Bemidji State officials were recently in Florida making their pitch to the WCHA about being let into the conference, and the result was…….a lot of nothing. The WCHA did vote to expand to 12 teams, but without a 12th team in sight, Bemidji’s chances may be slim. Now for the Beavers the job is convincing a 12th team to join the league. The names most tossed about are Nebraska-Omaha and Northern Michigan.
Northern Michigan, in my mind, makes no sense. Yes they were a member of the WCHA, but Anchorage, Denver and CC aren’t voting them in. No chance. Also, if you’re Northern Michigan, why would you leave Michigan and Michigan State, two natural rivals, not to mention Lake Superior State and Ferris State?
Nebraska-Omaha would be a much better fit. They are closer to Colorado College and Denver, but are they better at hockey than Northern? Probably not. Also, Frozen Four run aside, Bemidji isn’t exactly a Division One powerhouse. With the lowering frequency at which we see rivalry series in the WCHA already, a 12 team league will only lower it. For the WCHA’s sake I hope they stay at 10, otherwise the competition pool will be diluted.