College Hockey new "Super-Conference?"
With the formation of a men's college hockey team at Penn State, it was finally possible for members of the CCHA and WCHA to leave and form a Big Ten Hockey Conference (BTHC). The NCAA requires a conference to have six teams in order for the conference to receive an automatic bid to the postseason.
So the WCHA is losing Wisconsin and Minnesota, the CCHA is losing Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.
A few of the more prominent members of the WCHA are concerned about the lack of depth left in their conference and have gone ahead with a plan to break away to create what they're calling the new Super Conference.
Sources at North Dakota are saying the team will announce this week that they're leaving the WCHA. In addition to North Dakota, the new conference will include Denver, Colorado College, Nebraska-Omaha, Minnesota-Duluth and Miami (Ohio). It's been rumored that independent Notre Dame could join the league - but that would leave them at seven teams, which is awkward. The rumors are circling about the eighth team, saying it could be Western Michigan.
This would mean a possible dismantling of the WCHA - a conference that's been around since 1951 and has won 37 national championships.
If these teams go ahead and leave their conferences, both the WCHA and the CCHA will be left with five teams - not enough for that elusive automatic bid. It's likely that those remaining 10 teams will join together under the umbrella of one of the two conferences.