The Missota Conference has officially accepted Chaska and Chanhassen as new members starting in the 2010-2011 season. That comes as no surprise. That puts the league at 9 teams as Hutchinson moves to the Wright County at the same time. So that leaves the 2010-2011 Lake Conference at 14 teams. John Millea wrote at the end of June that the current Lake schools voted to oust Eden Prairie which would leave them with the 4 Classic Lake schools that the MSHSL added.
So what do we end up with as we're down to 14 players in the game.
John Millea has long reported the formation of a Dakota County conference. While it was initially rumored to be looking at Hastings and Farmington, it looks more now like the half of that Lake of the south of Minnesota River will be together. On the other side, you'll have Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Edina, Hopkins and Wayzata (though the last 2 appealed their decision, it was probably denied last week). The wild cards here are the 2 Bloomington schools. Travel wise you could argue for placement north of the river with Eden Prairie et al, tradition would argue staying with the old Lake members that are south of the river. That leaves 2 leagues of 7 (if the Bloomington schools go west) or 9 and 5 .
Remember that the MSHSL doesn't have the authority to form leagues, just the ability to place members who can't get in a league and enforce a 5 member minimum in a league. So while the MSHSL may see another 5 team league and the issues it presents, they wouldn't be able to do anything about it as conferences have their own bylaws on membership.
How about this for crazy. Bloomington schools go south to a 9 team Dakota County Conference. The 4 Classic Lake schools then vote to kick out Eden Prairie just like they did Armstrong and we're right back where we started. The 4 Classic Lake schools would be without a league again (along with Eden Prairie), they would apply to leagues and be denied. The MSHSL would then have to assign them, but where to? Dakota County? Obviously not. Northwest Suburban? The MSHSL didn't want any of the schools there this time and the NW Suburban didn't want them. Does the MSHSL throw it right back in their face and put the 5 schools back together? Could they or would that break the bylaws of "forming" a league? With 5 teams, the Classic Lake schools aren't much better off than they are now, so why not go through it all again and force the MSHSL's hand.
While I would like to see the Bloomington schools and Richfield join up with those remaining 5 schools for a nice geographical 8 team league, I'm not sure Richfield would be that competitive in that league. You'd have Minnetonka/EP, Hopkins/Wayzata, Bloomingtons, Edina/Richfield as rivalries.