If you could have one picture that sums up what it means to be a North Dakota Fighting Sioux hockey fan ... (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
On the bright side, we can stop referring to this thing as the "Super" anything ...
Athletic directors and coaches from the "Gang of Five" and Miami made it official on Wednesday, announcing the formation of college hockey's newest conference, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), which will begin play in 2013-14:
"Colorado College, Denver, Miami, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota are the original members of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, with the possibility to add other schools. Each of the six conference members reached the NCAA Tournament in 2010-11."
I love how you can't get past two full paragraphs of the College Hockey Inc. press release without mention of the fact that all six of the "Super six" made the NCAA Tournament last season. I hope they aren't expecting that to happen going forward.
The league will continue to talk to Notre Dame to see if they want to join the new NCHC. I suppose the rumor about Western Michigan joining the new conference probably has legs, too.
As indicated in the press release, the WCHA and CCHA leftovers continue to explore ways to stay afloat. College Hockey, Inc. Executive Director Paul Kelly doesn't seem all that concerned.
"It's important not to underestimate the strength of our college hockey programs across the country. Many of these schools boast a rich history in the game, strong facilities and vibrant support from communities and alumni. College hockey will continue to thrive in those environments."
One of the major programs that is going to be affected by this realignment is Bowling Green, where Jerry York won his first National Championship in 1984. Even though the future of the CCHA seems bleak, at least Bowling Green's AD is staying committed to Division I hockey at this time.
Who knows how this will all shake out, but hopefully college hockey can find a home for Bowling Green, Alabama-Huntsville and Ferris State, among others. But this is just the first set of dominoes that will fall in what is shaping up to be a pretty wild college hockey offseason.