Pickin’ the Big Ten: Nov. 13-15

Remember this? Published March 5, it was the last Big Ten column before the playoffs last season.

Remember this? Published March 6, it was Drew Claussen’s B1G picks blog for the Big Ten playoffs.

So abrupt was the end of last season, so momentous the months in between, that March 2020 feels like a lifetime ago.

Yet here we are, with with the optimism and full potential that begins every new season, perhaps felt a little more keenly this year because the months ahead will be shaped by the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Hello friends, old and new. Let’s talk B1G hockey.

Last Season

When last we posted, Drew was faring much better with season-long picks than I was. No one was surprised.

Picks March 6-8
Drew: 5-3-0 (.769)
Paula: 5-4-0 (.714)

Overall picks for 2020-21
Drew: 86-57-16 (.591)
Paula: 76-68-16 (.525)

Drew picked Ohio State to sweep the first round of B1G playoffs in two games, which accounts for the difference in
our totals for the last week of last season’s picks. For the record, neither Drew nor I have much confidence in our prognostication abilities for this season.

This Week

There are two series this week, one that counts in the B1G standings and one that counts … otherwise. I’ll get back to you later on how Arizona State fits into all of this, because no one seems to know yet how this is going to work in the bigger picture this season in terms of PWR and RPI, and the Sun Devils are still an independent team.

This week, Notre Dame announced that no spectators will be allowed for the series against Wisconsin, and Michigan has said that there will be no public access to games, in keeping with Big Ten policy. Friday’s Badgers-Fighting Irish game is televised on NBCSN, and Sunday’s Sun Devils-Wolverines game is carried by BTN. All times listed are local.

Wisconsin at No. 20 Notre Dame
7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday

The Badgers and Fighting Irish split their season series last year, 2-2-0, last meeting Jan. 24-25, with Wisconsin taking the opener 6-4 and Notre Dame winning 5-2 the next night. Notre Dame leads this series 7-4-1 since joining the Big Ten.

Drew: Wisconsin 5-3, Notre Dame 3-1
Paula: Notre Dame 3-1, 3-1

No. 15 Arizona State at No. 12 Michigan
3:00 p.m. Saturday, 7:00 p.m. Sunday

The Wolverines are 3-0 all-time against the Sun Devils, and all three of those games were played in 2018.

Drew: Arizona State 5-3, Michigan 5-2
Paula: Michigan 4-3, Arizona State 5-4

Next Week

USCHO will publish the Big Ten season preview Monday. Yes, it’s after the season begins. Yes, this is an unusual season. There is no preseason Big Ten media poll, but there is a preseason coaches’ poll and preseason honors.

Tweet us!

As usual, Drew (@drewclaussen) and I (@paulacweston) are shamelessly plugging our Twitter feeds. Bonus this season: Adorable pictures of Drew’s daughter, Bella. Holler at us and you know we’ll holler back. Stay safe and mask up!