts flowing.

          • B.D.

            And you think we have not seen similar from U of M fans?
            Also, I have been verbally assaulted while entering a game in the Twin Cities on more than one occasion over my life. I have also had Gopher fans attempt to remove my ticket from my hands so I could not enter.
            Were they drunk? Likely.

            You make assumptions regarding only the conduct YOU observe, and cannot imagine similar is observed by others in YOU.

    • bluetell

      This is based on WCHA-drooling, not anything of substance. Miami most likely can’t afford the travel budget. I’m guessing they probably aren’t too interested in vastly increasing their budget either for pretty much no benefit. They’re making frozen fours and championships just fine now.
      No denying that it will be tempting for the Irish though

    • Garbagegoal

      noone wants that miami hockeys a joke

  • Cgp_999

    The WCHA should trade Michigan Tech and Anchorage to the CCHA for Notre Dame and Miami.

    • denveh

      as a WCHA fan, I would take it, but i doubt the CCHA, Tech, or Anchorage would accept that sort of deal… i guess we can dream!

  • Cgp_999

    The WCHA should trade Michigan Tech and Anchorage to the CCHA for Notre Dame and Miami.

  • TigerFan

    Any chance of Air Force being taken from the AHA? That trip out to CO is quite a long one.

    • denveh

      doubt it, air force has to play army and they play cc and du non-conference already.

      • Guest

        couldn’t air force and army just then play each other via non conference every year then?

        • afa fan

          they did for years before air foce joined the AHA

  • Paddle2me

    Your right when you say it’s all about money. Everyone wants the money these large schools bring to the table. When Alaska plays Michigan they have better ticket sales. The simple fact is the Big Ten schools have the right to have hockey in the Big Ten Confrence. Also, the Big Ten is already a conference so it’s foolish to call it The Big Ten Hockey Conference. Instead of crying about schools leaving I think we should look toward the future of college hockey. Realigment makes sense for the WCHA and CCHA. Let’s get Alabama-Huntsville in the CCHA and save that program, switch out some schools and see what schools the Big Ten bring to college hockey. Take a look at other Big Ten schools who have club teams already.

    • NC_Buckeye

      I find it hypocritical of WCHA fans saying the Big Ten is killing college hockey while at the same time talking about cherry-picking Miami & Notre Dame from the CCHA.

      Same for CCHA fans who are criticizing the Big Ten as killing programs who have been living on the bubble (Bowling Green & Ferris State). How did you feel about UA-Huntsville being denied membership?

      The WCHA will be just fine as a 10 school conference. Leave Miami & Notre Dame alone. The CCHA should start looking at ACHA clubs in their footprint that are popular on campus. I think Ohio University with a little encouragement would be a great replacement candidate. Also, it’s time for the CCHA invitation to got out to UA-Huntsville. (It should have happened when UNO announced they were leaving.)

      • Anonymous

        Talks of an Illinois team being made… would be right up the CCHA alley…

        • WMUBronco86

          Why would that be up the CCHA alley? they would be a big 10 team

        • Impalervk

          Yeah Bradley University in Peoria since Peoria has had the Riverman of the AHL for a long time

    • AK Sioux

      Better ticket sales when UAF plays Michigan? I have not been able to tell in my time in Fairbanks.

      • Squarebanks

        Michigan and UAA were far and away the two biggest crowds at the Carlson Center this year.

  • Joe

    Plus Notre Dame and UConn makes an 8-team league–in a 16-team Big Ten.

    • NC_Buckeye

      Notre Dame will not join the Big Ten. The alumni & students have made a stand on this issue. Maybe UConn but not Notre Dame.

      I could see Syracuse adding D-I hockey as a provision of Big Ten membership. Boeheim might not like it but it would be an upgrade for every sport besides basketball and lacrosse. There are downsides, even in basketball, to membership in the Big East. Money is the biggest reason Daryl Gross would want to pursue this. Plus, they already play D-I womens hockey and the Tennity Ice Pavilion would be an OK facility to play in until the program develops a fanbase.

      My money is on the Illini. Their ACHA club is very popular on campus. And I would bet Delaney is putting together a Big Ten Hockey development fund.

      • Ring_of_Fire

        But, in order to get a program going in less than a decade, U-Illinois would need a donation far eclipsing the $88,000,000 that Penn State got.

        Their facility is terrible and they don’t have anywhere near the institutional commitment to developing a D-1 team that Penn State did/does.

        I’m not saying that it won’t happen…just that it isn’t quite a slam dunk.

        I agree with you on the Notre Dame/U-Conn/Syracuse discussion, though.

      • Joe C

        UConn and Syracuse both have lower costs to start their hockey program. Both have AHL-level facilities already built and occupied by long-standing AHL teams.

        However, I suspect that both UConn and Syracuse will not fly to Big Ten because of football. The Big Ten is a football-first conference requiring vast mountains of money to reach league requirements. UConn and Syracuse are basketball-first schools where the basketball drives the economic engine of the athlettic program. The Alumni want to go to Manhattan every year and watch the Huskies and the Orange play in Madison Square Garden. They do not want to lose out on that while becoming the worst and poorest two teams in Big Ten football. If UConn wants to move up in hockey, it will do so in Hockey East. Syracuse would probably need to be in ECAC, along with Cornell, Clarkson, St Lawrence, Union, Army and whatever other New York schools I forgot.

        Boston College went to ACC because of football money, but that league is better than the Big East while not being as good as SEC and Big Ten in football. This allows BC to spend about the same for football while being relatively competitive. BC has always been a hockey/football school, with basketball being a second-tier sport. BC had issues being competitive in Big East basketball and these struggles continue in ACC basketball.

  • Nyqi

    I hope that NoDak takes MN and WI off their schedule all together. We don’t need either of them to fill up our building but last time I looked we were one of the few sellouts either of them had. So good luck in your new garbage league of 6 teams.

    I just pray that the teams in the WCHA that are no longer good enough to be in a league with the high and mighty Big 10 schools that couldn’t even make it to the second round of their current conference tell them to stuff it when it comes time to play non-conf games. I would rather play BC, BU, Maine, etc on the east coast and do alternating years with them than play MN or WI after they leave the WCHA.

    • Gopher Great

      haha thats funny cuz everyone i talk to from NoDak says that Minnesota is you biggest rival, hands down!!!

      • ziggyatida

        Because we like drowning the RODENTS–Maybe Lucia can keep his job now

      • Peter Menstrom

        BC is our biggest rival on the biggest stage. For the record

        • fjord

          It’s a not a rivalry if you don’t play every year. I get where you’re coming from but I wouldn’t use that word.

        • FightingWho?

          But BC has owned you in the National Tourney. I wouldn’t call that a rivalry, I would call it an embarrassment.

          • Sioux to the South

            More embarrassing then not making the tournament at all?

        • Marine3045

          North Dakota BC is a great rivalry, and there is no ownership, not like BC-Miami. Two great programs that play in tough conferences and are not afraid to put anyone on their schedules. Class programs, class coaches, and great hockey.

      • Nyqi

        Didn’t say that they weren’t. But it’s time to start using past tense when they move to the new conf. No reason to let them move and keep that rivarly going? I would rather play the east coast teams and the Miami’s, etc.

    • Thedude

      calmer than you are

    • RamboWildcat

      Ironically, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State all had mediocre teams this season, and likely for next as well. Who needs those punks. Only decent program is Michigan and some times Wisconsin.

      • Terriernation

        Anyone who says that the WCHA and CCHA won’t be affected by the defection of these major programs should look east and see what happened to the ECAC after Hockey East was formed. It took the ECAC approximately 20 years to be competitive again.

        • Css228

          20 years? RPI won a title in 85 and Harvard in 89, then Colgate went to a frozen four in 91 along with those Cornell teams of the 2000s (Frozen four in ’03, OT against Minnesota in the regional final in ’05, 3OT loss to the eventual national champions in ’06. The league had some down years in the 90s, but most of that time youre talking about, we had a team that was nationally competitive.

          • Sbambery19

            Yes, the ECAC usually had one or two teams nationally competitive, but the LEAGUE overall was not very good as witnessed by usually only getting 1 or 2 bids to the tourney (sometimes 3) while the WCHA consistently has 4, 5 and even has had 6. The ECAC is much better these days with their top half being pretty solid year in and year out, but still does not compete with the overall strength of the big three conferences.

          • Css228

            Fair enough, I was just saying its not like the ECAC fell off the map,, which could happen to the CCHA with so many small schools and nothing to bolster them like the Ivies

          • Css228

            Fair enough, I was just saying its not like the ECAC fell off the map,, which could happen to the CCHA with so many small schools and nothing to bolster them like the Ivies

        • Jdorf40

          I think the CCHA will be affected more than the WCHA will. The WCHA will still have 10 members (with some having long traditions of being competitive), but with the CCHA only having 8, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be beneficial to try to get a couple of teams like Air Force or RIT in the mix. I’m not even sure how that works, when teams move from one conference to the other.

    • Baze77

      Are you kidding me you idiot You think wisconsin only sells out when you stupid hicks come here. Not only do we sell out far more often than not, but when we do its with a minimum of 3,000 more seats than you. I am one hundred percent against leaving the wcha and think its a terrible idea but you are just talking nonsense. Get your facts straight

      • Nyqi

        Your the idiot if you think that MN and WI are selling out their rinks each and every week the way that we are. I didn’t say we were the only time you sell out and yes your school is 4 times the size of ours be very proud that you have a rink that has about 3,000 more seats and you fill it once in a while. The last time I was at a WI game a few years back it wasn’t even close to full. So take it easy with the name calling, all I did was state an opinion based on what I have seen with empty seats on televised games, etc. Overall I just don’t think that if you are choosing to leave the WCHA that any of the schools that you have established rivalries with should give you the satisfaction of having the best of both worlds. You want to take this step that will only hurt college hockey in the long run, by all means you have the right to do so but don’t pretend that this is going to be good for the smaller schools in the CCHA and smaller programs in the WCHA.

        • Jdorf40

          As a Sioux fan myself, I have to admit…you’re embarrassing all of us. Why do you keep digging?

          • Jtwatson2

            Haha. He is exactly why there is such negative sentiments towards UND.

          • B.D.

            Jealousy plays a huge role as well.

        • Baze77

          Who led college hockey in attendance this season? Research respond
          nevermind I’ll just tell you it was Wisconsin. Yes we may not sell out every game but somtimes there are other things going on like Rose Bowls and such that you don’t have to worry about

    • Jdorf40

      Come on man. There isn’t a bigger Sioux fan than myself, but when you say stuff like this you make us all look like idiots. Yes, I’m disappointed that UM and WIS will be leaving the WCHA but I’m confident that since those schools are only playing 20 conference games that they’ll still play the Sioux at least 1 series a year (that happens now occasionally even with them in conference). The WCHA should feel a little bit lucky about the fact that they probably won’t be affected as some might think. This is going to leave us with UND, Denver, UNO, Duluth, CC, St. Cloud, Bemidji, Anchorage, Mankato and Michigan Tech. Those 5 first teams are all in the tournament THIS YEAR. It’s not often that both WIS and MIN miss the tournament, but the Gophers haven’t even made the tournament since 2005 for crying out loud. How would you like to be the CCHA? They’re losing 3 teams, and Michigan is the perennial power in the conference. Mich. State won a title in 07, and although this was their worst year that I can remember, the CCHA is taking a much bigger hit than the WCHA is. I don’t necessarily like change, actually I hate it, but if you’re for the game of hockey evolving and growing, then I actually hate to admit it, but this is probably a good move for that direction. Also, it’ll mean there are only 10 at large bids for the tourney instead of the current 11. So that right there makes it a little bit tougher to get into the tournament. It’s not like I’m going to hate MIN or WIS any less…I’ll just miss them. :-) I hope the Big 10 knows what it’s doing…

      • Nyqi

        Why give them the satisfaction of keeping them on the UND schedule? That’s my only point. If they want to go to a new conference let them, I don’t care at all. But if this is what they want than we should not make it easy on them and schedule games with them. They are hurting college hockey in my opinion and they shouldn’t be rewarded for it by letting them have their cake and eat it too. That’s all I’m saying.

        • Jdorf40

          So you’re recommending we don’t schedule games against some of the toughest teams in the country because they’re joining the same conference that they are a part of in every other major sport? Dude, you need to chill out, have a drink and stop getting so emotional. I pride our program for scheduling tough opponents out of conference each year. I don’t even look forward to the weekends that we’re going to play Michigan Tech or somebody on that caliber because I already know who’s going to win. A lot of Sioux fans get on here and bash other conferences for being too weak, yet you’re on here saying that we shouldn’t play teams from the Big 10 now as a form of punishment? That would be punishing us! It doesn’t matter what conference these teams are playing in. There are 16 teams that play in the national tournament. We can still schedule and play these teams. You’re making this something different than what it is. Get a grip.

          • Nyqi

            Listen, have whatever opinion you want. All I am saying is this new conf is nothing but a money grab and will only help those teams in the new little 10. I’m not emotional about anything. This is rational thought dude. You keep them on the schedule for UND, DU, CC teams that traditionally have been the top of the WCHA and all you are doing is helping them line their pockets. More revenue for ad/tv dollars for playing top teams and more revenue at the gate for helping them sell out their arenas. This is about making sure that there is still a level playing field. My guess is that most of the teams in the Big 10 will play on a larger TV broadcast each and every week than the other hockey teams in the country.

            I didn’t say we shouldn’t play top teams. Read my post, BC, BU, Maine, Miami, Notre Dame. It isn’t about what I want, because what I want is the little 10 to stop trying to run every sport in college. I’d like to continue playing MN and WI but not when they are the only ones that gain from it.

            What do we get by keeping them on our schedule? Please tell me. I’m listening.

          • Jdorf40

            What do we get from not playing them genius? Of course money is a determining factor in the decision that they made. Do you think that college hockey and the conferences are in place to lose money? Look at the format the NCAA uses for their team selections and where they place the teams in the regionals? They put them where people will actually show up to watch, and where they’re going to get PAID! They’ll even sacrifice bracket integrity to generate a crowd. I figured somebody of your superior intelligence could recognize this.
            As for your question – “What do we get by keeping them on our schedule?” Oh, I don’t know…considering the fact that there are rivalries spanning over decades is a good reason. What? You have to be in the same conference as somebody to have a rivalry? Hardly. Increasing your strength of schedule is another. What makes you think that BC, BU, Maine, Miami or Notre Dame are going to want to play UND every year? Recruiting would surely take a hit if you were never scheduling a conference like the Big 10. You think recruits aren’t going to want to play against the best? And do you think players are going to want to play in the WCHA if they could go out East and know they’re going to play against both the WCHA AND Big 10?
            Regardless of how much money the Big 10 might generate, if you’re playing those teams whether it’s your ice or theirs you’re generating revenue for yourself. You’re getting exposure (especially if you’re beating them), and it’s good for the game of hockey. I don’t like to see the change either…but I’m quite confident that I’m not going to stop it from happening either. And I’m even more confident that by boycotting the Big 10 from our schedule, the program, the fans…well, apparently everyone but you would suffer. Can you hear me now?

          • Nyqi

            Calm down a bit. All I’m saying is that with a small league of 6 teams they have to have strong teams agree to play them. I’m not saying just UND or DU or CC should choose to not play them. I’m hoping all of the top flight teams leave them off their schedule. Again your post did nothing to make me think that the other top teams gain anything by playing them. Are you saying if the top teams in te WCHA can get the teams in the east to agree to non-conf schedules (say something similar to the ACC – Big 10 basketball challenge) that wouldn’t draw the same attention that playing MN or WI will? As a fan do you really care if your team plays against these guys in the future? I just don’t see any benefit for the non-big 10 schools but lots and lots of benefit for the big 10. Maybe I’m wrong but if the only benefit is the fans want to see the game that is just being shortsighted. I’m talking about a way to stay relevant as a league and not lose the competitive advantage that we currently have for the teams in the WCHA and Hockey East.

          • Jdorf40

            “Maybe I’m wrong but if the only benefit is the fans want to see the game that is just being shortsighted.” Are you for real? What drives theses programs? Do you think it might have something to do with a little thing called revenue? Trust me, if you decide that you aren’t going to go watch the Sioux play a game against the Gophers or Wisconsin because they joined the Big 10, go ahead and stay home. I’m confident that somebody else will gladly buy your seat to go and enjoy some good hockey. I live in SE Michigan and I can tell you right now that I’m excited to go and watch some of the WCHA teams take on Michigan and Michigan State.
            And I have been nothing but calm during this discussion. I’ve laughed a lot, but really haven’t felt any stress. There’s nothing to get stressed about anyway. There is absolutely no way that the WCHA would ever boycott another conference. It would make absolutely no sense. Kind of like it not making any sense for me to keep going back and forth with you. Get used to the idea of the WCHA playing the Big 10. It’s going to happen. Enjoy the tournament, I hope the Sioux can get it done this year.

    • Wisco

      if No Dak was asked to join the conference for hockey they would jump at the opportunity, sounds like jealousy to me.

      • Nyqi

        Can’t imagine that is true because it would mean that we would have to move for football and all of the other sports based on how they have talked about it and we can’t compete in those sports on that large of a scale everyone knows it.

        Has nothing to do with jealousy. I really don’t care. I just don’t want to give you smug pukes the satisfaction of being able to go to a new conf and keep all of your rivalry games on your schedule. Why do you get the extra reward of packed houses when we can say no and force you to play schools that you all think are beneath you. If we just say no it hurts your bottom line and that needs to happen because you will have more revenue from TV, etc so you just don’t get it all. You schools made a choice now live with it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EN42OVJUST4B3ALM6HSQG7UFTU Aaron H

      Hey idiot, its you who are going to suffer without the Big schools of Minnesota and Wisconsin, the ratings of the wcha will go way down and suffer, you do realize that the big ten has there own network right? And Minnesota has won 5 wcha final five chamionships in the last 12 years so, suck on that!

      • Nyqi

        What ratings? There are only a few games that get televised outside of MN and yes my school UND is one of them that pretty much televises every game. Stop with the name calling it just makes you sound silly. If you want to have a rational conversation then we can do that but calling people idiot because they don’t agree with you is just pointless.

        What’s your point of the 5 wcha final five titles in 12 years? Is that supposed to mean that we can’t lose MN or the WCHA is doomed?

    • Tricky

      At least now the Gophers actually will have a chance of making the NCAA tourney, only having to be able to win their conference tournament (made up of 6 teams)!

      • guest

        Only one i see the gophers winning is penn st, and prob ohio st too. they will get kicked in the teath by the rest for years

    • turn about fair play

      I’ll remind you that Wisconsin has led the country in attendence for like 30+ years. As a season ticket holder for the Badgers at first I was nervous about losing great rivals. However, adding MU, MSU and Ohio State will great series while keeping some of old WCHA rivals is in the plan.
      Don’t give yourself too much credit. Overall this will be good for college hockey and now some conferences have room to add new programs.

      • jackson

        ya you guys better have the best attendance in the country for college hockey. You do have the biggest rick in the country.

  • WCHA Fan

    Good luck filling those rinks with fans! Hope the TV deals covers the lost revenue from the fans that won’t travel.

  • Phoenixfyre1313

    This is so stupid on so many levels it is hard to imagine. Not only will the CCHA become irrelevant it will also ruin the best college hockey conference, namely the WCHA. I do think the WCHA would survive fine, but it wouldn’t seem right not to have Minnesota and Wisconsin there. All for what to start college hockey in a league that is totally indifferent to college hockey. I am sure it is about the money, but I really can’t see why Minnesota and Wisconsin would even contemplate leaving the WCHA. The whole idea stinks!

    • Ring_of_Fire

      MN and WI would contemplate it because have no other choice but to do so.

      Part of being in the Big Ten is that you join the conference in ALL sports that the league sponsors…not just in the ones you want. (This, incidentally, is why Notre Dame’s non-football teams play in the Big East. The Big Ten has repeatedly told ND, “no football, no Big Ten”)

      Anyhow, by virtue of being in the Big Ten in other sports (namely football and basketball), MN and WI are FORCED to join in other sports, regardless of whether or not they want to. Until now, the lack of a BTHC is all that kept them as members of the WCHA.

      • Siouxfan

        North Dakota doesn’t care about being in the Big 10. We like hockey and not football so it doesn’t matter. Plus we are in the best and hardest hockey league now. Losing MN won’t change that. Wisconsin is a different story and I’m sad because I really enjoy playing an equally physical team.

        • Ring_of_Fire

          *sigh*. Please tell me you didn’t go to North Dakota.

          I would hate to have to consider your posts as representative of the quality of education offered in Grand Forks….

          • Jdorf40

            Please don’t judge all NoDak’s based on what you see on these comment boards.

  • MavHockey14

    My question is, what happens for the Conference Tournament? Does anyone know how long the WCHA and the X have their contract for? The WCHA would take a HUUUUUGEEEE hit if the Big 10 played their conference tourney in Saint Paul rather than the WCHA.

    • denveh

      Someone posted elsewhere that the WCHA could rotate the tourney between Grand Forks, St. Paul, and Denver. I think that would mean a sellout every third year, and pretty good attendance in Denver and St. Paul.

      • Ring_of_Fire

        I agree. It would also allow Denver to continue its “tradition” of hosting NCAA hoops regional games every other year or so.

    • Jerry

      The WCHA commisioner said during the Final 5 last weekend that they hope to keep the tournament at the Xcel as long as they can! It can then be hosted as a true independant site!

  • See_Ya!

    Big 10 Hockey – if you liked the CCHA, you will like the CCHA Development League!

    I hope Miami (never been in the WCHA), Notre Dame (former WCHA member) or Northern Michigan (former WCHA member) replace M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A and Wisconsin.

  • denveh

    wait, did we just loose our #5 and #7 teams in the league? I know they usually aren’t this mediocre, but the WCHA has plenty of quality programs to continue being one of the best leagues in hockey. UND, DU, UNO, UMD, CC are all in the tourney and BSU and UAA were massively improved. Let those rodents make some TV money with some average hockey and then come crawling back when the big 10 experiment fails.

  • Gopher Great

    I think it would be cool to see UNL (Nebraska) create a D1 hockey team and join the BIG10 hockey conference since they are already joining the conference in every other sport and also considering how popular hockey has become in Nebraska with UNO joining the WCHA and doing so well this year!

    • Ring_of_Fire

      And the money is going to come from…..where?

      • B.D.

        The real key is that the populous that makes up UNL probably does not value hockey. When I was assigned to Lincoln in the 1980′s they did not value hockey then, I doubt they do so now.
        If they do not value it, they will not fill seats, nor will players go there to languish in obscurity…

        • NC_Buckeye

          OK, here’s a topic I can add something to.

          I think this is actually a legitimate talking point for lack of support of college hockey in general. But I would add that an area’s populous does not inherently de-value the sport. Instead, I’d say that an area’s populous has not had the opportunity to value the sport.

          As an example, I’m going to use the state of Ohio and my Buckeyes. It’s an incredible source of frustration to me that we haven’t had more success in this sport. But I don’t attribute it to the fact that Ohio isn’t a hockey region. Most Ohioans I’ve known who played hockey (in some form) follow it religiously. That’s actually the problem. There are only 34 indoor ice rinks in the entire state. There are only 85 Ohio high schools that have varsity ice hockey. Another 34 high schools offer club ice hockey.

          Ohioans just haven’t been exposed to it sufficiently for the populous to have passion for it. If we had more rinks, more high school teams, more local ties to the sport — I guarantee we’d have more success.

          Consider this fact, the rosters of Ohio State, Miami, and Bowling Green only have 10 Ohio natives out of 72. (Bowling Green has no Ohioans on its roster.)

          I currently live in the Raleigh, NC area. The owners/management of the Hurricanes get this relationship. Local support filters up from local school competition. They are doing a lot to help create local teams. (Hell, the number of rinks in the area has increased tenfold since I moved here.) I hope the Blue Jackets are doing the same in Columbus.

          • B.D.

            I agree, the support base must be built in order for the populous to value the sport.

            But conversely the support base is built BECAUSE the populous supports the sport as well. That is an easier sell.

            North Dakotans from the principle cities of GF, Fargo, and Minot are taught to play early, practicing on outdoor rinks. In my case my father laced on my first skates at the age of three and sent me out to play. We lived, ate , and breathed hockey as kids and thus have come to value it.

            Conversely there was no organized baseball because the populous did not value it.

          • NC_Buckeye

            When I was a kid, Ohio was consistently cold in the winters. Not so much when I left in 1998. It would be freezing cold for four days then warm up for four-five days. Temps were all over the place. Outdoors rinks or pond hockey has never been viable in my part of the state (south eastern part of the state, aka Appalachian foothills).

            Until we see more of these (http://nobleice.com/about/arenahistory.html), hockey will always be kind of a peripheral sport in Ohio limited to Cleveland and Cincinnati areas.

  • Yateser333

    If you don’t think this is a good plan then you are stupid. This will lead to every BCS conference having hockey and it will provide growth in college hockey, and eventually , hopefully, make it the big time NCAA sport it deserves to be. Miami and ND will join the Big Ten in hockey due to travel expenses. This is a no brainer, Bowling Green will join as well in hockey. This is a great plan for College Hockey!

    • Paul T Donegan

      give me a call when every BCS conference has a hockey league and college hockey is a big deal nationally and when the big10 invites three non-big10 schools into their conference. brain fart.

    • Ring_of_Fire

      Your post is proof-positive that intelligence is not a requirement when it comes to flinging poo at the walls of the internet.

      All BCS conferences? What SEC school is going to sponsor hockey? ACC school?

      And Notre Dame? Notre Dame will NEVER join the Big Ten in hockey because it will NEVER bring its football team into the Big Ten.

      Miami? Miami isn’t big enough for the Big Ten to even recognize it exists. Miami would have to beg and plead to even be heard by the Big Ten…and they would still say, “no”.

      Your ignorance is frightening.

  • collegehockeyfan

    RIP D1 college hockey

  • Okeejoe

    As a season ticket holder for the last 10 years for the U of Minnesota-Duluth, I’m not at all impressed with U of W and The U of M. I could careless where they go. I enjoy the new teams like BSU, Minn ST, and UNO. Plus with CC, DU and good ol UND. The WCHA will still be the best league in hockey. The Big 10 school are no longer hockey power house, just like they are not in any other sports. They might get the big names[because the pay more] but leave for the NHL after year 2.

    I do disgaree that Tech and Northern will fold.

    • Baze77

      you cant be serious, The badgers have played in the national final in two of the last five years. the gophers won two titles and played in another frozen four. WTF have the bulldogs done in your last ten years to impress you?

    • Baze77

      You cant be serious the badgers have played in the national campionship game twice in the last five seasons winning one. The gophers while having had a bad few recent years won two titles and played in a third frozen four. What have the bulldogs done to impress you in the last ten years

  • Csitzman

    You are all just dreaming if you think any of the Big Ten teams without hockey are going to start adding hockey programs. Penn State was able to add because they received a huge donation from one hockey crazed donor to get the program started. Where is the long term, ongoing financial support going to come from for this program? With all of the state funding issues for colleges these days, there is no way these schools will be willing to further divide up their athletic funds and get donors to cough up more money for a new program. Not too mention the lack of a hockey culture/tradition on those campuses. It takes a lot of time, effort and money to build up a good program, and what makes anyone think that the likes of Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern and Nebraska want DI hockey program and are willing to commit the resources to make it happen?

    As for Minnesota and Wisconsin, good riddance. Its not likely Minnesota is going to have any better success in the Big Ten conference then what they have had recently in the WCHA, which has been no success. Taking a dying program and switching to a new conference is not going to make them any better. In fact this may hurt recruiting Minnesota high school players since many of them choose to go to Minnesota because their family and friends can easily travel to home and away games.

    The surviving WCHA teams should focus on getting some of the eastern teams on their schedule and forget about the Big Ten teams. Afterall, it will be more likely that a WCHA team will face an eastern team in the Frozen 4 than a Big Ten team.

    • Theohawk4

      Penn St has a long history with their club hockey program. they have been a top club team for sometime now… Don’t think it will take them long to be competitive in D1…

      • Trickey7

        Wow Theo, club hockey compared to big boy hockey is a night and day. You are seriously talking about 7-10 goals per game difference.

        • B.D.

          Concur.

          About ten years ago I had the occasion to watch the national champions of Collegiate Club Hockey play in Arizona. It was embarrassing to observe. Only the most rudimentary of skills and little more than a brutal slugfest.

          The only thing worse were the fans who truly did not understand what was going on….

  • BillG

    I grew up and live in the East, but I attended Minnesota as a grad student in the 70′s. UM-UND is the greatest rivalry in college hockey. With Denver, Colorado College, UMD, St Cloud, Nebraska-Omaha (coached by UM grad Dean Blais) the WCHA is the absolute best tradition of college hockey. Penn State? I hope BC, BU, Maine, Merrimack, and UNH jump on this and get UND/Denv/UMD/UNO/StCld, also Miami/WMich etc. scheduled. Yes, this is ALL about money, NOT about college hockey.

  • Colorado

    Nebraska & Illinois should add ice hockey immediately …

    • B.D.

      Why should they? If the population there does not value it, they will not do so.
      Wishing will not make it so and hope aint a method…..

      • Anonymous

        You forget who just won the Stanley Cup and has an excellent following…

        • B.D.

          Yeah, they value PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY.
          But that is a different thing.
          College hockey springs up from the soil.

          Hell, even Florida has NHL. But that does not say it is valued.

      • CCHA Alum

        They should add teams becuase they already have a strong fan base with the Illinois club team and for Nebraska, the Lincoln Stars (USHL) who already and have been drawing over 5000 fans a game for years. Simle transition and both schools would add a revenue generating sport to help support their non-revenue generating sports. Their biggest concern would be Title 9 and i’m sure they could figure that out.

  • Rallenhall

    To paraphrase Mark Twain, the death of Bowling Green hockey has been greatly exaggerated. Yes, trustees considered dropping the program a couple years ago, but after an outcry from the community and alums the university launched the “Bring Back the Glory” campaign. Arena renovation began last summer with a $2.5 mil. kick-start from the university. A fund-raising committee with the likes of Rob Blake, Gary Galley and Scott Hamilton will raise $5 mil. to endow the program. OK, where this leaves BG in the conference scheme of things is anyone’s guess. I’ve seen the likes of St. Louis, Ohio U., Illinois-Chicago and Kent State come and go from the CCHA, so I guess everything will shake out given time. One thing nice about hockey so far is that success is not directly proportional to institutional size, so a new ESU (Enormous State University) conference doesn’t especially bother me.

  • Moen714

    The Gophers can’t make the Final Five two years in a row, so they run and hide in the “Big Ten” conference. I guess Lucia will become the conference commision and the courtship of Dean Blaiss will begin.

  • WNYhockeyfan

    I think that should the Big 10 conference form, the CCHA will most definitely try to pull the western teams from the AHA, such as Mercyhurst, Niagara, BobbyMo, and RIT.

  • Steveo

    For those of you who think the Big Ten will ask anybody like Notre Dame, UND, or Bowling Green to join their hockey conference is a pipe dream. The Big 10 doesn’t allow associate memberships for single sports you have to play a conference schedule in all sports. Notre Dame will never give up their independant status in football to join the Big 10. It doesn’t make financial sense they already negotiate a national contract for football that pays them much more then the Big 10 could ever do, and they are already a member of the best basketball conf. in America in the Big East. As far as UND, Bowling Green, and other hockey playing schools in the WCHA or CCHA none of them have the athletic budget to compete in the Big 10. Hell Minnesota doesn’t even have the resources to compete in the Big 10. Denver and CC, while talented enough to compete in hockey with anyone, don’t even offer football at their respective institutions.

  • Jerry W

    Hey’all, let’s count up the number of national championships held by the big 10 hockey schools and then compare that to your league… Care to count? I don’t think you can discount those schools so quickly. 23 of 62 championships are held by the new Big 10 league.

    • guest

      compared to 19 from “current” wcha schools. what are you getting at?

      • Baze77

        Hes getting at the fact that your “currently” counts the eleven titles the badgers and gophers will be taking with them when they leave

        • Baze77

          sorry I was trying to respond to a different post

        • WCHA Fan

          Don’t forget a bunch of Michigan’s titles came when they were WCHA members.

        • Harvey Wallbangers

          UND = 7 titles
          Denver = 7 titles
          Colorado College = 2 titles
          Michigan Tech = 3 titles

          19 titles between the four.

          Wisconsin leaves with 6. Minnesota leaves with 5.

          • Gophers4Life

            Big Ten team national titles – 25? with 4 teams

    • Anonymous

      And how many will be won by the Big 10 in their first 10 years? My guess would be the big old goose egg….

      • Baze77

        Really inteligent guess. I’m sure the wisconsin or minnesota wont have a top ranked team for ten years straight.

        • B.D.

          Not the way they are currently handling things.

      • Gophers4Life

        lol the big ten teams have won more titles the past 13 years than any other conference. 5 titles by Big Ten teams, Wisconsin, Minnesota x2, Michigan and Michigan State

  • Dogsfan

    The WCHA will be fine. We Don’t need UM or UW to be the most elite conference in college hockey. UMD is the new Big Dog in MN anyways.

    • B.D.

      Concur.

    • RamboWildcat

      UMD needs to get out of the shadow of Minnesota. Get rid of the same identical colors and the similar fight song. Get real, and call yourselves THE University of Duluth. Heck with UMD nonsense. Call yourselves something cool like the Breakers. You got a world class arena, fans and tradition. Get rid of the maroon and say goodbye to mediocre Gopher affiliation.

    • BuckydaBeaver

      How did that WCHA tourny turn out for you?

  • bluetell

    -This makes a ton of sense. There is already a Big Ten Conference so why would they not add hockey when there are now 6 of their league members participating and they have TV contracts to cover them? They can only show so much women’s basketball on the BTN.
    -This is better for future expansion. Remember when we were worried because the CHA dissolved which figured to impede expansion? Well now the WCHA will have 10, CCHA will have 8 and the Big Ten will have 6. Obviously, the Big Ten will only take other Big Ten schools but this will open spots for schools wanting to move up
    -It might be tempting for Miami to go to the WCHA but they can’t afford that travel budget. That is fairly well known. No idea about Notre Dame though. I don’t know how pumped they’d be about staying in a conference with a lot of small Michigan schools.
    -Also, WCHA fans = SEC football fans. You all keep building up your own conference to make yourselves feel better about not being good. Just because you go .500 in conference doesn’t mean your conference RULEZ and you are still a top 10 team. It means you are an average major conference hockey team.

    • Gophers4Life

      explain the strength of schedule then. top 9 are WCHA teams. Thank you and goodnight

  • Bronco12

    People who say the CCHA will fade into obscurity: I don’t know if you missed it, but two MAC teams just played for the championship. OSU and MSU finished 9th and 10th in the league. Michigan may THINK they’re the best team in the league, but that’s Miami.

    I think that if the Big Ten schools continue to play their non-conference rivals (Michigan vs. Miami and Notre Dame, MSU vs. Western) then the added media coverage would do a good deal for both conferences, and maybe raise competition to a level that would shut all the insufferable WCHA fanboys up for a while.

  • WCHAFan

    Well, count me as a Gopher fan who thinks this stinks. Although I’ll have to admit, it became just a tiny bit more palatable reading all the childish responses from UND fans.

    • UNDnursing

      see below. I’m sure your buddy Bob was top of his class

  • AK Sioux

    Switch UAF and MTU, it’ll cut down on travel for the smaller CCHA schools and bring modern rivalries into both conferences. Bring RMU and UAH into the CCHA as well, putting the CCHA and WCHA both at 10 teams. It would be great for UAH, better situation for Robert Morris and still shape up to be a fairly strong CCHA with all the Michigan teams in there(except of course for the lil 10 duds).

    Then have the CCHA and WCHA schools work together for non conference scheduling and let them have their lil 10. Either way, the CCHA and WCHA are still legitimate conferences, and be stronger working together than not.

  • Things that make u say “hmmm.”

    With all of this non-conference scheduling capacity nationally, perhaps teams like Yale can finally play a full season schedule – possibly against some ranked teams – and EARN its berth in the PWR — GO, KRACH! Good luck to Minnesota and Wisconsin filling Mariucci and the Kohl Center with Penn State and Michigan fans. Ohio State, surprisingly, probably travels the best fan-wise of the remainder of the league. Goldy & Bucky will now rely solely on TV revenue and the annual Border Battle for receipts? Good luck!

    • sue

      you are retarded.

      • WCHA Fan

        Then explain why in any given season I can walk up to Marriucci arena and get a ticket when one of the more distant conference teams are in town. They won’t fill it up when the spartans are in town or the wolverines. They haven’t in the past and won’t in the future. They are hoping for the TV revenue and thats about all they will have.

        • Gophers4Life

          I live in Grand Forks, with the exception of the Gophers series you can walk into the arena and buy a ticket for EVERY game. You have to remember, The Gophers still sell their arena out most nights even while sometimes playing at the same time as the wild, timberwolves, and swarm. Mariucci sells out most nights unless they’re playing a terrible team, same with UND. Don’t even tell me UND sells out games against bad teams because that is far from fact. I sit in the Suites in Engelstad for most of the games and there is easily 1,000-2,000, if not more, open seats for teams like Michigan Tech, Bemidji State, etc.

    • Skiumah75

      You don’t really get it. Minn and Wisc fill their arenas with their own fans. There is no loss of revenue.

      • Baze77

        Wisconsin has sold out games in the past against teams like anchrage and mich. tech. You think we would be worried about selling tickets against Michigan and michigan state

    • dg

      Minnesota and wisconsin better start winning or they won’t sell tickets in any conference

    • Gopherhockeyfan

      MN, WI and UND consistently year and after year sell out their stadiums (or nearly so) and are the top of the nation in attendance. MN and WI will still have a significant non-conference schedule with in-state rivals. MI and MI St used to be in the WCHA and I am sure the rivalry between these teams and MN and WI will only grow as they fight for big ten championships. The extra TV money and wider exposure will only be a bonus. It is a bit sad to break up the WCHA, but in the long run this will definitely be good for College Hockey.

      • UMD06

        Seriously? I’ve gone to hockey games in Madison for the last 5 years (1 as a season ticket holder) and I have NEVER seen the arena sold out. That includes the 2008 regional when they played North Dakota (who travels extremely well) and several regular season Gopher games. They consistently sell out for football but if the fan base doesn’t transfer now why would it just because a Big10 label gets smacked on the team? I have several friends who are huge fans of Badger football but could give a crap about the hockey team even with the change coming. I’m just highly entertained by everyone who thinks this will magically create huge exposure for college hockey.

  • ANEGADATORTOLA1

    THIS IS JUST ONE MASSIVE MISTAKE, DON’T ALLOW THE POWER OF THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR ITS WAY!

    • NC_Buckeye

      With all due respect… this is America. When has the almight dollar not controlled every aspect of our lives?

      Just saying.

  • Bronco12

    The real question is this: Which 3 Big Ten teams will be the “Leaders” and which 3 will be the “Legends”.

    • B.D.

      Switch that to “Mythical…”

  • Maine Hockey Fan

    The good news is…it looks like a spot in another league will open up for Alabama-Huntsville

  • mads

    As a sports fan who respects the tradition of rivalries and conference alignment, it sucks to see the WCHA undermined by this move. Even though there remains an abundance of great programs in the conference, in the big picture, there’s just no way the WCHA is better off NOT being associated with U of M or UW. You don’t have two of the top schools nationally in attendance in your sport exit, two schools with huge hockey traditions, and somehow end up in BETTER shape in terms of exposure and brand. And wishful thinking aside, how could “Big Ten Hockey Conference” fail? Big Ten Network exposure and likely guaranteed fan support in terms of attendance? The notion that WCHA or CCHA schools would turn down annual matchups with Big Ten schools on principle, come on.

    As a Badger alum and diehard supporter, I gotta like this move for the school, esp when the university is getting slammed with budget cuts and the UW athletic department is one of the few parts of the university that (1) is self-supporting and (2) garners huge support from people of all political persuasions. They need to make moves that keep the athletic program secure and provide some positive PR for the school in general. Successful athletics that earn national exposure are a highly effective way to elicit school pride (and subsequent financial benevolence in the form of ticket sales, merchandise sales, TV ratings, donations) from alumni and WI residents. Sorry, just the way it is.

  • #1BCFAN

    It’s a miracle! no more BTHC jokes

  • WMUBronco86

    The Big Ten will have more schools National Championships than any other conference…how does that make it a crappy conference? 4 of the 6 teams have won it all. I don’t know if it will be good or bad for college hockey, but I think there will be good hockey in this conference. And I would bet Illinois and/or Indiana have teams by 2015-2016

  • Siouxperman1

    As a longtime Fighting Sioux Fan I believe the development of a big ten Hockey League is a great idea! The more exposure Division One Ice Hockey gets the better it is for all of College Hockey. More and more schools will add additional Mens and Womens teams to the landscape. Schools Like Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska, Missouri et al. I also look forward to the possibility of a WCHA network and a CCHA network deal. Another plus is the FSN North can continue to be homers for the Gophers which will keep Doug Woog employeed =)

  • Cdhtrout

    Just so you we are straight on this Miami and BG have enrollments above 16,000 undergrads. Western Michigan’s enrollment is over 20,000. They are NOT small schools. Last I checked Northwestern and Notre Dame’s enrollment were under 10,000. Miami has an academic profile on par with the Big Ten schools. I say invite Miami in for all sports. tOSU may be concerned about the competition for Ohio football recruits.

  • Anonymous

    UND-MN is the most intense rivalry in college hockey. Without two conference points on the line the intensity may drop over time, but not a lot initially. UND has no problem filling the arena no matter the opposition, so we don’t need MN in that respect. But I don’t see the Sioux agreeing to play in Mariucci unless they get reciprocity, i.e. schedule each other every other season. Same for WI.

    While I don’t like what it does to the WCHA, nor do I agree with those that think this will somehow significantly expand college hockey’s popularity, I think the WCHA will be just fine with its remaining ten teams. Wisconsin is not the rival or draw it used to be, and while most (all?) of the other Minnesota teams consider MN their biggest rival they also have great rivalries with each other and UND. BSU and UNO were also great additions to the WCHA and early indications are they will create some great rivalries within the conference. I would guess their acceptance in the conference this year was, at least in part, in anticipation of the loss of MN and WI.

    • Gophers4Life

      UND will have to play a few series at Mariucci, the 3 of the last 4 years MN and UND have played once a year and three of those years have been at UND. So basically its getting even for the first few times

  • pucknut

    As division I college hockey continues to expand this move was bound to happen. The current format doesn’t work for any other sport.

    I as WCHA fan I’m disappointed to see the loss of these two programs. Love them or hate them these schools had two of the biggest fan contigents in the league. You can add new teams to the WCHA but the loss of these school will be a net lose in revenue for this league. The CCHA faces the same issue.

    Hopefully these conferences can find new innovative ways to support their members which could be a net gain for college hockey. Just don’t bring in the BCS to choose a champion.

  • Beaver4life

    An interesting historical perspective from the WCHA press release regarding the BigTen’s announcement,

    “Minnesota was an original founding member of the WCHA, together forming the seven-member Midwest Collegiate Hockey League (MCHL) for the 1951-52 season with Colorado College, University of Denver, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University and University of North Dakota. The MCHL then evolved into the Western Intercollegiate Hockey League (WIHL) for the 1953-54 season and then was renamed the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for the 1959-60 season. Wisconsin was granted admission into the WCHA beginning with the 1969-70 campaign.

    For the 1965-66 season, the WCHA added the University of Minnesota Duluth as an eighth member team. Wisconsin came on board for the 1969-70 season, followed by the addition of University of Notre Dame for 1971-72. Michigan, Michigan State, Michigan Tech and Notre Dame then left the WCHA following the 1980-81 season to join the CCHA, reducing the WCHA to six teams from 1981-84. For 1984-85, Michigan Tech returned to the WCHA and together with newly-admitted member Northern Michigan University, brought league membership back to eight teams. The WCHA then admitted St. Cloud State University as a ninth member for the 1990-91 season, followed by the University of Alaska Anchorage as a 10th member for the 1993-94 season. Northern Michigan then left the WCHA again following the 1996-97 season to rejoin the CCHA. The WCHA then expanded again for the 1999-2000 season with the admittance of Minnesota State University, Mankato as a 10th member. Then beginning with this 2010-11 season, Bemidji State University and University of Nebraska Omaha joined the WCHA to bring membership to 12 teams.”

    If history is any indication the sky is not going to fall. Teams have been in and out of the conference over the years and all turned out just fine.

  • Cdhockey

    Isn’t it interesting that for this article, they don’t quote what the coaches, AD’s or any other offical of schools like Northern Michigan or St Cloud think. They didn’t dare ask. This is a bad idea for hockey. It is once again, all about the money and the haves taking from the have nots. Parity will suffer.The only good thing that could come from this is perhaps someone will find a home for Alabama Huntsville. Maybe the remaining CCHA schools will find religion.

  • Bob

    Bah Bye No Dak fans – the Big Ten (a conglomeration of REAL universities by the way, not a community college) bid you farewell – all of sudden this new conference just got a lot more classy. Fat, drunk, stupid, and racist is no way to go through life. Maybe once you get your “degree” you can go work for American Tire! Haaaaaaah!

    • Lplese08

      Speaking of childish responses… get off your high horse. Ten year olds in grand forks have more class and intelligence than you.

      • B.D.

        The fact that Bob knows who American Tire is is telling.

    • Unbiased spectator

      what an idiot

  • guest

    Another interesting angle is that Minnesota has a school policy of not scheduling teams with native american mascots for non-conference games. It will now be even more interesting to see if UND can keep the sioux nickname

    • Nickmbronson

      The Sioux Nickname is done after this year, so that is not an issue.

      • Anonymous

        tell that to our state legislature, state senate, state governor, and the majority of UND students….

      • NDsioux

        somebody is very sadly misinformed

  • Can’t wait for #8

    BSU will replace the gophers as the big beav of the league just fine. You can only have so many rodents. This should make the NCAA tourney better in the long run too. This will make it harder for EZAC teams to get at large bids

  • Iowa ’91

    I guess I’d better get out the checkbook to help start a D-1 hockey program at Iowa.

    • SpartaNate

      I give it 4 years and Nebraska and Iowa will be in the league. Notre Dame is a toss up, but more likely than ever to join the B10.

  • Gophers4Life

    there’s a reason minnesota never supported this decision until the big ten announced it, they knew there was going to be too many problems caused and they didn’t want to leave their rivals. The money was just too much for them to give up, sad day for college hockey. The Big Ten Network has already committed to showing at least 40 Big Ten games per year, plus teams like Minnesota will probably keep their current Fox Sports North Contract for games they are not televised on the Big Ten Network

  • Oxtrox

    It’s interesting that U of Michigan apparently didn’t have a prepared comment. They are also the ONLY Big Ten school to make the NCAA’s this year. Coincidence?

  • Green1addict

    Under Obamacare it is required that colleges that have hockey teams must have a dental school.

  • Devadeborah

    Wisconsin should have one more national title except for the lame ref that gave the game to Lake Inferior State.

  • Badgers4ever

    Wisconsin would have a few more national titles if Mark Johnson coached the men’s team instead of Mike Eaves.

  • jake

    Everyone grow up! Times change and conferences can adjust… The ECAC survived just fine when the Hockey East schools split. And Hockey East flourished as well. How is this not good for college hockey? With a bit of movement here an there, more space becomes available in at least 3 conferences… More schools can add programs to what has been a very closed sport.

  • Jon

    The exposure the Big Ten Network will bring will assure that the Big Ten Hockey Conference teams maintain a recruiting advantage over almost every other team in college hockey. Don’t underestimate the advantage television time will garner this league. As a parent, I would be much more interested in sending my son to a school where I knew I would be able to see his games in HD every single week no matter where I was in the country. The only positive I see for the rest of college hockey is that it will open up 3 leagues to expansion possibilities for teams wanting to make the jump to a D-I program.

    • Sioux to the South

      I think the tv exposure angle is over rated. UND and Denver have most of their games televised nationally of Fox Sports College right now. The Big Ten Network will increase the tv presence of some teams but decrease it with others. How many games per weekend will BTN actually televise. My understanding is that they have Friday nights open. That is it. I am all for the growth of college hockey and I hope this move facilitates that. Having said that its pretty clear that this move is about money and an open time slot on the BTN.

      • Gophers4Life

        Big Ten Network has committed to at least 40 hockey games per year, and i guarantee you Minnesota will still have Fox Sports North broadcast all of their games that aren’t on the Big Ten Network

        • B.D.

          I am not certain the the FSN will be willing to not have first access to those few games. They will not be able to build the required following of repeat viewers. I think most likely they will move on.

    • Missed_approach

      TV exposure will have nothing to do with it. 4 of these schools are storied programs and that is what has garnered them long term success. That is where their recruiting power lies.

    • Missed_approach

      TV exposure will have nothing to do with it. 4 of these schools are storied programs and that is what has garnered them long term success. That is where their recruiting power lies.

  • CCHA Alum

    As a former CCHA(non-big ten) alum I know this is not good for the CCHA in general but for College Hockey this is huge. Within 2 years of the Big Ten staring a conference it will be hands down the most dominant conference in all of college hockey. Kids are going to want to play for schools in the Big Ten, great facilities, schools, and the Big Ten name will go a long way. This will also open the door to some other schools who have a solid fan base for their club teams to start a varsity program. Schools like Nebraska and IL will probably be the first. Why Nebraska you ask? The Lincoln Stars in the USHL play literally across the street from the Nebraska basketball arena and consistanly pack in 5000 fans a night. That is a revenue generating sport for the University and there is already a fan base. We all know that the Nebraska football fan base is huge and I’m sure all of those people who pack the Junior “A” Stars games consitantly are all from Lincoln and huge Nebraska fans as well. The prestige of playing for a Big Ten school will dramatically affect recruiting for all other schools, yes this includes current powerhouses in both the CCHA, WCHA, and even Hockey East. Kind of ironic but this may just be the tip of the iceburgh for Notre Dame joining the Big Ten in all sports. They are opening a brand new arena next year for hockey and are going to want to pack that thing and joining the Big Ten would ensure that they are playing big nam schoos regularly in a nationaly recognized conference.

    • Marine3045

      You are mistaken, Don Lucia has an incredible base and that program has hit the skids. Its all about who wins at the kitchen table, and in years past it has been BC, Miami, N. Dakota, UNH, BU, Denver, and Michigan. Big Ten network or not, take a long hard look at the coaching. Merrimack is coming on because the coach is a great recruiter, look at Yale, and on the opposite side look at how far Harvard has fallen off the wagon as has Minnesota, and to an extent Michigan State. Its not about the conference it is about who gets you to the post season and who gets you to the NHL.

      • Gophers4Life

        i wouldn’t say minnesotas fallen too far, they’ve been on the bubble the last three years which is bad for that program, but for a normal program thats not bad at all

    • GinghamQuaker

      As a Notre Dame alum, and hockey fan, I must take issue with your contention that hockey will somehow play a role in ND’s conference affiliation. Football is and always will be king in South Bend, and due to bigotry in the early 20th century, the students and alumni will not allow Notre Dame football to join the Big Ten. And since the Big Ten says it’s all sports or nothing, it’s gonna stay nothing.

  • U.P. Hockey Man

    All this means is Michigan Tech, Lake Superior and Northern Michigan will likely go to Division III and play Wisconsin Superior and Gustavus Adolphus every year.

  • Kmcworld

    The fans will appreciate the alignment of hockey with the football conference – the rivalries are bigger. Do you think that 100,000 people would crowd into the Big House to see Michigan play North Dakota? No they wouldn’t – because their in-state rival (MSU) is also a football rival and football rules the roost in sports these days. This also creates one of the best conference rivalries in all of sports – Michigan versus Ohio State in hockey – that’s another game that deserves to be outdoors in the Big House and/or OSU Horseshoe. This is undeniably good for the sport of college hockey.

    • Ring_of_Fire

      Translation: “Yay me! Screw everyone else!”

    • B.D.

      Okay, so your assumption is that 100,000 fans will fill a mythical hockey facility to observe a game between Michigan vs Minnesota?

      Nonsense.

      Probably the best attended games of the year across the nation are UND vs Minnesota (12,000+). That particular game will dwarf any series between the Big Tens….

      • Gophers4Life

        dude, wisconsin averages 15,000+ per home game, they’re the #1 team in attendance every year. Minnesota is easily going to have 50,000+ for their outdoor game next season at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota and Wisconsin could easily break 80,000 at Camp Randall Stadium. If you put Big Ten hockey teams together in a Big Ten football stadium, it will sell out. Simple as that. You obviously don’t know Big Ten sports if you don’t know that. Because football rules the Big Ten, and for how popular the hockey teams are at their schools, if you throw them into a football stadium that would be huge. I bet Minnesota and Michigan at Michigan stadium would be between 70,000 people and sold out, even though they’re not necessarily hockey rivals.

        • Gophers4Life

          this is something that UND could not possibly do just because they have such a small fan base compared to the much larger Big Ten schools. They may be just as passionate if not more passionate about hockey, but in numbers they just dont compare to the Big Ten schools, which is understandable.

          • B.D.

            I think you would find UND’s fan base is comparable to the big ten schools.

            If appropriately measured you will find just as many individual respondants will say they are UND hockey fans as will say they are Gopher fans when the question is broached in a likert scale.

            To explain, A higher percentage of UND associated individuals will respond saying they are “Highly motivated to attend” a UND game than their counterparts from the Big Ten schools who on scale are more likely to respond lower with something such as “Somewhat Motivated to attend” and with greater empahsis on other subjects that will compete.

            The difference is that UND fans value hockey over football and basketball while the same cannot be said for Gopher or Badger fans per se.
            Thus a higher population of liekly candidates for attendance trumps a volume of significantly lesser likely cadidates for attendance.

            By extension, imagine if LSU were in the Big Ten…..

            UND is a captive audience and I believe a Hockey marketeers dream.

        • B.D.

          I agree, Wisconsin games are well attended.

          But do you really think that you will be able to fill an outdoor facility with 50,000 fans from the big ten schools on a regular basis?

  • SpartaNate

    This is going help College Hockey on a whole and heres why:
    After this Big Ten announcement in yesterday’s Detroit Sports talk radio, it was quickly followed up by, “nobody cares” and the subject moved on to “poor road conditions in the area”. Point being, most national sports fans don’t care about college hockey. This move is going to put more of college hockey in the ESPN lime lite. College hockey, currently, isn’t battling TV ratings between WCHA, CCHA and the East Coast. They aren’t battling between the OHL or AHL. Bottom line, they aren’t battling for viewership because they aren’t on TV, with the exception of the Frozen 4 and National Championship, and I have to believe that those TV ratings are about on par with the American Kennel Club’s Dog Show. This move will give more viewer time to the Recreational Athletes out there and aspiring sports kids. The CCHA and to a less extent the WCHA leagues may suffer a bit, but really they won’t. Do you suppose any ticket sales will be lost because of this move? No. Ticket sales in college hockey are to long time fans, and current college students, all of which are still going to go to the games. Sales a smaller schools will stay the same, and larger schools may get more interest from non-college hockey fans (IE Div 1-A basketball/football fans). I’ve seen some comments on here that schools like Ferris and LSSU will go under. If they were to go under, it wouldn’t be becuase of this BIG Ten move. Also, if those schools profit margins are only in the black because of MSU/UofM’s/Wis participation at their home rink, they’ve got other problems going on with that program. This will also create a larger pull from the Canadian talent pools, a lot of which who choose other routes to the NHL.

    This move doesn’t mean the end of hockey at the small schools. Its evolution in a sport that needs it. Those small schools can make it if they have the fan base.

  • Majormark1

    In the grand landscape of college hockey this is a good move. So many people are not even aware of college hockey, I think having a traditional “all sports” conference can only help with exposure. An example of where the sport stands in markets other than the traditional, I live in Fort Wayne IN. The minor league hockey team here is always in the top 2 to 4 in all of minor league hockey in attendance. Last year we hosted the Midwest Regional and the attendance was pitiful. The average person is just not aware. Even fans who regularly attend the Komet hockey games had no clue when it came to college hockey.
    I have no dog in this fight other than I am a big fan who watches many games on TV and sometimes attends a Notre Dame or Bowling Green game and regularly goes to the Midwest Regional. I would just like to see the sport grow and I think this will help.

  • HockeyFan

    Sadly, in 20 years the Big Ten will eventually dominate. NHL caliber recruits won’t care about about how many titles NoNak has won, or the tradition of legendary programs such as RPI; they will care about exposure and achieving their dream of getting into the league.

    I hate to be so pessimistic but the same thing happens in every sport: The biggest schools with the biggest programs dominate. The reason that the college hockey field was level is because the big schools were dispersed in conferences throughout the country. Schools like N.D, BC, BU, DU, and MIA will still have very good teams, but I fear that the peak in talent level is right now.

    • Nyqi

      I agree and I think the only way to maybe combat that a bit is for the other top programs you name to play each other every year in non-conf games and skip the big 10. Otherwise this is going to go bad and quick. They have more money from the big 10 tv deal already just by creating the conf. Now you allow them to schedule the other top teams in the nation and all of a sudden that tv contract is worth more and the recruits know they can go their because they still get to play against top flight teams.

      There is a way to make this not so great for the MI, WI and MN programs and that is force them to play a weak non-conf schedule. I just don’t see how the rest of the teams in the country compete for the top recruits over the next 10 years if they don’t do something.

    • UMDTKE5

      FYI, those teams already get top recruits. That is precisely, IMHO, why they are down. NHL has made it too attractive to leave early since the new CBA. The Big 10 fans will expect nothing less and they will never have a coherent 4 year sqaud that plays together. This is the problem for the Gophers and is about to be a problem for the whole Big 10.

      • B.D.

        You make a mistake in your assumption.

        North Dakota has become one of the nations pre-eminnent “NHL Incubators” that is able to attract a steady stream of recruits who understand it is a valuable experience prior to joining the NHL.

        Hell, we have 16 year olds declaring for UND two years out from eligibility.
        You will not see that at Penn State or nearly all other schools.

        Please see Matt Frattin….

        • Gophers4Life

          Minnesota’s still beating them! 18 early departures to the NHL/AHL in the last 4 years! (thats why we suck) :( lol

          • B.D.

            Apparently not.
            UND has a high percentage of drafted players who will go to the pros upon graduation (Frattin for example) who have bonded to the program and each other and committed to stay in the program their end of elligibility.

            I am guessing U of M has had so amny jump ship early BECAUSE the program has suffered and they want to capitalize on their status before it disappears.

            I think it would be an interesting problem to work on with a questionaire of former Gopher players.

          • Gophers4Life

            i agree, i would love input from former gophers truthfully saying why they’re leaving, because that’s just an outrageous number. the weird thing is that most of them are actually playing in the NHL while they did absolutely nothing at the college level. It blows my mind

          • B.D.

            It is an interesting question.

  • jackson

    Well the CCHA will be the most hurt after this. They will have nobody in the top 24 in ave. attendance. The WCHA will be fine. I would say bring in Alaska-Fairbanks, and Air Force. Get a tournament going for just WCHA teams to start the 2nd half of the season, and play it up in Alaska.(Denver would be a good place for that too). But if you look at it, I see all the conferences shuffle teams to make them more even. And i see that the Big ten will only play 20 conference games, which gives them 14 non-coference games every year.. Better hope all you big ten schools bring in teams you can beat otherwise your ParWise ranking is not going to be good, and thats what you go by to get in the post season. Wow keep looking at the big ten teams… what a bruiser league.. But in my opinion its a bad move. i think it will just be tougher for any of those teams that don’t win the big ten harder to make the post season.. but there prob saying the same thing, so those 14 non-conference game will be against some weak teams.

    • guest

      yep… don’t expect Mn to play Alaska-Anchorage any time soon… LOL..

  • Jeff

    NMU is screwed…A team that has consistently going far in playoffs. Perhaps not as far as Frozen 4, but puts up a fight….except this year. It’s a shame that the almight dollar screws the little guy

    • BGSU die hard

      HAHA lost to my beloved BGSU first time ever a last seed one a playoff series! and totally against this break up

  • Matt Adams

    I’m a UMD fan and although I will miss seeing all those disappointed rodent jerseys at Grandma’s after the game, the WCHA will not be affected by losing the Madison Badgers and Minneapolis Gophers. The WCHA has 5 teams in the tournament this year, the Big Six has 1. They will have huge crowds at their games, but attendance doesn’t put championship banners in the rafters. Save your “how many banners does UMD have?” comments. The answer is 1 on April 9th.

    • Ring_of_Fire

      Optimism is great and all, but if you seriously believe that the loss of two programs with the history, national following, and exposure of Wisconsin and Minnesota will not affect the WCHA, you need your head examined.

      • UMDTKE5

        What national following? The only people that follow those teams that don’t live near by used to.

        Not as though you can go to pheonix and find a Gopher/Bucky hockey bar.

        • B.D.

          But surprisingly UND fans DO congregate for the games up in Phoenix.
          Especially for the UND – UM game….

  • BGSU die hard

    As being a small mac school Bowling Green State U. It is sad to see this happen. D-1 hockey has our school only national title in 84′ and we have produced top players in the NHL most notorious ROB BLAKE as well two players on the 1980 “miracle” team! While the team has struggled in the last decade and threat of cutting the program only two years ago, it will be tough to recover from the loss of competiton. We finally got a good solid coach Chris Bergeron former Miami assistant and has the program heading up! Even though we finished last in the ccha we were the first team to win a ccha playoff series as the last placed team. I hope it doesn’t hurt the rebuilding structure Bergeron has in plan. All i’ve ever wanted is to see them compete and WIN the ccha like they used to back in the 70′s and 80′s. And honestly there is nothing better than seeing a packed rink against michigan and everyone going nuts!!!

  • jackson

    One more thing. I think all the confences should get together and have the same rules for every leauge. OT should be 4 on 4, for 5 min. followed by a shootout. NO MORE TIES. For example UND playing Maine this year… I thought it was the woman playing, cuze every time there was a check, there would be a penalty called. it should not be like this. When your team goes on the road to paly a non-conferance game, they shouldn’t have to worry about diff rules used by that conference..

    • B.D.

      Man, you speak the truth…..

      Every time UND goes east the penalty minute jump skyward because the east cannot acquiesce to a physical game.

      They prefer boredom instead.

      Sadly this will undoubtedly impact the finals this year as UND will bring their western style play to a venue that will not fully understand it or agree to it.

  • B.D.

    That is why I assume it will not catch on.
    I think a good rule of thumb is that teams exist where they can be supported by an interested public. I really have to be convinced of a teams viability prior to just agreeing to the notion of its existance.

  • Dawg Pound

    Fine by me. The new league will be lame and smaller CCHA schools like Ferris, Western Mich, Ferris, Northern Mich, Ferris, and LSSU will have a decent chance at playing hockey at the end of March. It seems like every year a good second tier team from the CCHA misses out on the tourney becuase they just can’t beat teams with huge recruiting power like UM, MSU (most years), and OSU (infrequently – actually, could you please stay OSU?) I think this will make a more even and competitive CCHA. Will the CCHA be watered down – yes, but with Miami and ND still in, there are still top level teams to compete against. Big 10, have fun losing to UM every year until Red Berensen retires. Should be captivating hockey when UM is up by 12 points in the standings in mid-January (and I am not a UM fan to say the least).

  • Jtwatson2

    As a Wisco fan I’m sad to see Bucky leave the WCHA. We’ll lose the rivalries with UND and DU. However, the formation of the Big 10 will allow for greater exposure of college hockey. The Big Ten Network will now televise tons of college hockey, and Wisco, Minnesota, and Michigan are 3 of the premier programs in college hockey. 20 NCAA titles between those three schools. This aspect will be great for the game. Furthermore, there will be plenty of room for nonconference games because the conference will only have six teams. While a nonconference between NoDak and Minnesota may not have the same significance as a conference game you know NoDak will play just as hard.

  • Anegadatortola1

    This is just one really bad idea!

  • http://twitter.com/KNA180 Rick Kenna

    The BIG TEN reaffirms our all consuming self importance by declaring and laying claim of ownership of others hard work in the realm of collegiate ice hockey. In addition an ‘automatic’ NCAA national tournament title berth will be claimed as our right based firmly upon our unwavering foundation of self hype, arrogance and coin.
    ~ Legends & Leaders