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Should good teams schedule more good nonconference opponents?

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  • Should good teams schedule more good nonconference opponents?

    Or basically, should WCHA teams come east more?

    "Geography" is partially to blame here, but it seems like the WCHA is just depriving the eastern schools of quality nonconference matchups to pad their PWR. They'll travel east for bad teams or for neutral site games, but if you want to see a WCHA team play a top nonconference school, you've got to watch it happen out there, and subscribe to BTN+.

    After Wisconsin's 3-0 loss to Quinnipiac today, I looked into some things and found the Badgers playing 8 games against nonconference teams with winning records in the 13 years between nonconference losses in 2009 and 2022. (For comparison, Clarkson played 9 in 08-09 and 09-10 alone.)


  • #2
    I'll look a bit closer at that 'allegation' later, but if today was the "2022" loss to a non-conference team with a winning record, then the last one before that was in 2022, to Penn State.

    Is the knock that they don't play more such games, or that they don't lose them more often? Because if it is that they don't lose more often... that's ridiculous.
    Last edited by robertearle; 01-01-2023, 05:36 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TitleIXHockey View Post
      Or basically, should WCHA teams come east more?

      "Geography" is partially to blame here, but it seems like the WCHA is just depriving the eastern schools of quality nonconference matchups to pad their PWR. They'll travel east for bad teams or for neutral site games, but if you want to see a WCHA team play a top nonconference school, you've got to watch it happen out there, and subscribe to BTN+.

      After Wisconsin's 3-0 loss to Quinnipiac today, I looked into some things and found the Badgers playing 8 games against nonconference teams with winning records in the 13 years between nonconference losses in 2009 and 2022. (For comparison, Clarkson played 9 in 08-09 and 09-10 alone.)
      (And BTW: ""schedule more good nonconference opponents" isn't the same thing as "come east".)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TitleIXHockey View Post
        Or basically, should WCHA teams come east more?

        "Geography" is partially to blame here, but it seems like the WCHA is just depriving the eastern schools of quality nonconference matchups to pad their PWR. They'll travel east for bad teams or for neutral site games, but if you want to see a WCHA team play a top nonconference school, you've got to watch it happen out there, and subscribe to BTN+.

        After Wisconsin's 3-0 loss to Quinnipiac today, I looked into some things and found the Badgers playing 8 games against nonconference teams with winning records in the 13 years between nonconference losses in 2009 and 2022. (For comparison, Clarkson played 9 in 08-09 and 09-10 alone.)
        (One more BTW: beating bad teams doesn't really "pad your RPI".)

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        • #5
          Ohio State fan here. WCHA play every team in the WCHA 4 times, 2 home, 2 away, for a total of 28 games. That leaves 6 games non-conference. This year OSU played Colgate twice, Cornell twice, Lindenwood twice. OSU plays non-conference opponents home and then away the next year (or close to next year). OSU playing Colgate and Cornell this years meets good playing good but schedule limitations prevent more good vs good matchups.

          One way to do more good vs good matchups is invite 4 teams to 1 site for a 2 game weekend for each team. For example invite Ohio State, Minnesota, Quinnipiac and Yale to 1 site. You don’t play your conference team. Ohio State would play Quinnipiac and Yale as would Minnesota. I would love to go to a site and see 4 excellent games in a weekend.

          Ohio State played one of these in Washington DC a few years ago. They also did one of these in Las Vegas.

          i know the BIG10 and ACC have their basketball challenge every year. Doing this between conferences in hockey could be fun.

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          • #6
            I would think the cost associated with long distance travel figures into the equation as well. As it stands now attendance figures for women's hockey remain very low.
            Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey

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            • #7
              Certainly NU should. Also St Cloud if they are going to be up and coming.

              Great series between QU and Wisco. More rust evident than anyone would like to see (I watched yesterday, not today) but given schedule constraints you take what you can get.

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              • #8
                Wisconsin's non-conference opponents:

                2009-2010
                - Robert Morris
                - Wayne State
                - at Providence

                2010-2011
                - RPI
                - at Robert Morris
                - Northeastern and Mercyhurst in St Cloud

                2011-2012
                - Lindenwood (their inaugural season and series)
                - Boston Univ
                - at RPI

                2012-2013
                - at Lindenwood
                - New Hampshire

                2013-2014
                - Lindenwood
                - Northeastern and Boston Univ in Vail CO

                2014-2015
                - at Lindenwood
                - at New Hampshire
                - Clarkson

                2015-2016
                - Providence in San Jose, CA
                - Lindenwood
                - Dartmouth

                2016-2017
                - at Clarkson
                - Cornell
                - at Lindenwood

                2017-2018
                - Lindenwood
                - Mercyhurst
                - at Syracuse
                - at Cornell
                - Northeastern and Boston Univ in Washington DC

                2018-2019
                - Lindenwood
                - at Mercyhurst
                - Princeton
                - Harvard
                - Syracuse

                2019-2020
                - at Lindenwood
                - Penn State
                - at LIU (their inaugural season and series, booked very late, after Princeton canceled on them)

                2021-2022
                - at Lindenwood
                - at Merrimack
                - Quinnipiac

                2022-2023
                - at Penn State
                - Lindenwood
                - at Quinnipiac

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                • #9
                  All the WCHA not conference games are played against teams from the East lol.

                  When you schedule a non conference series, you really don't have future insight knowing whether or not that team you agree to play is going to be good or not. Do you have an idea? Maybe. Its crazy to think MJ only likes to schedule cupcakes. He himself has said that you really don't learn much about your team by playing a weaker opponent. He's also said that he likes to grow the game and that means playing some teams that maybe are small and upcoming. So the elites should just play the elites and the commoners should just play to the commoners? Welcome to 1914 Europe. I hope the Arch Duke is wearing a bullet proof vest this time.

                  It's also a comical that this elitist thought is coming from somebody who seems to be very in tune with equity in life.
                  Wisconsin Hockey: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 WE WANT MORE!
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                  Timothy A --> Great hockey mind... Or Greatest hockey mind?!?"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Timothy A View Post
                    All the WCHA not conference games are played against teams from the East lol.

                    When you schedule a non conference series, you really don't have future insight knowing whether or not that team you agree to play is going to be good or not. Do you have an idea? Maybe.
                    great comment. Re NU, they have the Beanpot, 2 teams that were higher ranked when sched was made than they are now, and a series against a newish program. They could choose differently but the equity comment is a good one.

                    Something I think Wisco deserves credit for - starting off their season on the road at Penn State vs a hardworking, up and coming team. Didn’t schedule a bad team. Also, scheduling the New Years series with QU (credit goes to both teams). Tough weekend to play.

                    you are right about the equity thing … one of the things I like about women’s hockey is that a small school will also play ivies / B1G ten / play in cities with cache / cool rinks . Mens side seems way more stratified to me.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bkruczynski View Post
                      One way to do more good vs good matchups is invite 4 teams to 1 site for a 2 game weekend for each team. For example invite Ohio State, Minnesota, Quinnipiac and Yale to 1 site. You don’t play your conference team. Ohio State would play Quinnipiac and Yale as would Minnesota. I would love to go to a site and see 4 excellent games in a weekend.
                      these are really cool but by now the organizers should know that the streaming needs to be addressed in the set up. We’ve experienced marquee matchups not being streamed, as well as (I think) matchups streamed that need to be paid for in addition to the usual subscription. They also don’t advertise the streaming until almost game time in my experience. I suspect these events are organized on the ground by some local “grow the game” person, but they have improvements they should make if college hockey is going to keep providing them the product, so that some nhl team can check a box for supporting girls hockey.

                      ARM has pointed out also that if you have a rare marquee matchup happening, it’d be nice for the local longtime supporters to have a chance to watch it. Lots to think about!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by robertearle View Post
                        Is the knock that they don't play more such games, or that they don't lose them more often? Because if it is that they don't lose more often... that's ridiculous.
                        Specifically that they don't play more road games against top eastern teams. Wisconsin played 8 in 13 years (between nonconf losses to RMU in 09 and Penn State in 2022)(and a number of neutral site games which is good, but not the same). Clarkson, for comparison, played 9 in 08-09 and 09-10 alone.

                        If you're an eastern fan, or maybe a midwestern fan that doesn't get BTN, you should be able to watch Wisconsin play a team like Quinnipiac more than roughly once every other year.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lindsay View Post

                          these are really cool but by now the organizers should know that the streaming needs to be addressed in the set up. We’ve experienced marquee matchups not being streamed, as well as (I think) matchups streamed that need to be paid for in addition to the usual subscription. They also don’t advertise the streaming until almost game time in my experience. I suspect these events are organized on the ground by some local “grow the game” person, but they have improvements they should make if college hockey is going to keep providing them the product, so that some nhl team can check a box for supporting girls hockey.

                          ARM has pointed out also that if you have a rare marquee matchup happening, it’d be nice for the local longtime supporters to have a chance to watch it. Lots to think about!
                          To your first point, that's the difference in neutral site tournament games (which Wisconsin has played a bunch of) and road games. For away games at a specific school the streaming is almost always reliable and known in advance. Tournaments tend to be all over the map (though if the host is an NCAA WHockey school, their streaming service is a safe bet).
                          Last edited by TitleIXHockey; 01-02-2023, 02:18 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TitleIXHockey View Post

                            Specifically that they don't play more road games against top eastern teams. Wisconsin played 8 in 13 years (between nonconf losses to RMU in 09 and Penn State in 2022)(and a number of neutral site games which is good, but not the same). Clarkson, for comparison, played 9 in 08-09 and 09-10 alone.

                            If you're an eastern fan, or maybe a midwestern fan that doesn't get BTN, you should be able to watch Wisconsin play a team like Quinnipiac more than roughly once every other year.
                            Could you list the "eight' that you're counting? Because I listed all their non-conference games earlier, and I think that "eight" might be, shall we say, debatable?

                            And again, the 'title' of your original post doesn't specify "road"; it just says "good nonconference". So which are you complaining about?
                            Last edited by robertearle; 01-02-2023, 02:18 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lindsay View Post

                              great comment. Re NU, they have the Beanpot, 2 teams that were higher ranked when sched was made than they are now, and a series against a newish program. They could choose differently but the equity comment is a good one.

                              Something I think Wisco deserves credit for - starting off their season on the road at Penn State vs a hardworking, up and coming team. Didn’t schedule a bad team. Also, scheduling the New Years series with QU (credit goes to both teams). Tough weekend to play.

                              you are right about the equity thing … one of the things I like about women’s hockey is that a small school will also play ivies / B1G ten / play in cities with cache / cool rinks . Mens side seems way more stratified to me.
                              I'll give Wisco credit for it when they start doing it regularly. Starting from last season their nonconf openers going back to the first season after the 09 nonconf loss
                              21-22: at Lindenwood (followed by at Merrimack)
                              20-21: Covid
                              19-20: at Lindenwood
                              18-19: Lindenwood
                              17-18: Lindenwood
                              16-17: at Clarkson (woo!)
                              15-16: vs. Providence (in San Jose), Friars were 10-26-2 that season coming off a 6-25-4 season by the way and hadn't been above .500 since 10-11 so I think the forecast was "bad"
                              14-15: at Lindenwood
                              13-14: Lindenwood
                              12-13: at Lindenwood
                              11-12: Lindenwood
                              10-11: RPI (RPI was coming off their first .500 + seasons since starting as an independent in 05-06. They finished 10-18-7, but I think the forecast for them was "decent")

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