The bubble

As mentioned before, the bubble, in my eyes, comprises of the following teams:

Notre Dame


Western Michigan


Colorado College


Boston University


That’s a total of eight teams for a total of anywhere between 2-5 slots.

Why 2-5 slots? Because there can still be automatic bids handed out to teams that are not in the Top 16 of the PairWise that can win their respective tournaments.

Four of these teams can take matter into their own hands by winning their tournaments (Notre Dame, Western Michigan, Dartmouth and Colorado College), while the other four can only sit and wait for other results.

So it makes sense that the results of the four teams still playing can make a huge difference.

Let’s take a look at this past weekend to see what someone might expect to see going forward.

Going into the weekend the bubble teams looked like this:

7 Nebraska-Omaha

10 Notre Dame

13 Dartmouth

14 Western Michigan

15 Colorado College

16 and below Rensselaer, Boston University, Maine

After Friday’s games, we saw UNO, Western Michigan, Dartmouth, Maine and Colorado College all wind up on the losing end of Game 1 (BU won Game 2 on Friday night, Notre Dame won and Rensselaer was idle).  After Friday’s games, the bubble looked like this:

10 Notre Dame

12 Nebraska-Omaha

13 Boston University

14 Dartmouth

15 Rensselaer

16 and below Colorado College, Western Michigan, Maine

Move ahead 24 hours to the completion of Saturday’s games.

On Saturday Colorado College, Western Michigan, Dartmouth all won, while Notre Dame, Maine and Nebraska-Omaha lost.  BU and Rensselaer were idle.

The bubble then looked like this:

10 Notre Dame

12 Nebraska-Omaha

13 Western Michigan

14 Colorado College

15 Dartmouth

16 and below Rensselaer, Boston University, Maine

Going into Sunday, the teams that were 1-1 (Notre Dame, Western Michigan, Dartmouth, Colorado College, Boston University) or idle (Rensselaer) stayed in the same positions. Those that were swept (Nebraska-Omaha and Maine) either dropped or stayed idle in position.

Basically we were right back where we started, with the exception of UNO, who dropped in the rankings.

Now we add in Sunday’s games.

Western Michigan, Colorado College, Dartmouth and Notre Dame all won, while Boston University lost.

Our bubble:

10 Notre Dame

12 Western Michigan

13 Nebraska-Omaha

14 Colorado College

15 Dartmouth

16 and below Rensselaer, Boston University, Maine

What’s a simple way of looking at this?

Win and you stay in.

Lose and you possibly drop out.

Let’s take Colorado College.

If CC were to lose to UAA on Thursday night, what might possibly happen?

CC’s TUC record would turn to .4700, and CC’s RPI would also go down from it’s present .5260.

This would most likely result in a comparison switch with Rensselaer, meaning CC would then lose this one comparison.

That would swap positions for Rensselaer and CC.

And depending upon what Dartmouth does, it could also result in a comparison switch there as well.

And at the same time, CC cannot play anymore to change results.  That’s difficult to pass teams once you’re not playing.

Western Michigan is in a similar boat.  A loss could possibly turn a lot of comparisons based upon RPI.

For example, a WMU loss could drop the RPI below .5280, which in turn could cause the BU comparison to change from a WMU win to a BU win.  There’s also a possibility that the RPI comparison may switch.  And also the CC comparison, based upon what CC does.

If you’re looking to see what will happen on the bubble, you have to look real carefully at what CC and WMU do on Thursday and Friday.  That is what’s going to dictate how the bubble shakes out.