As Michigan gets ready to begin it's first game of the season this Saturday (and the first non-exhibition game of any D-1 men's team!), USA-Today picks U-M #4.
Behind #1 BC, #2 North Dakota and #3 Miami, ahead of #5 Yale. About half way between Yale and Miami in "points" and not particularly close to either. The 3 teams in front of us seem pretty solid top 3 teams (though I hasten to point out that despite losing only 2 contributing players from last year's CCHA regular season champs/Frozen Four team, Miami returns slightly LESS scoring than Michigan). It definitely seems like a fair place, for now, as the three teams above us should all be really solid and nobody behind us really seems like they will be quite at our level.
Other teams of note:
#8 New Hampshire (only non-conference challenge outside of the Showcase) #12 Alaska, #13 Wisconsin, #15 Minnesota
And since only the top 15 are ranked, the receiving votes teams of interested with rankings extrapolated:
#16 Notre Dame, #19 Ferris State, #22/23 NMU, #23/22 MSU (NMU is listed ahead of MSU, but has only 18 votes to MSU's 21. But they're otherwise listed in vote order, so the 18 may be a typo for 28)
Looking for Red's 10th CCHA tournament title, 11th CCHA regular season title, 21st (consecutive) NCAA tournament appearance, 11th Frozen Four, 3rd Hobey Baker winner, 3rd National Title (10th for the program) and the first undefeated season since Cornell did it (for the first and so far last time) in 1970.
Should be a great season, GO BLUE!