It seems like I'm writing stuff everywhere but here these days. I answered a few questions for Ryan Lambert's weekly NCAA post over at Puck Daddy, where I'm referred to as "the fellows over Western College Hockey Blog." As if there needed to be more evidence that I don't have a life.
A couple things to add...
1. I answered those questions Thursday afternoon before the Hobey finalists were announced, so I think that's pretty good I dropped the names of five of the ten finalists. I was leaning towards Nyquist at the time, but have since switched my full support over to Brendan Smith's Mustache for Hobey.
2. I better provide some context to my saying that I don't believe Bemidji is the 7th best team in the country, before people complain. There was some context, but it didn't make the cut because I'm one of those damn bloggers that can't work within a word count. This way you get my whole line of thinking and get even more to complain about.
I think Bemidji is a good team, but it's not like they were dominating everyone on their schedule. They went 3-3 playing the 5th, 7th, and 8th place teams in the WCHA this year. That's only a little over 20% of a WCHA season schedule I think it's fair to extrapolate that out to around a .500 record, maybe a game or two below in the WCHA this year, which would have got them 6th, maybe 7th place in the WCHA.
A fair comparison to Bemidji State this year would be Colorado College, who at times looked like one of the top teams in the country, but they got ground down by the second half of the WCHA schedule, and their lack of depth got exposed. Bemidji is a similiar team with a good first line, an excellent offensive defenseman, and a great goalie, but not a lot of depth. The difference is that they got to protect their record by picking up a lot of cheap wins against bad teams in the second half. If they had played a WCHA schedule, I think it's more likely they would have finished closer to 17-20 in the PWR, which is about where Colorado College finished the year. Then again, some people would argue--and some ranking systems would agree-- the same is true for any non-WCHA team that gets an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
3. The article Ryan wrote is pretty tough on autobids, but I've got no problem with them. I didn't like how the CHA handed there autobid; they may as well have played tiddlywinks with Mike Eaves. But in general, I think it's good that every conference gets some sort of representation and at least has a chance in the tournament, and generally, I think the gap between those teams at the top teams is much, much smaller than people think, especially in a high variance one-game playoff type of deal.