So we know 7 teams defected from the WCHA to form the new CCHA:
Bemidji State, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State, Northern Michigan
Let's just assume St. Thomas is going to be the 8th team.
What is the trickle down? We need a resolution for Alabama-Huntsville Alaska and Alaska-Anchorage. Arizona State can probably prop those schools up for a few years.
So bring your ideas here.
My first thought is the A-League (as I will call the misfits) need to be on the phone with two schools: The Air Force Academy, and Simon Fraser.
I mention USAFA only as a temporary fix. They want to be with Army -- and presumably Navy (if that every happens). The Falcons fit the footprint, and their budget could benefit from a few more home games than their agreement with Atlantic Hockey provides.
As for our Canadian Friends... NOW IS THE TIME. I see SFU as the long-term solution for the Alaska schools. Regional opponent, and they would likely bring UBC with them as rivals. If UBC applies to the NCAA (SFU already is), this allows USAFA to move back to Atlantic Hockey. It also creates a domino for a few other schools in Canada to join. But they have time while the Pac-12 builds.
That only leaves Hunstville as a problem. I don't believe the Alaska schools and Huntsville are together in the end game. It is very possible UAH becomes the 8th CCHA school -- looking regionally -- if the St. Thomas situation never comes to fruition.
IF the Tommies do join the ranks of D-1... the question becomes: How long before the NCHC and CCHA make a trade: MSU-M and STT for Miami and WMU?
unfortunately I think the alaska schools and huntsville are done. no one really wants them and alaska has all sorts of budget issues. unless you add a simon fraser and form a west coast league with some other teams, I don't see how the alaska schools survive.
I'm sure there will be more dominos to fall. the big question is where does st. thomas end up? they are a natural fit for the NCHC, but do they have enough financial clout to make that feasible? I could see St. Thomas in the NCHC very easily if miami leaves.
if I were the commish of the NCHC I would not add teams at all. why water down the best conference? 4 straight national titles and a nice tv package with cbs sports.
I don't wan't mankato in our conference. I think they don't have the name recognition or the finances necessary to be a good fit in the NCHC. they are a nice team but when you say mankato I don't think hockey first (more football then anything comes to mind)
mankato is a nice team, but hard no on adding them.
WMU isn't going anywhere.
the rumors of miami wanting to leave may be true, but then again they would have to fork over a ton of cash to do so.
trolling miami hawk talk came across an interesting post: (from a user named bonk no less!)
2) OSU,M, et al, are not coming back, so any "name recognition" would be Lake St. and ^M. BGSU and Ferris are in contracts to play Miami anyway, and BGSU I know is indefinite. The other teams were always in the WCHA. Tell me those teams are going to bring in more students, who were barely in high school at the time Miami joined the NCHC.
3) Is the travel that much better? Bemidji (15 hours), NMU (11 hours), Tech (13 hours), Mankato (12 hours). The problem with travel since the league started is all the New England non-league games that Miami for whatever reason scheduled. Don't cry poor when you voluntarily schedule home-and-homes with Maine, UMass-Lowell, New Hampshire and Providence.
4) This is a MAJOR drop in competition, equivalent to dropping from the SEC in football to the ACC. Talking to Miami hockey players and coaches, I can tell you for an absolute fact that the league is a driving force for recruiting. Do you see Purdue dropping out of the Big 14 because it's had a bad run the past decade?
I have a feeling the NCHC will take a wait and see approach before adding a team that isn't a good fit.
The only reason I can think that Miami would want to leave the NCHC is due to lack of recent success.
Maybe the concept of being like MSU-Mankato (win lots of regular season games... fall early in the NCAA tourney) is more appealing than struggling in the NCHC.
I'd prefer to *not* have more Minnesota schools in the NCHC. I don't want it to become any more Minnesota centric. I'd prefer to see Arizona State and Air Force (although, I'm not sure Air Force would want to deal with the recruiting hurdles required to compete the NCHC).
I think this is probably the end for the Alaska schools. Without a conference I'm not sure how they can stay afloat.
Maybe I'm naive. But there has to be a solution to save the Alaska schools (and Hunstville).
Let's not forget the 'Mason Deal' of the early 90s, when the WCHA and CCHA saved UAA and UAF.
Is there a similar personality in play in college hockey now? Yes. He sits in the Senior Associate Athletic Director's office in Omaha.
I don't think it makes you naive Christ, just hopeful. I have a hard time seeing how it would work though, especially without some Canadian teams in there and without any real notion as to why I say it, I don't see the NCAA allowing Canadian teams in.
Otherwise, all I have to say is my mind is just absolutely blown, like I couldn't add enough <mind blown> emojis if I wanted to.....at the thought of St. Thomas being in the NCHC. My mind was blown at the MIAC for kicking them out and then blown again at going D1 but going D1 maybe made sense I guess. I wonder if St. Thomas ever talked to the NCHA about joining them. My mind being blown so arises from having gone to St. John's. I loved the rivalry they always had, and looking at the standings, they sit 4th in the 9 team league, although St. Thomas just beat St. John's in the playoffs. I dunno, it's just weird to me.