Friday, October 30, 2009

The end of the Badger Hockey Showdown and College Hockey Showcase?

Today, Andy Baggot tells us that this may be the last year for the Badger Hockey Showdown and the College Hockey Showcase.

Yeah, yeah, I know the Badger Hockey Showdown has been on a decline since it moved from Milwaukee. Attendance is lousy, and it's hard to get good quality opponents, especially since there are a ton of holiday tournaments these days. And I've been pretty outspoken (perhaps not here, but in person to those who would listen) in lamenting the weak opponents of the Showdown in recent years. But I really like being able to go to a holiday tournament and see 4 games, and I'd have a hard time making a holiday tourney road trip. So I'm pretty bummed about this.

Baggot tells us that the nature of the PWR formula and the .500 criteria are driving forces behind the scheduling changes, but I gotta tell ya, this logic makes absolutely no sense in regards to the Badger Hockey Showdown. (In all fairness to Baggot, he's repeating what the UW staff has told him.) The opponents win percentage was recently (sometime in the past couple years, not sure exactly when) given less weight in the PWR, and ya gotta have a .500 record to make the NCAA tourney. So the coaching staff has talked about needing to schedule cupcakes (my word, not theirs, of course) to ensure that .500 record. But the Badgers are more likely to play cupcakes in their own holiday tourney (which has recently featured cupcakes, not that it has guaranteed wins, however) than if they go to someone else's holiday tourney where they might have to play the host team, which is usually a top team (or at least better than many of the invitees).

And then Eaves says that rather than a holiday tournament, they'd like to "get a quality team in here at Christmas time where we can play two games and (Badgers fans) can see the same team back-to-back, that will be fine." So, no cupcake? Or is "quality team" a code phrase for cupcake?

And I don't understand how nixing the College Hockey Showcase makes any sense. Baggot tells us that it has to do with getting Ohio State in the mix. So they're going to nix a perfectly good showcase to add 1 team into the rotation? Sounds stupid to me.

And if the UW wants to schedule softer teams, well then sure, OSU will probably be easier to beat than UM or MSU. But that doesn't change that we'll still have to play both UM and MSU some years, and once again there goes the logic of scheduling non-conference cupcakes to try to get a .500 record.

I might be an idiot, but something about all this logic just doesn't seem logical to me . . .