though INCH has a collective vote in one of the national
polls – guess which one? – it's usually not
a good idea to put much stock in them. All one needs to
do is take a peek at this week's rankings for a reason.
Vermont had one of the best showings of the
handful of teams that played for keeps last weekend, soundly
beating two pretty good teams at the Ice Breaker Tournament
in Oxford, Ohio. But in one of the polls, the Catamounts
leapt from the middle of the "others receiving votes"
mash-up to 10th. That's not a big issue; given the limited
sample size at this time of year, teams are often rewarded
generously for wins that appear bigger than they usually
What's completely astounding is that someone
in this poll gave UVM a first-place vote. Are you freakin'
kidding me?!?! I'm going to go out on a limb and say the
voter in question didn't have the Cats rated too highly
on his or her preseason ballot, since Vermont was outside
of the top 20 with 41 points (teams get 20 points for a
first-place vote, 19 for second, and so on). Based on this
ballot, one of two things happened:
Great Falls H.S. alum
First, you should know this: there's no bias.
It's a myth, people. As a group, we're like the United Nations,
and all the competing opinions create a consensus. Take
my role, for example. Like Tony Kornheiser, I think everyone
stinks. Actually, there are two good teams, maybe six teams
that could be good – everyone beyond that stinks.
Second, stemming the tide of critical e-mails
polluting my inbox every Monday is one of my priorities
for the 2006-07. That's why I'm organizing the first Mike
Check Fan Poll, and I'm looking for a yet-to-be determined
number of INCH readers to participate. I can, however, guarantee
the following people will be among the vox populi:
There are criteria that will automatically
result in exclusion from voting, but that list is too long
to type out, so it'll remain in my head. If you're interested,
fire me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Include your name, the city in which you currently live,
your favorite college hockey team, your e-mail address and
a statement of less than 39 words (in honor of goalie Ryan
Miller) explaining why you should be picked. Panelists will
be announced in the Oct. 24 Mike Check.
At times I get the impression
that you have a northeast bias in your coverage with the
exception of Minnesota and Wisconsin. I generally enjoy
reading your website but would like to see better reporting
and stories about other teams in the WCHA. North Dakota
has won seven national championships and looks to have a
very promising run in 2007. – M.; Bryan, Utah
I grew up in northeastern Minnesota. Maybe
that's where the bias comes from. As far as our Minnesota
and Wisconsin coverage in comparison to North Dakota, though
both the Badgers and Gophers have won national championships
since INCH launched back in 2002, my feeling is that we've
been fairly good in featuring the Sioux. As for this year,
NoDak, along with Boston College, appear to be the class
of the country at this point in time. And Jonathan Toews
is my pick to win the Hobey – he's a year older, an
inch taller, 20 pounds heavier, and I was extremely impressed
with the way he handled himself at the NHL Draft and the
ensuing negotiations with the Chicago Blackhawks.
How does one go about getting
a job writing for INCH? I spend most of my time thinking
and reading about college hockey. So the next logical progression
seems to be making it my life's work. – Christian,
St. Paul, Minn.
I'd love to help you make college hockey your
life's work ... just as soon as I make it my life's work.
IT'S GOTTA GO SOMEWHERE...
A place for leftover stuff that needs a home.
Or, as New Yorkers call it, Nassau Coliseum.
• North Dakota: I understand the logic
behind suing the NCAA over the whole Fighting Sioux nickname/logo
deal. And the logo is, in my opinion, quite flattering in
its depiction of a young Native American. But this conflict
can only end one way, and that's badly for the university.
One of two things will happen – either the NCAA, which
won't back down even if it takes years of appeals and millions
of dollars, wins the suit, or North Dakota wins, in which
case the NCAA storms back to Indy in a huff and looks for
another way to put the screws to NoDak.
NCAA won't let Native Americans represent your team,
but selling you cars is OK.
To whomever is spearheading this effort on
behalf of North Dakota, be it university president Charles
Kupchella or the state attorney general, I suggest this
compromise: North Dakota will drop the Fighting Sioux nickname
and logo as soon as the NCAA repays the millions of dollars
it's received from long-time "corporate
champion" Pontiac, named
after the 18th century Native American chief. Physician,
• Why is the NCAA putting all this effort
into erasing Native American nicknames, yet the Idaho Vandals
are left unscathed? Is Myles Brand soft on misdemeanor property
crime? It probably stems from all those times Brand toilet-papered
the trees in Bob Knight's front yard.
• Boston University put in place a policy
last month prohibiting swearing and racist and sexist chants
at its athletics events. When asked if his institution would
consider a similar ban, especially in light of the foul-mouthed
student section at Yost Ice Arena, Michigan athletic director
Bill Martin said, "No f---in' way."
OK, he didn’t really say that. But it
would have been funny if he did, right?
• Kudos to Derek from Orono for his
excellent question in this
week's Inside College Hockey chat on ESPN.com's "The
Show." He asked if anyone else thought
this year's slate of non-conference games were uninspired.
Traditionally, the first couple of weeks of the season are
a great time to stop by the local rink and get a look at
an unfamiliar opponent – in the past, I've made a
point of catching a Boston College or a Cornell if they've
been in the area.
This season? Blecch. Here's a sampling of
the non-conference games in my neck of the woods this season
(tournaments not included):
Seriously, you guys are killing me.