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SB Nation’s NCAA Poll: Welcome Back

We are approaching the time when we start to look at magic numbers and clinching options but there will be lots to decide over the coming weeks.

Frozen Fenway Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

This season our top teams are very grateful for the tournament expansion. We have a very clear top-eight, though ninth is creeping up. In past years at least one of those teams would miss the dance but with the addition of the NEWHA it would add another, but thankfully we have an 11-team field and the only discussion will be who gets a bye and who has to play the extra game.

1. Ohio State (20-2-2), 87 (7) — Last poll: 1

  • Last week: W 2-1 OT v Wisconsin (1/13), W 5-0 v Wisconsin (1/14)
  • Coming Week: @ St. Cloud State (1/20, 1/21)

The Buckeyes continued Wisconsin’s misery even if the game was tight, the second game left little doubt. OSU will continue their winning ways this weekend when they travel up for St. Cloud.

2. Yale (17-1-1), 77 — Last poll: 2

  • Last week: W 6-0 @ St. Anselm (1/10), W 4-1 v Brown (1/12), W 4-0 @ Brown (1/14)
  • Coming Week: @ Princeton (1/20), @ Quinnipiac (1/21)

The Bulldogs continue to roll having taken care of their travel partner. They will now look to cement their Ivy lead and then ‘travel’ for another edition of the Battle for Whitney Ave.

T-3. Minnesota (18-3-2), 67 (1) — Last poll: 3

  • Last week: W 5-0 v St. Thomas (1/13, W 4-1 v St. Thomas (1/14)
  • Coming Week: @ Bemidji State (1/20, 1/21)

Two boring wins at home for the Gophers and this weekend should be the same just on the road.

T-3. Quinnipiac (22-3-0), 67 (1) — Last poll: 5

  • Last week: W 2-1 OT @ Colgate (1/13), W 6-1 @ Cornell (1/14)
  • Coming Week: v Brown (1/20), v Yale (1/21)

After squeezing by Colgate to jump in our poll the Bobcats blew Cornell out of the barn to stay atop the ECAC and earn this week’s ‘Belles of the Ball’ title. They will host Brown and the aforementioned Yale who is saying high at the moment.

5. Colgate (19-3-1), 52 — Last poll: 4

  • Last week: W 5-2 @ Syracuse (1/10), L 1-2 OT v Quinnipiac (1/13), W 6-2 v Princeton (1/14)
  • Coming Week: v Cornell (1/20), @ Cornell (1/21)

A simple road trip to Syracuse netted an easy win before they hosted Quinnipiac and were unable to walk away with the win, then took Princeton to the woodshed. They will play their grave partner Cornell in a crucial series that will determine seeding in the ECAC

6. Northeastern (21-2-1), 44 — Last poll: 6

  • Last week: W 1-0 OT v Boston College (1/13), W 5-0 v Maine (1/14)
  • Coming Week: @ Merrimack (1/20), @ Vermont (1/21)

The Huskies sleepwalked through their tilt against their Newton neighbors but were able to salvage the extra league point even if it did ultimately hurt them in the PWR. The next night saw a slow start against a Maine team that had beaten them in Orono before the floodgates opens for a large victory. Now they travel for a pair where they could claim their regular season crown with help.

7. Minnesota-Duluth (17-6-1), 39 — Last poll: 7

  • Last week: W 8-1 v Bemidji State (1/13), W 5-0 v Bemidji State (1/14)
  • Coming Week: @ St. Thomas (1/21, 1/22)

The Beavers were not a match for the Bulldogs. Now a trip to a team that is barely above Bemidji in the table is up next which should continue their winning ways.

8. Wisconsin (16-7-1), 22 — Last poll: 8

  • Last week: L 1-2 OT @ Ohio State (1/13), L 0-5 @ Ohio State (1/14)
  • Coming Week: v Minnesota State (1/21, 1/22)

Things aren’t going great in Madison as the Badgers are failing in ways not seen since their program started as they once again were unable to muster a victory. This weekend will end that streak as they host a Mavericks team that is well out of the home ice conversation.

9. Cornell (10-6-2), 18 — Last poll: 9

  • Last week: W 4-1 v Princeton (1/13), L 1-6 v Quinnipiac (1/14)
  • Coming Week: @ Syracuse (1/17), @ Colgate (1/20), v Colgate (1/21)

Beating Princeton was great after they tied in Nashville and it keeps the Big Red in contention for an Ivy title. The next day Quinnipiac was way too much for them to handle. It won’t get any easier after they travel to Syracuse as they play their travel partner Colgate for two.

10. Clarkson (19-6-1), 11 — Last poll: ARV

  • Last week: W 2-1 OT @ Rensselaer (1/13), W 7-0 @ Union (1/14)
  • Coming Week: @ St. Lawrence (1/21), v St. Lawrence (1/21)

No one wants to live in this spot as Penn State left the poll after tying RIT. Clarkson being taken to OT by RPI was not enough to sink them after the Golden Knights rebounded against Union. They will now have their pair against St. Lawrence.

Also Receiving Votes: Penn State 7, Vermont 2, Boston College 1, Princeton 1