College Hockey Rankings 2-3-2014

I published my college hockey rankings last week to some pretty positive feedback (much to my surprise). Because of that, I’m going to keep on trudging along, making this a weekly thing now. The following uses data through Saturday’s games.

It is important to remember when viewing these rankings that they know only the following about each team:

  • Goals scored
  • Goals allowed
  • Shots taken
  • Shots allowed
  • Schedule

Therefore, my model does not know a team’s wins or losses, but it does include home and away adjustments. Thus, this is not a poll. A top-20 poll should include wins and losses, in my opinion. This does not attempt to predict the Pairwise or any sort of NCAA Tournament selection. This list is simply my attempt to get to the answer of who is really the best college hockey team in the nation. Please see my initial rankings for a bit of an overview of the nuts and bolts of the ranking model.

Rk LW Change Team KRACH Pyth% Future SOS fSOS+ Rk
1 1 0 Minnesota 1 0.909 0.596 12
2 2 0 Minnesota-Duluth 12 0.896 0.558 22
3 3 0 Boston College 2 0.867 0.607 9
4 4 0 New Hampshire 13 0.862 0.527 30
5 5 0 Maine 21 0.752 0.619 7
6 9 3 Mass.-Lowell 4 0.744 0.662 4
7 8 1 Notre Dame 15 0.743 0.578 15
8 6 -2 Vermont 17 0.729 0.693 2
9 7 -2 Nebraska-Omaha 27 0.728 0.564 20
10 12 2 Quinnipiac 3 0.718 0.551 24
11 10 -1 Providence 10 0.716 0.576 17
12 13 1 Michigan 8 0.715 0.604 11
13 11 -2 Miami 29 0.696 0.577 16
14 14 0 Union 5 0.684 0.551 26
15 15 0 Merrimack 40 0.649 0.696 1
16 16 0 Northeastern 11 0.648 0.499 38
17 18 1 Massachusetts 41 0.646 0.639 5
18 17 -1 St. Cloud State 7 0.641 0.566 18
19 19 0 Ohio State 25 0.625 0.580 14
20 20 0 Minnesota State 26 0.614 0.344 52

Note: LW is last week’s ranking. Change is the difference between last week’s ranking and this week. KRACH is a team’s ranking in KRACH ratings, found on College Hockey News. Pyth% is my Pythagorean Win Expectation. fSOS Rk is a team’s future strength of schedule ranking.

Not a lot of movement in rankings with the top five staying the same. Minnesota‘s overall Pyth% took a hit with their series against Michigan State over the weekend (coming out as +1 on the weekend in goal differential). Duluth, Boston College, and New Hampshire¬†all got small bumps in their pythagorean win percentage.

Upwards Mobility

Mass.-Lowell moves up three spots to sixth overall after a weekend sweep of Merrimack in a home-and-home. The River Hawks ended the weekend with a +6 goal differential. Quinnipiac also moved up two spots after an 8-1 route of¬†Dartmouth. Don’t worry, the Bobcats only out-shot Dartmouth 39-13 in that route. Quinnipiac now leads the nation in puck possession, closing in on 62%. No one else is above 57%.

You’re Slipping…

Vermont, Miami and Nebraska-Omaha all slipped two spots even though the Catamounts and RedHawks were inactive. The Mavericks split a series at home against St. Cloud State and were even at 11 goals scored with the Huskies on the weekend.

Toughest Road Ahead

There’s no rest for the wicked in the top-20, either. By my model, the five toughest remaining schedules in the nation belong to Merrimack, Vermont, Boston University, Lowell and Massachusetts. Four of those teams sit inside my top-20 (good luck, BU).

Comparison with KRACH

I’ve included the KRACH rating of every team as of Sunday afternoon. Just running a quick correlation, they crossover pretty nicely on the whole. Obviously my system is higher on some teams than KRACH (Merrimack, Massachusetts, UNO, Maine, Miami) and less in love with some of KRACH’s top squads (Ferris State, Cornell, Wisconsin, North Dakota). This is explained mostly by the fact that I don’t look at any wins and losses while KRACH is a system that does. KRACH is probably more mathematically sound than my system — and I completely trust it’s results — but I enjoy that my system is a bit different, if not a bit less mathematically correct, than KRACH.

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