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Old 12-04-2012, 07:02 AM   #1351 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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Originally Posted by Aceinthehole View Post
The AE is at 8 schools for the 2013-14 season. They need 2 schools to start play next year - D-II stratup don't really help. CCSU and Bryant are the best avaiable schools in the footprint to get the league to 10 members.

Sure, the AE can wait around and see if NU and Hfstra shake free from the CAA (but with the CAA exit fee, that seems very, very unlikely). The bigger risk to the AE is if Stony Brook and Albany are invited to join to geive them a stronger Northerastern presence. Then everyone is screwed.

IMO - by not adding CCSU and Bryant for next year, the league is in a very danegerous position. Get to 10 teams, then shop around for others. Going forward at 8 with the risk of losing the AQ in sports like baseball and MLax is a risky strategy.
I think AEC's pace tells you all you need to know about what the current membership thinks of CCSU. Sure, you're the most likely add... but they've made it pretty clear that they're holding out until the face a true last resort.

Which is why your point is so weak. We watch conference after conference add schools days, or even hours, after having one of their own poached. Congratulations, CCSU is the school that will say "how high" when AEC asks them to jump after losing a more valued member. The AEC isn't in danger of losing an autobid because they won't go below 8 under any scenario. Maybe you'll be added before that, but that's your current role.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:20 AM   #1352 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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Originally Posted by Rhett1 View Post
I think AEC's pace tells you all you need to know about what the current membership thinks of CCSU. Sure, you're the most likely add... but they've made it pretty clear that they're holding out until the face a true last resort.

Which is why your point is so weak. We watch conference after conference add schools days, or even hours, after having one of their own poached. Congratulations, CCSU is the school that will say "how high" when AEC asks them to jump after losing a more valued member. The AEC isn't in danger of losing an autobid because they won't go below 8 under any scenario. Maybe you'll be added before that, but that's your current role.
The problem is, if you have a backup date to the prom, if you wait too long she may decide to go with someone else.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:53 AM   #1353 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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Originally Posted by Rhett1 View Post
(1) Teams can no longer move up without invites.
(2) The only conference whose current geography they fall within is AEC.
(3) AEC is in danger. If you don't think undermining some of AEC's options was part of MAAC's expansion strategy, you are delusional.
(4) They have already shown themselves to be competitive in a D-I league with higher expenses, a higher competitive level, and higher profile than any single AEC sport.
(5) While Lowell would need convincing, political support, and probably some fresh donors... if these things were lined up, they would be invited tomorrow. Your school would issue one of the fastest votes.
(6) I more fully understand trepidation about Merrimack because they aren't an AEC-like institution. Unlike Lowell, I could understand someone wanting to poach a more "experienced" non-AEC-like NEC institution over Merrimack. But don't underestimate the value of their existing relationship with the NNE Flagships and the value of being in the same market I touted for Lowell (albeit Lowell holds a better location within that market). Plus, the simple fact that the league knows they're ready and would accept the invite is going to keep them on the radar. It shouldn't be that simple, but the AEC isn't dealing from a position of strength, and the MAAC news only highlights this.
1) That's a tough barrier to entry into D1 for those schools
2) Agree- I'm all for that
3) Agree, AE is certainly not in a position of strength to say the least.
4) Higher-Profile? College Hockey in New England and on a relative basis, yes- college hockey on a national level- no. College Hockey is a niche sport.
5) It's definitely in UVM's best interests to maintain the AE, I agree we would be on board.

I'm not completely against these schools long-term, I just feel like at this point I have no desire to see D2 teams ramping up at the D1 level under the AE umbrella. I would view both schools as total last resorts at this point- and would welcome pre-existing D1 schools- like a Bryant, CCSU, and NJIT before these two.

From a UVM fan perspective, impact on us is it's two New England schools- easy travel, and most likely additional D1 wins on the basketball schedule in perpetuity . Two more games for me to watch.

My preference is to simply look at existing D1 schools first, UMass-Lowell & Merrimack, last.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:30 AM   #1354 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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Originally Posted by Rhett1 View Post
I think AEC's pace tells you all you need to know about what the current membership thinks of CCSU. Sure, you're the most likely add... but they've made it pretty clear that they're holding out until the face a true last resort.

Which is why your point is so weak. We watch conference after conference add schools days, or even hours, after having one of their own poached. Congratulations, CCSU is the school that will say "how high" when AEC asks them to jump after losing a more valued member. The AEC isn't in danger of losing an autobid because they won't go below 8 under any scenario. Maybe you'll be added before that, but that's your current role.
I think its is well know the NAC/AE has looked past CCSU in past expansions. Trust me, no CCSU fan is happy about this fact.

Ifn a somewhat ironic and disapoint comparison, CCSU's situation in the NEC is very similar to UConn's in the Big East. Bth schools want out and to join what they consider their proper place in the AE and ACC respectively.

BC, Virginia Tech, Miami, Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville have all been asked to join the ACC while UConn still waits. I hope that is not CCSU's fate
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:42 AM   #1355 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

Does anyone have any details on Q-Pac/AE relationship?

What was the mutual interest level/how far had discussions progressed over time?

Wonder if AE could have had Q-Pac at some point and just didn't extend the offer/ or had Q-Pac always been looking above the AE? Did BU leaving/SBU rumors keep them away for good?

Curious. Seems like this way have been a school most likely Nero missed the boat on trying to get in.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:45 AM   #1356 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

Can we all stop talking about Merrimack......that would be a HORRIBLE add!

Rhett is spot on about UMass-Lowell. There location might not be too glamorous.......but their facilities and support are pretty darn good.

My prediction: Bryant is added.......for now. That leaves AE with room for 3 more possible additions. They might hold out for the Northern most CAA programs.......or if that isn't looking feasible, they will invite Central Connecticut to get to 10.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:47 AM   #1357 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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Can we all stop talking about Merrimack......that would be a HORRIBLE add!
I don't think it matters, I'd rather add members with hockey and just fill out numbers than add a good basketball school without hockey.

Frankly, adding teams with a good basketball RPI hurts Maine more than helps, I'd like to make the NCAA tournament at some point in my lifetime, and if it takes being in a conference with like Merrimack and the University of Southern New Hampshire, so be it.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:54 AM   #1358 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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Originally Posted by Aceinthehole View Post
I think its is well know the NAC/AE has looked past CCSU in past expansions. Trust me, no CCSU fan is happy about this fact.

Ifn a somewhat ironic and disapoint comparison, CCSU's situation in the NEC is very similar to UConn's in the Big East. Bth schools want out and to join what they consider their proper place in the AE and ACC respectively.

BC, Virginia Tech, Miami, Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville have all been asked to join the ACC while UConn still waits. I hope that is not CCSU's fate
How is the AE proper for CCSU? The AE is for the most part composed of flagship state universities which are larger than CCSU student body. last time I checked Uconn was the flagship of CT...
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:54 AM   #1359 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

Previously I was worried about the academic makeup on the league and its effects on UVM recruiting, but we were recruiting Ivy league/Patriot recruits when Delaware, Drexel, Northeastern, and BU were in league, we are still recruiting Ivy League, PL recruits today, and in all likelihood we'd still be recruiting and getting Ivy/PL recruits if the conference added UML and Merrimack.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:06 AM   #1360 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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Originally Posted by ecasadoSBU View Post
How is the AE proper for CCSU? The AE is for the most part composed of flagship state universities which are larger than CCSU student body. last time I checked Uconn was the flagship of CT...
From everything I can find, CCSU's enrollment is comparable to that of both UVM and Maine.

And while I'm not super familiar with CCSU's academics, the whole "flagship" thing feels like an irrelevant qualifier.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:06 AM   #1361 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

If we play these schools in Hockey East, how can we hold ourselves up to be too proud to play basketball and other sports with them?
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:26 AM   #1362 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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If we play these schools in Hockey East, how can we hold ourselves up to be too proud to play basketball and other sports with them?
For me it just comes down to the limitations of Merrimack......small student body, bad facilities........just aren't a good fit for AE.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:33 AM   #1363 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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From everything I can find, CCSU's enrollment is comparable to that of both UVM and Maine.

And while I'm not super familiar with CCSU's academics, the whole "flagship" thing feels like an irrelevant qualifier.
It might be irrelevant for you, but its my own personal opinion... I don't want SBU to be in the same conference as CCSU, Monmouth, Umass-lowell, Merrimack,etc. That's like going backwards... I want mid-size to large state universities which have large enrollment and research oriented just like the brook
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:40 AM   #1364 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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Originally Posted by ecasadoSBU View Post
It might be irrelevant for you, but its my own personal opinion... I don't want SBU to be in the same conference as CCSU, Monmouth, Umass-lowell, Merrimack,etc. That's like going backwards... I want mid-size to large state universities which have large enrollment and research oriented just like the brook
You'll be gone before UML/Merrimack would ever be added, so don't have to worry about that. I would hope that's the only reason those two schools would ever seriously get added.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:45 AM   #1365 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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4) Higher-Profile? College Hockey in New England and on a relative basis, yes- college hockey on a national level- no. College Hockey is a niche sport.

I'm not completely against these schools long-term, I just feel like at this point I have no desire to see D2 teams ramping up at the D1 level under the AE umbrella. I would view both schools as total last resorts at this point- and would welcome pre-existing D1 schools- like a Bryant, CCSU, and NJIT before these two.

My preference is to simply look at existing D1 schools first, UMass-Lowell & Merrimack, last.
I don't want to go too far down the hockey rabbit hole, but we are talking about New England/New York area conference expansion... right? The resources required to participate in Hockey East is far greater than AEC, MAAC, NEC hoops, and the typical payout is better (but I'm bracing for extreme counter examples). I think that taking some woefully underprepared D-I school and calling them better than D-II schools that already compete in a D-I revenue producing sport in a power conference, play an all-sports schedule with similar geographic/travel demands (NE-10 footprint is actually similarly sized to AEC), and already offer scholarships, just because of the D-I v. D-II label is how you make terrible long-term decisions. The AEC is living a little dangerously, but they're not the WAC, and can still try to make the best decisions for 5-10 years from now and not just 2013.

To be honest, of the 5 schools mentioned, here's my pecking order:
(1) Lowell - Fits the academic profile. Strong location, back into EMass, first flag in the Merrimack Valley. Strong facilities. Strong existing relationship with NNE Flagships. Probably uninterested due to neverending battle for funding with Amherst campus.
(2) Bentley - Strong early success. Good academics, although of a non-AEC-type. Gets league back in Rhode Island for first time since inaugural season.
(3) CCSU - Successful in core sports. Large public. Their profile has room for growth. The other publics in the league are all flagships, co-flagships, or honors campuses, and might see CCSU as damaging to something they have created by association. They see UConn as the peer, not CCSU. Some members have had trouble with brand differentiation within their own states & systems and might be loathe to take on someone who still deals with this issue.
(4) Merrimack - Very strong recent investment in facilities. Could jump the line due to existing relationship with NNE Flagship. Good academics, but the least-AEC-like so far. Would also represent a return to EMass and first Merrimack Valley team, but located in smaller community and less likely to draw fans from further north and west than Lowell. Would likely accept invite and elevate quickly. Likely to remain available due to lack of expanding conferences nearby: The NEC is most likely other destination, but the loss of CCSU and Bryant would largely remove them from New England except for Sacred Heart, and the MAAC would be a tremendous and unlikely longshot, although it's probably their most "like" conference.
(5) NJIT - Woeful facilities. Widely derided for unpreparedness when they made the jump. Overlooked by all local conferences despite widespread instability. Taking them would send a very negative message about the relative strength of the league. Would accept immediately. Likely to eventually get taken by someone as a Full D-I 'warm body'.

There's probably several D-II schools we haven't discussed yet that show greater potential than NJIT.. probably Merrimack too, but 'Mack has at least temporarily outpaced them with recent investment and active interest.
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