For too long, College Hockey has gone under the radar in this country and at places like Barstool Sports. How far you ask? If you search “College Hockey” on Barstool, you’ll see 20 links TOTAL since January of 2021. Of those 20 hits, only 9 are even remotely related to the sport, most of which are a single highlight with a few words about it. For a company who’s home to the most popular hockey podcast on the planet, that’s bananaland. It’s even crazier when you consider the fact that 90% of college hockey players are Barstool Athletes.
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Year in and year out Michigan has top-level talent and NHL draft picks. The Wolverines haven’t seen any shine since Pres put an end to the Goalie Challenge, which was arguably the greatest series ever produced at HQ2. Hell, Chief should be the biggest UMD Bulldogs fan since half his front office and future Blackhawks players are from Minnesota Duluth. Even Frankie Borelli blows past the college level when he’s fellating Anders Lee and Brock Nelson, choosing to shoutout the hometowns instead of where they played College Hockey. While I’m happy to hear Minnesota get the recognition it deserves, maybe give the hockey schools a quick nod every now and then.
Untapped PotentialCollege Hockey is also the single biggest untapped goldmine in more way than one. Literally no major sports network or news source covers it. While the fanbase may be smaller than basketball or football, they’re fanatical about the sport and eat up any content that’s available because it’s so rare. Finally, there’s BIG MONEY to be made betting on the sport. The lines don’t have nearly as much data or movement, so if you know the bare minimum, you can cash out every single weekend. It’s insane.
Fixing the Problem
Those of you who’ve already been swayed by my impeccable wordsmithing might be asking, how do you grow a game that gets so little attention? It’s simple. You start small by acknowledging that it exists it at all. John Rich was recently brought on by barstool and hosted a pre-game watch party with the boys from ECH at Bowling Green. While that’s a start, he’s got his hands full with an ankle resembling Rihanna circa 2009 and helping in other areas of the company. That’s where I come in.
Every Division 1 College Hockey team has been assigned a Barstool personality as their representative. While it sounds like a tall task, there are a handful of obvious alumni who were shoe-ins. A few of those even laced up the skates for the schools. Outside of that, priority was given to where people are from, other teams they support, and those who have acknowledged that hockey exists at all. Far be it from me to call it the definitive list and hold everyone accountable… that’s up to the people.
To start with the Hockey conference that set College Hockey back a decade was a tough choice to make, but when you’ve got massive personalities representing, your hands are tied. For those that aren’t aware, the creation of the Big 10 meant the end of the old WCHA which was the long-standing POWERHOUSE of College Hockey. Imagine the level of the SEC in College football now, but even more physically dominant with a higher percentage of the talented, NHL-ready players. The Big 10 has only been in two national title games since its creation and has yet to win one, but it’s coming. Soon.
Michigan: El PresEveryone who’s familiar with Barstool knows that Dave is a Michigan man. Classically good looks fit for a classic program. You kind of have to respect the “championship or bust” attitude out of Pres, because that is consistently the sentiment for the hockey team as well. It was tough to leave Chris Castellani off this list, but it would be disrespectful to put him anywhere other than Michigan.
Michigan State: Dana B
When you think Dana, you think of 2 things. Beers and being indebted to Portnoy forever. The same is true for Michigan State as it relates to Michigan. They’ll always be the little brother. Plus, the Spartans are the only school in Dana’s Collegiate Fandom Final 5 with a Hockey team.
Many people within the company have been quoted as saying Rone is the most talented person at Barstool. Even if you have a different preference, you’ve got to acknowledge the pedigree given all of his professional connections that are a product of that talent. The same can be said about the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The most talent from the state that produces the most pros.
Notre Dame: Chief
Chief and Notre Dame go hand-in-hand. I’m not even sure if he’s an alumnus because he doesn’t wear the psycho ring or talk about the university’s cult-activity, but I know he loves ‘em. I mentioned before how easy it would be for Chief to be a fan of UMD; you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink the Kool Aid.
Ohio State: Big Ev
Of all the universities represented at Barstool, I’m surprised there isn’t any overlap with Ohio State. For a school that’s so big and so proud of itself, it’s rare to only be around one fan at a sports company. Big Ev is that guy at Barstool.
Penn State: Jeff D Lowe
This is the first school where representation was plentiful. There may be bigger or louder Pennsylvania personalities as a whole at Barstool, but nobody is a bigger Penn State fan than Jeff D Lowe. I know he’s also a fan of the Browns and the Vegas Golden knights, so it was tough to do, but he’s the happy valley rep.
Wisconsin: Big Cat
The single easiest match of the entire list came with Wisconsin and Big Cat. He’s lived the (infrequent) highs and suffered through the (plentiful) lows of Wisconsin sports every single year. Nobody else need be considered.
Hockey East describes both the location and style of play for its conference teams. East coast hockey is like playing small ball in the NBA or running a fast-paced offense in the NFL. When it’s working, it’s exciting and can take down the biggest of the big. When it’s not, it’s catastrophic. Tons of talent gets recruited to the big schools in the conference and with all the professional teams and sports conglomerates around, they traditionally get the most scouting and coverage as well.
Boston College: Hank
Had to give a coveted Boston spot to one of the OG’s of Barstool. With Alumni and hockey-focused spots lined out for bigger contenders in the Boston schools, Hank lands with BC. Conveniently located for Frannie Lydon’s short commute from Milton, which is not a bad spot to be.
Boston University: Whitney
Prior to being famous for pink lemonade vodka, Whitney was most notably traded away from the Pittsburg Penguins just before they hoisted the Stanley Cup. Prior to that, he was snapping passes tape-to-tape at BU. For a team that hasn’t won much of anything recently, they sure do love reminding people they went there. Once a Terrier, always a Terrier I guess.
UConn: Rico Bosco
Rico Bosco is two things: a certified lunatic, and a college basketball guy. Everyone knows that. What better way to get a guy like him into college hockey that putting him at a basketball school and letting it happen naturally. Lord knows you won’t be able to force it.
Maine: Caleb Pressley
Maine easily has one of the best jerseys in the history of College Hockey. There’s one guy who’s the most familiar with putting on a good looking, powder blue jersey at Barstool. Caleb to Maine was a match made in heaven given his role as supervisor of morale at North Carolina. Guy oozes both swag and charisma.
Grinnelli may be infrequent with the College Hockey posts, but when he does come through, the love for UMass is blatantly obvious. A Boston guy who surely tossed a few back at the zoo who’s engrained in hockey culture earned a spot with the Minutemen.
UMass Lowell: Marina
Few people are more passionate about anything than Marina is about Boston Bruins hockey. With the popular spots around the city spoken for, one still fit like a glove. People who watch and promote UMass Lowell hockey are deep into the sport. They don’t get the coverage of BC or BU and they don’t have the same draw as UMass, yet they’re one of the hardest outs in the sport. Simple passion for the game.
Merrimack: Nick Turani
This may come as a shock, but Nick’s not a hockey guy. Not obviously anyways. You’ve gotta ease people into watching sometimes. What better way to do that than stick him with a team who’s got the same colors and similar logo as he’s used to at West Virginia. Take his glasses off and he may not even notice.
New Hampshire: Kelly Keegs
I don’t know much about Keegs, but I do know that she’s (allegedly) a witch who’s got a totally healthy relationship with her love for Taylor Swift. New Hampshire is a place that was touched by the witch trials of the Northeastern US and photographs like a moody person’s wet dream. No better person to cheer on the Wildcats.
Northeastern: Rear Ads
Rear Ads is yet another native Bostonian who’s a massive piece of the Spittin Chiclets squad. He needed a contender that was a part of the Beanpot. While it may not be traditional for a salt-of-the-earth guy like “Brian Mcgonagle of Barstool Sports” to root for Northeastern, it’s not a bad team to land with.
If we were choosing universities for employees in general, Feits could be the alumni rep for more than a half dozen of them. The one that stands above all others when it comes to hockey? Providence. An underrated talent that’s often (inexcusably) forgotten with unorthodox style. It’s perfect…just like banana cigarettes.
While it may seem to be an odd fit at first, this is my masterpiece. KFC is often self-deprecating and owes thousands of dollars to the studio jar for threatening to kill himself. His happiest moment in the last year? A trip to Vermont with the podcast to tour the WhistlePig distillery which led to creating their own blend, which is on sale soon. Now, he’s linked to Vermont forever.
Most of the new teams that have made the move to the D1 level have started as independent programs. With that being said, both Alaska teams have a long hockey history and simply lack a conference willing to take them on because of the travel complexity. Take that how you will, but you’ve got to LOVE hockey and be prepared to invest in maintaining it to function as an independent program.
Alaska, Anchorage: Kenjac
How Kenjac landed on the San Diego Chargers as his favorite NFL team will be a mystery to me. At this point, I don’t even want to know how it happened. All I know is you can’t have the best uniform in the NFL and a terrible uniform on the ice, so he gets the best of both worlds. While the Seawolves may have marred their PERFECT sweaters with text this year, the best of the best will surely be back.
Alaska (Fairbanks): Sydnie Wells
Name another person at Barstool who would be able to survive a long weekend in Alaska. You can’t. Sydnie Wells would not only survive, but she’d THRIVE up there. The Nanooks should be thrilled to get Sydnie on their side.
Arizona State: Biz
Not only does BizNasty’s favorite (and former) NHL franchise play in the same rink as ASU, but it would surely be his favorite College Hockey team even if they didn’t. The “unique atmosphere” that school provides is perfect for his own “unique personality”.
Long Island University: Glenny Balls
Glenny Balls is Long Island. Native to the area and a hockey guy, he had to be given the local hockey school. They may not be the biggest or the best, but they’re jerseys are FIRE, much like Balls Beach Wear.
Lindenwood: Briana Chickenfry – Stonehill: Grace O’Malley
Regardless of where they end up in the rankings moving forward, Lindenwood and Stonehill will forever be linked for entering the D1 ranks at the same time. The same can be said for Chickenfry and O’Malley. Much like these ladies, Lindenwood is making A LOT of noise early.
The (Central Collegiate Hockey Association) CCHA may have more member turnover than can be explained in a short introduction. Throughout its history, the CCHA has been home to teams that are now in the Big 10, NCHC, and Independent conferences. As its name would lead you to believe, it’s home to teams that are (typically) in the middle of the geographical hockey landscape with Michigan, Ohio, and Minnesota. Most are Middle-America, and coincidentally fall into the middle of the pack.
Bemidji State: Brandon Walker
A remote university from a part of their state that almost nobody will ever willingly visit that is routinely on the border of being ranked nationally. Am I talking about Bemidji State or Mississippi State? Trick question, it’s both. Brandon’s a family man, so it’s a good thing young Tommy Walker and his fantastic mullet will make quick friends in Bemidji.
Bowling Green: John Rich
John’s another alumni shoe-in. Bowling Green is supposed to be significantly improved this year, much like the College Hockey coverage at Barstool. With John’s help, we’re on our way. Always working.
Ferris State: Ben Mintz
The battle for “King of the South” can’t end with football. When it’s Hockey season, the battle for “King of the North” starts. Plus, Mintzy is kind of a bulldog in his own right. Happy go lucky, and so excited to meet new people.
Lake Superior State: Carl – Michigan Tech: Eddie
These two guys LOVE a good city on the shore of the Great Lakes, maybe more than anyone at the company. Had to slot these two in familiar territory while keeping the inter-office rivalry alive as much as possible. Another bonus for these two: Sault Ste. Marie and Houghton are both big time Miller Lite cities. The only downside is the harsh Yooper accent will be tough to adjust to.
Minnesota State University: Jordyn Woodruff
While Jordyn abandoned Minnesota to go to school in North Dakota, she’s still getting one of the best hockey schools in the state. Jordyn and her co-host Alex are known for some pretty controversial takes, much like Mankato’s controversial take of having a College Hockey team full of 25 year old players.
Northern Michigan: Steven Cheah
Those who know Steven Cheah might describe him as a near-human, unflappable robot. Those who REALLY know Steven Cheah simply know him as the creator of the Block of the Year (B.O.Y.) award. No better school in the nation than Northern Michigan University as they’re home to the reigning blocked shots leader and well on their way to claiming that title again.
St. Thomas: White Sox Dave
White Sox Dave is known for many things, some of which include his eloquent vocabulary and polished manners. With that, he’s the most fitting person to land with the Minneapolis/St. Paul elites at the private University of St. Thomas. At least his Northwestern wardrobe will blend in well.
The ECAC is often referred to as the Elitist Club of Accountants Conference because of it’s Ivy-League and business-focused schools. In reality, the Eastern College Athletic Conference has been anything but elite as of late. There are a few big-name teams with high expectations, but a lot is left to be desired from the rest. Go figure, nerds can’t do sports good. (Note: This is not indicative of the Barstool personalities linked to the teams in this conference).
Brown: Dan Rapaport
A highly regarded journalism University known for churning out graduates who have phenomenal writing skills with well-connected alumni. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that Danny Rap actually was a graduate from Brown.
Clarkson: TJ Hitchings
TJ is one of the biggest Rutgers fans in the country. It’s a shame they don’t play true Division 1 hockey. Oh well, the transition from Scarlet Knight to Golden Knight should be pretty easy.
Did I pick this matchup just because the name Colgate Kate is awesome? Not exactly. I’m also trying to get her and Pat a lifetime toothpaste sponsorship for the baby.
Jordie is one of the few people at Barstool who has ever written about non-professional Hockey. Unfortunately, there’s no Philly schools to reward him for that. Fortunately, he’s also one of the biggest lacrosse fans and Cornell has got an open slot with his name on it. The perfect crossover.
If all you know Chaps from are his “how many beers” or “fellas” tweets, this would look like a poor fit. Fortunately, I remember Chaps from his “Fancy Boy” blog days. There aren’t many other people that can blend in with fancy better than Chaps, and Dartmouth is fancy.
Harvard: Francis – Quinnipiac: Riggs
I can hear you all now shouting, “How can Francis be the Harvard link for College Hockey when Riggs PLAYED for Harvard”. Let me tell you something, Riggs did not play for Harvard. Sam (Bozo) Bozoian played for Harvard and on June 14th, 2017 he made it very clear that Riggs came after that. He’s still a very devoted hockey guy at heart, so he’s earned a quality ECAC hockey school in Quinnipiac.
Princeton: Jake Marsh
Nothing screams Big J Journalist quite like Princeton and nobody screams Big J at Barstool more than Jake Marsh.
Rensselaer (RPI): Clem
RPI/RBI, maybe he’ll think the Mets are still playing. Listen, Clem is a New York guy. I don’t mean that in the way that he lives in the city or even loves the city. But he sure does love the worst of their sports teams and puts a lot of passion into it. He’s also a suburbs kind of guy and if you ask me, Albany is just the Suburbs of New York.
St. Lawrence: Jack Mac
What is St. Lawrence known for? Don’t feel bad, I had to google it myself. It’s Business/Economics. In the ECAC? Shocker. Sounds an awful lot like stats and number-crunching to me. Who’s the most boisterous numbers guy at Barstool? Jack Mac.
Union: Kayce Smith
Chief already has the weirdo cult college of the north locked up in Notre Dame, so it was impossible to find an A&M grad a hockey school with that same culture. She’ll have to settle for one with the same color scheme in Union.
A real fancy school for a real fancy man. The place is so fancy, instead of the standard “Economics” degree that plebeians are offered elsewhere, Yale has to call it “Econometrics and Quantitative Economics”. Now THAT is how you upsell your offerings. Not only is he smart enough be successful on Wall Street, but he’s got the most distinguished tastebuds of anyone who’s ever set foot inside of Barstool. Perfect for Yale.
The bulk of the teams in the NCHC (National Collegiate Hockey Conference) are those that left the former WCHA and make up five of the last six national champions. Sure, all those titles belong to just three schools, but a deep playoff run by the conference is guaranteed. With the highest expectations and highest average ranking for all its members, you’ve got quality across the board.
Colorado College: Megan Makin Money
Megan is synonymous with the LSU tigers in the Barstool universe. Coincidentally, the Colorado College mascot is also a tiger. Sure, their mascot is a near rip off of every other tiger mascot that’s been made, but a tiger is a tiger is a tiger. She’ll get it.
Not only is Rudy from Denver, but he’s also an alumnus of the University of Denver, and won a College Hockey national championship while he was there. Of all the no-brainer decisions, this one was among the easiest. Sure, he’s not technically a “content” person, but if you’ve been around long enough, you know he is.
Miami (OH): KB
The undisputed geography guy at Barstool and the only one to center his Dozen Trivia game around it. You’d be hard pressed to find a casual fan of college sports capable of naming where the “other Miami” is on a map, but I’m certain KB could do it in his sleep. Plus, as much as some want to deny it, West Virginia and Ohio aren’t all that different.
Minnesota Duluth (UMD): Chef Donny
Call it a hunch, intuition, or maybe even a repressed memory but Chef Donny feels like a Minnesota guy. He’s the lock-down goaltender for the Barstool Chiclets Cup team and if UMD’s known for anything in the last decade, it’s producing elite goalies. Alex Stalock, Hunter Sheppard, Ryan Fanti…Chef Donny.
While the Iowa Wild might be the most exciting hockey team to be found in his home state, there are no College Hockey teams. Nebraska, also known to be full of “corn-boys”, DOES have one. Omaha and Trent both exude a certain Midwest charm that is often mimicked or mocked but can never be replicated. No better spot for T-Daddy.
North Dakota: Frankie Borrelli
If you follow Frankie on twitter, you see him post about three things: His moon face candid shots, his wedge game, and BROCK NELSON, AN AMERICAN HERO! A GOOD GUY WHO PLAYS HARD AND LOVES THE GAME! No bigger Brock Nelson fan on the planet, including his parents, so had to stick “Pizza Boy” with Brock’s alma mater.
St. Cloud State: Tommy Smokes
Tommy is so used to watching his teams dominate all year and build momentum during the regular season. He’s also been conditioned to accept the certainty that is an excruciating loss in the playoffs. That is the epitome of being a fan of St. Cloud State. While the Huskies don’t have any rings (banners) to fall back on in an argument, that’s only one fewer than the Yankees in the last two decades.
Western Michigan: PFT
When Western Michigan made the decision to change their primary logo to a minimalistic “W” instead of a block letter including the bronco head, I thought it was atrocious. I blame the Washington Football Team (at the time) for influencing that decision. That being said, it’ll be an easy transition for PFT and all his “W” branded gear will carry over.
Trying to summarize Atlantic Hockey and its place in College Hockey is a difficult task. Best I can do is describe them as an overlooked conference with plenty of potential for surprises. Not everyone that lands in this category fits the same bill, but sometimes the college chooses the fan.
American International College (AIC): Zah
Zah and Donny Does were the only two options to consider for a college with “international” in its name. Ultimately, the fact that Zah has almost certainly driven the New Haven -> Hartford Line system from New York to Springfield, MA on his train simulator landed him rights to the spot.
Air Force: Billy Football
Thank you for your service.
Army: Captain Cons
Did you know Cons went to Army West Point? If you didn’t, he’ll definitely tell you about it. All kidding aside, this was an obvious one. You’ve just got to hope the boys on the ice have got more integrity than Cons does in trivia.
Bentley: Kirk Minihane
Not familiar with Bentley? Imagine Boston schools, but smarter and for business. A smart Boston guy who means business, that’s Kirk.
Canisius: Robbie Fox
The Golden Griffins is such a unique mascot that it could only be home to THE fantasy guy at Barstool. He may be more familiar with the traditional Dragons of Westeros or those of the Krayt variety in the Star Wars universe, but I have no doubts that Robbie’s got room for more creatures in his brain.
Holy Cross: Joey Camasta – Sacred Heart: Pat
Everyone knows that these two are never any sort of trouble at all. They always follow all the rules and never push the boundaries. Nana and Trish are about to shake up the culture of the religious, catholic universities.
Mercyhurst: Jersey Jerry
With only one College Hockey team in New Jersey and it already being spoken for, Jerry had to be relocated. For as big of a state as it is, Pennsylvania has a shockingly low amount of College Hockey teams as well. The closest active school to Pittsburgh? Mercyhurst. Jerry, I promise that I tried.
Niagra: Lil Sas
Toronto regularly makes the list of best stand-up comedy cities in North America. With the other major cities already crowded and Niagra University little more than an hour away from Toronto, it’s perfect for Sas.
RIT: Big T
Not only does RIT sound like Big T, but the orange color scheme will also be easy to adopt. While it’s not the same and nowhere near as iconic as the Tennessee pantone, it’s the best we can offer today. Maybe work on getting the “Ice Vols” to make the move to D1. They’ve already got a strong set of jerseys.
Robert Morris: Marty Mush
For those that don’t know the story of Robert Morris, you can catch up here. TLDR: They are a university that has had a hockey team since 2004, but the board of directors cut the program during Covid only to be met with so much backlash and additional donations that they were forced to bring it back for the 2023-24 season. Promising to be around next year with no actual control over it and a Pres that doesn’t like them…need I say more?
Want More College Hockey Content?
Listen, Barstool is great. Some people don’t like it, but if you couldn’t guess from the blog and knowing enough about all these personalities to put this together, I do. Huge fan of everything they’ve got going on in fact. With a massive gap in the College Hockey coverage (not only from them), people are searching for other spots to find it. Here are some, admittedly self promotion driven, options:
- Read the Blogs
- Weekly Updates & Previews of Games – Focus on Ranked Matchups w/ series predictions
- Follow the TikToks
- Weekly “Beer Money” betting information – Favs/Dogs/Overs/Unders
- Note: For legal reasons: This is INFORMATIVE only and not gambling advice
- Weekly “Beer Money” betting information – Favs/Dogs/Overs/Unders
- Follow on Twitter
- Yeah, there’s other stuff mixed in but come Friday/Saturday, College Hockey is the focus.
- Listen to the Podcasts:
- The Has Beens Podcast, hosted by former D1 College Hockey players w/ guests discussing the action around the world of College Hockey and beyond.
- MNCAA Podcast: Quick hits on all 6 of the Division 1 Minnesota College Hockey teams every week.
I’ve been hit by cars three times, which is an indication of how stubborn I am.
I write about everything across the board, but focus on Hockey and the pain that is Minnesota sports.
Argue with me on Twitter: @venividiveech