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Monday, February 21, 2005

Well, Michigan lost ground in the RPI race after sweeping ND. With a 3-2-1 bonus system, Michigan is now approximately .006 behind Minnesota's RPI. The PWR effect? Negligible.

With a 3-2-1 bonus, Michigan is in a three-way tie for fourth place with Cornell and Minnesota. Minnesota wins both the comparisons against Cornell and Michigan, so they would be the recipient of the final #1 seed. Michigan wouldn't get to Grand Rapids without some serious seed-flipping by the committee.

What's settled? Almost nothing. Michigan's TUC component is going to be very volatile over the last few weeks of the season: Michigan Tech, Bowling Green, Miami, Saint Lawrence, and Western Michigan are all perilously close to that .500 magic number. RPI, of course, wanders all over based not only on your performances but the performances of everyone you've played.

Who do you root for? That depends on what you're hoping for. Highest possible seeding and most favorable draw are not necessarily identical here. Grand Rapids is a faint possibility at this point, probably requiring Michigan dropping to sixth or seventh and getting slotted where the NCAA can guarantee a sell out at Van Andel. So then your answer is probably "Bowling Green," but that's no fun.

For Michigan to move up in the PWR rankings, you want to root for teams Michigan has played (if two face each other, root for the team that faced Michigan most often). Root for teams that Michigan has a good record against to become TUCs. Root for teams Michigan has a poor record against to not be TUCs.

So, your rooting guide for this weekend:
NMU vs. Ferris: don't care.
Lake State vs. WMU: WMU, as they have a chance to be a TUC.
MSU vs. BG: BG. MSU has played UM 5 times but BG will play UM in two weeks and even out the RPI distinction. Keeping BG's wins in the TUC category is more important.
UAF vs. UNO: UNO. They're pretty safe as a TUC, but let's not make it close, Mavs, huh?

pay extra attention to these non-CCHA series:
Cornell vs. St. Lawrence: SLU. Potential Cornell losses here also count as COPs for us. Could swing the comparison all by itself.
UNH vs. BC: Ditto. Extra COP importance here.

And, of course, root for all teams around us in the standing to lose.