Entering it’s final season, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association will kick off in just a few short days. A lot has happened in the past year in the league including Ferris State coming from virtually nowhere in the 2011 half of the schedule to fall short of a national title in Tampa in the spring. While the 11 conference members will break up and go their separate ways at seasons end, here is the final preseason poll. For the fifth time in the last seven seasons, there is not a unanimous team atop of both polls.
Notre Dame took the coaches poll top spot for the second consecutive season. Last season the Fighting Irish finished middle of the pack, eighth place in the regular season and they were the only team to not win a shootout game. They received seven of the 11 first place votes. Michigan and defending tournament champion Western Michigan split the other two first place voted but the Wolverines are ranked second with their 100 points compared to the Broncos’ 97. Finishing behind them were Miami with 78, and defending regular season champion Ferris State with 67. Ohio State rounded out the top six with 66 points.
The members of the media voted in favor of Michigan as they claimed 50 of the 87 first place votes. The media voted on an 11-10-9-8, etc. point system and the Wolverines earned 903 points. Western Michigan finished second with 825 points and 25 first place votes. Notre Dame (nine) and Ferris State (three) took the remaining 12 first place votes. Rounding out the top six were Miami (622 points) and Michigan State (528 points).
Teams began practice and exhibition play this weekend, and the first slate of CCHA games will take place the weekend of October 26-27, 2012. The two weekends coming up consist of various non-conference and preseason tournament games.