Wednesday, September 21, 2011

St Cloud & Western Michigan To Join NCHC

Edit: St Cloud State University & Western Michigan University announced that they are joining the NCHC on Thursday.

According to the Grand Forks Herald the National Collegiate Hockey Conference will invite Western Michigan and St. Cloud State to join North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College, Nebraska-Omaha, Minnesota-Duluth and Miami in the new league that will start in 2013-14, sources say.

Both schools are expected to accept the invites.

Notre Dame has not yet decided its future, but also holds an NCHC invite. Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick told a radio station over the weekend that his school will make a decision within 10 days.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, now, the SCSU fans can stop crying.

Still kind of amazing, to me, the strides Western has taken in just a couple of years to get to this point.

dggoddard said...

Welcome aboard SCSU & Western. Two very good programs that will give the league stability.

Clearly not having Notre Dame would be a big void. However, if they don't join the Big Ten in all sports, the NCHC will get them.

Crazy times in college sports.

Anonymous said...

Since the NCHC is essentially now the WCHA minus the dead weight, do you think if we asked nicely, Michigan Tech would let us keep the McNaughton Cup to hand out to our league champ?

dggoddard said...

DU has experience losing trophies. Just have Tech file a claim with DU's insurance carrier.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it would have to be bought from Tech, since THEY OWN IT and I'm pretty sure it's not for sale.

Anonymous said...

Anyhow, new conference should mean a new trophy. If you respect the history of the MacNaughton, it should remain in the WCHA no matter the current makeup of the league as long as Tech retains a program. If, by chance, Tech were to ever fold or anything, then the NCHC should make a bid for it. Though, personally, I think it should be retired if Tech were to no longer have a program.

Anonymous said...

+1 on 10:43

Anonymous said...

This is obviously a proactive move by the NCHC. Eight is better than six.

That said, I doubt we will see Notre Dame in the NCHC.

Personally, I'd rather see two goos Eastern teams joining the NCHC vs SCSU and WMU.

Anonymous said...

Will we see any more WCHA refugees moving over to the NCHC? Mankato, Bemidji are both quality programs that could be competitive in the conference.

Anonymous said...

We don't need anymore no-name schools in the conference! The idea was to establish a better, more recognizable conference. The WCHA was getting watered down. Sadly, I think that adding St. Could and Western Michigan hurts the conference in this respect. (I know the latter point is arguable, but it's my opinion). The last thing the NCHC needs to do is add two more no-names like Mankato and Bemidji. It sucked to see the WCHA getting gradually watered down. It sucks even more to see the NCHC being watered down from the get-go.

Anonymous said...

As long as WMU continues to devote lots of money to the hockey program, they will not be pushovers and in fact will be contenders for league championships.

They have an NHL coach, will start this season ranked, and have a few big name recruits already committed for the next couple years.

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing how this conference realignment is causing some of the folks over at USCHO to completely lose their minds.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! College hockey fans have become quite snobby, and it's not really the east coast fans like you'd assume.

dggoddard said...

St. Cloud is a good program and will draw well in Denver. If Western is winning they will draw OK in Denver as well. We may be surprised how many alums they have in Denver.

WMU has 25,000 students. A pretty big school by D-1 hockey standards.

Anonymous said...

We welcome all with the exception of WCHA referees.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, DG... WMU is OK, as is St. Cloud. I was hoping for a bigger name conference, though. It started out promisingly, with DU, CC, UND, Miami, etc. and a shot to land Notre Dame. WMU was an OK prospect, but only if they came as a package deal with Notre Dame. Now we've got WMU without Notre Dame. Plus St. Cloud, a school that no one is exactly drooling over. Disappointing. The excitement could return with the addition of Notre Dame, but I just don't any chance of that happening now.

Anonymous said...

Bad move by the conference these teams are not even close to being on the same level as us!!

Anonymous said...

@ 1:40

The fact of the matter is that the choice of refs available who score high enough is not all that huge. The reffing is what it is and there is not a whole lot that can be done.

Since you are complaining, how do you propose this "situation" be remedied? Maybe you should get evaluated and see how you score?

Maybe the NCHC will get it's choice of the best of the WCHA and former CCHA refs, maybe not. I don't know.

You have to realize that being a college hockey ref is less than a part time job and they make only a few thousand dollars a year...

BooneDogg said...

shit balls! this is becoming less and less of a power conference... also less and less attractive to ND

Anonymous said...

Easy Anon 1:58! He only made a quick joke. Maybe a bit of an overreaction on your part....

Anonymous said...

@2:09

I just think it's a bit unfair to complain and, yet, not offer an alternative. I also highly doubt that a single one of us could do any better.

Anyway, all I did was ask a few questions and make a few valid points. Believe me, I wish we had perfect refereeing, but how that is even possible isn't that easy to figure out.

There is a new emphasis being placed this season on a teamwork atmosphere for the ref crews, to try and make the officiating more reliable. Now, if you want to take the example of Don Adam as someone who could greatly benefit from this teamwork-style officiating; he is notorious for thinking he is absolutely correct without any input from someone else, even when he is wrong...

Anonymous said...

At least the prospect of finishing last in the conference for any of the original 6 schools is not as imminent.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that the national will get an auto bid right away because 6 members schools would have been playing together for at least 2 years?

UDenver20 said...

Hate it.

Anonymous said...

Some of you are forgetting WMU outplayed and should have beaten DU in the NCCA tourney last season....

Anonymous said...

Sure the Huskies and Wildcats are good teams; but I'd say this is the nail in the coffin for hopes of The Fighting Irish joining the league. It's almost like the WCHA with a new name without the Gophers and Badgers. Don't get me wrong - there will be some damn good players and teams in the NCHC, they way it stands right now, regardless if ND joins or not.

Anonymous said...

Well UDenver20, if you don't like it I'm sure you can always try to get them kicked out. It's worked before.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:32

"WMU outplayed and should have beaten DU in the NCCA tourney last season...."

Fine. However, WMU did NOT win...all that matters come tourney time is the final score. A goal scored in the last couple of minutes counts the same as a goal scored in the first few minutes which counts the same as a goal scored halfway through. Sorry, but WMU just didn't score as many as DU did. Better luck next time.

Anonymous said...

This isn't about whether Bemidji or WMU or St. Cloud can beat DU. Of course they can on any given night. The issue (for me) is more about building a strong conference that can rival the Big Ten, Hockey East, etc. not only in hockey quality, but in prestige. I'm afraid that adding more schools with directions, "Bemidji" or "Cloud" in their names is not going to accomplish that. Also, with Wisconsin and Minnesota gone, it's especially important to bring more name-brand schools into town. If Notre Dame doesn't want to join the league, the NCHC can't do much about it. But I'd rather start with a smaller league and build it slowly and carefully, rather than just add teams quickly to fill up slots in the league standings.

ScottA said...

Don't see how this improves ANYTHING. No attendance increase, no geographic sense, no natural rivalries, no additional NCAA banners, nothing. Obviously Notre Dame is NOT coming and the powers that be simply wanted an 8 team league. Heck, getting the 3 Yooper schools would have been better than this! What the heck, let's throw Huntsville a lifeline. Any future references to elite 'Super Conference' are now forbidden.

CO14ers said...

I like the move to bring in SCSU and WMU. With 8 teams in the mix it offers the league stability which right now is a huge advantage in college sports. A viable and stable NCHC could also be very attractive to Notre Dame should they consider a conference move. However, I'm not a huge Notre Lame guy and don't really give a shit if they join or not. Until the last few years, they sucked nuts anyway. This 8 team league will be successful and that's really what matters.

Kevin said...

I thought this was supposed to be the SUPER CONFERENCE? Not looking that way anymore...

dggoddard said...

The top two programs in the WCHA and top program from the CCHA are joining forces. Notre Dame is still in play for the NCHC, unless the football program goes into the Big Ten.

Its laughable that people are mocking this league.

CO14ers said...

Oh Kevin, ye of small brain and no sense of college hockey. To all you peeps who haven't followed college hockey for the past few decades, THE NCHC is an exciting new enterprise. Do you fools remember when DU couldn't lick the sweat off the balls of St. Cloud not too long ago because they were so far above DU in the WCHA standings? Do you realize the financial commitment that WMU has made to their hockey program? This league, as is, even without the "mighty" Notre Dame, is a great step for DU and the other conference members. Kudos to DU and the other conference teams for taking this risk. I, as a fan, sure am grateful.

CIS said...

God too much whining! How is this not markedly better than the current WCHA for the next two years? It ALREADY contains SCSU plus such powerhouses as Mankato, Alaska and Michigan Tech. WMU is already better than those three and will only get better. Check the CHN preseason rankings. DU is #7. Guess who is #8? Western Michigan!

And as CO14s astutely pointed out programs rise and fall. This is just the latest tremor in an inevitable power shift.

Anonymous said...

The way I'm looking at this: NCHC is basically a reconstituted WCHA minus MN and WI but plus Miami Ohio and Western Michigan -- both very good (and in WM's case still rising) programs. If Notre Dame joins in, the conference will be incredible. As it stands right now, however, this is a more competitive version of the WCHA without some of the dead weight from Alaska, Mich. Tech, etc.

CIS said...

Exactly.

Anonymous said...

“You have to realize that being a college hockey ref is less than a part time job and they make only a few thousand dollars a year”

Todd Anderson is overpaid!

Anonymous said...

"Do you fools remember when DU couldn't lick the sweat off the balls of St. Cloud not too long ago because they were so far above DU in the WCHA standings?"

Care to enlighten us oh Buddha-belly.

CO14ers said...

1:27. Go check out the 1999-2000 WCHA season standings, oh mosquito dick.

miller said...

wait a minute, are you telling me Anderson gets paid for being wrong, what a country.

dggoddard said...

St. Cloud & Western Michigan accepted the NCHC invites today.

Anonymous said...

The NCHC is huge plus for DU.

-Way more attractive opponents at Magness - Miami and WMU in exhange for UAA, MTU, MSUM? No brainer. This is going to result in better tunrouts, more gate revenue and better TV.

-Better recruiting than in a diluted WCHA. Best to go after the big 10, not just roll over and accept a diluted league.

-No more difficult long road trips to Anchorage, Houghton and Bemidji. Those trips are crushers from Denver.

-Protects DU's huge investment in hockey from a certain dilution in a watered down WCHA.

-While Notre Dame would have been a plum addition, the new league at eight teams is more stable.

-More control of its destiny. If DU had stayed in the WCHA, it would have been outvoted on most progressive thinking by a bloc of D-II schools who didn't want to spend the money to upgrade the league. At least now, most of the NCHC schools have a larger financial committment to hockey than the schools it left behind.

-Opportunity for new leadership to come in an turn the NCHC into a top flight league.

Anonymous said...

i loved how scsu was like "we don't need to be in the super conference... we will be kings of the wcha..." now your going to be bottom of the nchc.
jt68

Anonymous said...

as a sioux fan i was glad that du was in and um and scsu were out, but now we have to have gopher scraps in our super conference, too bad we have to leave the all mighty WCHA

Anonymous said...

why is everybody so excited about where notre dame were go, they are a total second tier team, they are not in the ranks of UND,UMD,DU, BU or BC. whats the big deal, i hope they go play in hockey east

Yan Stastny said...

Nobody remembers who came in second. Take 2006 for instance.

Anonymous said...

With Notre Dame it's not about the hockey (which I think you're very wrong about, they've been doing pretty well for themselves lately and just built a beautiful hockey facility), it's about the brand. It's prestigious and everywhere, and it's easy to convince a lot of people to buy tickets or tune in when you're playing Notre Dame. There's a lot of money that goes along with that. Brand name recognition is how you get casual fans or non-fans to watch college hockey. Like having Penn State or the Big Ten involved raises the profile of college hockey, having Notre Dame would definitely raise the profile of the NCHC.

Ring_of_Fire said...

@ anon 3:34

Everyone is concerned about Notre Dame because Notre Dame is...well...Notre Dame.

As the old joke goes:
Q: In a room full of people, how do you tell which one's the Notre Dame alum?

A: You don't have to. He (or she) will come and tell you all about it themselves.

Glib, yes. But it also rings true. There isn't a college or university in the nation that inspires more loyalty from its alumni and fans...or more derision from its detractors. Notre Dame, simply by virtue of being Notre Dame, raises the attractiveness of any conference it happens to be in to casual sports fans AND to broadcasters.

Or, to put it another way, the casual sports fan is far more likely to take notice of a DU/Notre Dame game...where a DU/Saint Cloud game doesn't exactly have the same allure. Possibly harsh, but it is reality...and that reality is not lost on broadcasters OR their advertisers.

Not only that, Notre Dame has also recently committed literally millions of dollars to build a quality hockey program...and when Notre Dame decides to do something, you can rest assured, it gets done.

To whit:

- The new barn in South Bend is completely state-of-the-art and will be packed on any given weekend.

- Jeff Jackson is a quality coach with sound fundamentals who understands how to mold his system to fit his players. The two trips to the Frozen Four in the past few years attests to that.

- Notre Dame's recruiting has been on a TREMENDOUS upswing over the past few seasons and is starting to compete with the DUs and North Dakotas of the world.

Add all of that together and you have a powerful national brand with a strangle-hold on the Nation's #3 TV market (Chicago) that is hell-bent on establishing a hockey program that will have the talent and coaching to compete for a frozen four birth each year.

My question to you is: Why AREN'T you concerned about Notre Dame?

dggoddard said...

Holy Crap. Ring Of Fire is brought it with that Comment. Cracking jokes, educating the masses and poignant observations.

Nice work. :-)

dggoddard said...

Just to add another crazy subplot to the NCHC Drama. According to the CC Freedom Blogger, "Notre Dame may join the NCHC in seven days and bring Bowling Green along for the ride as a 10th member."

Of course Bowling Green has till tomorrow to accept a standing offer from the WCHA for a spot in their league. Tic-Toc....

Anonymous said...

Bowling Green's WCHA offer has been extended to Oct. 7

Anonymous said...

ring of fire, maybe Notre Dame should concentrate on their football program...

Ring_of_Fire said...

@ anon 9:57...

Notre Dame IS concentrating on its football team. That's why you haven't heard a conference announcement regarding the school's other athletic teams.

In case you've been otherwise occupied, it appears that the long rumored "seismic shift" in college football conference alignment that could force Notre Dame to finally join a football conference may well be here.

The thing is, for Notre Dame, it's not as simple as, "ok...ok...we'll join the (insert conference here)." Regardless of whether or not it "makes sense" to join a football conference; there is unbelievable pressure from alumni, fans, fans, and athletic boosters to keep their football independence. Not only that, there is the business of the NBC TV contract and its potential ramifications to any potential conference affiliation that must be taken into account.

Make no mistake, Notre Dame is FAR more concerned with its football team than its hockey team. But, this is a hockey blog...so, I figured that I'd focus my discussion on...you know...hockey.

Jordan said...

Not enough people here focus the conversation on hockey. Or DU, or sports...

Anonymous said...

@ jordan

Does your comment have anything to do with hockey, DU or sports? Seems like you are complaining about that without adding anything that you claim should be posted here. If you're not part of the solution...

Jordan said...

Great point, my apologies.

Was meant to be more of a commendation of those who do add to the conversation than a gripe about those who don't, for the record. Poor phrasing.

Anonymous said...

Denver playing the Broncos... I see a publicity goldmine here....

Anonymous said...

@ Jordan

I was just messing with you. You have a point that is definitely valid. :-)

GO DU!!!