According to an initial report by Andy Baggot and picked up by Chuck Schwartz at Bucky’s 5th Quarter, a Wisconsin sports blog, Miami could be tapped to play an outdoor game at Soldier Field as soon as next year as the University of Wisconsin is interested in going outdoors once again. The game could be part of a doubleheader with Wisconsin and Minnesota playing one half and Miami and Notre Dame the second.
Schwartz referenced the story by the Wisconsin State Journal’s hockey writer Andy Baggot that said Badgers head coach Mike Eaves was “intrigued” and that both Miami and Notre Dame had also been approached about the idea.
This would obviously be a big deal for Miami and being invited to such an outdoor “classic” would provide yet another big time recruiting tool and additional exposure for the program. Chicago is close enough to SW Ohio and has a huge Miami alumni base that we could see big numbers of RedHawk fans in the Windy City.
The reports provided the following rough details:
-The game would take place February 16, 2013.
-There could be a double header including a game that features Notre Dame and Miami. Both teams are currently in the CCHA, but Notre Dame will be moving to Hockey East after the 2013 season and Miami will be moving to the new NCHC after the 2013 season.
Both schools would be geographical fits for an outdoor game played in Chicago, especially obviously Notre Dame.
-Eaves is “absolutely” intrigued by the idea according to Baggot.
Additionally, with league series being two games each, the teams would have to play on Thursday night at the Kohl Center, with a day off before the proposed Saturday event at Soldier Field.
So, with that in mind, you would think this event would take a home game each from Notre Dame and Miami (to be fair) and would be an actual CCHA league series with one game at Wisconsin’s Kohl Center and the other outdoor at Soldier Field.
This could be very cool. I’m ready to purchase my plane ticket today!
As we first reported last week, Notre Dame will make an official announcement Wednesday, October 5 on its future conference affiliation, widely expected to be Hockey East. The South Bend Tribune is reporting along with the NCHC’s announcement today the 2013-14 season will be played with eight schools (Miami, North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, Colorado College, Western Michigan, St. Cloud State, Denver and Nebraska-Omaha), Notre Dame’s destination appears set.
The only other loose end is whether RPI is invited as the 12th member of Hockey East as our source close to the situation indicated last week.
We’ll continue to update the story as we learn more.
Redskin Warriors has received an unconfirmed report that Notre Dame and RPI are moving to Hockey East in 2013.
Our source with credible access to the ongoing talks tells us the Irish will take their talents east, and along with the Engineers of RPI will become the 11th and 12th members respectively, of Hockey East. If true, it could also signal Notre Dame’s intent to join the ACC for all other sports as the rest of the collegiate athletic world undergoes the same sort of seismic shift as hockey. And, for certain it’s a coup for Hockey East to land the last remaining free agent gem in the Fighting Irish.
For Notre Dame, this move makes sense. They would become conference mates with longtime rival, and Catholic college brethren, Boston College as well as Providence and Merrimack who also don the cloth.
For RPI, well, what an opportunity. They will be reunited with former ECAC rivals and this ties nicely to their reemergence on the college hockey scene as young head coach Seth Appert has the Engineers headed in the right direction. Their travel costs won’t rise and their sense of prestige and strength of schedule will certainly improve.
In the meantime, we’ll try to gain confirmation and will update this story as we can.
The 2 national (official) polls have released their first rankings of the 2011-2012 season. If the polls on September 26th meant anything, Miami RedHawks players, coaches and fans should be VERY happy.
The first unofficial poll was released by College Hockey News last week with Miami at #1, and today’s In the first USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll for the 2011-2012 season, Miami checks in at #2, despite having more first place votes (12) than the Irish (11). 4 CCHA teams made the Top 20, and 6 more are in the “Others Receiving Votes” category to start the season. Interestingly, 7 of the 8 NCHC teams are in the top 20 including #’s 2, 3 and 4, and the 8th team (St. Cloud State) checks in at #24. Have a look at the full poll HERE and the USCHO writeup HERE.
In the first USA Hockey Magazine / USA Today D-I Men’s Poll, Miami and Notre Dame flip spots, with Miami taking 15 of the 31 first place votes. In this 15-team poll, the CCHA has the same 4 teams ranked, with only 3 more “receiving votes.” Again, all 8 NCHC teams made the list, with St. Cloud State getting just 1 point. Full Poll can be found HERE.
Here’s Miami’s official release on the rankings.
6 days until HOCKEY!!!
That would be my immediate reaction to reports by both College Hockey News and USCHO that Western Michigan University and St. Cloud State University are expected to join the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference that will start play in 2013-14. According to reports, both schools will be invited by week’s end. Both websites cited separate sources with CHN naming the Grand Forks Herald and USCHO citing the Kalamazoo Gazette.
So, what does this mean for Notre Dame?
I think it means they are going to play as an independent while their administration very likely considers a new conference for their other sports as the dramatic changes in college athletics continue. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Notre Dame join either the Big 10 or the ACC for all sports. Of course, only the Big 10 helps the Irish (why Notre Dame gets away with using “Fighting Irish” and others like North Dakota are crucified for using “Fighting Sioux” is beyond me, but a story for another day) on the ice so things are going to be more difficult for them until the situation is resolved.
Notre Dame has committed to announcing a “decision” within 10 days.
As for the NCHC, the addition of Western Michigan makes all the sense in the world. Heavy commitment to hockey, Division I in all-sports, travel partner and MAC rival with Miami, Andy Murray at the helm, etc.
However, I’m perplexed by the addition of St. Cloud.
When the NCHC announced the formation of the conference, “like-mindedness” and a commitment to hockey were noted as key tenets that brought these schools together. I must confess I do not know a ton about St. Cloud as a university, but I know they aren’t a Division I school (though defending national champion UMD isn’t either), they aren’t highly regarded academically and I can only
hope assume their ability to support hockey at this highest level is not a challenge for them financially. Plus, St. Cloud’s president went on the record saying the Huskies would not accept an invite to the NCHC as our pal Goon reported a few months back over at Goon’s World making him either a slick politician or an absolute hypocrite.
So, I’m wondering what SCSU brings that Bowling Green doesn’t?
It’s another Minnesota school which is a boon for recruiting, but Bowling Green is a Division I school and inviting them would have kept the three hockey-playing MAC schools together. If Notre Dame wasn’t (ever) going to accept the invitation, I wonder why the NCHC is going with a small non-Division I school over a program that has won a national title, has reaffirmed their commitment to hockey and is a three-hour drive from Oxford, Ohio?
More on this to come over the next few weeks I’m sure.