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Wisconsin hockey: Is Mike Eaves in trouble?

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Just when you thought the Wisconsin hockey program had hit rock bottom, it suffers an 8-1 drubbing at the hands of Michigan Tech. With the loss, the Badgers fall to 1-11-1 on the season.

This is by far the worst UW hockey team in my lifetime, and there is little hope on the horizon that things are going to change anytime this season.

Attendance is a joke, and the fans are up-in-arms over the state of the team. A once proud program has been relegated to mediocrity.

To make matters even worse, one of the club's top freshmen, defenseman Keegan Ford, quit the team at the semester break. That's on the heels of the Badgers' top recruit, Brock Boeser, decommiting from the program in November.

According to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal this week, Wisconsin has lost 4,300 hockey season ticket holders since its last appearance in the Frozen Four in 2010, including 1,484 over the past two seasons. I expect that number to increase significantly after this dumpster fire of a season.

In a recent article I wrote about Wisconsin's woes, I compared Coach Eaves' data over the course of his time at UW with similar programs to Wisconsin during the same time period. Keep in mind that Dave Hakstol has only been at UND for 10 years and Jeff Jackson has only been at Notre Dame for nine years.

Coach School 12 Yr. Win % NCAAs Frozen Fours Nat'l Titles Reg. Season Titles Playoff Titles
Eaves Wisconsin .577 7 of 12 2 1 0 2
Lucia Minnesota .637 9 of 12 4 1 5 3
Hakstol UND .647 10 of 10 6 0 2 4
Blasi Miami (OH)
.626 9 of 12
2 0 3 1
Berenson Michigan .659 10 of 12 3 0 4 4
York BC .698 11 of 12
7 3 6 6
Jackson Notre Dame .613 6 of 9 2 0 2 3
Umile New Hamp .613 10 of 12
1 0 4 1

When compared to other top programs and coaches in the country, Eaves has the lowest winning percentage compared to all of them. Eaves' teams at Wisconsin have also made the NCAA tournament at the lowest percentage compared to these other seven schools. The Badgers are also the only team to not win a regular season conference championship during Eaves' tenure in Madison.

In Wednesday's Wisconsin State Journal article, UW athletic director Barry Alvarez gave Eaves a vote of confidence.

"I have complete confidence in Mike," Alvarez told the WSJ.

We'll see how long that confidence lasts.