New Superconference To Form?


According to a report from Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald, 5 WCHA schools are leaving to create a new conference. North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College, Minnesota-Duluth and Nebraska-Omaha will be the WCHA schools in the conference and will be joined by Miami and “Notre Dame and and eigth school – possibly Western Michigan.”

These individual schools are obviously making this move now to counter the formation of the Big 10 Hockey Conference, and for these 8 schools – especially Duluth and Western, whom I’m not sure belong in a “super conferene” –  it will be a good move. The WCHA has had some problems getting a conference wide TV deal, and go take a look at the league’s website one time. I guarantee it will be your last. So with some less than stellar (to put it diplomatically) leadership at the top, it seems these schools are almost forced into making this move.

The big question is what becomes of the other WCHA and CCHA schools. The big WCHA loser seems to be Bemidji State, who just spent millions on an arena where they will now play probably only North Dakota in terms of marquee opponents. The CCHA, I think, will take a much bigger hit. Already losing Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, they lose their two biggest remaining names. Most of the smaller CCHA schools rely heavily on gate revenue to keep their programs afloat (and if you don’t believe me ask an AD at any of the non Big 10 Michigan schools). Bowling Green has already faced a near extinction of their program, and they seem to be back on the chopping block again.

There is also the expansion problem. Penn State just started their D1 program, and it was expected a wave of expansion could follow. But if you don’t have the Big 10 to go to, what is the incentive? I don’t see this conference inviting a new program to join, and if you are a USC or Kansas or Syracuse, all of whom have had D1 rumors surrounding the programs lately, would you jump into the WCHA with the likes of Minnesota State and Alaska-Anchorage, the CCHA with Lake Superior State and Ferris State, or would you try to get other Pac 12/Big 12 (-2)/Big East schools to make the D1 jump with you, and leave the smaller schools behind? Thought so.