WSR's Unofficial ACHA Division ll Central Region Top 10

10/30/07 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - The real pollsters will tell you it is a heck of a thing to try and take the best of the best and rank them in order. Ten different pollsters will give you ten different results, which is why things like this are done by committee rather than placing the burden on one particular individual.

Pollsters are often limited by certain rules that the average fan isn’t aware of as well. For instance in ranking the Division II teams, a pollster is supposed to disregard how those teams did against Division I teams.

Steve and I have long believed that, in truth, it is impossible not to take such things into consideration when assessing the value of a team, and we will not put that restriction on ourselves.

Therefore, take into consideration when reading our poll that our rules may differ slightly from those who have been chosen by the ACHA to perform the official task at hand. Those rules (or criteria), according to the ACHA website, shall also include strength of schedule, head to head, comparative scoring, and overall win/loss record, in no particular order.

The WebSports Radio poll has but two pollsters; Steve Casson and myself, Dan Lee. We have each compiled our own individual polls and, using a point scale of ten for the best and one for the tenth-best, have come up with our own consensus (see graphic below).

The one thing you will get with our poll that you won’t see from any other is that Steve and I have agreed to share our reasoning for our selections with you, the Division II fans. This opens us up for great ridicule and (hopefully) some spirited (but fun) discussion.

It might actually be a very dumb thing to do, but no one ever accused Steve or I of being intelligent!


So here we go….

#1 Grand Valley State - Dan: #1 - Steve: #1

With the exception of a 5-2 slip-up against Ferris State (the day after an emotional 3 - 2 OT win over Michigan), the Lakers have been taking on the best of the best and winning. Victories over Florida Gulf Coast, Davenport, and D1 Michigan Dearborn. Beat and tied D1 Western Michigan for added credence.

#2 Michigan - Dan: #2 - Steve: #2

Three wins are against D1 teams. Their only blemish is the overtime loss to GVSU. Beat Ferris State 8 - 6 and D1 Western Michigan 2 - 1. Thumped RMC Chicago and a very good Adrian team in two game sets.

#3 Davenport - Dan: #3 - Steve: #3

Maybe the toughest schedule among the top ten, and they have held up very well. Victories over Florida Gulf Coast, Ferris State, Wagner, and a pair over Michigan State. Split with Indiana. Lost to GVSU 4-1, Eastern Washington 4 - 3, and non-ACHA St. Clair ( Canada) in two games. All of their ACHA opponents so far are likely to appear in the ACHA top ten of their respective regions with the possible exception of Ferris State, who will be hovering close by.

#4 Missouri State - Dan: #4 - Steve: #5

They haven’t really played a top-rung team yet, but have beaten up on all Division II comers including Iowa (5-1, 5-2), which split with Minnesota. Their only losses were at D1 Central Oklahoma (5-0 and 5-4). No one else has come closer than 3 goals to the Ice Bears, including Missouri (7-2, 5-2) and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (7-0). “It’s a good start,” said Steve. “They should improve as they play a tougher schedule.”

#5 Minnesota - Dan: #5 - Steve: #6

Much like Missouri State in terms of schedule strength. Started the year by winning the St. Cloud Invitational. Beat the host team 1-0. “They slipped up with a split at Iowa or I would probably have ranked them higher,” said Dan. “As it was, they had to go below Missouri State based on the Ice Bear’s convincing wins against the Ice Hawks.”

#6 Michigan State - Dan: #9 - Steve: #4

Steve and Dan’s widest disagreement. “They’re here due to their strength of schedule,” said Steve.

Dan said,”They haven’t turned the corner with a big win yet, but they’re playing everyone tough. A win over Ferris State, with 1 or 2 goal losses to D1 Illinois, Siena, Florida Gulf Coast, Davenport, and D1 Western Michigan. Plus, there’s no way I’m leaving the defending National Champs out of the top ten.”

#7 Iowa - Dan: #6 - Steve: #8

Dan said, “They played Missouri State better than anyone in DII so far, and served Minnesota their only loss. Good enough, for now…”

Steve said,”They still have not played a quality schedule, but they’re here due to their record.”

#8 Central Michigan - Dan: #8 - Steve: #7

Here largely by virtue of their split with DePaul and a good tussle with Florida Gulf Coast, which they lost 4 - 1. Haven’t had the toughest schedule so far, but worth respect. “They picked up wins against Dayton, but not really a tough schedule yet,” said Steve.

#9 DePaul - Dan: #7 - Steve: honorable mention, no points

“Yes, DePaul,” said Dan. “They have creamed the teams they should have, and have played very close to all the teams that you would have expected them to get smoked by. Lost by 1 goal to top ranked Siena, Central Connecticut State and undefeated (13-0) William Patterson. Handed Indiana one of only two losses ( Davenport was the other) in a split series. Also split with Central Michigan. Scored 27 goals in one game against Michigan-Flint; the worst drubbing they’ve ever taken. Worth a vote.”

Said Steve, “I don’t like they way they ran up the score against Flint.”

#10 (Tie)

Ferris State - Dan: #10 - Steve: #10

“Talk about a killer schedule; not a lightweight on it so far,” said Dan. “Earned their way into the top ten by handing GVSU their only loss, 5-2. Lost two close games to Michigan (8-6, 4-3) in a home-and-home, and split with Ohio State. They do show inconsistency though, having been pummeled by Davenport 12-2.”

“Hate to say it, but they do have a strong schedule,” said Steve. “I don’t like that they lost to Kansas (4-2), though.”

St. Cloud State - Dan: honorable mention, no points - Steve: #9

“They did have a win over a D1 team ( Minot, ND) in a three game set,” said Steve.

“They have a D1 win and a 1-0 loss to Minnesota. Their schedule is tough enough that for them to have a winning record right now, they have to be skating pretty well.”


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