Wednesday, April 20, 2011

UMD Writer Mentions "Super 6 Conference" Rumors

Kevin Pates, the Duluth News Tribune beat writer for the Minnesota-Duluth hockey team reported on a rumor circulating at the Frozen Four earlier this month.  Its the same rumor that Mike Chambers of the Denver Post mentioned back in March.

Specifically that Denver, Colorado College, Miami, Notre Dame, North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha would form a new conference when Minnesota and Wisconsin depart the WCHA for the Big Ten Conference.
"Talk centered on more possible fracturing of the WCHA and the CCHA, with speculation on the formation of another six-team league with Notre Dame, North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, Denver, Colorado College and Miami of Ohio.

It’s expected that Notre Dame will soon announce intentions to leave the CCHA, without having a spot in another league, yet. WCHA officials did meet with Notre Dame at the Frozen Four."
- Rink & Run Blog

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

This rumor has been around since the first weekend of the year. There have been variances in what the actual 6 teams would be. The 3 who are always in the conversation are DU, UND and Miami. At various times it was UMD taking Notre Dame's place, with Notre Dame going to Hockey East. CC and UNO sort of weaved their way in and out of the conversations.

I also heard about the possibility of 2 eastern schools entering the mix. The most intriguing scenario involved DU, UND, Miami, Notre Dame/UMD and the 2 eastern schools as being the core 6, while offering a 7th and 8th spot to CC and UNO. For what its worth, I heard the rumor of the eastern schools straight from WCHA higher-ups.

Anonymous said...

This is the best possible direction for DU to take, although it's not best for college hockey.

At this point though, you can't blame teams for looking after their own interests.

Air Force killed the CHA.
The Big 10 is going to kill the CCHA.
And DU shouldn't play in a WCHA leftover situation, as they can't sell enough season tickets without more of the big name brands.

dggoddard said...

Interesting about the two eastern schools. Be interesting to know who they are? [Vermont, BC, BU, Maine, UNH???]

The other interesting rumor is the "Interlocking Schedule" with Hockey East.

Anonymous said...

I imagine that an interlocking schedule with Hockey East is more likely than the eastern schools leaving, but the "threat" of the Big 10 taking the most prime recruits and leaving the rest for UND, DU, BC, BU, UMD, Notre Dame, Miami, and such, is motivation for these schools to at least consider banding together and offering a possibly superior conference to the B10.

I don't think there is any doubt that DU will be part of a new, smaller 6 or 8 team conference that includes UND and Miami, plus some combo of CC, UMD, Notre Dame, UNO, BC and BU to round it out.

There is so much to consider, with travel time, travel costs and rivalries topping the list, that it is difficult to actually determine what the eventuality will be. How well the economy is doing may play a factor as well in consideration of the costs for such a spread out conference, which may play into CC's and UNO's favor for being in the core 6.

Interesting times for college hockey...

Anonymous said...

Why should CC be included they have the worst fan attendance of any of the schools mentioned??

dggoddard said...

Actually CC outdrew DU by a significant margin last season.

http://www.collegehockeynews.com/almanac/attendance.php

UND...11,756
UNO....7,994
CC......6,687
DU......5,292
MIA.....3,024
ND......2,801

Anonymous said...

DU's paid average attendence was 5,292 in a rink seating 6,026, or about 88% of capacity.

CC avergaged 6,687 fans in a 7,343 seat arena, or about 91% of capacity. but had to cut its ticket prices last year.

No shows aren't counted. Realistically, both schools are in about the same place from a spectator draw standpoint.

Anonymous said...

There's a hell of alot of power in the super six, don't kid yourself. If the SS teams rose to the occaision and wound up out-performing the marquee big 10 schools - which is VERY VERY possible... I would think this wouls further sway the recruits to ultimately go to the schools that are winning.

green hornet said...

This is great news for Minnesota and Wisconsin! Under a new conference they are not obligated to play them anymore.

Anonymous said...

Some of these schools haven't really been "super" for long. Let's remember that we saw the likes of LSSU winning titles at one point and they are now an afterthought. What looks good now may not look great in five years. Especially for schools that don't have big money and may have a hard time keeping up in the facilities race over time.

Second, the travel costs are going to be a major drag on the likelihood of something like this. Many of these schools are used to busing to most road games. Now you are talking about flying to most of them. That is going to be a major cash drain on the budgets of programs. Once again, many of these schools don't have the big money athletic budgets of Big Ten schools that can make this additional travel easy to handle without batting an eye. I doubt the interlocking schedule with eastern schools will happen due to this factor as well.

I also fail to see much worth selling to fans. Where are the rivalries? At least the Big Ten teams have familiarity because of other sports. What does this have? DU/CC and DU/UND? Not much else. Is that really going to excite Joe Fan from these schools on a weekly basis? Probably not.

What about a conference tourney? The Big Ten will have big college hockey markets with big arenas in Minnesota and Michigan to play in and fill the pockets of their conference. What would this new conference have to compete with it? Chicago isn't a college market so save that as a response. Denver really isn't a college hockey market and it is too west for other schools' fans. The other schools don't reside in major markets. I see big problems there.

It just seems like a lot of holes in the discussion. I think there is a lot of dreamworld talk from some fans w/o acknowledging the overall difficulties.

dggoddard said...

DU, UNO, CC, UND, Miami and Notre Dame all have fantastic, modern first-class facilities or one on the way.

To compare these programs to Lake State is laughable.

These rumors may have been started by fans, but the schools are "in play" and serious dialog is going on at these institutions at the highest levels.

Mike Rane said...

The WCHA used to have an interlocking schedule with Hockey East in the '80s, I believe. But that would require a major overhaul of the conferences.