Thursday, July 7, 2011

Update: Reports say 'Super League' is done deal

Minnesota State athletic director Kevin Buisman wasn't kidding when he called the college hockey landscape "volatile" on Wednesday.

The Grand Forks Herald is reporting that the "Super League" is a done deal and that five teams will leave the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to start their own conference with Miami of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association starting in the 2013-14 season, the same season as the Big Ten starts its hockey conference.

UPDATE: Read Shane Frederick's Free Press story here.

The schools leaving the WCHA include North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College, Minnesota Duluth and Nebraska-Omaha. CCHA members Notre Dame and Western Michigan are not part of the group currently but could be by the end of the summer, the Herald reported.

Brad Scholssman's story (Schlossman, by the way, has been all over this story — great job) has since been confirmed by writers in Duluth and Omaha. Word is that a press conference will take place next Wednesday in Colorado Springs, Colo.

These are the dominos falling ever since Penn State announced it was adding hockey last year. That gave the Big Ten six teams — enough to make the sport league-official — and WCHA members Minnesota and Wisconsin, along with the CCHA's Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, announced they were leaving their respective conferences after the 2012-13 season. 

The remaining "power" hockey programs appear to be pooling their muscle in order to rival that league.

This, of course, leaves the WCHA with five teams — not enough for NCAA tournament qualifying. So what will Minnesota State, St. Cloud State, Bemidji State, Alaska-Anchorage and Michigan Tech do? In Thursday's Free Press, Buisman said that those schools have spoken about contingency plans. He didn't elaborate on what those were, but they'd better be legit.

One option the leftover WCHA teams would have would be to join forces with those remaining in the CCHA — Alaska (Fairbanks), Northern Michigan, Lake Superior State, Ferris State and Bowling Green. Independent Alabama-Hunstville is still searching for a home, too.


Dave said...

I think a few programs might not weather these winds of change. It's been said all along that the B1G Ten hockey conference was going to be the big domino to start the falling of other programs. This is just the reality of it coming to light.

TMAVS18 said...

I was reading collegehockeynews article about this Super conference......the thing that got my interest was if Notre Dame goes to hockey East, then western Michigan is out. It also said that the other six schools might look to st cloud n msu to fill in. I've been a season ticket holder since's time for Busiman to step up n get the funding to help out! Go MAVS!

Sam said...

It sounds like Minnesota State needs a miracle to be able to maintain any sense of viability in the world of college athletics. Letting their top athletic program become complacent to the point that other members of the WCHA didn't think twice about casting it aside is absolutely heartbreaking.

By the sounds of it, MSU's administration is perfectly content with allowing their University to revert back to a complete unknown, outside of the state of Minnesota.

This is the worst news I have heard in quite some time. What a terrible day for Minnesota State University, and the city of Mankato.