"I felt we made a mistake in building a baseball field. I thought that should have been the ice skating rink, because I think hockey in this state right now, not just hockey, but ice skating, if you come up to our office building at 6:00 in the morning, some mornings you can't get a parking spot because parents have taken their kids up here to skate...I think hockey will be a great addition to our intercollegiate program. [The Pegula gift] is a great, great gift. And I think very far-sighted and I'm really pleased with it." - Joe Paterno

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Cheddar?

Maybe I'm getting a little bit ahead of things since the new rankings don't come out until Friday - but at the same time, it's not really a huge reach. Here are the top four right now, including what they've done since October 7th, when they were last sorted in order of good-ness.

1. Lindenwood
L vs. Utah State (D2), 2-3 (ACHA D2 Showcase)
W vs. Penn State (D2), 7-5 (ACHA D2 Showcase)
L at No. 7 Arizona State, 1-4
W at No. 7 Arizona State 2-1

(Interestingly, Lindenwood's website still doesn't acknowledge that those D2 games took place. Don't worry, I'm here to remind you.)

2. Davenport
L vs. No. 8 Oklahoma, 3-4 (ACHA D1 Showcase)
L vs. No. 16 Illinois 2-4 (ACHA D1 Showcase)
W vs. No. 12 Minot State 3-0 (ACHA D1 Showcase)

3. Ohio
W vs. No. 17 Stony Brook, 5-0 (ACHA D1 Showcase)
W vs. No. 8 Oklahoma, 4-2 (ACHA D1 Showcase)
L vs. No.6 Delaware, 1-6 (ACHA D1 Showcase)
W vs. Pittsburgh 7-1

4. Penn State
W vs. Lebanon Valley, 12-1
W at No. 16 Illinois, 11-0
W at No. 16 Illinois, 5-2

Adrian is No. 5 and went 0-2-1 at the ACHA D1 Showcase. Delaware is No. 6 and dropped a game at the Showcase (although to a very good Arizona State team in overtime) and had to come from behind twice against an improving-but-still-lowly West Virginia. Those Sun Devils are No. 7 and do have a pair of pretty impressive wins against Delaware and Lindenwood, but at the same time they did drop the other game to the Lions, the ACHA coaches poll isn't exactly known for its wild swings, and moving from 7 to 1 or 2 would qualify as one.

I gave up on sincerely trying to figure out the poll a long time ago, but to me, it would seem that the only candidates for No. 1 come from the top four. Penn State is the only team in that group that hasn't lost - to be fair, against the weakest schedule of the lot. PSU also already had nine of the 39 first-place votes before even playing a game, and the Icers have only backed up the hype since that first ranking. Ohio could very well slide into No. 2 with both Lindenwood and Davenport losing two games, and to teams ranked lower than the one which victimized the Bobcats.

Curiously enough, the last time the Icers were ranked No. 1 was in the first in-season ranking of the 2007-2008 season, issued on October 5, 2007. PSU relinquished the spot to then-No. 2 Illinois in the next ranking thanks to the Illini's sweep of the Icers on the Big Pond. A reversal of fortune against the same team at the same rink might propel PSU back to the top spot.

A 1 vs. 2 battle at the Ice Pavilion this weekend? I can't think of a better way to end the home side of our greatest rivalry.

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