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schiegs
06-01-2012, 10:48 AM
Everyone keeps saying it is time for the nWCHA to step up to the plate and take UAH "for the good of hockey". Well, all I see is everyone else wanting to protect their own interests. Why shouldn't the nWCHA do the same?

We've been hearing this line since the MAAC was formed. Somehow, being the "lowest" conference means we have some sort of responsibility to rescue faltering programs "for the good of the game." Yet, the interesting thing is that every former CHA member was in no way, shape, or form interested in the MAAC/AHA when they had other options. Now that UAH is (sadly) in a pickle, we have a 'moral obligation'? Really? Really.

TigerFan86-87
06-01-2012, 12:29 PM
Taking on UAH would be a major disaster in terms of spending on travel, and that's something the league got away from by making teams fly once every other year to Colorado instead of every year (as it was with 10 teams).

Technicality... Only the Eastern "pod" teams travel to AFA once every other year. The Western teams go there every year, every other year for only one game rather than two.

komey1
06-01-2012, 05:04 PM
The problem with adding UAH boils down to the fact that the AHA is already at a point where they needed to do cost-cutting measures for the good of the sport. The conference has given as much as possible with teams like Sacred Heart, AIC, and Bentley, all three of which are doing what they can with the resources allotted. Remember that increasing spending on men's ice hockey means the schools have to invest an equal amount in a women's sport, which for AIC and Bentley is virtually impossible at the D2 level. And SHU's women's team is all but a D3 team, so investing on that side would signify a huge fundamental shift for a team that's in limbo as it is. So we're looking at breaking cost containment, but the inflation of which would be larger than some schools would care to burden themselves with.


Here is the crux of the matter. But now here is the potential "problem". We know from offseason meetings that Mercyhurst, Canisius, Niagara, and Robert Morris were at least considering a move to a potentially better conference. The only thing that could stop them from talking to RIT, Air Force, UAH, and Army and creating a new conference is ensuring they can get an auto-bid. I'm not saying that it will happen, but I am fairly certain that if the "AHA-4" have another opportunity to leave they could take it. And that leaves the rest in a tougher spot. And nobody will be willing to take in a cost containment school if they are not willing to give up that philosophy like it appears that UConn will.

schiegs
06-01-2012, 05:28 PM
Here is the crux of the matter. But now here is the potential "problem". We know from offseason meetings that Mercyhurst, Canisius, Niagara, and Robert Morris were at least considering a move to a potentially better conference. The only thing that could stop them from talking to RIT, Air Force, UAH, and Army and creating a new conference is ensuring they can get an auto-bid. I'm not saying that it will happen, but I am fairly certain that if the "AHA-4" have another opportunity to leave they could take it. And that leaves the rest in a tougher spot. And nobody will be willing to take in a cost containment school if they are not willing to give up that philosophy like it appears that UConn will.

I guess I don't understand why the former CHA teams would backtrack and re-form basically the same league (add Canisius and MC). If it didn't work the first time, why would it work the second with nearly the same recipe. And if you say MC and Canisius are the difference, they had the chance and refused. What is different now?

Edit: Do we think RIT was the magic missing link for the CHA?

komey1
06-01-2012, 08:12 PM
I guess I don't understand why the former CHA teams would backtrack and re-form basically the same league (add Canisius and MC). If it didn't work the first time, why would it work the second with nearly the same recipe. And if you say MC and Canisius are the difference, they had the chance and refused. What is different now?

Edit: Do we think RIT was the magic missing link for the CHA?

I think that the AHA-4 and RIT would have had a better chance of making that new league work. I think part of the reason the old CHA didn't work was geography. You have Colorado, Minnesota, Alabama, NY, and Pennsylvania. There are no short trips. It didn't help that BSU was always looking to get out of the conference and join the WCHA. Niagara was waiting for an ECAC opening.

kingdobbs
06-01-2012, 08:37 PM
I think that the AHA-4 and RIT would have had a better chance of making that new league work. I think part of the reason the old CHA didn't work was geography. You have Colorado, Minnesota, Alabama, NY, and Pennsylvania. There are no short trips. It didn't help that BSU was always looking to get out of the conference and join the WCHA. Niagara was waiting for an ECAC opening.

Yes, but the thing is that such a league is really a solution in search of a problem, at this point. The difference between a league of high-scholly/performance breakaways and the current AHA is practically nothing. It won't magically become a two-bid league just by casting aside the bottom-feeders.

MattS
06-01-2012, 10:08 PM
Yes, but the thing is that such a league is really a solution in search of a problem, at this point. The difference between a league of high-scholly/performance breakaways and the current AHA is practically nothing. It won't magically become a two-bid league just by casting aside the bottom-feeders.

I agree that a CHA/RIT (more or less) league would not be a multi-bid league but to say that it would be the same as the current AHA is incorrect. Scheduling becomes better and not having those bottom feeders in the PWR will ultimately help a potential new league. Anytime a league (or team) can play and hopefully excel against tougher competition is a good thing.

Oh, and I agree with some of the other posts. While I would love to see UAH succeed and gain entrance into a conference, it's not AHA responsibility to make sure UAH survives.

kingdobbs
06-01-2012, 10:52 PM
I agree that a CHA/RIT (more or less) league would not be a multi-bid league but to say that it would be the same as the current AHA is incorrect. Scheduling becomes better and not having those bottom feeders in the PWR will ultimately help a potential new league. Anytime a league (or team) can play and hopefully excel against tougher competition is a good thing.

I didn't say they'd be the same. What I am saying is that the difference is negligible. If the new league won't be a multi-bid league, then any boost in the PWR the teams MIGHT see is irrelevant, cause it isn't getting them an at-large bid either way. And remember that RPI is only one of the four components; those teams might actually find they lose ground in the PWR even though it might marginally improve their schedule strength, because it shrinks their potential pool of common opponents (and that component does not include an SOS measure within it; a win against AIC is as good as a win against anyone else), flattens out their winning percentage (and since RPI is what dictates who's a team under consideration, a schedule full of teams ranked in a range from 30-40 does nothing for a team that's a TUC), and doesn't guarantee success against out of league teams (which, due to scheduling insularities, are way more important and likely to cause a swing in a team's RPI than an in-league game).

Bottom line is, at this moment, the marginal benefit of keeping a few bottom feeders around is actually greater for the top-tier teams in AHA than the benefit they'd get by casting them off. When the top tier can consistently perform well out of league, and are thus perennial TUCs, then there might be some benefit to getting rid of stragglers.

TigerFan86-87
06-02-2012, 09:21 PM
Niagara was waiting for an ECAC opening.
I don't know if in recent years they were waiting for ECAC or not, but it is a fact that back over 10 years ago they had talks with HEA and CCHA and I believe applied for admittance into at least the CCHA, if not both. At least early in their D-I existence, NU was only looking at going all the way, not taking baby steps from "mid-major" merely up to ECAC.

TigerFan86-87
06-02-2012, 09:25 PM
Edit: Do we think RIT was the magic missing link for the CHA?
In an effort to stem the assumption that we RIT fans are conceited and have some sort of entitlement mentality, I'll say no.
But seriously... I don't know that they would have made any difference, but I do know that they had and still have expressed no interest whatsoever in such a league for what reasons I'm not sure (geography, cost containment, other?)

irishfan85
06-03-2012, 07:06 PM
If I'm a fan of Mercyhurst, Niagara, Canisius, RIT, RMU, AFA, UAH and Army, I'd much prefer an 8 team league if it means losing AIC, Bentley and Sacred Heart.

FlagDUDE08
06-04-2012, 09:00 AM
If I'm a fan of Mercyhurst, Niagara, Canisius, RIT, RMU, AFA, UAH and Army, I'd much prefer an 8 team league if it means losing AIC, Bentley and Sacred Heart.

What about Holy Cross? ;)

MattS
06-04-2012, 09:33 AM
I didn't say they'd be the same. What I am saying is that the difference is negligible. If the new league won't be a multi-bid league, then any boost in the PWR the teams MIGHT see is irrelevant, cause it isn't getting them an at-large bid either way. And remember that RPI is only one of the four components; those teams might actually find they lose ground in the PWR even though it might marginally improve their schedule strength, because it shrinks their potential pool of common opponents (and that component does not include an SOS measure within it; a win against AIC is as good as a win against anyone else), flattens out their winning percentage (and since RPI is what dictates who's a team under consideration, a schedule full of teams ranked in a range from 30-40 does nothing for a team that's a TUC), and doesn't guarantee success against out of league teams (which, due to scheduling insularities, are way more important and likely to cause a swing in a team's RPI than an in-league game).

Bottom line is, at this moment, the marginal benefit of keeping a few bottom feeders around is actually greater for the top-tier teams in AHA than the benefit they'd get by casting them off. When the top tier can consistently perform well out of league, and are thus perennial TUCs, then there might be some benefit to getting rid of stragglers.

But that win against AIC is only good if another TUC had lost to them (I think I have this correct as I am not an expert in PWR). So I really doubt that is going to happen too often. I would rather potentially have the more flexible schedule (both better in conference and out of conference) than have to play teams whose administrations just do not want to complete.

Also, I am a firm believer that a team is much better having, say, a .505 winning percentage against tough competition than a .700 with crap teams thrown in there.

komey1
06-04-2012, 10:42 AM
I didn't say they'd be the same. What I am saying is that the difference is negligible. If the new league won't be a multi-bid league, then any boost in the PWR the teams MIGHT see is irrelevant, cause it isn't getting them an at-large bid either way. And remember that RPI is only one of the four components; those teams might actually find they lose ground in the PWR even though it might marginally improve their schedule strength, because it shrinks their potential pool of common opponents (and that component does not include an SOS measure within it; a win against AIC is as good as a win against anyone else), flattens out their winning percentage (and since RPI is what dictates who's a team under consideration, a schedule full of teams ranked in a range from 30-40 does nothing for a team that's a TUC), and doesn't guarantee success against out of league teams (which, due to scheduling insularities, are way more important and likely to cause a swing in a team's RPI than an in-league game).

Bottom line is, at this moment, the marginal benefit of keeping a few bottom feeders around is actually greater for the top-tier teams in AHA than the benefit they'd get by casting them off. When the top tier can consistently perform well out of league, and are thus perennial TUCs, then there might be some benefit to getting rid of stragglers.

I think that this is part of the reason why RIT did not go to those meetings. In terms of an NCAA bid, it was a lateral move at best, and being in a league that would probably have full scholarships when RIT cannot give athletic scholarships would not benefit RIT.

Humanoid
06-04-2012, 11:31 AM
I think that this is part of the reason why RIT did not go to those meetings. In terms of an NCAA bid, it was a lateral move at best, and being in a league that would probably have full scholarships when RIT cannot give athletic scholarships would not benefit RIT.

Agree!

RIT is in a funny position. If they move into a tougher conference, they run the risk of becoming a middle-of-the-road squad. For example, if they move to the ECAC or became a member of the old CHA, then they gain nothing over joining the MAAC/AHA. RIT was such a good D3 program that the most pressing reason for moving to D1 would be because they could succeed.

I'm not saying RIT couldn't succeed in the ECAC but the move to the AHA benefitted them in a very strong way. They came up to D1, and they immediately made an impact. I fail to think that RIT could have done the same playing amongst the teams that, at the time, were insanely strong in the ECAC. The mid-to-late-2000s in ECAC were a great time; Cornell and Harvard were going back and forth, Yale was coming up, Clarkson and Quinnipiac were fantastic, and Brown, who is routinely a doormat, was producing Hobey Baker finalists. That's a good conference.

Meanwhile, the AHA/MAAC were fledgling along, provided a chance for this team from Rochester to come in and essentially play strong right from the get-go without having to battle the established powers. RIT did that and look at them now; they're clearly the class of AHA over the last five years, and they're increasing their program by building the new arena. It was a brilliant move.

In present day terms, RIT has a great thing going. They're consistently to be top four, with a few dips here and there due to the cyclical nature of college hockey. I think instead of shifting, RIT has actually taken an approach (and correct me if I'm wrong, please) of growing the present scenario to include MORE established teams. My conversations wtih RIT people have been very supportive of our approach at Bentley to play at the dingy JAR with the intention of moving on campus one day. And they understand the politics and economics of the situation. If it was clear that Bentley wasn't taking that approach as a hockey program, then they clearly wouldn't have that outward support. I think they agree that if the right situation presents itself, they can step forward and leave the conference. But they have a great thing, where the AHA hosts the conference final four in Rochester. And they have good rivalries.

I look at it this way - I hate RIT when we play them because they have such great support. And I want to beat them so badly for so many reasons. But at the same time, I don't want them to leave because I love that rivalry. It's the same feeling about Holy Cross.

kingdobbs
06-04-2012, 07:43 PM
Also, I am a firm believer that a team is much better having, say, a .505 winning percentage against tough competition than a .700 with crap teams thrown in there.

Which is certainly a viable opinion, but (a) winning always excites a fan base, and (b) it's not likely teams in either situation will grab an at large.

MattS
06-04-2012, 08:53 PM
Which is certainly a viable opinion, but (a) winning always excites a fan base, and (b) it's not likely teams in either situation will grab an at large.

I don't care about an at-large. Either way, like you said, AHA isn't going to get one anytime in the near future. I would rather play tougher competition, and if good enough to get to the NCAA's, then I am positive playing tougher competition will make the team better for the tourney.

UncleRay
06-04-2012, 08:55 PM
I don't care about an at-large. Either way, like you said, AHA isn't going to get one anytime in the near future. I would rather play tougher competition, and if good enough to get to the NCAA's, then I am positive laying tougher competition will make the team better for the tourney.You ever heard of Freud?

beaverhockeyfan
06-05-2012, 08:30 AM
At large bids can be grabbed by the "lesser" conferences. All you have to do is look at the CHA and Niagara in 1999-2000 and Bemidji State in 2009-10.

komey1
06-05-2012, 09:50 AM
At large bids can be grabbed by the "lesser" conferences. All you have to do is look at the CHA and Niagara in 1999-2000 and Bemidji State in 2009-10.

The CHA had a LOT more non-conference games available to increase their strength of schedule. The AHA only has 7. An AHA team would need to win 5 where those 5 have to be at least middle of the road in their conference AND be a top team in the league without winning the tournament but probably needs to make the finals.