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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Minnesota is 5-8-1 since January started, including stellar outings like being swept by Michigan Tech and, most recently, a 1-point weekend against UAA. Despite all this suckitude, the PWR rankings still peg them as a #1 seed. I stated earlier that it woud take an "epic collapse" for Minnesota to drop from a one seed... but apparently even an epic collapse isn't good enough. How about a galactic collapse? Sure. We'll go with that.

Poking around some of the individual comparisons leads me to believe that Michigan has a slim chance of passing Minnesota. Basically, they have to pass Minnesota in the RPI to do so and keep their precarious TUC lead or have Minnesota drop a game against Tech again to give them the common opponents category.

Michigan could also pass Boston College if the Eagles stumble going into the final weeks of the season. BC has a slim RPI lead and TUC lead on Michigan but is losing the Common Opponents comparison. Michigan has two upcoming games against COp Notre Dame. BC has two against COp UNH. Unless Michigan stumbles against a wretched ND squad, they should hold onto that point. If BC loses a few down the stretch Michigan may win the TUC comparison or the RPI comparison, which would give them the point.

That might not be super helpful, however, as unless those hypothetical BC losses had them drop another comparison along the way, UM, Minnesota, and BC would be in a three way tie for two #1 seeds, and RPI would be the tiebreaker.

Bottom line: Michigan must pass Minnesota or BC in the RPI to get a #1 seed. With games against a terrible ND squad and an OK BG squad coming up, Michigan needs significant help from one of those squads. Remember that the agreed-upon guess at the committee's RPI bonuses for "good" wins, .003-.002-.001, leaves the RPI situation looking a good bit bleaker. Instead of BC and Minnesota having razor-thin RPI margins they have about a .003 margin, which is bridgeable but much tougher.

Second question: would a #1 seeded Michigan get more or less screwed? Answer: probably more, at least in the "we deserve better" sense. Minnesota would most likely be the #5 seed, and they're hosting this year, so they have to stay home, which means that most likely Michigan would play in the Twin Cities. That is, in fact, the most likely situation at the moment anyway. So the distinction is probably meaningless, but we could get more indignant about it if we were a #1 seed.

In other CCHA team news, OSU's recent run of form seems to have solidified themselves as a tourney team. NMU is just barely in of the tournament at the moment, sitting at 14th in the pairwise after the 3-2-1 bonus. They'd be in as of today if no one currently on the outside looking in (other than that AHCA and CHA teams) won their conference tourney. Northern has two against Tech, two against Ferris, and two against Lake State to finish up the year... good if they win, deadly if they lose. Four of those games are roadies. They probably won't make it, but they've got some kind of shot at least.