Monday, March 21, 2011

BIG 10 Creates Hockey Conference in 2013-14

Even though the decision is to be made official when the group of ADs and Chancellors meet in June, the Big Ten will invite the collection of traditional rival schools Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Penn State to finally be reconciled underneath the same conference competition banner.

The conference has been passively supportive of each school as they competed regionally through separate allegiances to the CCHA, WCHA and ACHA. But the plans according to reports, is to continue a strong non-conference games with each others long standing rivals.
Minnesota director of athletics Joel Maturi said. “At the same time there are some mixed emotions for us, as Minnesota is an original and proud member of the WCHA. We would depart with fond memories, and the sincere belief that many of the great WCHA rivalries that the Gophers have been a part of will continue through non-conference play.”
The other plan in forming the new conference is just how many games they would play as well as settling a conference championship to push on through to a NCAA Frozen Four tournament national title bid.
The teams will play a 20-game league schedule, with each team playing each other four times. That would leave each team with at least 14 non-league games per season to fill.
As per the NCAA rules, for the league to be recognized by the NCAA governing body, they needed a minimum of 6 teams. Which they have.

The icing on the cake is also the likely possibility of expanding into more programming on the Big Ten Network. Despite the logjam of football programming, the conference can now diversify among its shows during the fall sports seasons.

[Via: Big Ten Conference, Big 10 Network, or College Hockey News]
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