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Non-football schools getting CFP revenue seems like bad drafting of the Sun Belt's membership agreement.
The Sun Belt was pretty desperate for teams back in 2012/2013 so I'm assuming some sort of inducement may have been offered to them to join. I know they were gutted by C-USA back at that time. But yeah, that wouldn't seem to make much sense otherwise for sure.
 

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Richmond newspaper reporting W&M is very happy staying in the CAA (rumors to SoCon or Patriot seems unlikely). Again, mentioned Hampton, Monmouth, and Fairfield as potential expansion candidate and possible divisional setup.

Also, mentions that CAA Football (a separate entity) may also expand and split into divisions. If the CAA adds a school with football, I think they are automatically granted CAA Football membership.
 

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Don't forget, the University of Southern Indiana was actually invited to move up from D-II to a D-I league in the summer. They are conducting a feasability study, which was to have been completed by December 3rd. Apparently they will make some sort of decision in January during a leadership meeting. Anyway, the speculation of landing spots included the OVC, the ASUN and the Horizon.

USI flirting with DI move
It's interesting how they didn't really know they were on radars until they got the invite. Depending how things go with MVC and related trickle down, they could be sought after by the OVC (who needs members, probably wants to be at 12/puts them right in the footprint with a lot of teams close by), or the Horizon if they lose UIC. That's a real nice position for a D2 team to be in.

Speaking of a possible UIC departure, it'll be interesting how much the Horizon values Chicago. Their only other option within D1 is Chicago State, and my feeling is that is a resounding no among league members. The league is built around being in, or near larger cities in the upper midwest for the most part. Green Bay is the smallest metro population at around 300k people, Evansville, where Southern Indiana is located is 358k so it would fit, on the low end. Grand Valley State which has been thrown around as a move up in general and has a 1 million metro population. The only issue is GVSU has football...making them a better fit for the OVC...if they actually are valuing football anymore?
 

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UMass reached out to CUSA, Sun Belt and MAC about football membership. This site got the FOIA requests on it
Man, the only one they had a prayer with would have been C-USA. I suppose maybe an outside shot if the MAC decided they would take just Western Kentucky instead of the package deal with Middle Tennessee State. But even then...UMass football. Yuck.
 
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Man, the only one they had a prayer with would have been C-USA. I suppose maybe an outside shot if the MAC decided they would take just Western Kentucky instead of the package deal with Middle Tennessee State. But even then...UMass football. Yuck.
Agreed that CUSA is the only realistic possibility for UMass football. I'm not sure what it does other than give them a conference schedule so they don't have to cobble together a full schedule every year. They don't have anything in common with the other football playing members. I guess that Liberty would be the biggest "name" game. And they might get a trip to Florida every other year if they play FIU.

I wish that AE could add Monmouth. It won't happen because of football but I think that the Hawks would have been a terrific addition.
 

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Since we don't have many games to talk about (and likely are not going to for weeks at a time now), Matt Brown did his 2022 predictions. Here's what he said specifically about realignment (again, these are just his predictions)


- Most the movement going to come from one-bid type leagues looking to solidify ranks/make a tighter geographical fit (mentions OVC, ASun, Southland, WAC)

- Lots of FCS schools are going to have to weigh if now is the time to jump to FBS because if they don't now, the window is gone for a while.

- Brown predicts Chicago State will join the MEAC as a provisional member to help balance things out for each for at least a few seasons.

- Says UT Arlington is the most interesting school as it could join the MVC, WAC or even somewhere else...but, that the school he believes might be the "most interesting" in terms of having multiple re-alignment possibilities is College of Charleston (CAA haters/demise wishers rejoice). Again, he's only guessing though I'm sure it has some level of being informed.

- Brown also guesses that Eastern Kentucky will be one of those schools that makes the leap from FCS to FBS and puts itself in a position to join a league like Conference USA.


The Charleston one is interesting because without details it's hard to know what those options are. A return to the SoCon makes sense from geography, the competition is still good, brings back probably a few rivalries its fanbase cares about, and probably saves the athletic department some money. I don't know what appeal there would be from joining the Big South or ASun, since they don't really fit there institutionally. Other leagues are unlikely to add them without football. I suppose there's an outside chance at the A10 if it chooses to go to 16, but I have no idea if C of C has the budget to compete at that level or not. That and the A10 has already watered down its product enough. Adding Loyola isn't necessarily going to save it from having lots of trash at the bottom.
 

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Social media teases like this rarely live up to the hype of what is expected (that UNLV would end up joining NCAA hockey). My guess is they're getting to play a game at one of the bigger arenas in town, and maybe, they got a study commissioned to tell them they can add D1 hockey, but only if you have X amount of money, and likely won't do anything with it.
 

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Just looking around to see if there was legs on UNLV actually making a move, I found this:


The realignment section mentions that NCHC commish is taking the same position with the Summit League. The main takeaway is the mention of Missouri-Kansas City is investigating adding hockey in the "slightly higher than rumor category." Likely means, hey let's do a study and do nothing. It theorizes something similar to what was brought up in the last year or two regarding the America East and Hockey East, that being a merger of administrative resources. The article tries to suggest that with the possibility of Augustana going fully D1, and the Summit being a contender for a permanent home, along with St. Thomas, that those schools would slot into NCHC and Western Michigan and Miami would depart for CCHA which is more geographically centered. Not sure I buy that, but okay.

It also says Utah Valley is getting the rumors of starting D1 hockey out of nowhere camp. The writer places UNLV in the "don't count on it" but, this was before their twitter teaser (which again, probably is not a D1 announcement if I had to bet).

Guessing college hockey moves and teams making the upgrade is pretty pointless. You can get Illinois talking about it for years, then LIU just up and decides to make a team last year and nobody knew about it.
 

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I'm kind of surprised that there are so many schools looking at creating or upgrading a hockey program. It is a fairly expensive sport and would most likely require an addition to their women's sports offerings as well. With the way budgets are today, I can't imagine many schools having all the extra money to do this. We have seen countless schools drop sports or even drop levels in the last couple of years.

Maybe I am missing something, but man, this just doesn't seem to make a ton of sense to me.
 

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I'm kind of surprised that there are so many schools looking at creating or upgrading a hockey program. It is a fairly expensive sport and would most likely require an addition to their women's sports offerings as well. With the way budgets are today, I can't imagine many schools having all the extra money to do this. We have seen countless schools drop sports or even drop levels in the last couple of years.

Maybe I am missing something, but man, this just doesn't seem to make a ton of sense to me.
I think it's fashionable to get a study done, say we can do it, and then hunt around in search of a big-money donor that is unlikely to come. If it worked for schools ranging from Penn State to Augustana, why not our school? It's like the B-movie to the blockbuster doing a football feasibility study.

I am of the belief there's a lot of room for college hockey to grow, and you can add more teams without really watering down a product as a whole. I'm also of the belief it really needs to be done in a certain part of the country too (see, west of the Dakotas)...but which schools out there would do it, and let alone do it for men plus women's (which is an entirely different story in terms of how that has not kept pace with expansion/adding opportunity).

I'd bet Simon Fraser would love to upgrade to NCAA hockey instead of playing in basically a club league around British Columbia. And, I'm sure they'd prioritize it cost-wise. They don't even have to fully move to D1 to make it happen too (no D2 hockey = can play up in D1, in theory). But, how much can you really spend if you're that institution with no teams within like 20 hours of them that also plays at the same level...plus life as an independent is easy when you have Arizona State money, or if you're LIU and close to 3 leagues and plenty of bus trips.

The issue here is there's probably a desire on behalf of some schools to give it a hard look. It gets 18-25 bodies in the door from all over (which as we now learn admission depts love because - when combined with a conference - it might convince a regular student from those areas to come to your school), and with only 61 schools, even though it's an uphill battle for all but a handful, you still could win a national title or be nationally relevant (this is why at places like UVM and Maine it still drives the bus despite being terrible for the last decade). That's what happens when you have less than 75 teams playing, better odds. If Union College can win a national title, so maybe could Utah Valley or Augustana. But...outside the obvious funding issues, I think there's also a huge risk, particularly in the Mountain/Western timezones to be the first because it all might fail because you will not be able to join a conference (NCHC ain't taking new members outside maybe Arizona State if they felt they needed them) unless there were 5 other like-minded institutions willing to give you a home to form a new conference and make it work together with the all-important auto bid.
 

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All of that pretty much spells out why it doesn't make much sense to me. The new costs (salaries, scholarships, extensive travel, etc) just don't seem to make sense in the financial situation these schools are currently in at the moment.
 

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All of that pretty much spells out why it doesn't make much sense to me. The new costs (salaries, scholarships, extensive travel, etc) just don't seem to make sense in the financial situation these schools are currently in at the moment.
Right, which again, is why most of them just continue to say things and not actually do anything. I suspect that will be the same for some of these newer names on the radar until they actually secure the bag from the institution, or an outside party to start up. Only 4 schools have been added on the men's side this decade (Penn State, Arizona State, LIU, St. Thomas). One (STU) had to bring everything up anyway in their transition. In that time you've probably had double, triple the amount of schools who have done studies or stated to have rumored interest in it. I largely suspect it will be the same going forward.

Perhaps maybe one of the sports that gets axed from the NCAA's management and oversight of administrative stuff is hockey, which is then transitioned to USA Hockey, who might have more of a motivation to expand the college game, and find subsidizing methods to add new teams into the fold to ease the financial burden. But, I wouldn't count on it.
 

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Well, as expected to not put stock in what UNLV was going to say...


They're going to play Alaska-Anchorage next season. So they get to play a D1 opponent. A school that is consistently in jeopardy of folding, and next season might be their last year in existence.

I guess if UNLV figures it can beat a "D1" that maybe someone in an official capacity in the athletic department and someone willing to bankroll $50-100 million+ in startup costs will do it.

Good for them on getting the game....good luck on convincing anyone to fund your program at D1.
 

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The return of the Aces-Wranglers rivalry!!!! Kinda disappointed it’s not at the Orleans or the new shudder Dollar Loan Center.

I think the Ferraro brothers was mentioned in this thread…one should look into the end of their careers to know how big this could be.
 

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One thing that I didn't see because it gets buried in the UNLV release is that Liberty will also play UAA in Vegas too. I know sometimes they get thrown around as a school that could start a team (they have the money, have a rink that on the surface looks passible enough for D1)...but, I wouldn't count on it for a variety of other reasons.
 

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This is all contingent on UAA actually fielding a team next year.

UAA is one of the "we're dropping the sport/hey we got enough donations to fund one year/who knows for the future?" teams with UAH and Robert Morris. They don't have a roster right now, and they don't have a coach, and they can't promise any incoming player more than one year of funding for the team. I'm skeptical that will work at all.
 

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Anchorage just got a NAHL junior team and is hoping that will drive a pipeline into the UAA program.
Or drive them out after spending a year in Anchorage if they're not Alaskans. To be fair, there are a lot of Alaskans on that roster. But, how many good enough to be D1? How many that might be would want to stay? (Jeremy Swayman and a lot of others don't). For reference, Alaska Fairbanks is playing this year and has one Alaskan on their roster. Univ. of Alaska-Fairbanks at eliteprospects.com

Having the team might help, but that's not going to be what saves UAA. Getting bodies is the easy part. You've got the portal and enough guys from D1 who will be searching for new homes or even the D3 ranks who might want their shot, plus there's always enough guys in junior hockey who just want their shot too. It's as stated with these programs that are getting dropped and re-instated: where is the money coming from year over year? Is your GoFundMe page going to produce that amount every season?

PS - they did hire a HC in October...an alum with no coaching experience, but who else was going to take it? Seawolf alum Matt Shasby named UAA hockey head coach

My guess is they will field a team next year, not a good one and after that...TBD.
 
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