Monday, March 21, 2011

2 College Hockey Stories of Note

The first, is the possible formation of a new league in Men's Hockey. The Big 10 Athletic Directors have proposed having the Big 10 League in 2013-14.  Penn State from the independents, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State from the CCHA and Wisconsin and Minnesota from the WCHA.  A 6 team league that could expand by as many as 6 teams in the future could be a good thing.  It might bring in more players and better players to the college game.  It might also spur more competitiveness from the schools going to the Big 10 league.   After all, they did have one of the schools, Michigan, receive an invite for the NCAA Hockey tournament this year.  It might cause a couple of programs that have slipped a little, Minnesota, Wisconsin, to start climbing towards the top again since the more powerful competition won't be in conference.

And second, the NCAA Hockey tournament brackets were revealed this past weekend.  The committee screwed up the Basketball selections and seedings, it was nice to see that they didn't get it right here either.  Ineptitude must be maintained across the board at the NCAA.  The 5 automatic qualifiers were Air Force, Miami (Ohio), Yale, Boston College, and North Dakota.  Air Force was the only one of those teams not to get a #1 seed.  Apparently they were seeded the worst team in the field, because they got the overall #1 seed, Yale in the 1st round.  The Atlantic Hockey Conference wasn't even close to the rest of the conferences out there in terms of rankings and competition.  Of course, it would be poetic justice if Air Force could beat Yale twice in the same season.  The East Coast teams were the last ones to be eliminated from consideration.  Dartmouth, Boston University, and Maine are the 3 teams rated highest that didn't make the field.  Rensselaee from ECAC Hockey made it into the field rated lower than Dartmouth from the same conference.  Maine cost themselves an appearance by losing to Merrimack twice at the end of the season.  BU had a down year for them.

Earlier this year, I wrote about how the Maine Black Bears had swept a home series against North Dakota.  And the Zebster rightfully was proud of his team.  However, if you take a look at the season, it wasn't Maine going to hostile environments that had good teams waiting for them, it was North Dakota.  And during the non-conference schedule, the Fighting Sioux grew up as individuals and as a team, where teams like Maine and Boston University didn't do that.  So now it is tournament time, North Dakota is one of the favorites because they have played ranked teams throughout the year and know what it is like to face the top teams while BU and Maine sit at home because their schedules didn't prepare them adequately enough for the pressure of playing top teams.  While others, like Wisconsin, just weren't good enough to come out of the best conference in the nation, the WCHA.  The tournament starts this weekend, so good luck to those out there that happen to have their favorite team in the tournament.  To the rest, come jump on a bandwagon before it's too late.  GO SIOUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Zebster said...

Well deserved, UND. Maine and BU weren't, A, good enough and, B, from a deep conference where I think there was a invisible invite limit. Maine played plenty of good competition, they just never could play consistently well (coaching)
Are you afraid creating a mega conference in the midwest will hurt the schools left out of that conference?

Brent said...

I believe that a Big 10 conference will hurt the Eastern conferences myself. Hockey East and ECAC will lose a berth in the Hockey tournament between them. The WCHA will feel the loss of Wisconsin and Minnesota for a few years, but there are other teams that will fill that void and then some out here in the Western half of the country.