chance of bowl: 13.6%
Alright, last week, I didn't do a midweek update because I felt that the Wisconsin loss basically made everything a tossup and didn't think tracking the teams immediately above us was that worthwhile an endeavor.
The damage? Not too bad. Illinois win helped I bet. In the media, we're the first team out. The coaches', #28. Not too bad. So, this week I'm doing it differently.
Teams You Want To Lose This Week and Why:
Illinois State: Yes, you read that right. The Illinois State Redbirds are apparently undefeated. Who knew? (Except many people way more knowledgeable than me.) Anyways, they're the team in front of us in the Coaches' poll. Them losing would make it difficult for them to take any spots that open up there.
Dayton: They're simply the first team out of the Coaches' poll. Same deal as ISU.
West Virginia: I'm just mean. First I want us to steal all of their coaches, then I ask you to root against them? Well, they're #25 in the Media poll. They lose, they're out. #22 in coaches', so losses could make them fall out there too.
Louisville: #23 in media, #21 in coaches, losses from them would help us in at least the media poll.
Baylor: Consensus #23 (there's a tie in the media poll). Losses from them could help us get into both polls.
Minnesota: Well, to be honest, you don't want them to lose. Having Big Ten teams ranked is good for us. But, they're #22/#19, so, they could fall out of the media poll with losses.
Butler: #21/#20. We're getting sketchy here as to whether losses would actually make them fall out, or just move them down to #24 or #25.
Tennessee: This is a weird deal. They're the #25 team in the coaches' poll. They lose, they fall out. But, they're #15 in the media. Weird.
Boston College: Similar situation. #24/#17. I'll say it again: Coaches don't watch enough games to properly rank teams.
Alright, now, for the meat.
I'm only doing Tuesday through Thursday. I'll do a blog about all of Saturday and Sunday's games late Thursday or Friday.
Dayton v. Miami (NTM): Probably a Dayton win. Dayton home game, Miami's at 7-4. Local TV coverage in Dayton.
#25/#22 West Virginia v. #5 Connecticut GO UCONN! UConn wins, WV gets kicked out of the media poll probably. Awesome. Also, if we upset UConn (or even stay close), our RPI is helped by them winning here. Sadly, the game's only on ESPNU. I'm sure you can find a stream. 7:00.
Illinois State @ Bradley: I won't make any claims to knowing anything about either of these teams, but, Bradley is 9-5. They could do it at home I guess. Comcast, but probably not here, 8:05.
MICHIGAN @ Indiana: EVERY GAME COUNTS for our Wolverines. We need to make sure we can beat the sub-.500 teams if we want to beat the good ones. This is a good road test. 6:30, Big Ten Network.
#17/#24 Boston College v. Harvard: I wouldn't have high hopes here. 7:00, can be found Online somewhere.
#23/#21 Louisville @ South Florida: USF is sub-.500. So, a probably Louisville win. 7:00, ESPN2, ESPN360.
#15/#25 Tennessee v. Gonzaga: Gonzaga's 8-4 and knows how to win big contests. If this were at Gonzaga I'd be more optimistic, but, I'll probably watch part of this one. 9:00, ESPN2, ESPN360.
#22/#19 Minnesota @ Iowa: Big Ten games are annoying because I always want the Big Ten to be ranked but maybe the Gophers are high enough that they could contribute to the ranking of more Big Ten teams... We're a good conference. Should be a good game, give us an idea of how Iowa might do on Sunday. 7:05 on ESPN2, or, if you're like me and are supposed to be working on something else at that time, ESPN360.
#21/#20 Butler v. Wright State: I don't think Wright State will win. They're just above .500. Whatever. 7:00, Local TV only.
Back late Thursday or Friday to plan your weekend, back tomorrow with a bunch of hockey.
Here’s one about hockey. It’ll be shorter.
For starters, previously I’ve just been using the USA Today poll. I’m going to start using the USCHO poll too, because, well, why not? They’ll be listed in that order.
Also, no polls really updated this week, or last week for that matter. Which makes enough sense. I’m fairly certain they all will this Monday.
Last week, #11/#12 Michigan won their second straight Great Lakes Invitational against Michigan State in front of a very excited crowd. The crowd for the finals was significantly better than the crowd for the semis, and it seemed that it was a lot of Michigan Hockey fans, not just Michigan fans looking for kicks. Which was awesome. Little Brother bowed down. Michigan has the week off, as do many teams, but, here are the five teams ahead of us in each poll that don’t have the week off.
#12/#11 Air Force: Yesterday, Air Force played UConn in the Connecticut Hockey classic. Air Force won in a shootout, but, for our purposes, the game was a tie. Tonight they attempt to win that tournament against Quinnipiac, which shouldn’t be too demanding a task, but, well, hockey’s hockey. Busy week continues for the Falcons, as they face UConn again in Storrs on Saturday, before trekking to Yale Sunday. UConn just tied them, so they could always pull out the upset, while Yale’s on a bit of a cold streak.
#10/#9 Colorado College is off.
#9/#10 Cornell plays Sunday at UMass. They’re pretty good at home, but, Cornell is in general better.
#8 Princeton beat Minnesota State 5-2 last night, and tonight plays Nebraska-Omaha. CCHA loyalty compels me to root for UNO hard. This weekend, they get Harvard on Saturday, Dartmouth on Sunday. Harvard’s sub-.500, Dartmouth is just over.
#7 Boston College plays a couple of exhibition games against Canadian New Brunswick. So they don’t count.
#6 Northeastern plays an easy one against Western Michigan on Friday in the Dodge Holiday Classic. They go on to face the winner of a game between Brown and Minnesota. Here’s to hoping for a Minnesota win so that Northeastern can fall a bit.
Well, that’s it. I’ll see you Thursday to talk about basketball.
Also, it seems I’ll be at Crisler tomorrow. Join me! Lets make it a loud crowd for the Big Ten opener.
Alright, there’s a lot of basketball this week, and a lot of hockey too. Which means I’m doing hockey tomorrow.
Biiig week for College Basketball. And for the Michigan Wolverines. One of the biggest weeks in a long time for our team.
Rankings: We’re #23 in the Media poll, up from last week. #24 in the coaches’ poll, which improves over last week’s NR. Thanks for waking up coaches! Now, the Big Ten season begins, and we have a chance to prove we deserve to be ranked. So, us and the 5 teams above us in each poll, whose potential losses are the most likely to affect our rank:
(Rankings go Media/Coaches’, if only one is listed it’s unanimous.)
#23/#24 Michigan: Tonight against North Carolina Central is a win. For real. They’re winless. Then, B10 season begins, and we gotta stay on our toes. A 9-3 Badgers team will not let up on New Year’s Eve (Tickets are quite available at Crisler!), and a couple days later, neither will the 12-1 Fighting Ilini (Tickets are quite available!). Crucial to pick up the home wins in both games, crucial even to our tourney bid.
#24/#23 Ohio State: I think but am not sure after that West Virginia game that the Buckeyes can take out Iowa on New Year’s Eve. Saturday is a tough contest against the #21 Minnesota Golden Gophers. I’ll get to that later.
#22 Xavier: Not too hard a week for the Musketeers, Wednesday against Robert Morris, a .500 team they should beat. A little harder on Saturday against a 6-4 Virginia squad, but, they should be able to pick up two wins this week.
#21 Minnesota: Wednesday against the #10/#15 Spartans. I’m honestly not sure what helps us more in the long run, a win by Minnesota or a win by State. I think I’d prefer the Minnesota win, because if it’s a close game State shouldn’t take too big of a hit (they then get to beat up on Northwestern a couple days later), and I’d rather two mid-ranked Big Ten teams, one of which can easily recover, than one high ranked and one unranked. The Minnesota/OSU game: Again, I’m going to root for Minnesota. Because, well, I’d rather the lower team fall out of the rankings. And I hate the Buckeyes. Then, a couple days later, I can watch State beat them without feeling like it’ll hurt our strength of schedule too much.
#20/#16 Clemson: Tomorrow, against South Carolina. SC’s 9-1, and the game’s at their house, so, the undefeated Clemson should be able to win, but can’t look past this game. Much easier game at home on Saturday, against an East Carolina team on a three game losing streak.
#19/#20 Baylor: Tonight against Portland state. Portland State is 10-3, but, I’m still picking the 1-loss Bears to win at home. Really easy game New Year’s Eve against 1-win Jackson State, then, Friday night against the previously mentioned Gamecocks.
#18 Louisville:New Year’s Eve against UNLV. Louisville can beat the Rebels, but, UNLV’s 10-2 and could be dangerous. Then, Sunday against Kentucky, a team that you should always watch out for.
#14/#18 Tennessee: There was a tie in the Coaches’ poll, meaning both Louisville and Tennessee are #18. At any rate, they get the best named team in college sports, the Ragin’ Cajuns tonight. UL-Lafayette is 4-6, so, easy win for them. Saturday they’re in Kansas, against a Jayhawks team looking to be ranked again.
So, that’s that. A lot of potential upsets, but, if Michigan wants to be ranked higher, they’re going to have to hold up their end of the bargain and go undefeated this week.
Here’s a regurgitation of the schedule up to Wednesday in order of when games are actually taking place, along with where to watch them. I’ll be back tomorrow with hockey, and Thursday with an update on Wednesday’s games. Lemme tell you, New Year’s Eve is looking like a Saturday. Hope to see some of you at Crisler on Wednesday:
#23/#24 MICHIGAN v. NC Central, 7:00, BTN
#14/#18 Tennessee v. Louisiana-Lafayette, 7:30, Online
#19/#20 Baylor v. Portland State, 8:00, Online
#20/#16 Clemson at South Carolina, 7:00, FSN South/Florida, ESPN360.com
#21/#21 Minnesota v. #10/#15 Michigan State, 12:00, BTN
#23/#24 MICHIGAN v. Wisconsin, 2:00, ESPN2
#24/#23 Ohio State v. Iowa, 4:00, BTN
#19/#20 Baylor v. Jackson, 5:00, FSN Southwest
#22/#22 Xavier v. Robert Morris, 6:00, FSN Ohio
#18/#18 Louisville v. UNLV, 6:30, EPSN2
Ok, lets do this quickly before more rankings show up tomorrow:
#11 Michigan in the GLI. First night, we handily beat Michigan Tech, in a good game for the defense. Hogan records a shutout, but, I was there, and there were very few shots that caused us Michigan fans to go “oooh!” after good saves. Michigan State beats North Dakota in a stunner, setting up this year’s third Michigan/Michigan State match.
Next night, in front of a slightly pro-Michigan crowd, we destroyed Little Brother 5-1. Game was awesome, I was thrilled to be there. Louie for Hobey! Two more for the season sweep.
#9 Cornell plays in the Florida College Classic. Beat St. Cloud State night 1, Colgate beats Maine, setting up a Sunday night match.
In which I can’t figure out exactly what happened. The Live Stats site says 2-2 at the end of 5 minutes of overtime, and I can’t imagine a tourney can end in a tie. And I want to post this.
Hockey’s holiday break sort of ends next week. We don’t play, but, more teams play than have played all at once in some time.
Everything goes according to plan, except a BYU game that wasn’t played. Monday night, #24/NR Michigan beat Florida Gulf Coast (although, apparently we were fairly lethargic about it), then take Christmas off. Here’s a list of the rest of the games (Ranks: Media/Coaches’):
NR/#24 Memphis over Drexel
#21/#22 Baylor over Hartford
NR/#25 Marquette over NC State
BYU v. Western Oregon- Postponed to Jan 6th due to inclement weather
#20/#17 Arizona State over Idaho State
#23/#23 Minnesota over Southeastern Louisiana
#19/#19 Louisville over UAB
NR/#25 Marquette over Presbyterian
#23/#23 Minnesota over High Point
See you tomorrow with some rankings and some plans for your week.
UPDATE: I played with formatting. DEAR LORD DOES IT LOOK BETTER. It'll be formatted like this forever now. Also, we beat Florida Gulf Coast. It's fine to be a Michigan Wolverine I guess.
To summarize this entire post: No change in hockey, GLI THIS WEEKEND! Basketball is #24 in the media and got totally screwed by incompetent coaches. I predict no changes next week, because no one really plays this week. Of course, if you want to read the post, I worked very hard on it.
Alright, forgot to update last night, so, a quick weekend wrap-up before we get to the new rankings.
#10 Colorado College ties Sacred Heart on Friday, Kills them on Saturday. No rankings change there, Michigan goes into this weekend’s GLI #11.
Michigan should win the Great Lakes Invitational. We should. This doesn’t mean we will. It’s at the Joe, Saturday (Tickets still available and cheap! I’ll be there!). The first round, we play a 4-14-2 Michigan Tech, while the other game is a struggling Spartan squad vs. the just-above-.500 North Dakota fighting Souix. (I’m not entirely sure what order they come in. USCHO.com says one thing, the Michigan hockey schedule says another.) Winner of our game plays winner of theirs on Sunday, I expect a Michigan v. North Dakota final, which would be the two losers of last years’ Frozen Four. We win, we keep our NCAA tourney chances very alive, and, every time you go to the Joe (at least until the CCHA tournament), both college hockey banners will say Michigan. If we’re in the Finals, you can catch it on FSN. If we’re not in the finals, and we end up with a Michigan v. Michigan State 3rd place game, FOR GODS SAKE COME TO THE JOE. Even if it’s not for a GLI championship, I want a SEASON SWEEP of Michigan State this year. We can do it.
Only other thing that may matter, #9 Cornell plays in another Christmas tourney, the Florida College Classic, which could actually be a very good tournament. They get St. Cloud St. on Saturday, no guaranteed win. Other game is Colgate v. Maine, probable Maine win. And, even if Cornell makes the finals, Maine’s no slouch either.
So, probably not much rankings change this week. Maybe gain a spot if we win the tournament. I can’t wait until hockey starts again proper.
Games I didn’t care about that went as expected:
#23/#24 Marquette over Western Carolina
#21/#24 Baylor over Texas-Arlington (Though it was damn close.)
Games I actually cared about:
In short, EVERYTHING went the way I wanted it to.
For starters, we beat Oakland. It was a good game. Three-point shooting was great, and LLP!!!!!! Awww yeah. LLP.
#19/#22 Michigan State OVER #5/#5 Texas: Long term, very good for us. If we beat the Spartans in February, we’ve beaten a team that beat a top 5 team. A strong Big Ten is good for Michigan.
#22/#20 Davidson LOSS #13/#18 Purdue: Woohoo Big 10 again. Davidson may fall out, or maybe we enter above them.
BYU LOSS #20/#17 Arizona State: Guarantees BYU doesn’t get to take open spot in the Coaches’ poll over us.
#23/#21 Memphis LOSS #11/#11 Syracuse: Opens up spot in polls, or gives us opportunity to enter above them.
Miami (FL) LOSS #25/#25 Clemson: This one was good for us no matter what happened. Clemson losing would have dropped them from the polls, but, Miami losing means they don’t have the opportunity to replace them.
My guess (as of this writing, polls haven’t come out, but, I’m not posting twice in one day): #23. Both polls.
So, now, I take a break from writing this, shower, eat a sandwich, wait for polls to come out.
And now, a rant:
COACHES DON’T WATCH BASKETBALL. It’s very clear to me now. They don’t deserve to vote, they don’t watch games. How they hell do you justify BYU getting more votes than Michigan in a week where BYU lost? How the hell does Minnesota go from not getting any votes to being #23? That’s such bullshit. Absolute bullshit. I’m pissed. Minnesota beat ONE top 10 team. We beat TWO top 5 teams. Total crap.
The AP Poll: We’re ranked! We’re #24! We’re ranked! We get a little number next to our name! Woohoo! I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get a spot higher, mostly because of who got the #23 spot: Minnesota. Listen, I’m all for the “Strong Big 10 is good for Michigan” thing, but, again, we’ve earned it way more than they have. February 19th at our place, March 9th at theirs. Let’s take care of some business.
So, for us this week: Florida Gulf Coast tonight at 7:00 on bigtennetwork.com. Honestly, I won’t be watching (I’ll be sledding!). We better freaking win. No Savannah State crap. That’s it. Have a good Christmas, Wolverines.
Alright, lemme plan your week off, starting with teams that are only higher than us in the Coaches poll (the first couple of whom aren’t ranked):
Davidson WHO LOST LAST WEEK, doesn’t play this week. Weird, right?
BYU WHO LOST LAST WEEK, plays tomorrow night vs. Western Oregon. Easy for them.
#25 Marquette WHO LOST LAST WEEK plays NC State tomorrow night and the Presbyterian Blue Hose (I’m not kidding) Sunday. The second one's an easy win, but, as was pointed out in the comments, NC State's a 1-loss team and shouldn't be so quickly put aside. I still think Marquette should win, but, if they find themselves looking past NC State, they could get surprised.
#24 Memphis WHO LOST LAST WEEK already beat Drexel earlier today, and that’s it for this week.
So, the 5 teams ahead of us in the media poll and the rest of the bottom 5 in the coaches’. (Ranks listed in that order.)
#23/#23 Minnesota: Wednesday v. Southeastern Louisiana, Sunday v. High Point, two easy wins.
#22/#20 Clemson: No games this week.
#21/#22 Baylor: Tonight v. Hartford. Easy win.
#20/#17 Arizona State: Tomorrow v. Idaho State. Easy win.
#19/#19 Louisville: Saturday v. University of Alabama-Birmingham. Similar situation to Marquette's game, I called it an easy win, someone called me out. So, again, Louisville should win, but, they can't look past UAB.
#16/#21 Tennessee: No games this week.
So, in short, nothing happens this week. No mid-week update, unless something crazy happens. I don’t forsee any rankings changes that effect us next week (unless maybe the coaches really wise up). I’ll see you Sunday to report that everything went exactly as expected.
And, if you’re in town, the Great Lakes Invitational is a great way to see good hockey for pretty cheap. I hope to see you all there.
WOOT! Number 24 in the AP Poll (which we should trust more than the coaches). Can't wait to watch the game tonight on BTN.com and see the ranking next to our name. Anyone know the last time we were ranked?
EDIT: I think it should be noted that a ranking in college basketball is more of an accomplishment than in football, especially for us when we have to prove ourselves in basketball, while in football our ranking often stems from our namesake.