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UAF to WCHA?

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UAF ponders switching hockey conferences

How UAF got linked to the possibility of becoming a member of the conference, which includes intrastate rival Alaska Anchorage, has to do with the current landscape of NCAA Division I hockey.

There are 58 D-I teams in six conferences, but College Hockey America is disbanding after the upcoming season. Two of its four members, Niagara of New York state and Robert Morris of Pittsburgh, have been accepted into the Atlantic Hockey Association for the 2010-11 season.

The other two members, Bemidji State of Minnesota and Alabama-Huntsville, applied about two months ago to other conferences — Bemidji to the WCHA, which has 10 teams, and Alabama-Huntsville to the CCHA, which has 12 members.

According to information from UAF athletic director Forrest Karr, who is also chairman of the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee, Bemidji wasn’t able to secure the required support because the WCHA isn’t interested in becoming an 11-team conference.

Hmmmm, a choice between Omaha and Fairbanks? :lol:

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uaf makes the most sense since we already have one alaska school in our conference and we're supposed to be the western conference. other teams would, of course, have to have the option of doing back-to-back weekends at alaska to play both teams, thereby cutting down on travel. however, i don't think that is absolutlely necessary.

the alaska teams already have to travel from alaska to the lower 48 states eight or nine times a season, so who cares if every other team has to travel up there twice in a season. i honestly don't think true competitors focus on such petty things the way their fans might and the schools that go up there already get compensated for doing so.

uaa already plays uaf every year, might as well make it count rather than bringing on omaha, thereby forcing uaa to travel the distance for yet another weekend each season.

so bemidji and uaf join the wcha and the ccha swaps uaf out for alabama-huntsville. that leaves 12 teams in each league and both alaska schools are in one league, which is as it should be. plus no d1 schools have to drop their hockey program.

let's just do it already.

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So two teams would head from the lower 48 to Alaska to play series against Fairbanks one weekend and Anchorage the next. Think of the impact it would have on the hotel industry up there with two WCHA teams spending eleven days in Alaska every other week. :lol:

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uaf makes the most sense since we already have one alaska school in our conference and we're supposed to be the western conference. other teams would, of course, have to have the option of doing back-to-back weekends at alaska to play both teams, thereby cutting down on travel. however, i don't think that is absolutlely necessary.

the alaska teams already have to travel from alaska to the lower 48 states eight or nine times a season, so who cares if every other team has to travel up there twice in a season. i honestly don't think true competitors focus on such petty things the way their fans might and the schools that go up there already get compensated for doing so.

uaa already plays uaf every year, might as well make it count rather than bringing on omaha, thereby forcing uaa to travel the distance for yet another weekend each season.

so bemidji and uaf join the wcha and the ccha swaps uaf out for alabama-huntsville. that leaves 12 teams in each league and both alaska schools are in one league, which is as it should be. plus no d1 schools have to drop their hockey program.

let's just do it already.

I don't know if one WCHA coach other than Anchorage's would want UAF, as it would make it very difficult to schedule probably as much so as eleven teams. I also don't think the NCAA would want all of these schools losing a week of school every year. I would definitely opt for Omaha if they are interested.

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So two teams would head from the lower 48 to Alaska to play series against Fairbanks one weekend and Anchorage the next. Think of the impact it would have on the hotel industry up there with two WCHA teams spending eleven days in Alaska every other week. :lol:

It would actually be 2 WCHA teams spending 11 days in Alaska once per month. The Alaska teams would still spend the other 2 weekends each month down in the Lower 48 except for the 2 weekends they would play each other every year. So it would end up being 1 less trip to the Lower 48 each year for both Alaska schools. And probably result in 3 or 4 extra days of school missed for each of the other 10 teams because of travel.

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I don't know if one WCHA coach other than Anchorage's would want UAF, as it would make it very difficult to schedule probably as much so as eleven teams. I also don't think the NCAA would want all of these schools losing a week of school every year. I would definitely opt for Omaha if they are interested.

I'm not sure that it would be real hard to schedule. The league would just have to set up a more predictable schedule. Teams would be paired up and rotate schedules a little more. They would just have to get the Alaska portion of the schedule done first. That being said, I'm not sold on the idea either and think that Omaha would probably be a better match.

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When did UNO apply to the WCHA?

Just keep watching the news this summer/fall. UNO might be saying all the right things to not tick off the CCHA, but don't be surprised when they're a member of the WCHA.

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It would actually be 2 WCHA teams spending 11 days in Alaska once per month. The Alaska teams would still spend the other 2 weekends each month down in the Lower 48 except for the 2 weekends they would play each other every year. So it would end up being 1 less trip to the Lower 48 each year for both Alaska schools. And probably result in 3 or 4 extra days of school missed for each of the other 10 teams because of travel.

i said every other team in the wcha would spend two weekends in alaska, whether they're back-to-back weekends to cut down on travel or separate trips so basically you're just agreeing with me on that, which may have been your purpose.

as for uaa, they'd still travel more than they did before because they'd have to play 10 teams in the lower 48 states as opposed to the 9 teams they've been playing (this is because of the addition of bemidji). my idea keeps them from having to travel even more by adding two more teams from the lower 48 states to the conference.

i realize you don't play every team at home and on the road every year, but my logic should be considered over time.

as far as missed school time, i will repeat my arguement that uaa travels a lot more than twice a season and they make it work so other teams would make it work too.

it simply makes the most sense to have both alaska schools in the same conference and, given their geographic location, the western conference is the most logical.

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Just keep watching the news this summer/fall. UNO might be saying all the right things to not tick off the CCHA, but don't be surprised when they're a member of the WCHA.

I think we will have an announcement very soon in the near future and I don't think it's going to be UAF.

Just a hunch. UNO is announcing a coach today.

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i said every other team in the wcha would spend two weekends in alaska, whether they're back-to-back weekends to cut down on travel or separate trips so basically you're just agreeing with me on that, which may have been your purpose.

as for uaa, they'd still travel more than they did before because they'd have to play 10 teams in the lower 48 states as opposed to the 9 teams they've been playing (this is because of the addition of bemidji). my idea keeps them from having to travel even more by adding two more teams from the lower 48 states to the conference.

i realize you don't play every team at home and on the road every year, but my logic should be considered over time.

as far as missed school time, i will repeat my arguement that uaa travels a lot more than twice a season and they make it work so other teams would make it work too.

it simply makes the most sense to have both alaska schools in the same conference and, given their geographic location, the western conference is the most logical.

The first part of my post was in response to mikejm who said that 2 WCHA teams would spend 11 days in Alaska every other week. I was just pointing out that it would probably be 2 weeks in Alaska and 2 weeks in the Lower 48 for the Alaska teams so it would be 1 trip per month for WCHA teams to Alaska.

As for UAA, it should cut their travel slightly. They will still be limited to the same number of games per season. They will probably have the same number of league games spread over 11 teams instead of 9. However they would probably play home and away series against UAF instead of just a single series each year. That means 1 less trip to the Lower 48. It also means that each team would have fewer home and away series with league opponents each year.

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When did UNO apply to the WCHA?

UNO has been in discussion with the WCHA about becoming a member since around the time of the April meetings in Florida.

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My point is that all the talk of UNO to the WCHA is jumping the gun since AFAIK they have not even applied to the conference.

It is not premature, the league has been in contact with UNO, they have been negoiating. There has been an offer on the table them to join the WCHA. They don't need to apply they were sought out by the WCHA.

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My point is that all the talk of UNO to the WCHA is jumping the gun since AFAIK they have not even applied to the conference.

There is a pretty good chance that the actual application will be completed after the decision has been pretty much settled. UNO probably won't want to put in an actual application unless they know that it will be approved. Why burn bridges in the CCHA unless they have to. But the proximity to many other schools and the previous working relationship with so many former NCC schools make it the best possible fit for a 12th team in the WCHA when Bemidji is added.

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i thought the reason they are in seperate conferences was so schools wouldnt have to go up there twice

That is the reason that they are in separate conferences. That doesn't mean that they would have to stay in separate conferences. One option would be to have teams make 1 trip and play both teams. Or as was pointed out earlier, the Alaskan teams have to make several trips to the Lower 48 so it isn't crucial to limit others to only 1 trip to Alaska. But I still believe that the WCHA would rather have UNO than UAF and Blais going to Omaha could be a sign that they are interested in switching conferences.

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My point is that all the talk of UNO to the WCHA is jumping the gun since AFAIK they have not even applied to the conference.

I doubt Blais would take the UNO job if UNO was not going to be in the WCHA. Look for news later this summer announcing the admittance of Bemidji State and UNO to the WCHA!

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There is a pretty good chance that the actual application will be completed after the decision has been pretty much settled. UNO probably won't want to put in an actual application unless they know that it will be approved. Why burn bridges in the CCHA unless they have to. But the proximity to many other schools and the previous working relationship with so many former NCC schools make it the best possible fit for a 12th team in the WCHA when Bemidji is added.

Good point and noticed McLeod has been very tight lipped and had not released the other teams that had inquired about membership in the WCHA.

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all signs point to uno, no doubt. i still think uaf makes more sense, though. that, however, is not going to happen.

it will be fun to face a blais team. i see a standing ovation when his name is announced at the ralph the first time we play uno at home.

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According to the Let's Play Hockey blog, it was part of the negotiations for them to accept the WCHA offer. Don't know if their sources are correct, but it sounds like something Blais would want to know if he were to accept the job.

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all signs point to uno, no doubt. i still think uaf makes more sense, though. that, however, is not going to happen.

it will be fun to face a blais team. i see a standing ovation when his name is announced at the ralph the first time we play uno at home.

Why does it make more sense? Most WCHA fans aren't fans of Anchorage being in the league because of proximity and such, why would they want another school that isn't in their footprint. I realize college hockey is different, but if you look at the Summit League UND is trying to get into, "footprint" is a huge factor. We have already had more of a rivalry with Omaha in several sports than we ever will have with Anchorage, muchless Fairbanks. Maybe you actually need opposing fans at games to have a bigger rivalry, and it won't happen with the Alaska schools.

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