It’s Thursday.

This week, we unveil a new feature — The Michigan Daily’s CCHA power rankings.

Here goes.

1. Western Michigan: The Broncos find themselves in the cellar of the league, but they are in the top slot in our inaugural rankings. Western Michigan split a series with Notre Dame, another one of the league’s top teams. Look for the Broncos to make quick work of Bowling Green this weekend.

2. Notre Dame: This is a very strong Fighting Irish squad that looks destined to make up for what went wrong last year. Notre Dame gets a bye from CCHA play this weekend, but a tougher test awaits — defending national champion Boston College. Next week, it’s a series in Ann Arbor.

3. Miami (Ohio): I’ll admit that I’ve been surprised by what I’ve seen from the RedHawks so far this season. One of the youngest teams in the league, Miami was a question mark at the beginning of league play, but splits with Ferris State and Michigan are enough to get the RedHawks some respect early on.

4. Ferris State: I’m still not sure what to make of the Bulldogs, who seemed like a longshot to repeat on their 2011-12 run this season. Ferris State probably should’ve taken all six points from Alaska on opening weekend, and then earned a split with Miami last weekend. Granted, all four games came at home.

5. Michigan: It’s tough to make an argument to have the Wolverines higher than this at this point. Honestly, they could be lower. Michigan needs to hold court at Yost Ice Arena on Friday night and anything less than a sweep of Michigan State might be a disappointment this weekend. Playing .500 hockey isn’t something this team is accustomed to.

6. Northern Michigan: All Northern Michigan has shown us so far this weekend is that it can play with the best teams in the league. The Wildcats built early leads on Michigan both nights last weekend. If they are for real, they’ll show us against the RedHawks in a couple tough road contests.

7. Michigan State: Which Spartan team will show up this weekend for the home-and-home with the Wolverines? The one that got shut out by Bowling Green last Friday, or the one that responded by trouncing the Falcons, 6-1? Both teams need the crucial points.

8. Lake Superior State: Six straight crucial home games await the Lakers, starting with Ferris State this weekend. They’ve split with Alaska and Michigan State to start the season.

9. Alaska: Spare me, HOCKEYBEAR. A split with Ferris State left me wondering if the Nanooks could compete this season, but they needed to take care of Lake Superior State at home last weekend.

10. Ohio State: Ohio State had a big early season win over Minnesota-Duluth, but a win and shootout loss with Bowling Green makes the Buckeyes underwhelming.

11. Bowling Green: I thought this Bowling Green team had a lot of potential this year, but it’s been a rocky start. With a home-and-home with Western Michigan coming up this weekend, don’t expect things to turn around soon.

Matt Slovin covers the Michigan hockey team for the Daily. He can be reached at mjslovin@umich.edu or on Twitter @MattSlovin.

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