#6 Penn State University Nittany Lions
I'm getting a little tired of all the sunny predictions for Penn State's future. Let's talk about today, shall we? They're a bad team. They are 50th in KRACH and falling. They've lost five straight. Their last win was against Michigan (pfffft...). If I hear one more person on TV, the radio, or in the blogosphere talk about their wonderful facility (I'm still not impressed), or their stretch of games against ranked teams (that's called playing in a conference that isn't the AHA), or their RPI SOS (which is extremely flawed), or their never say die attitude, I might just scream. Come talk to me when your KRACH rating is somewhere in the top 49 and your SOS is somewhere south of 40th in the nation. For now, you're bad.
In the immortal words of Shooter McGavin, "Yeah how did he finish again? Dead last? Oh yeah, he had a good day though. Thanks."
#5 Michigan State University Spartans
Michigan State managed to knock off Michigan (pfffft...) Saturday after getting smoked 7-1 the night before. I'm going to go ahead and assume that Saturday's result had as much to do with the Wolverines' play as Fridays, and that the Spartans were just sort of along for the ride. Since the Wolverines gifted the Spartans three points on Saturday by blowing a 3-1 lead to the less than impressive MSU offense, the Spartans win this week's "Don't Look At Us, We Just Work Here Award."
#4 Ohio State University Buckeyes
The Buckeyes managed to pee in our cornflakes on Saturday night. Luckily, after watching hours and hours of game footage, I've discovered the perfect way to beat them: play on offense. The Buckeye defense is this team's missing scale in the armor. When the Gophers attempted to play in the offensive zone, they controlled play, and foiled a helpless looking OSU breakout. It's really shouldn't be difficult for most teams to put goals on the board against this team; they give up almost three goals per game. Ohio State: I fear thee not.
#3 University of Michigan Wolverines
I hate to brag here, but was I wrong when I said this team was Two-Face? 7-1 Win Friday vs. 4-3 loss Saturday. Yeah, I was dead on. They scored ten goals in four periods, and managed to lose the Saturday game in regulation. I would predict the Wolverine's results this coming weekend against Minnesota, but who knows which Wolverines team will show up. You might as well flip a coin. See what I did there?
#2 University of Wisconsin Badgers
I took a shortcut on Wisconsin last week because I hate those guys. Not this weekend. Are we supposed to be impressed that they swept Penn State? We are not impressed. Congratulations, you've joined an elite club with members such as Air Force, UMass-Lowell, Union, yourselves, Minnesota, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Minnesota again. Wins against Penn State are foregone conclusions, not reasons for celebration.
Here's the worst part of Wisconsin's immediate future: I hope they win their final two regular season games. If they do, there's a solid chance the both Minnesota and Wisconsin will be one seeds in regionals, meaning the selection committee can't force us together at the expense of bracket integrity. Since UND fans seem like a foregone conclusion at the regional, at the very least we can get a respite from the large number of completely unreasonable and semi-interested Wisconsin fans for that weekend. UND fans cheer for neutral zone possession. Wisconsin fans cheer sort of randomly. I can't handle two Marx Brothers fan-bases at one regional.
#1 Pride On Ice- University of Minnesota Golden Gophers
We're all disappointed that we didn't lock down the conference championship, and I know that's weighing on us today. For a while there, we really thought we had it on Saturday night. So let's take a look at this last weekend through a historical looking glass.
In the past, here was the college hockey mantra (for elite programs): sweep at home, split on the road. That formula has led to hundreds of conference championships and just as manybirths. Technically, the Gophers did one better; a win on the road and tie. Mission accomplished. The only real problem is that we're left with a more difficult task this coming weekend. We're just a few steps away from playoff hockey. Who's excited?