The big news of the weekend concerning Gopher sports (one of the big items, at least) is the expansion of the WCHA (Boston Globe covering the expansion). Bemidji State becomes the fifth team in the state of Minnesota in the WCHA and Nebrasak-Omaha has also been aproved to expand the league to 12 teams. For Bemidji the move makes all the sense in the world. I would imagine that this wil greatly help with in-state recruiting battles and they should be able to capitalize in natural in-state rivalries with Minnesota, Duluth, St. Cloud and Mankato. And ultimately they'll see their revenue jump up.
For UNO the choice was also pretty obvious, the Omaha World-Heralds summed it up like this...
Start with 58 years of history and tradition. Add 36 national championships. Throw in overwhelming attendance figures at attractive arenas, and revenue potential from the conference tournament and other sources from a passionate fan base. Then consider that UNO sits squarely within the league's geographic footprint, giving it the opportunity to develop regional rivalries, save money on travel costs and capitalize on recruiting players within the same region — not to mention providing fans the chance to attend road games more easily.
2010-11 is when the new 12-team league will face off, should be interesting.
- Gopher football landed another verbal out of the state of Wisconsin. Matt Eggen is a big lineman out of LaCrosse who is going to play for the Golden Gophers in the fall of 2010. Rivals has Eggen as a three-star with no other significant offers at this point other than Indiana. But at 6-5 and 285 Eggen has the size and strength to develop into very good lineman at this level.
- I love seeing that everyone thinks they are in the Seantrell Henderson sweepstakes. Although he has never formally announced his top few schools I'll be shocked if he ends up anywhere other than USC, Michigan or Minnesota.
- The U's Jordan Schroeder was taken 22nd overall by the Canucks in the NHL Draft. He fell a bit due to his lack of size but congrats on being a first round pick.
- Finally I'd like to say that I am 100% on board with and excited about Ricky Rubio being a Minnesota Timberwolf. There is a lot of negativity around whether or not he'll play this year or if we'll trade him to New York, but we can wait a year and New York does not have enough attractive pieces to pull off a deal. La Pistola is going to be a star and he'll make a great combo with Al Jefferson. I like that pick a LOT.