If you guys are like me you are really hyped about the very first season of Big Ten Hockey. Also, if you're like me you have no idea about any of the other school hockey teams. I'm still a noob when it comes to Big Ten hockey, but here is some info I could dig up on our future conference opponents.
Minnesota has five NCAA championships under their belt. 1974, 1976, 1979, 2002 and 2003. Under current head coach Don Lucia, the Gophers have earned a spot in the NCAA tournament in eight seasons during a nine-year time span, including five number 1 seeds and three appearances in the Frozen Four. The team's main rivalries are with the University of Wisconsin and the University of North Dakota, although several other schools claim Minnesota as their archrival. - These guys seem like they have a strong team and after all it is Minnesota and those people are hockey freaks.
The Badgers are an elite hockey team with 24 conference titles (WCHA) and six national titles, which is good for fourth all time. Their last title was in 2006. They look to be strong competition.
The scUM hockey team set an all time NCAA record by attending the NCAA tourney 22 straight years. The Wolverine's have the NCAA record with 9 hockey national titles. Just like the other teams detailed so far the Wolverines are ELITE competition and will be stiff competition for OSU.
4. Michigan State.
Michigan State has had a solid hockey team through the years with 23 NCAA tourney appearances and three national titles. From what I have read they have had a consistently good, but not elite program.
5 Penn State.
Penn State only began competition in the NCAA in 2010. They have just built a new hockey arena which can seat 6,000 fans. Up until a few years ago they competed as an independent ACHA member and had a staduim only seating 1,300 fans. They haven't had much success in the past and look to be underdogs in the new Big Ten hockey league.
6. Ohio State.
Ohio State has never won a national title in hockey. The bright side is that Ohio State has had it's best years in it's history over the last decade with NCAA tourney appearances in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2009. On March 21, 2011 the Big Ten Conference announced plans to sponsor men's ice hockey starting in 2013–14 season. Ohio State along with CCHA rivals, University of Michigan and Michigan State University will leave the CCHA to join University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin from the WCHA and Penn State, who is elevating their men's and women's American Collegiate Hockey Association club programs to varsity status, to form a six-team Big Ten Hockey Conference.
My know-nothing take: OSU Hockey is going to have an uphill battle to claim dominance and Big Ten hockey. Three of the nation's most elite programs will be in our league and we've yet to win the big one. Something tells me that we will grow as a hockey team with our new rivals and increased fan interest. What do you think? If there are any seasoned college hockey fans I would love to get your input seeing as I'm still learning the ropes.