To no surprise here, the WCHA meetings in Florida ended with no vote taken on the entrance of Bemidji State. The issue of 11 teams is the expected hang up on this round. The members of the league have decided to end the moratorium on expansion opening the door for schools to once again apply for admittance. Bemidji will get in next year, but they need to find that dancing partner to make an even dozen.
Teams that are likely to explore entering and that make sense are:
- Northern Michigan
- Air Force
- Nebraska – Omaha
- Minnesota State – Moorhead, if they can get it going soon, but this is a real long shot.
Teams that are right out:
- Alaska (it is hard enough for the Alaska teams to get people to play them once a year, think about traveling that far twice in a season)
- Alabama – Huntsville (still looking for a home conference after the CHA folds next year, but keep looking, please)
I have to go with Northern Michigan as my fan favorite with their history and the proximity to the other schools in the WCHA versus the CCHA. That second preference is much more difficult. As much as the Front Range rivalry and proximity created with Air Force, I think that they may be reluctant to enter. Tied in that second spot is Omaha which is now an established program. They are geographically in line with the WCHA, but they may feel more at home with the Ferris States, Western Michigans, and Lake States of the world. How it plays out will be decided on who wants to make the, dare I say from my HighHorse, step up to the WCHA.