Did You Know: The Clarkson Hockey program has amassed 10,001 goals since the 1920-21 season?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Women Right Where They Want To Be

Many fans were shocked yesterday when the Women’s Pairwise Rankings were released by USCHO. (For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Pairwise Rankings, it’s a system that mimics the selection process for the NCAA tournament.) They weren’t shocked because Clarkson was ranked #7 but because Clarkson is ineligible for NCAA play, and thus deemed "of no consequence.

Any NCAA team that makes the jump from Division-III to Division-I has a two year probationary period. Ideally, this is to prevent teams from scooping up transfers from other schools and to make sure they meet eligibility requirements. It probably will protect an upcoming college sport like Women’s Ice Hockey better than most. Clarkson, is in its second year of this process and is ineligible for NCAA play, but can still compete in the ECACHL tournament. They'll be eligible in the 2006-2007 season.

It’s important to remember that, even though the rules seem unfair, especially when a team like Clarkson has obviously started from scratch, not with transfers, that the players and coaches knew about this right from the start. They’re not bitter; we are, because we weren’t paying attention. Their focus has been on becoming a better team, and on winning the ECACHL championship, and they’ve got a great chance to capture their first.

As for being “of no consequence” in the Pairwise Rankings, what the hell is that supposed to mean? If teams and fans want to feel that way, they should go ahead and do so. Just because this team’s ranking doesn’t count in the Pairwise, doesn’t mean the games against them don’t. EVERY team currently on the bubble has a stake in Clarkson’s performance as this season comes down to the wire, and it is likely Clarkson could crush the hopes and dreams of several teams, directly or indirectly through their play in these final games.

Lets face it, the rule is in place, and we’ve always gone along with it, because we didn’t want anyone stealing our players, and secondly, no one expected a team like this to come along. I cannot remember a team in Division-I sports leaping so high in their first few years. But just because they can’t win the NCAA Championship, doesn’t mean they can’t win it all.

If I were Lindsay Williams right now, and I wasn’t a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, I’d be in the locker room channeling a little Jake Taylor: “Well then I guess there’s only thing left to do.” What’s that? “Win the whole FUCKING thing."

Edit: Clarified the probationary period information.


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