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Stayin' Alive: Spartan hockey @ Miami U. CCHA 2nd rd. (3/15-17)

  • I said it earlier, but this is a very young team. State will be better simply because of physical maturity, if nothing else. Anastos seems to get off-season conditioning more than Comley and that's become a much bigger part of the game. There are some incoming players who appear to address needs, but it's always a crapshoot to see who can step in and make that jump to college hockey right off the bat. We do have solid goaltending coming back, so a few less goals given up, and a few more scored....we'll be better. But I honestly didn't think we'd be this "bad" this year, but I also didn't think we'd be as competitive as we were in TA's first year. Throw both out and what you've got is a true rebuilding.

    In my view, the expectations for next season should be reasonable - competitive, week in and week out, .500 record, top-four finish in the new Big Ten, hit the post-season with an outside chance at the NCAA, continue to represent the university with pride, no off-ice incidents, keep academics in order. The new hockey landscape is going to make it difficult to get a handle on teams and post-season chances next year. I'll be curious to see the full schedule when it's released as it'll tip the thinking of coaches and ADs about how that needs to play out.....

    "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." --Gandhi

  • I'd think 2 teams will get in for sure every year. It would be highly unlikely to ever have 4 in. With the 4th team winning the conference it would bump the 3rd team out of the tourney most likely as far as PWR. 3rd place in the B1G will be an at best .500ish conference record hockey team most years and then whatever they did out of conference. If you're 3rd in the B1G you'll need an 11-3, 10-4 type non conf record. Not likely unless you're going to play cupcakes. So while it's possible, I would be shocked if it happened

  • The issue in college hockey is that there is little benefit to loading a non-conference schedule with easier games to build a big win-loss record. In the end, how you played against TUCs (teams under consideration) becomes much more of a factor, so if you've NCAA hopes, you've got to play teams with similar dreams. So for the Big Ten teams and their 20 games, those remaining 14 games have to factor in post-season hopes. A Michigan State will want to play a Western, Notre Dame, Miami along with some of the teams from the old CCHA (BG, Northern, Lake State, etc.)

    Looking at it realistically, the Big Ten can likely get in two teams to the NCAA. A third can float in that bubble zone, but will need a strong non-conference slate to make a case. In fact, the stronger schedule the entire Big Ten plays, the better it is for all conference teams.....

    "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." --Gandhi

  • And you disagree with, . . . what exactly?

  • Nothing. Everything you said was spot on. Comley stocked the program completely and thoroughly with talent. We weren't overtaken by 2 MAC schools, ND, UM, NMU, Ferris and others during his tenure. We consistently competed and won league titles. Attendance was at its peak. We had lots of successful NHL players and high draft picks. Our recruiting was always in the top 5 in the nation and the coaches @ USNTDP, Honeybaked, Compuware, and Little Caesars were on the head coaches speed dial. We also sent an abundance of players to represent their country at the world juniors. Everything was absolutely perfect and I'm glad Rick got to retire on top.

    This post was edited by Rogue Leader 13 months ago

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    "losing Caleb Benenoch is a blow that Dantonio will never recover from. Izzo has lost it as well. Hoke and Beilein own the state." -Tpain

  • I agree with this Heathens, but it sounds more like a recipe for at least four teams. The top two teams in the B1G plus, generally, two bubble teams from the league are going to scratch their way in.

    Will be very interesting to see how next season's schedule is set up. I think it's going to be as Comley suggested, like we were, in effect, in two conferences.

  • I appreciate all your support, goodwill, well wishes, and the love.

  • No problem. MSU was on top of the world with your spouse at the helm.

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    "losing Caleb Benenoch is a blow that Dantonio will never recover from. Izzo has lost it as well. Hoke and Beilein own the state." -Tpain

  • there is absolutely no way 4 teams are getting in other than a once in a blue moon rarity where the 4th team wins the tourney and the 3rd team played a tough out of conference schedule and won a majority of them. 2 teams is the most we can expect to have every year and then a 3rd if they do well enough out of conference. if we would have played in the B1G this year we would have been damn lucky to get 2 in, 4 is just flat out unrealistic for just about every year

  • I disagree. I think you're underestimating just how good MSU, UM, Minnesota, an UW can be when they're firing on all (or even most) of their cylinders. The move to the BIG can also really help in spreading the brand. It's worked for every other sport and now they've got the exclusive rights to conference games that contain more than just the occasional occurances of the 6 BIG teams facing off against each other or the even more rare occurance of a BIG team at home against a non BIG team.

    If the aforementioned "Big 4" play well in the non con, beat each other up in conference like the BIG bball teams do and take care of business against OSU and an upstart PSU I think 4 can get in. I also think the formation of the hockey wing of the conference will aid in giving some encouragement to schools like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and perhaps even Northwestern to make the leap to D1 and invest or receive donations for infrastructure. Small, private schools have shown they can have great success in hockey and NW is situated in the hockey rich area of Chicago and its metro area, along with sharing borders with wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and a lake with Canada. Iowa is situated in the heart of USHL country and is home to some good junior hockey. Same with IU and UI. And all 3 of those schools have pretty sizable enrollments, and not all those kids (especially IU) are getting bball tickets. lol

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Rogue Leader 13 months ago

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    "losing Caleb Benenoch is a blow that Dantonio will never recover from. Izzo has lost it as well. Hoke and Beilein own the state." -Tpain

  • okay well talk to me when all 4 of them operate on all their cylinders in 1 year and make the tournament. the last 15 years they've all made the tournament on 3 occasions. potential doesn't equal reality. It's going to be more difficult now to make the tourney than it was before when you had a few bottom tier wcha and ccha cup cakes to get automatic wins.

    1 of the 4 teams statistically has to finish a few wins below .500 in conference play unless 1 team goes essentially winless and I think that would still leave 1 of the 4 under .500. on average you need at least 19 or 20 wins to get an ncaa berth unless you win your conference tourney. if someone finishes 8-12 in the B1G that's going to require a 12-1 or 11-2 out of conference record to have a good chance to be included. That's a pretty high benchmark to expect every year and frankly isn't realistic unless we load up on shitty teams and then at that point you would need more than 19 or 20 wins to up your PWR ranking. 2 teams will be automatic and a 3rd will be included most years, a 4th will occur very rarely when the 4th team wins the conference tourney and the 3rd team did extremely well out of conference. There's no way you could expect to get 4 teams

  • I think you've outlined the issue. In a 6-team conference, there is little path for 4 teams to have records over .500, plus we cannot talk about how much quality there will be in the new Big Ten, including from perceived lesser teams in Penn State and Ohio State, and not realize the new conference will likely have a narrow distribution of wins and losses. That puts pressure on the non-conference slate, and expecting four teams from such a small conference to play their way into the 16-team NCAA is, in my view, a reach. Two is reasonable, three possible if the chips fall into place that specific season, but thinking the Big Ten is going to somehow dominate college hockey for post-season berths in that way is a stretch.

    Set aside alignment and schedule, this year, the six Big Ten teams will produce a total of one top-16 team with Minnesota ranked #2. Well, maybe two as Wisconsin is tied for 16th in the pairwise. Last year there were three...Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State. 2011 was one with Minnesota. 2010 two with Wisconsin and Michigan. Even in the current structure, where playing a lesser schedule is not really a choice due to conference play, the Big Ten teams haven't gotten to four, and it's a damn odd year for the power conferences (WCHA, Hockey East, CCHA) to get four of their teams in now. A smaller conference slate makes that harder.

    The Big Ten will need more teams if the conference itself is going to help more conference teams make the NCAA....

    This post was edited by Heathens 87 13 months ago

    "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." --Gandhi

  • I am actually not going to write off OSU for the near future. They were decent this year and return much of their team. They were built similarly this year to how we will be next year.

    EDIT: And let's hope that Minny is hit hard by NHL defections...really hard.

    This post was edited by All Ages Shows 13 months ago

  • A_Allen

    Meh, I don't know about that. Usually, the low-water mark for a power conference team to make the NCAA tournament is somewhere between 19 and 21 wins.

    (And yes, I know I'm essentializing things a bit. Here's my point: Generally speaking, 20-win teams make the tournament more often than not.)

    With a 20-game conference schedule, depending on exemptions, a team will have to play another 14-16 games to round out its full regular season schedule. It wouldn't shock me if a B1G team made the NCAA tournament with, say, a 9-11-0 or 10-10-0 conference record and an 11-3-0 or 10-4-0 non-conference record.

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  • correct. 10-10 would not be the 4th place team though, that scenario would be more likely of the 3rd place team. at best your 4th place team is going to be 8-12 or maybe 9-11. That would leave 11 or 12 wins needed out of conference. Maybe the first year or two if PSU goes 2-18 or something of that nature then 4 teams will be around .500 or above. there's only so many wins to go around between 6 teams. It's unrealistic to think this will happen more than once in a great while though. A 4th place big ten is just going to have too big of a hole to be able to make it up on any kind of consistent basis. 3 teams is probably our ceiling unless someone really really blows on a consistent basis.

  • You said there's absolutely no way four teams would ever get in. I say there is a way. Lots of non-conference games to boost records and a single-elimination tournament format. You can't say a 4, 5, 6 seed winning the B1G tournament would automatically bump out the third best B1G team. How do you know how strong those three teams are?

    I am not saying it would be "the norm," but there definitely is not "no way" four teams could make the NCAAs. In 2008, seven teams from the 10-team WCHA made the NCAA tournament. Only three of those teams had a conference record above .500.

    Building on A_Allen's numbers:
    Eight of the 13 NCAA bids from CCHA/Hockey East/WCHA last season finished the regular season with 21 wins or less. MSU had 19 wins and Western Michigan had 17 wins.

    The previous year saw the same number of 21-wins-or-less CCHA/Hockey East/WCHA teams make the NCAAs, including four with 19 wins or less.

  • I shouldn't speak in absolutes and like I said a few posts above: It can happen once in a very great while but it will certainly be very very rare. The mathematics behind it just don't work out and the on ice performances in a recent 10 year history don't point to 3rd or 4th place teams in any league being able to run through non conference with only 2 or 3 losses. It would have to be the perfect storm and it's very highly unlikely the 3rd place team would have a strong enough resume to still get in. I shouldn't have said there's absolutely no way, because there is a way, but some people here seemed to think 4 was a realistic expectation. that's just not true

    you also can't just look at regular season. you need to look at total wins throughout everything that counts. there were only 2 teams last year with less than 20 wins. most were closer to 23-24 wins. the year before there was only 1 team with less than 20 wins. you can't just look at regular season, that's only 1 part of the equation

    This post was edited by Big Fella 13 months ago

  • I am looking at regular season because that is the equation that you've used in your own posts. 20 conference games + 14 non-conference games = 34 regular season games. That doesn't include include post-season conference tournaments. I took out the post-season conference tournaments from the last two years to show that teams with as little as 16, 17, and 19 regular season wins can make the NCAAs without having to win their conference tournament or even make the conference championship game.

    It's not highly unusual for a team with around a .500 conference record to make the tournament without getting an autobid. Six in the past five tournaments.

    2011 Western Michigan 10-9-9
    2011 Colorado College 13-13-2
    2010 Vermont 9-11-7
    2008 St.Cloud State 12-12-4
    2008 Wisconsin 11-12-5
    2008 Minnesota 9-12-7

  • i used regular season for B1G because there's only 3 possible wins available for a team in the postseason, and only 2 if you are the #3 team and someone else wins to get in the tourney. As you've said before the scenario for 4 teams would be if the 4th team made a run and won the tournament. Which means the 3rd team would likely only be able to win 1 game in the tourney to still have a team ranked 4-6 win. For all other conferences they will have multiple game series like we do now. Assuming the 1 and 2 are automatically in, it doesn't matter what they do in the postseason. So you could add a probable 1 win for a 3rd seed in the postseason as long as it wasn't the 6th place team that won the tourney and got in to NCAA's. In the end it means the third team wins 1 game in the postseason so it really wasn't a factor for our league. Those other leagues will have the benefit of winning a few extra games if you're on the bubble. That's why I used the reg season for the B1G , it's really the only realistic way a 3rd seed picks up wins without winning the tourney or knocking out the people we would rely on to win and get the 4th spot. getting 4 teams in is extremely unlikely

    Now, if we were to change to a best of 3 series type playoff then it would become a little more realistic and quite frankly I'm not sure why we didn't do it this way.

    This post was edited by Big Fella 13 months ago