We have a new #1 in College hockey yet again. The now #1 Michigan Wolverines skated into Oxford, Ohio and beat the now #2 Miami(OH) Redhawks 4-2 and tied them the next night. Michigan now holds 48 of the 50 first place votes in the USCHO.com/CSTV D-1 Mens poll, the other two going to #4 New Hampshire. St. Cloud State is now ranked at #19 and Niagra moves in as the #20 team. #3 North Dakota and #17 Quinnipiac are the only teams in the top 20 to keep their positioning from the week before. Here are there full rankings.
Now onto the Pairwise Rankings. These rankings are similar to the BCS in football, but they are not the final say. They only mimic the selection process used by the NCAA Selection Committee when choosing the 16 teams for the D-1 tournament.
Michigan and Miami swap spots as the Wolverines are now #1. Rounding out the top 10 we have...
#3 New Hampshire
#4 Colorado College
#6 North Dakota
#7 Michigan State
t#8 Minnesota State
#10 Boston College
Whats odd to see that there is no Minnesota Golden Gopher team ranked within the top 16, as they are tied 19th. The team that ran off 23 straight unbeaten games last year is now in jeopardy of missing the tournament this year.
Breaking it down by conference:
The CCHA has 4 teams within the top 16 PWR. If the tournament were to start to day, all 4 of them would most likely be in. #1 Michigan, #2 Miami(OH) and #7 Mich. State would be shoe ins with t#11 Notre Dame most likely joining them. Although the rest of the CCHA is weak, these four teams have proven to be amoung the best as they have beaten teams from other conferences as well.
The WCHA, is the best conference right now in college hockey, no ifs ands or buts about it. This conference can be compared to the SEC in football with everyone just beating up an eachother. Currently in the top 16, they have 6 teams. #4 Colorado College, #5 Denver, and #6 North Dakota are always power houses amoung the top. Minnesota State is ranked t#8 with Minnesota Duluth, and although Duluth has a record of 11-9-4, they have beaten some of the best teams. Rounding it off is Wisconsin at #11.
Next is the Hockey East, inhabiting 4 of the top 16. New Hampshire is the top team ranked at #3, Boston College at 10, Notheastrn at 14, and on the very bubble at 16 is Providence. Providence's RPI is ranked 17th, so it may take an unbeaten record in the final six games to clinch a tourney birth.
The ECAC rounds it off with 2 teams inside the top 16, t#11 Clarkson and #14 Quinnipiac. Sitting at #17 is Princeton. These teams being from the ECAC, being one of the weaker conferences, may make it a bit tougher to get in when on the bubble. It would seem more likely that a team from the WCHA with a worse record couls sneak in past them. The one thing that These three teams have going for them is how good the #4 seeds in the tourney have played against the #1s in past years, last year being the first time a #4 seed had ever won.
The season ends for most teams Sat, March 1, while the WCHA, CHA, and Hockey East play regular season games the following week.
PS...Ill be back to put pictures in when they work.