Thanks for the suggestion. Believe the pools have already been defined. If so, I'll get the M3 Commissioner to post. If not, will get this done asap.
I usually refrain from ranking discussions, and will just admit that I am a 100% proponent of computer rankings. Also, while I find (and sometimes enjoy) sports ranking discussions, in my humble opinion, the only ranking list that matters is the final list. However, I would like to share with you and the readers that the ACHA leadership is actively encouraging teams to participate in the division that most closely represents their organizational competence, level of university funding and support, and of course, their competitive level on the ice. While geography certainly has to be a consideration for teams to choose their ACHA division, we believe teams participating at the appropriate competitive level will be most beneficial for ALL our members - I've yet to meet a hockey player or coach at any level who enjoys routine double digit blowout losses OR wins. While this decision is clearly a personal choice of each team member, the ACHA can offer incentives and disincentives to assist in the decision making process. I am pleased that our discussions have already produced positive movements (particularly in the west and northeast) in all five divisions with several more in the near future.
On a macro level, if you look at the nation's map and plot each of the division's teams and conferences, several deficiencies become readily apparent in traditional and emerging hockey markets - New England, New York, Minnesota, and California. Taken one at a time: 1) New England has an extremely large and varied M2 presence, but a very minimal M1 and M3 presence, 2) New York has a relatively weak M1 presence and very strong M3 presence, but almost no M2 presence, 3) Minnesota has almost no ACHA presence, 4) and California has essentially only an M2 presence. Having all three men's divisions represented in these areas is a priority of the ACHA in the future.
As always, thank you for your insights and feedback. I do not presume to be perfect nor do we profess to have all the answers. To improve the already phenomenal organization that folks prior have created for thousands of collegiate student-athletes to enjoy our sport in a professional setting, we have to open all forms of communication with our members and fans - and then listen and execute. Whether "good, bad, or ugly" please keep the feedback and suggestions coming.