Last weekend marked the quarter point in the college season. The weeks quickly flying by has led to the development of some interesting trends. Some teams have separated themselves from the pack while others have come out of nowhere to be nationally relevant.
The Cream Rises to the Top
The first thing that stands out on the chart is the fact that Wisconsin and Minnesota are clearly in a league of their own amongst pollsters. Wisconsin has never had less then 14 out of 17 pollster’s top votes, and this week, the Badgers attained the first unanimous number one vote across the board.
Minnesota, the clear number two, had an opportunity in week three to catch the Badgers but stumbled - almost out of second place. They have since rebounded and locked down a top seed.
Elevated to Sainthood
The biggest surprise of the season has to be St. Lawrence. The Saints started the season in Boston taking on a Northeastern team that had lost their star player Kendall Coyne and was searching for their identity. They routed the Huskies in the first game and escaped with a narrow victory in the second. They then had a home-and-home series against a Clarkson team that was expected to contend for home ice in the NCAA tournament this season. They took three out of four points from the Golden Knights, which sent them skyrocketing in the polls. They are the only team who has gained votes every week in the polls; Minnesota-Duluth neither gained nor lost votes this week.
No one knew what to expect of a Boston College team that lost so much scoring after coming within 60 minutes of a perfect season last year. Despite the fact that both of their top scorers left for the NWHL, pollsters put BC at third in the initial poll. After that, they have seesawed each week since. They ran into the buzzsaw known as Minnesota-Duluth in week one, which caused a big drop. The next week they took care of business against Maine and rebounded in the polls slightly. However, in their final game against Maine the next week, the Black Bears shocked them, causing them to drop down to sixth. This past weekend they took three out of four points from Quinnipiac to bring them back into a top four position.
Questions Out West
Bemidji State and North Dakota have been bouncing around in the 9-11 positions of the poll for the last three weeks. Both teams have been uneven in their play but have had some good results, highlighted by Bemidji’s 2-0 win over Minnesota. This weekend will see the two of them play each other, which should settle this position battle.
Weekly Voting Breakdown
This table represents the percentage of possible votes a team has received each week. 100% means the team received all of the first place votes. Every ten percent lower is the equivalent of receiving all of that place votes whether they actually do or the votes average to that position. A blank box means the team received no votes that week or the week before.