I did not make this headline up
Ohio State's Women's Hockey coach today resigned in disgrace due to a report detailing sexual harassment of players.
So that happened.
In probably the worst case scenario, Michigan hockey dropped both games at Penn St, while other things in the conference have basically assured that the B1G will be a ONE BID CONFERENCE. Yes, you read that right-- the conference of multiple national champions Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Wisconsin will get a grand total of 1 team into the NCAA tournament this year. The breakdown:
- Michigan sits tied for 19th in PairWise Ranking (PWR). It would take essentially a 3-4 game win streak to get back into the 14th or higher PWR position, and with the results from this past weekend that's no guarantee since the teams above UM are all still alive in their conference tourneys and wil be playing meaningful opponents meaning their PWR will probably not take a huge hit at this point. BTW- a 4 game win streak means we won the BTT which makes the at-large bid a moot point anyway.
- Minnesota with their split against Ohio St, now sits on the hairy precipice of losing their at-large bid fallback plan (sound familiar?). They are tied for 14th in PWR and need a winning streak to stay up (remember the 16th slot in the tourney this year is already tabbed essentially for the Atlantic Hockey tourney champ, so any at large teams are going to have to finish at least 15th in PWR, more likely 14th or higher to absorb a cinderella tourney champ from another conference). A sweep for Minnesota next week against Penn St and a Semi final win in the BTT might still get them in as an at-large, but they're going to have to hope that 1 and 2 seeds in confernce tourneys win out so that the PWR 13-18 teams don't get a bump from a winning streak in their conference tourneys.
- It's basically cannibalism at this point in the B1G tourney. A cinderella run resulting in a tourney championship from a team not in consideration today (PSU, OSU, MSU, WIscy) will definately knock Michigan out of an at-large run, and possibly/probably Minnesota too (especially if it's two cinderella teams in the final, i.e. Michigan and Minnesota lose in the tourney semis).
- And oh BTW, in case you needed more depressing news, Michigan State is in the drivers seat to hang a banner as B1G Regulart Season champions. As if they needed more motivation for next weekend, MICHIGAN STATE can win the regular season conference title with a sweep against us, no matter what Minnesota does. A split with us and a Minnesota split gives Sparty the title too. Talk about depressing. Now I know how Tottenham fans feel. (apologies for the EPL reference)
Silver linings and bottom lines? A couple:
- Michigan's only viable path to a NCAA bid at this point is likely to win the tourney title. Not out of the realm of possibility at all, but with the consistency (and frankly coaching / testicular fortitude) questions overhanging the team, I wouldn't bet on it.
- We still can salvage some Europa League title like satisfcation next weekend. If we sweep, we win the B1G regular season and hang a banner next year. We would be at worst tied with Minnesota in points and we win the tiebreaker over the Gophers based on more wins in conference. (Insert tiny flag waving here). Maybe that motivation is tangible enough to get an inspired performance for two games in a row??? The way thigns are shaking out, I'd hope for a Michigan sweep and a split by Minnesota with Penn St so that Penn St stays out of our semifinal.
Side thought stream of consciousness: I mentioned it in a comment on the Saturday night open thread, but we may seriously need to think about sacraficing some sort of animal with an Al Montoya jersey on it. Every since he left the season early in 2005, Michigan has not had that 3-4 year recruited goaltender that the 90's - early 2000's powerhouses could rely on. We lucked into Tiny Jesus Shawn Hunwick after whiffing on / getting mugged by John Gibson and our goaltending has not been consistently adequate in going on 10 years... Is this the REAL failure of the contemporary Red Berenson era? Not being able to close the deal on a top flight goaltender?? Is this something that falls on Billy Powers or Josh Blackburn? Will I need a really big bottle of scotch next weekend??
Red himself said a couple years ago that he'll walk away when he feels he is getting in the way of the program succeeding. This team has been an utter mess since Mel Pearson left. 3 years without a tournament should give Red a hint that maybe it's time to hang it up, no?
Coaching candidates anyone? I know I keep seeing Mel Pearson's name brought up in threads.
Tied for 16 rpi, getting mighty close to must-win situations. BTN plus
The weekend is finally here!!! Hockey is back and some conference playoffs start tonight. I will keep you guys updated on a few games from across the country tonight.
|Visiting Team||Score||Time||Score||Home Team||TV|
|#11 Minnesota||4||Final||2||#37 Ohio State||ESPNU|
|#1 North Dakota||2||3rd||1||# 4 Miami||CBSSN|
|#15 Michigan||2||2nd||5||#27 Penn State||BTN+|
|#55 Wisconsin||0||2nd||2||#32 Michigan State|
|#33 Merrimack||2||2nd||0||#19 Northeastern|
|#42 Maine||1||2nd||1||#19 Vermont|
|#8 Denver||9:00 EST||#17 St. Cloud State||CBSSN|
I will update frequently before and after the Michigan game. During the Michigan game i will only update the Michigan score with the occasional update during Michigan commercial breaks.
C'mon boys grab the first one tonight!
I was perusing USCHO.com and noticed there is an article about Ohio State hockey, which got me thinking: why does Ohio State continue to sponsor hockey/why has the team not been dissolved? This might seem crazy, but here me out:
Ohio State does not draw very many fans to its games, and let's be real the fans do not care about hockey. Hockey is not engrained in the culture and there has been no effort for hockey to be important.
Ohio State has had hockey since 1963 and has made only ONE Frozen Four. Yes, ONE (1998.) Surely for a school of the size of Ohio State, it should be able to make more than ONE Frozen Four. For reference, other major D1 schools with hockey include Michigan and BC (24 Frozen Fours), BU and Minnesota (21 each), Wisconsin (12), MSU (11), and Harvard (12). Ohio State, from 1971-2013, won only ONE CCHA regular season title...in the first year (71-72)...which they shared with now defunct St. Louis. In that time period, St. Louis, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Notre Dame (which also has been surprisingly bad until recently), and Northern Michigan all managed to win more than one CCHA title. Only Western Michigan had been in the CCHA for a similar amount of time and not win a CCHA title. OSU also only won TWO ever CCHA Playoffs, in 72 and 04. Again, in that time period, Michigan, MSU, Notre Dame, Lake Superior State, Bowling Green, St. Louis, and Northern Michigan managed to win the same (ND) or more titles. They have never won an NCAA title game, let alone appeared in one. In that time Michigan, MSU, Northern Michigan, Bowling Green, and Lake Superior State all won national titles while even Notre Dame, Miami, and Ferris State appeared in national title games.
Overall what I am getting at is OSU is bad at hockey. But my question is: why? Is it purely because nobody there cares about hockey. Even then, why do they keep it up? Surely it can't be profitable, is it just because they want to at least field the same team Michigan and MSU do? All the other Big Ten schools (excluding Penn State) have strong histories of hockey, but not OSU. Thoughts?