Monday, July 11, 2011

The Super Conference

Ok, so I've tried to stay away from this as long as I could but I finally think its time to report it: Starting at the beginning of the 2014 season there will be not just one new conference but two. Sure, the Big Ten Hockey Conference will start up that year (we knew that already) but a new "Super Conference"(as it's being call) will also begin play, too.

The league will be made up of perennial powers Miami, North Dakota, Colorado College,  Denver and defending National Champion Minnesota Duluth. It will also include a program on the rise in Nebraska Omaha. It will make up a six team, unnamed, "Super Conference".

What does this mean? Well, this means the destruction of the WCHA and most of the CCHA, two of the major conferences in college hockey. With the two new leagues, this also means that there are a whole slew of teams without a conference to call home in 2014.

The teams that remain in the WCHA are Alaska-Anchorage, St. Cloud State, Bemidji State, Minnesota State, and Michigan Tech.

In the CCHA, Notre Dame, Western Michigan, Ferris State, Northern Michigan, Alaska, Lake Superior State, and Bowling Green are all who remain.

My guess is that they will just form another unnamed conference starting in 2014. Possibly, the five remaining WCHA schools will just joint the CCHA.

The Rumor Mill

  1. There are also rumors that Notre Dame and Western Michigan will also depart the CCHA and join the Super Conference.
  2. Also, I've heard that Notre Dame is interested in joining Hockey East. I read that a while back and it stated that Miami was looking into joining Hockey East, but this, of course, will not happen as they have landed a place in the SC.
  3. Last rumor that I've caught wind of is a TV deal with Versus

Is the Super Conference Good For College Hockey?
Yes and no. We'll start with the "yes"".

It will give teams like Northern Michigan, Lake State, and the Alaska schools, a chance do something they've either never done or haven't accomplished in a very long time, and that is win a conference championship.

The down side is clear as can be. The same schools just mentioned won't get the money at the gate that they would as say if North Dakota was in town. Sorry, but when Lake State plays Ferris State, you'll be lucky to get 2,000 people to watch that game.

Here's a great article from the UAA Hockey Fan Blog, about the Super Conference from the perspective of a team left out of the mix.

Was Hockey East the First "Super Conference"?
Back in 1984, BU, BC, Northeastern, UNH, Providence and Lowell formed Hockey East. Five teams (BU, BC, NU, UNH, and Providence) seceded 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.

It's basically the same deal. Teams want to play more games against better competition so that they can (A) gain more exposer and better recruits and (B) generate more revenue.

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