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Is it even remotely possible that Arizona State Sun Devils hockey ends up in the Big Ten Conference? Well, apparently it's not as far fetched as one would think. Apparently the Big Ten has been making overtures to ASU about a willingness to expand certain sports to teams outside of the conference. If that's the case, how did this conference not end up with either Notre Dame or North Dakota in conference, or even Denver?
If the Big Ten is willing to expand hockey to seven teams by taking on someone outside the conference, they must have a goal of expanding to eight or ten teams, either by adding more out-of-conference schools to the league or by transitioning traditional big ten schools to new varsity hockey programs.
As for ASU, I would guess that a Power 5 school has little to no interest in entering the WCHA (I could be wrong, they might just take what they can get at this point) and playing against a bunch of small to mid-major schools. I would guess they would take the NCHC as their first choice for geographic reasons (two Colorado schools are very close by) or the Big Ten for prestige and TV money reasons. It remains to be seen if the NCHC cares to bring in ASU, or if the Big Ten is serious about expanding to non Big Ten schools. The WCHA is dieing to have them.
No matter what, this is a shakeout process that will take years to resolve, just when we were all getting used to the post-realignment era.
Update: SBN College Hockey has lots of ASU coverage located here.