Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When Penn State Joins, Where Do You Put Them?

Yesterday an article form USCHO and Inside College Hockey stated Penn State was near the announcement of a D1 hockey program. Last month I put up the Nittany Lions would expand to the WCHA or the CCHA.  Now it looks as if they would spend a four year stint in either of the two leagues. Then in 2015 a Big Ten hockey conference would form.  The idea was a key part of a WCHA meeting. The other teams that are in the Big Ten (for every sport but hockey) as of right now are Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. With the addition of Penn State would make a six team conference.

So what do you do with the schools already in the WCHA and the CCHA? One bloger in Alaska proposed to form a super conference of perennial powers, Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota Duluth, Miami (Ohio) Notre Dame, BC, BU and UNH. There is only one problem Mr Alaska: Where are these school's going to come up with the money to cover all the travel costs?

My idea is to keep the Hockey East schools where they are. The Big Ten Conference would work and Denver and many of the western schools would be the pioneers of the new WCHA. Both Alaska schools, Colorado College, North Dakota, Bemidji State, St Cloud, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State and Air Force would make up the teams

In the center of the College hockey world a new CCHA would come together. Miami, Notre Dame, Lake State, Bowling Green, Ferris State and current Atlantic Hockey attendee, RIT would make up the new CCHA.

Nothing is set in stone and these are just my thoughts.

A new Conference is not a new thing. Back in 1984 BU BC, Northeastern, UNH, Providence and Lowell formed Hockey East. Five teams (BU, BC, NU, UNH, and Providence) broke away from the ECAC, due to the lack of games the Ivy League schools wanted to play. Looking for an even number of teams, the league looked to one of the better teams in Division II hockey, Lowell, forming Hockey East. The League has now expanded to 10 teams since.

In 2003 the formation of the CHA (now broken up) and the Atlantic Hockey conference,  took place. The idea was to add teams in to the NCAA and to expand the NCAA tournament from 12 teams to 16.

1 comment:

  1. Two issues with your realignment:

    1. Air Force specifically chose the AHA so they could be in the same conference as Army. I don't suspect they'd be in favor of changing that.

    2. RIT may not want to move into a conference that allows maximum scholarships (AHA limits schools to 12, don't know if RIT would want to shell out for six more). More likely that Niagara would move, as their coach did express a preference for maximum scholarships before they joined the AHA.

    My guess is that the WCHA and CCHA would continue with their current non-Big 10 members, as they'd be at 10 and 8 teams, respectively.