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Jim
03-30-2011, 10:58 AM
of winning a best-of-3.

Fact of the matter is, winning needs to be worth something, it can't be completely random, otherwise what are you proving? As one of the "non-power" schools, I see no problem in this.... i think you risk credibility if RIT manages to find a way to the Frozen Four every 3rd year w/o dominating their schedule.

The only credibility you risk is that of the leagues who claim so much superiority, and maybe the ranking system you use. the fact that RIT or Air Force or Holy Cross manage to beat a couple of teams that are supposedly vastly superior only proves that they are a good hockey team, I think. And probably that the quality of hockey played in the AHA is continuing to improve.

AFHockeyFan
03-30-2011, 11:31 AM
My issue with the AHA isn't the top of the conference, it's at the middle and bottom of the conference. Look at NCAA team rankings and you will see that the bottom 10 teams have a very large proportion of AHA members.

The bottom of the WAC is absolutely horrid. New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State shouldn't even be D1 programs. Same for the Mountain West with New Mexico, Colorado State and UNLV. But that doesn't mean Boise isn't capable of knocking off Oklahoma or Va. Tech and that TCU can't beat Wisconsin.

It's the same argument used against them year after year. Just because you play in a "weak" conference doesn't mean you aren't one of the better teams in the nation. Air Force and RIT have proven that they can play with anyone come tournament time. If four tournament appearances, Air Force is 1-4, with three OT losses, but four of the five games were against #1 seeds. Sure, the bottom feeders in the AHA aren't very good, and the AHA champion gets punished for playing them in the RPI, which means they'll always have an uphill road come tournament time. But that doesn't mean they don't have good teams.

billmich88888
03-30-2011, 12:30 PM
perfect analogy with boise st. thats exactly what i was thinking of. i always thought boise was an awesome team, but i refuse to say that the wac is anything but a mediocre (at best) conference. same might be true about aha as far as im concerned. ill take the wcha #5-8 teams and stack them against other conferences and you will really see the depth and quality of a great conference...same with the sec in football

HockeyMan2000
03-30-2011, 12:35 PM
So once we stop trying to "manipulate" it so that "this is prevented" and "that is guaranteed" and "the other thing is assured," then we can just see it for what it is. The whole POINT is that you DON'T have a "series" of games for anything. It SHOULD be one and done. That is the fun of the tournament and what gives it that "edge." It's only a game...a game that we may love, but let's not make it more than what it is.

Amen to that. IMO the NCAAs need to be played on an even keel. No teams playing in their own barn, no team getting an advantage with a bye over a team that played the day before -- those are aspects that were once part of the NCAA playoff system, that teams and fans all complained about for years, and were all changed. There seems to be no reason to go back to them other than trying to manipulate the system to sell more tickets (which I'm not convinced would even be the case with some of the proposals listed in here).

They don't play a Best of 3 or Best of 7 in the hoops. They don't allow teams to play on their home courts. It's one and done and people love it. For years college hockey fans -- most of the ones I knew anyway -- wanted to see that brought to the hockey playoffs, which were imbalanced and antiquated with their two-game total goal campus site series. Now we have that kind of neutral site, single-game elimination, no-extra-perks-to-the-higher-seeds type of format and we're all (me included) complaining that the system isn't working. And okay, so it's not in terms of attendance...but the bottom line to me is going backwards and rethinking the entire NCAA playoff format isn't the solution.

amherstblackbear
03-30-2011, 12:43 PM
Amen to that. IMO the NCAAs need to be played on an even keel. No teams playing in their own barn, no team getting an advantage with a bye over a team that played the day before -- those are aspects that were once part of the NCAA playoff system, that teams and fans all complained about for years, and were all changed. There seems to be no reason to go back to them other than trying to manipulate the system to sell more tickets (which I'm not convinced would even be the case with some of the proposals listed in here).

They don't play a Best of 3 or Best of 7 in the hoops. They don't allow teams to play on their home courts. It's one and done and people love it. For years college hockey fans -- most of the ones I knew anyway -- wanted to see that brought to the hockey playoffs, which were imbalanced and antiquated with their two-game total goal campus site series. Now we have that kind of neutral site, single-game elimination, no-extra-perks-to-the-higher-seeds type of format and we're all (me included) complaining that the system isn't working. And okay, so it's not in terms of attendance...but the bottom line to me is going backwards and rethinking the entire NCAA playoff format isn't the solution.

If the NCAA actually has accomplished those things, it's a pretty recent development. I remember going to a regional at Yost a few years back. For the record, it was a blast and there were some great games. And I really like A2. But neutral it wasn't. :)

billmich88888
03-30-2011, 12:47 PM
so if you are an upper level aha team, do what boise did, and join a better conference. ( at least til the good teams from the new conference bolted themselves) in any event i do know boise st. has been pro active recently in attempting to be part of the discussion of pac-10 and big 12 expansion plans

billmich88888
03-30-2011, 12:50 PM
in womens hoops, they allow home games. same in baseball and softball and most other sports i can think of. in fact the ONLY sport with no home courts is mens hoops

CLS
03-30-2011, 12:50 PM
My issue with the AHA isn't the top of the conference, it's at the middle and bottom of the conference. Look at NCAA team rankings and you will see that the bottom 10 teams have a very large proportion of AHA members.

I would also step up my level of respect if AHA got 2 teams in with an at-large bid (as Bemidji did last season). Having more games on tv (cbs cs/espnu) would also help fans like me to see these teams before tourney time.What do you mean "my issue" in the context of this string? The middle and the bottom of the AHA don't make the NCAA tournament. If you want to say that the AHA champion has an easier schedule, fine; just note that the past few years has shown the arguably easier schedule doesn't mean they're not worthy of being in the tournament.


ill take the wcha #5-8 teams and stack them against other conferences and you will really see the depth and quality of a great conference...If you want to have a hockey version of the NIT for mediocre teams, fine; I'm sure the power conferences would win it every year. But of what relevance is that to the NCAA tournament that's being discussed here? I hope you're not arguing that the #5-8 WCHA teams are being screwed because they're not in this tournament. If so I have a lot of trouble having any sympathy for them.

CLS
03-30-2011, 01:16 PM
Well, this brings up another issue (I know I might be opening a can of worms). Existentially speaking, why do we have a tournament in the first place? Seriously. The answer is to "crown the NCAA champion." . . .No, because nobody has defined what "champion" means. For some, North Dakota has already won it because they are the highest rated team in the polls, which implies that they were the best team over the course of the season, not over the last four games of the year. If we concede that the best team doesn't always win, the object of the tournament is circular. We have the tournament to determine the winner of the tournament. Put that way, it's kinda pointless. The real reason that we have the tournament is is because people love it, as evidenced by the passion that's gone into some of the posts in here. In my view, the win or go home aspect and the level playing field are part of the reason that I love it. What makes someone else love it -- big crowds and atmosphere, determining the "best", might be different, and that's why we don't agree on how the tournament should be structured.

Jim
03-30-2011, 01:58 PM
in womens hoops, they allow home games. same in baseball and softball and most other sports i can think of. in fact the ONLY sport with no home courts is mens hoops
Well, that's sort of true. The Top 4 teams do host the first weekend in womens basketball exactly for the reason that playing in a neutral site would generate 50 fans...but it is also a huge complaint by womens coaches that they have to play say UCONN and Tennessee at home and the NCAA has moved further and further away from that. In baseball the first rounds aren't at campus sites, I don't think. Teams can bid to host but the games are usually in neutral facilities. Last year for example, UCONN hosted but they didn't paly at Christiansen Field. They played at a minor league facility in Norwich. In any case, you end up having multiple teams playing at the host site. I guess I don't have a huge issue with someplace like Yost hosting a regional if its a good site. In particular if it is an 8 team event and 2 go on. I don't think you need to do that in the northeast, where as someone pointed out earlier there are lots of teams and lots of facilities all within pretty close proximity. Bridgeport, Providence, Manchester, Worcester, Hartford, Springfield, Albany,Portland even Rochester are all pretty reasonably located and more or less both Neutral and close enough to potential participants to maybe work. If Portalnd gets the planned upgrades, it might be a great location...terrific little city, very reasonable travel from Boston, UMaine, UNH, Merrimack, Worcester, Hartford...and I can attest that it has some pretty nice bars, too.

On the subject of the AHA, I think Boise is a great example. Good team in a weak league. That's the situation in the AHA, although I think the depth is much much better than it was a few years ago. RIT and Air Force are both very good hockey clubs, but Robert Morris, Holy Cross, Niagara and UCONN weren't terrible ones either. I'm not suggesting that any of them would win Hockey East or the WCHA, but they'd compete. The problem of course is at the very bottom which is quite weak.

By the way, what "better conference" did Bosie join? That argument is not particularly applicable to college hockey given the number of leagues out there. What league do you suggest RIT join and how?

AFHockeyFan
03-30-2011, 02:01 PM
so if you are an upper level aha team, do what boise did, and join a better conference. ( at least til the good teams from the new conference bolted themselves) in any event i do know boise st. has been pro active recently in attempting to be part of the discussion of pac-10 and big 12 expansion plans

Boise moved "up" (really laterally, as the new MWC looks a lot like the old WAC, and still doesn't have a BCS autobid) when they got the chance. So did TCU. Bemidji was fortunate to get a WCHA bid but, as far as I know, no AHA team has even sniffed a "Big Four" invite since Quinnipiac.

AFHockeyFan
03-30-2011, 02:12 PM
In baseball the first rounds aren't at campus sites, I don't think. Teams can bid to host but the games are usually in neutral facilities. Last year for example, UCONN hosted but they didn't paly at Christiansen Field. They played at a minor league facility in Norwich. In any case, you end up having multiple teams playing at the host site.
The baseball tournament first round is almost always at on-campus sites, unless the host doesn't have enough capacity, in which case they move it to a nearby minor league park. And when the field grew from 48 to 64 teams, the format changed from 8 six-team regionals to 16 four-team regionals, with the winners meeting in a best-two-out-of-three "Super Regional," again, almost always at the on-campus stadium of the higher seeded school, so more teams were playing more games at the higher seeds' on-campus sites. One of the main reasons we see the same crowd (LSU, Miami, FSU, Texas, Clemson, ASU, USC, etc.) at the College World Series every year, and why only one or two mid-majors make it to Omaha. I don't want the same for hockey (even though I'm a LSU baseball fan, so I can see the argument of fans from power schools).

Expansion in the college baseball playoffs mirrors what happened in hockey. The old regionals were great--six teams over four or five days in a double-elimination tournament, lots of great games, all playing for a single slot in the CWS. Unfortunately, it also excessivley favored both the home team and teams with a deep enough pitching staff and enough arms to wins four games in a row (usually one in the same). The new Regionals, with only four teams, are much less exciting, although the best two-out-of-three Super Regionals compensate for that somewhat. I used to go to a baseball Regional every year under the old format. I've been to exactly one of the new Regionals, and one Super Regional.
Each year several of the regionals are placed at "non-traditional" (i.e., cold weather) sites in an attempt to "grow the sport." Usually they are poorly attended, but it doesn't hurt the bottom line as much because its only one or two out of sixteen and places like Clemson are still drawing over 10,000/game.
Still it has many of the same issues with the format change in hockey.

BeloBrasil
03-30-2011, 02:13 PM
Not for anything, but those associated with the ECAC must thank God every day for the existence of the AHA. The mere presence of the AHA and the automatic bid granted to its conference champion for participation in the NCAA Ice Hockey Championship generally shields the ECAC and its member schools from the same sort of criticism that is being leveled herein at the AHA.

The year 2011 will serve as yet another glowing example of what a fraud conference the ECAC really is. Once again the NCAA deems the ECAC worthy of three bids and once again all three ECAC participants are ignomoniously ousted from the tournament in short order. This supposed elite conference has not won a championship since 1989 and has not had a team in the championship game since 1990.

It is time the NCAA took a hard look at this situation, stopped relying so much on Pair-Wise Rankings, and showed a little more respect to the AHA for I am sure that RIT (or Holy Cross for that matter) would have shown more life against North Dakota than RPI did (who by the way backed into the tournament as a result of Cornell's "dead on arrival" performance against Yale in the ECAC Championship - which looked like it was staged in some sort of burlesque hall in southern New Jersey).

4four4
03-30-2011, 02:22 PM
Once again the NCAA deems the ECAC worthy of three bids and once again all three ECAC participants are ignomoniously ousted from the tournament in short order. This supposed elite conference has not won a championship since 1989 and has not had a team in the championship game since 1990.

With the addition of the new Big Ten Hockey Conference the NCAA can take away at least two ECAC participants. ;)

jericho
03-30-2011, 02:29 PM
Not for anything, but those associated with the ECAC must thank God every day for the existence of the AHA. The mere presence of the AHA and the automatic bid granted to its conference champion for participation in the NCAA Ice Hockey Championship generally shields the ECAC and its member schools from the same sort of criticism that is being leveled herein at the AHA.

The year 2011 will serve as yet another glowing example of what a fraud conference the ECAC really is. Once again the NCAA deems the ECAC worthy of three bids and once again all three ECAC participants are ignomoniously ousted from the tournament in short order. This supposed elite conference has not won a championship since 1989 and has not had a team in the championship game since 1990.

It is time the NCAA took a hard look at this situation, stopped relying so much on Pair-Wise Rankings, and showed a little more respect to the AHA for I am sure that RIT (or Holy Cross for that matter) would have shown more life against North Dakota than RPI did (who by the way backed into the tournament as a result of Cornell's "dead on arrival" performance against Yale in the ECAC Championship - which looked like it was staged in some sort of burlesque hall in southern New Jersey).



:rolleyes:

HockeyMan2000
03-30-2011, 07:03 PM
If the NCAA actually has accomplished those things, it's a pretty recent development. I remember going to a regional at Yost a few years back. For the record, it was a blast and there were some great games. And I really like A2. But neutral it wasn't. :)

OK there's one instance. The point though is they are trying not to do that and don't make a habit out of it either.

Sorry on the women's hoop mistake. Shows you how much I care about it lol.

CLS
03-30-2011, 07:44 PM
If the NCAA actually has accomplished those things, it's a pretty recent development. I remember going to a regional at Yost a few years back. For the record, it was a blast and there were some great games. And I really like A2. But neutral it wasn't. OK there's one instance. The point though is they are trying not to do that and don't make a habit out of it either.

Sorry on the women's hoop mistake. Shows you how much I care about it lol.But the point is, that it hasn't happened recently. And I'm just about certain that's absolutely intentional on the NCAA's part. There were some years that they engaged in silliness like making Michigan sit in the visitors locker room when they were the lower seeded host. And I remember many discussions on this board. North Dakota would gripe about the regionals at Yost. Michigan would counter about playing lower seeded North Dakota at Grand Forks (don't remember if those were the pre-Englestad days or not) and say "If you don't like it, make a bid", which of course wasn't feasible for schools with small rinks and for eastern teams. The problem was that there was a shortage of suitable "neutral" western venues that were willing to make bids, where the east had Worcester and Albany.

HockeyMan2000
03-30-2011, 08:25 PM
But the point is, that it hasn't happened recently. And I'm just about certain that's absolutely intentional on the NCAA's part.

Yes, entirely agreed.

amherstblackbear
03-30-2011, 08:37 PM
OK there's one instance. The point though is they are trying not to do that and don't make a habit out of it either.


Well, they did it again a couple years later when they sent Maine to Mariucci. :D

Maybe they've toned that stuff down the last few years. It's not something Maine or Maine fans would notice. ;) :(

Patman
03-31-2011, 09:07 PM
Well, this brings up another issue (I know I might be opening a can of worms). Existentially speaking, why do we have a tournament in the first place? Seriously. The answer is to "crown the NCAA champion." Nothing more...nothing less. The first premise is that we have to dispel this notion that the "best team should win." That's not the way it works...that's what the regular season is for. A tournament is just that...a tournament. We all know that the "best" teams DON'T ALWAYS WIN the championship. We've seen this is every sport. So once we stop trying to "manipulate" it so that "this is prevented" and "that is guaranteed" and "the other thing is assured," then we can just see it for what it is. The whole POINT is that you DON'T have a "series" of games for anything. It SHOULD be one and done. That is the fun of the tournament and what gives it that "edge." It's only a game...a game that we may love, but let's not make it more than what it is.

Then why not let in every team.... tournaments are meant to bring in high quality teams from disparate places about which not much is known.... the world is a lot smaller than it was 20 years ago... 20 years ago you MIGHT see a score line or two in the newspaper depending on where you are located.


The only credibility you risk is that of the leagues who claim so much superiority, and maybe the ranking system you use. the fact that RIT or Air Force or Holy Cross manage to beat a couple of teams that are supposedly vastly superior only proves that they are a good hockey team, I think. And probably that the quality of hockey played in the AHA is continuing to improve.

Only in that the puffed up image is that they should win more often than you really do... I mean, say we assume they're ranked where they land... 16-30 in all of college hockey.... so that's what... 4th-8th in Hockey East? There's more than a few losses for top teams to teams in those ranges.

Why doesn't baseball do single elimination? Because they know its exceedingly easy to knock out top teams and have weaker ones get through. The parity in hockey isn't that much smaller than baseball and isn't close to football or basketball. If the Nationals win 4 games in a stretch in a 16-team single elimination playoff are we ready to crown them the best team in baseball? Do we only have these series games because of $$$ from tickets?

edit: Jim, when the UConn baseball made the regionals and hosted they played in Norwich because of capacity issues... they figured they could do better playing down there than playing in Storrs.


Boise moved "up" (really laterally, as the new MWC looks a lot like the old WAC, and still doesn't have a BCS autobid) when they got the chance. So did TCU. Bemidji was fortunate to get a WCHA bid but, as far as I know, no AHA team has even sniffed a "Big Four" invite since Quinnipiac.

Pulling a "Boise" is immaterial in college hockey.... you can rack up a good enough record and make it in... its not like Division III where they seek ways to keep out 1 loss teams.

edit: in the end, what I'd like to see is less happenstance and have it more driven on talent, ability, and effort. If you argue "one game" I can argue "one period"... generally, I don't object to best-of-3 opening and quarters because it will test those teams and see to it that the better ones have a better chance of passing through... generally, its the way it should be. If we really have this virtue of "any effort any day" then why not open it to every team? Trust me, I find the regular old mix boring... but there has to be a reason that breakthrough teams mean something... because otherwise it starts to become meaningless. I say this wanting my team to be able to make the tournament one of these days and do well... but I also want to know that my team thinks it can win. If we limit the number of games just to induce more upsets, and for no other reason, then what does that say about my team? Heck, isn't that already implied... now this is different from home sites... I can see rewarding season performance... but I appreciate neutrality. That being said, dismissing best-of-3 because it doesn't produce as many upsets is disappointing.