the just released schedules were a flat-out statement that the B10 doesn't believe SOS will matter in playoff selection
Northwestern's prospects for 2005 just took a turn for the worse. Senior cornerback Jeff Backes and junior center Trevor Rees will not play this year, Backes because of a lingering shoulder injury and Rees because TREVOR CAN'T READ. Both were projected to start--Backes was also one of the Big Ten's best kick returners. File this under "only at Northwestern": Backes' next stop is medical school.
Rees is a major loss. Northwestern graduated three starters off the line last year and Rees was one of two returners (LT Zach Strief the other). Now the Wildcats have to scramble for a replacement. Gabe Watson: licking chops. Also probably his plate.
At three tomorrow, Frozen Four bids through 2012 will be doled out, according to USCHO's front page. That means that *four* bids will be given out to the six bidding cities (St. Paul, Boston, DC, Tampa, Philadephia, and Detroit). What can that mean? I don't know. But I do know that I'm going to be seriously pissed if Detroit doesn't get a bid. Michigan, home to eight D-I programs, hasn't hosted the Frozen Four since 1990.
Boston and St. Paul got bids. They just did. They'll always get bids. That leaves DC, Tampa, Philadelphia, and Detroit fighting for two. I can't think of a reason that they would change plans and extend four bids right now unless there was significant friction from an important part of the committee, and the only bid that could seriously put up a complaint is Detroit. DC, Tampa, and Philly have no programs in close proximity and are in states that have no hockey tradition at all. I think what happened is this: the committee picked three cities, Michigan hockey threw a hissy fit, and the committee caved: Detroit will get a bid.
Just speculation, but we'll find out tomorrow afternoon.
Internet consensus appears to be that Dorin Dickerson will chose Pitt in the near future. Pitt Sports Blather says so--partially by referencing mgoblog and the recent recruiting comments. They also have a better source than this here website:
"Keystone Recruiting has learned that a Thursday press conference has been called by West Allegheny wide receiver Dorin Dickerson to announce his college decision. The 6'2" 212-pound Dickerson will choose between Pittsburgh and Michigan, though sources close to the situation are indicating that he will choose the Panthers. Dickerson is considered one of the best athletes in the country and was offered by over twenty schools, including such elite programs as Penn State, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio State, LSU, Nebraska, Purdue, Michigan State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Virginia."
Too bad for us, since Dickerson is a top-100 guy, but not devastating given Mario Manningham, Antonio Bass, etc. Hopefully this doesn't indicate a sea change in western PA recruiting. Michigan has had much success there over the past half-dozen years. mgoblog doesn't think this is the case, as there were a lot of things pulling Dickerson to Pitt (proximity, best friend already a Panther, son of coach the starting quarterback, formidable Michigan depth chart) that won't apply in most cases.