Monday, December 13, 2010

Breaking down the polls

As seen below we dropped from #7 to #10 this week which came of no surprise after a 4-1 defeat Saturday at RPI. Yale remains at number one with 45 out of the 50 first place votes. UNH, Minnesota-Duluth and Newton University split up the other five. North Dakota got zero despite having the strongest strength of schedule in the nation compared to Yale's 26. They have also played 8 more games than Yale who refuses to play anyone difficult out of conference at the beginning of the season for some reason. North Dakota and UNH have a legitimate case for number one over Yale. I refuse to give BC the right to number one yet, but they are better than Yale. They are actually much better than Yale but I think they still belong at 3 or 4 due to their inconsistency thus far. BC will be number one once again this season at some point I am sure along with a couple of other teams as I see no clear-cut number one team in the nation.

Yale will lose again and once that happens they should free-fall since any loss in conference will be to a bad team. They have one ranked opponent left on the schedule and that is Union on 1/28 and RPI on 1/29 in Troy. This will be Yale's stiffest test of the season since RPI is undefeated at home this season and Union is decent apparently. They play an astounding TWO teams in the top 15 of the Pairwise rankings for the remainder of the season. That is those games against RPI and Union. They then have five games against teams in 15-25 rankings of the Pairwise which realistically says they would not make the tournament as of today. They play Dartmouth(#19) twice, Clarkson(#22) twice, and Princeton(#21) once. The only other positive on Yale's resume is a win is at Colorado College(#15 pairwise) in November. The remaining 10 games come against teams outside of the Pairwise Rankings all together. Now let's compare this to a Hockey East team such as UNH. They have 5 games remaining against "tournament" teams or top 15 in the pairwise with two against Maine, two against BC and one against BU with two more against (#18 Merrimack). BU has seven more against top 15 teams. I don't understand how voters can undervalue these types of games. Sorry but UNH's win in Maine this past weekend means a hell a lot more than Yale defeating the club team from Sacred Heart. I am ok with Yale being in the top ten but they are not the #1 team in the country so stop ranking them there. Any of the top 10 teams would have their record or better with that schedule.

Pairwise- These are the computer rankings that the NCAA committee goes by in March when determining the seeding and teams in the tournament.
Krach- USCHO makes these up based on a formulas. Note that in both. Yale and Union's strength of schedule are not impressive while RPI has held it's own by playing BU and Brown I guess? I honestly don't know their strength of schedule is that high.

So here is my attempt at ranking the top ten teams without a computer.
1. UNH- They have two losses all season both of which came on the road to top 13 teams in Pairwise rankings. That sounds like a #1 team to me.
2. North Dakota- They have the number one strength of schedule and have a 13-5-2 record to show from it.
3. Minnesota-Duluth- They were number one in the country for a month for a reason.
4. BC-This team is streaky but is a top 5 team no matter how I hate them and everything they stand for.
5. Denver- Again,SOS play a role here as they get through the first half with a 12-5-3 record in a tough conference while challenging themselves out of conference.
6. Miami- Same as of above
7. Yale- They slide to #7 for their lone loss against (#34) Air Force. You wanna off set that bad loss? Play someone good you pussies.
8. Maine- Tough loss to UNH this weekend at home but still should make the tournament with ease
9 . BU- The loss at RPI hurts but this young team will grow throughout the break and come back strong to make a push at another Frozen Four appearance.
10. Nebraska-Omaha- They lost two to Bem. State. That is tough to do and stay in the top ten.

Also here is a piece from USCHO grading Hockey East teams throughout the first half of the season.

No comments:

Post a Comment