Defending NCAA champion Michigan has been anointed the favorite in the 1998-99 Central Collegiate Hockey Association race, according to preseason polls released as part of media-day activities Friday.
Both the CCHA coaches’ and media polls placed the Wolverines first, followed by Ohio State and Michigan State. Northern Michigan was fourth and Notre Dame fifth in the media/SID poll, while those teams tied for fourth in the coaches’ tally.
Occupying the sixth through 11th spots in the coaches’ list are Ferris State, Miami, Bowling Green, Lake Superior, Western Michigan and Alaska-Fairbanks. The corresponding rankings in the media poll are Miami, Lake Superior, Ferris State, Bowling Green, Western Michigan and Alaska-Fairbanks.
Additionally, the CCHA has announced television deals with Fox Sports Detroit and the Comcast network for the upcoming season. The two packages are expected to put at least 29 CCHA matchups on regional broadcasts in Michigan and Ohio, with the possibility of national pickups.
Under the agreements, Fox Sports Detroit will broadcast 20 CCHA games to its 2.3 million homes, while Comcast will televise at least nine games to its 1 million homes. CCHA playoff games will appear on Fox Sports, and will be available to national affiliates.
Comcast will also produce a weekly half-hour magazine-type show covering CCHA hockey, including game footage, commentary and player information.