Showing posts with label nWCHA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nWCHA. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

WCHA smartly scraps its “Alaska Plan”

I know that this story is a couple of days old. Last summer, before the WCHA added UAH, the league had decided to go with a cash saving measure known as the “Alaska plan”. Now that the WCHA has add Alabama Huntsville this winter, the league has decided to scrap the “Alaska Plan”. Which was the right move.

Looking at this plan from an outsider’s perspective, I think this plan would’ve made the league look second rate, and also would have cheapened the league’s WCHA post season championship.
Matt Wellens, The Mining Journal --- Over the summer, ADs and presidents from the league's then nine future members - Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State, Ferris State, Bowling Green State, Minnesota State, Bemidji State, Alaska-Anchorage and Alaska-Fairbanks - approved a nine-team playoff format that would send the No. 1 seed straight to the league semifinals.

Meanwhile, the Nanooks and Seawolves would play every year in the first round, whether they finish second and third, or eighth and ninth.

The support for that plan has now been replaced by a traditional, three-round, two-weekend, eight-team bracket that has yet to be presented or approved by the university presidents.

"I think we came up with something that is a better alternative, a more fair alternative and its something that is going to work financially," NMU AD Forrest Karr said.

The "Alaska Plan" prevented the group of eight cash-strapped NCAA Division II schools and one Div. I institution from having to pay for up to two teams flights to the nation's 49th state at the last minute should Anchorage or Fairbanks finish between No. 2 and 5.
Going forward, no one really knows how all of this realignment is going to play out. I don’t think that anyone wants to see any team or league fail, but the "Alaska Plan" was an ill-conceived gong show.

Friday, June 15, 2012

More on the nWCHA's new playoff format

When I first heard about the nWCHA’s playoff format I actually thought it was a joke and or a misprint abut as the details emerged I realized that they weren’t kidding.

In a nut shell since some of the member schools in the nWCHA don’t want to have to pay for any additional travel to or from Alaska
and this is a way to alleviate travel costs.  

This is a bad plan, because this move will cheapen or could in essence ruin the integrity of the nWCHA conference tourney. The best way to run a tourney is to have your top 1-8 teams play based on seeding, or you make the regular season meaningless. So if the Alaska Schools finish second and third you will have knocked out one team that might have gotten to the nWCHA Final Five if they had played their appropriate seed. If I was a fan of one of the Alaska schools I would be upset - I don't care for this and I am not a fan of either program.
Jack Hittinger, Bemidji Pioneer ---- Bemidji State athletic director Rick Goeb Thursday confirmed that all nine of the league’s teams would make the playoffs and that the regular-season champion would receive a bye into the Final Five.

That much could have been gleaned from the press release the league released Thursday afternoon.

What wasn’t on the press release, however, was the fact that the Alaska schools would be playing each other every year – regardless of league finish – unless one of them got that first-round bye.

In other words, there will always be at least one hockey team from Alaska in the Final Five.

“There were mixed feelings about that,” speaking from the Detroit airport following the meetings. “If they both finish above or below the top four, there might be a feeling that it was a little unfair.

“But we discussed a lot of different options and this was the one that seemed to make the most sense for everyone from a travel perspective and from an economic perspective.”
I believe that Brad Schlossman of the Grand forks Herald might have been right last summer when he wrote this piece.
A source told the Herald that when business was conducted in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, there were often times two blocks of voting.

The schools with larger budgets typically wanted to spend money, invest and try new things. Schools with smaller budgets often resisted.

With Minnesota and Wisconsin departing for the Big Ten Hockey Conference, the smaller-budget schools take over control of the voting block. This caused athletic directors with larger budgets to worry about the future of the conference.

I don’t think it’s that hard of a stretch to figure out that there are haves and have not in college hockey. College hockey is no different than the other sports in division I, II and III sports, you can also see this in FBS and FCS football - some schools are more committed to their sports teams more than other schools and not all is equal. That being said, there has to be an integrity associated with a conference tourney, if the best teams aren't representing the conference in their conference tourney you have short-changed and cheapened the playoff system.

What happened if both UAA and UAF were sitting high in the Pairwise Rankings and on the cusp of making the NCAA tourney and needed to make the Final Five to solidify their chances at an at-large bid to make the NCAA tourney? By one of these teams losing their first round bid they would in essence end their season and kill any chance they had of making the NCAA tourney.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

UAH not in WCHA plans?

Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo
If you read the press release from the WCHA that I received today, It would appear that WCHA is going ahead with a nine team league and it would appear that aren't interested in adding another team such as UAH, or at least during the first season.  
2013-14 WCHA Men’s Membership Concludes Productive Meetings in Detroit
MADISON, Wis. – The nine member teams that will make up the men’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association beginning in 2013-14 concluded a series of positive and productive meetings in Detroit this week and continue to move forward on a number of key issues.

“This is certainly an exciting time for the newly-integrated WCHA,” said Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport, who is the chair of the league’s President’s Council. “Our meetings this week were spirited and full of camaraderie, and we are all looking forward to the 2013-14 season. Across the board we are 100% committed to putting a highly competitive product on the ice in the WCHA, to compete for championships, to give our student-athletes the best possible experience and to provide our fans with a great game-day experience. The WCHA brand is strong, historic and full of rich tradition and we will carry on that tremendous tradition and also build upon it.”

Among the many topics covered in the meetings,
    •    the membership discussed and approved a 28-game league schedule for 2013-14
    •    the membership discussed and approved a nine-team post-season tournament format
    •    the membership discussed and updated the league’s by-laws
    •    the membership discussed and continues to explore several potential venues for the annual WCHA Final Five playoff championship.

“We have accomplished a great deal and feel tremendously upbeat about where we are at as we look ahead to the 2013-14 season,” said WCHA Commissioner Bruce M. McLeod. “We have had very productive meetings with the coaches, athletic directors and presidents all present and we are united in moving forward to ensure the continued success of the WCHA and its member teams. We are also engaged in on-going discussions with various venues for our flagship event – the WCHA Final Five – and hope to finalize those championship plans as soon as possible.”

The league agreed on a change in governance that will have the Presidents Council act as the Board of Directors and the Athletic Directors serve as the Management Council. The President’s Council also created a Steering Committee to coordinate and handle major issues going forward. The Steering Committee consists of Minnesota State President Richard Davenport, Ferris State President Dave Eisler, Michigan Tech Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret and Bowling Green State Athletic Director Greg Christopher.

Other topics of discussion at the meetings included expansion and identifying potential future member teams and future public relations and marketing initiatives to coincide with the 2013-14 campaign.

Founded in 1951 and home to a collegiate record 37 national championship teams, the men’s WCHA beginning in 2013-14 will consist of the University of Alaska Anchorage, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bemidji State University, Bowling Green State University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Northern Michigan University.

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