An old friend of mine, a retired sports information director, beats everyone on his list to the punch by sending out his Christmas cards early. He beat his own record this year: I received his card yesterday. (Thanks, Roger!)

We’ve sent out our Christmas card to statistical fanatics a bit early, too.

It’s way too early for these numbers to mean anything — 11 teams haven’t even played yet as of this writing — but the 2011-12 PairWise Rankings are up and running. (If you’re so inclined, you can also check out the RPI and the unofficial-for-entertainment-purposes-only KRACH.)

The PairWise has been updated to reflect changes for the 2011-12 season. The main change is in common opponents; rather than totaling all wins, losses and ties between common opponents of two schools and calculating the overall winning percentage from that, the winning percentage against each team is calculated and then added together. This is so that a team which plays a weak opponent five times and goes 5-0, for example, in comparison to another which plays that team once and goes 1-0 would not gain an advantage. Each would have a 1.000 percentage against that third team.

The effect of this is to lessen the advantage numerically that one team might have against another, especially in cases of unbalanced league schedules or in comparisons between teams in two different conferences. For example, last season North Dakota downed Michigan Tech four times while Michigan beat MTU once. In last year’s calculation, the wins for the Fighting Sioux counted four times as much as they would under this year’s formula.

Anyhow, the PWR is up, running … and (for a few weeks yet) absolutely meaningless. Don’t let that stop you from having fun with it, though. We probably won’t check in with any bracketology prognostications or cogitations for a while. will, however, keep you posted should other changes or tweaks occur.

  • Siouxmaniac

    North Dakota is tied for 19th?  But we play the toughest schedule in the most awesome league to ever exist in any sport.

    • Mrs. York

      … and the whining commences

      • Joe C

        I am not sure it ever stops.

    • Guest

      Sounds like someone is playing to the crowd……

      • BD

        Yeah, homeboy returneth……..

    • Lennyak1

      That must be why Hakstol is 1-5-1 against BC since he has been coaching UND.

  • Pricio9

    Wow…its nice to see Sacret Heart up there after getting swept and outscored 15-0.  What a joke

    • MTUalum

      And the team that beat them 15-0 isn’t on the list!  :)

  • Joe C

    Here is how you know this is just a fun exercise without any statistical validity.

    BU (BU fan here) is ranked number 1 just by beating UNH at home, while BC when to Grand Forks and won the Ice Breaker and is ranked number 7.

    Until BU wins a few games against BC this year or BC stops looking like it reloaded, there is no way BU should be ahead of BC in anything other than Hockey East standings.

  • Guest

    Did the Red Sox make the PWR list?

  • duck

    Or how about this? MN-Duluth and Notre Dame split, Notre Dame is ninth and UMD is off the list? I’m thinking this list was drawn randomly…

  • Yooper

    You can’t get your bracketology right in December. How do you expect to get it right in October?

  • Paula Weston

    USCHO:  Helping people obsess about things over which they have no control since 1996.  

    *big grin*

    • Joe C

      Thank you for feeding that monster!

      Don’t look now, but Providence should be ZOOMING up the PW.