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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Beagle, Dec 18, 2018.
Is it really Your region when we will be the higher seed?
but we had so much fun last time!
Oh I know you did
oh look a dropped foul ball lol
I said the same region
Hogs take game 1 against LSU 14-4
that was fun lets do it again tomorrow
Postseason Stock Report: Week 13 At-Large, National Seed Analysis
STOCK REPORT Aaron Fitt - May 9, 2019
This time of year, a hefty majority of all questions we get in our weekly college chat, as well as those from e-mail or Twitter, center around the battle for postseason positioning. Our readers want to know how the races for national seeds, host sites and at-large bids are shaping up, so every week in this space we’ll examine how the postseason picture shifts from week to week, and look ahead at how the upcoming action could affect the races. This analysis complements our weekly NCAA tournament field of 64 projection, which we put together in a conference call with Kendall Rogers, Mark Etheridge and me on Tuesday night.
Below, we look at who’s in, who’s out, who’s on the bubble for at-large spots, hosts and national seeds. We weight this toward performance to date and remaining schedule rather than projection based on talent, but it’s not intended to show exactly what the field would look like if the season ended today. We’re still looking ahead, and we’re still taking talent into consideration.
During this discussion, we will reference the RPI Rankings through Wednesday’s games, even though our field was constructed on Tuesday night. And we’ll make use of records against the top 25, 50 or 100 in the RPI using the D1Baseball Nitty Gritty Report (also through Wednesday’s action).
We’ll get to at-large chances in a bit, but let’s start with a look at which teams are on track to earn national seeds and which are on track to host regionals through the first 12 weeks of the season:
Top-Eight National Seeds
SECURE TEAMS: UCLA, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Louisville
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Georgia Tech, Georgia, Texas Tech
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): East Carolina, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oregon State
One change from last week: Texas Tech replaces Oregon State as a top-eight seed. The Beavers plummeted to No. 20 in the RPI after an 0-4 week that included a midweek loss to Gonzaga and a home sweep at the hand of Oklahoma State, so they’re clearly out of top-eight position right now, despite their 17-4 Pac-12 record. With two road series left at Oregon and Stanford plus a home series against USC, the Beavers still have opportunities ahead to boost their RPI; but if they can win the Pac-12, they stand a solid chance to snag a top-eight seed even if their RPI stays in the teens. So they’re not out of the running by any stretch, they simply need to rebound.
Texas Tech has made a strong push into top-eight position over the last three weeks, winning a series against Baylor, sweeping Oklahoma State and sweeping Oklahoma on the road. The Raiders are up five spots from last week to No. 8 in the RPI, with a strong 15-6 record against the top 50 and a 14-7 mark in the Big 12, leaving them just a half-game behind first-place Baylor. Given the remaining schedules for both teams, we project TTU to win the regular-season title, which would sew up a top-eight seed, in our estimation. Even if they fall short of that goal, the Raiders are clearly the top national seed candidate in the Big 12.
Our field was constructed before East Carolina’s win at North Carolina on Wednesday, which helped the Pirates climb to more spots to No. 3 in the RPI. Even at No. 5, ECU was right on the top-eight borderline; its 37-11 overall record and its domination of the American Athletic Conference (16-2) work in its favor, but a 2-4 record against the top 25 and a modest 8-6 mark against the top 50 are still holding it back. With series left at 22-26 Wichita State and vs. 25-22 Memphis, the Pirates figure to drop a few spots in the RPI rankings, but the RPI Needs Report estimates they can still finish the regular-season inside the top eight if they win four or five of their final seven games, and we expect them to do so. But they won’t have any more opportunities to pad their top 50 or top 25 records, and those metrics still pale in comparison to our other top-eight seeds. But if Georgia, Georgia Tech or Texas Tech stumbles down the stretch, ECU is in the best position to move into a top eight spot.
Stanford is the wild card. The Cardinal remains tied for the Pac-12 lead with Oregon State at 17-4, and its overall record remains a gaudy 35-8 — but its RPI is down at No. 22, and it is still just 1-2 against the top 25 and 2-2 against the top 50. The lack of quality wins simply holds the Cardinal out of the top eight right now, but Stanford finishes with three straight series against top-40 clubs: at California, vs. Oregon State, at Arizona State. That challenging stretch will help the RPI and the top 50 record, and if Stanford navigates that difficult path well enough to win the Pac-12 title, it will leap back into a top-eight seed, even if nobody ahead of it falters. But 16-5 UCLA has the easiest remaining schedule of the three Pac-12 title contenders, so our money is on the Bruins to overcome their 1.5-game deficit in the standings and win the conference crown. Stay tuned.
Georgia reinforced its top-eight position by sweeping Florida at home, rebounding nicely from a road sweep at the hands of Mississippi State. At 16-8 in the SEC, No. 6 in the RPI, 9-9 against the top 25 and 16-10 against the top 50, all the metrics are in place for Georgia to grab a top-eight spot. Stanford or Oregon State might be able to leapfrog Georgia with a conference title, but ECU probably doesn’t have enough chances to accrue quality victories to knock Georgia off its perch.
Georgia Tech remains tied with North Carolina for the ACC Coastal Division lead at 15-9, and the Yellow Jackets own the head-to-head tie-breaker. Tech managed to fall just two spots to No. 9 in the RPI after sweeping No. 182 Western Carolina last weekend, and a road series at Duke this weekend should be good for the RPI. If the Jackets win that series and hold serve at home against Pittsburgh the final weekend, they should remain a top-eight seed, because their 11-7 record against the top 25 is still loud. A series loss at Duke could make things interesting and open the door for ECU or a Pac-12 team to sneak in ahead of the Jackets.
Also keep an eye on Oklahoma State, which vaulted 13 spots to No. 11 in the RPI after sweeping Oregon State on the road. That was a season-turning weekend for the Cowboys, who improved to 4-6 against the top 25 and 7-7 against the top 50 — still a little light for a top-eight contender, particularly given OSU’s modest 10-8 conference record. But if the Cowboys can win their last two series against Oklahoma and Baylor, they’ve got a real shot to jump into that top eight.
SECURE TEAMS: The eight national seeds listed above (UCLA, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Texas Tech); East Carolina, Oklahoma State, Stanford
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): North Carolina, Ole Miss, Oregon State, Miami, LSU
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Baylor, NC State, UC Santa Barbara, West Virginia, Illinois, Texas A&M, Auburn
Two changes from last week: Oklahoma State and Ole Miss replace Baylor and West Virginia as hosts. Baylor fell four spots in the RPI after winning a home series against Kansas State but failing to sweep it; the Bears are down to No. 27, and their lead in the Big 12 standings has shrunk to a half-game. If they can hold on and win the regular-season conference title, we expect them to host regardless of what their RPI does — but their only remaining Big 12 series is at Oklahoma State, while Texas Tech gets TCU at home, so we like Tech’s chances. And if Baylor doesn’t win the Big 12, its case is dicey simply because of the RPI, though it should get a boost in that department from the road trip to Stillwater. There’s still plenty to like about Baylor’s case: a solid 10-6 mark against the top 50 and a sweep of West Virginia, but the struggles of TCU and Oklahoma have caused both of them to drop out of our field of 64, leaving Baylor’s WVU sweep as its only series win against a projected regional team. So that series at Oklahoma State is critical for Baylor’s hosting chances.
West Virginia’s hosting chances took a big blow with a home series loss to TCU last weekend, leaving the Mountaineers just 11-10 in conference. Their No. 15 RPI is nice, but their 7-9 record against the top 50 is not, and the conference record is a blemish. WVU needs to sweep its last Big 12 series at Kansas State just to stay in the hosting race, and even that might not be enough given that top 50 record. But series wins at Oklahoma State and vs. Texas Tech at least give West Virginia some high-end weekends to hang its hat upon.
Ole Miss leapt over fellow SEC West hosting candidates LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn by winning two of three on the road at LSU. Now Ole Miss is sitting pretty at 15-9 in the SEC heading into a huge series against Mississippi State, and its RPI is closer to hosting range at No. 18. The Rebels also have a 16-14 record against the top 50, which trumps Auburn’s 10-14 mark and A&M’s 12-13-1. Auburn (12-12) and Texas A&M (12-11-1) have significant work to do in the standings to get back into legitimate hosting contention; right now they’re hanging out on the fringe of the race thanks to their RPIs (No. 17 and No. 16, respectively).
LSU holds onto our last hosting spot thanks largely to its 14-10 record in the SEC and its 16-12 mark against the top 50. But three straight home losses (two against Ole Miss, one midweek to Louisiana Tech) have dropped the Tigers six spots to No. 23 in the RPI, so they need to rebound in that measure. This weekend should provide a good RPI bump, with a three-game series at Arkansas, and a home series against Auburn also is a good RPI matchup. If the Tigers can go 3-3 in those final two weekends to finish 17-13 — a realistic outcome, we suspect — then they should climb back into the top 20 of the RPI and grab a host spot.
North Carolina and Miami remain ahead of NC State in the ACC’s host pecking order thanks mostly to RPI, where UNC is No. 13, Miami is No. 14, and NC State is No. 25. The Tar Heels also have a head-to-head series win over the Hurricanes and a one-game edge over both of them in the standings (UNC is 15-9, Miami and NCSU are 14-10). None of these three teams owns a winning record against the top 50 (UNC is 6-7, Miami is 7-11, NCSU is 4-5), but we expect two of the three to host anyway based on RPI, conference records and overall records. Miami finishes with two quality series against top-50 opponents (at Wake Forest, vs. Duke) who are both currently projected as regional teams. If the Hurricanes falter in those two series, they could easily slip out of hosting position, but a 3-3 finish to get to 17-13 in the league figures to be enough for them. UNC travels to Pitt and then hosts NC State, so we project the Tar Heels to finish with between 18 and 20 ACC victories, which should make them an easy host.
But NC State has a chance to steal a host spot from one of them if it can win its last two series vs. Clemson and at UNC. The Wolfpack rebounded from its midseason swoon with four straight home wins against UNC Wilmington and Radford last week, though it stumbled again with a midweek loss to Campbell. Nonetheless, NCSU is 37-13 overall, and if it wins those final two series it will get to at least 18-12 in the ACC. It would also improve its lackluster top 50 record in the process. So for the Wolfpack, the equation is simple: win those last two series, and it will host. Right now, we project it to win the Clemson series, but we give the Tar Heels the edge at home in the final weekend, keeping the ‘Pack out of the top 16 for now.
Illinois looks like the strongest hosting candidate in the Big Ten thanks to its No. 19 RPI, because no other team is better than No. 30. The Illini helped themselves with a big series win against Indiana this past weekend, padding their impressive top 50 record to 12-5. But the conference standings are still holding them back: they’re still just 10-8 in the Big Ten, good enough for sixth place. Illinois will be a heavy favorite in its final two series vs. Purdue and at Michigan State, which should allow it to make a big jump in the standings… but it figures to drag the RPI down in the process. The math just doesn’t look great for Illinois, but if it sweeps those last two series to finish 16-8 in the league, and if its RPI stays in the top 25, it has at least a shot to host.
Nothing has really changed for UC Santa Barbara, which has a gaudy overall record and a still-strong RPI (No. 12), but a major lack of quality wins, with no games against the top 25 and a 3-0 record against the top 50 (all of them against No. 47 UC Irvine, who seems unlikely to finish the season in the top 50 given the Big West’s RPI issues). The Gauchos did rebound nicely from that shocking series loss at UC Riverside, reeling off a six-game winning streak to keep them right in the hosting mix. But look for that RPI to take a tumble this weekend after a home series against 11-35 Long Beach State. The Needs Report says UCSB must win each of its final 10 games to finish inside the top 16, and it needs to win seven of its last 10 just to stay in the top 32. So even if UCSB wins the Big West title, will that be enough to land it a top-16 seed with an RPI in the mid-to-high 20s and likely no games against the top 50? We doubt it.
There are 31 automatic bids awarded to conference champions, and these 14 are safe bets to be one-bid leagues, regardless of how their conference tournaments shake out.
Sure-fire one-bid leagues: America East, Colonial, Horizon, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, NEC, Ohio Valley, Patriot, SoCon, Summit, SWAC, WAC.
These eight conferences are likely to be one-bid leagues, but each has at least one team with at least a shot at an at-large bid, though the poor RPIs of the rest of their conferencemates figure to drag some of them down below at-large range as the season continues.
Likely one-bid leagues (potential at-large teams in parentheses):
Atlantic 10 (RPI No. 55 VCU)
Atlantic Sun (RPI No. 51 Liberty)
Big East (RPI No. 24 Creighton)
Big South (RPI No. 61 Campbell)
Mountain West (RPI No. 49 Fresno State)
Southland (RPI No. 64 Sam Houston State)
Sun Belt (RPI No. 41 Texas State)
WCC (RPI No. 31 BYU)
Out of that group, Creighton, BYU and Texas State look like the most realistic at-large candidates if they fail to win their conference tournaments (we’re moving the WCC into this category this week, as the Cougars are now the only viable at-large contender in the conference). But VCU (+15 spots in the RPI from last week), Liberty (+17), Fresno State (+13) and Sam Houston (+10) have all improved their position in the last week, putting all of them squarely on the at-large bubble right now. Campbell held steady at No. 61, likely keeping the Camels on the wrong side of the bubble.
For the purpose of this exercise, we’ll assume all eight of those wind up as one-bid leagues, along with the 14 “sure-fire” one-bid leagues, giving us 22 one-bid conferences in all.
Below is a conference-by-conference look at which teams are on track to make the field in conferences that have multiple teams with viable at-large hopes, and which teams are on the wrong side of the bubble through 11 weeks. Here are the changes from last week, in a nutshell:
AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER CHANGES:
Mid-American: Central Michigan replaces Ball State
MEAC: North Carolina A&T replaces Coppin State
WCC: BYU replaces Gonzaga
IN: Florida Atlantic, Illinois State, Wake Forest
OUT: Oklahoma, Nebraska, Florida
American Athletic Conference (3 total bids)
SAFELY IN: East Carolina, Connecticut
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Houston
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Tulane, UCF
No change from last week. UConn and Houston remain in solid shape with 9-9 conference records and RPIs of No. 26 and No. 37, respectively. If both can finish .500 in the American, they should get in easily, and even 11-13 might be enough, though a losing conference mark would make for a nervous selection Monday. Houston has the more challenging remaining schedule: vs. Tulane, at UCF. The Huskies host South Florida and then travel to Tulane.
The Green Wave is back in second place at 10-7, 5.5 games behind ECU. But Tulane is stuck at No. 94 in the RPI and just 2-7 against the top 50, making its at-large hopes a real long shot. But if it can finish with series wins at Houston and vs. UConn, the RPI should make a big jump, and its case would get very interesting. But we aren’t projecting that to happen.
UCF has quietly snuck closer to the bubble after winning a road series at Tulane and a midweek game at Miami, getting the knights up 14 spots to No. 53 in the RPI. They’re still just 9-12 in the American, but a home series win over Houston the final weekend would give them at least a shot. UCF also gets a good RPI road game midweek at FAU.
ACC (9 bids)
SAFELY IN: Louisville, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami, NC State
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Duke, Florida State, Clemson, Wake Forest
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): None
One change from last week: Wake Forest enters our field of 64, making the ACC a nine-bid league. Realistically, we don’t expect the ACC to land nine bids when it’s all said and done, but right now we have a “soft bubble,” and the ACC has several teams straddling that bubble who get the benefit of the doubt this week. The Demon Deacons were off last weekend and went 1-1 in midweek games at High Point and vs. Davidson in the last week, and they climbed five spots to No. 50 in the RPI. That’s not great position for an ACC team, but they’re also 12-12 in the conference, with big series left vs. Miami and at Clemson. If they go 3-3 in those two weekends to finish .500 in the league, they’ll have a shot. If they can manage to win five of their last seven games, the Needs Report says they can climb inside the top 45, which would help their case. The simplest way to put it is this: win those last two series, and Wake Forest figures to wind up in a regional. Anything less than that, and it will be dicey, but there’s a chance.
Duke slipped a bit with back-to-back losses to VCU and Liberty on Sunday and Wednesday, dropping it five spots to No. 45 in the RPI. But we still think the Blue Devils remain in the best shape of the ACC’s bubble dwellers thanks to their 13-11 ACC mark, and an RPI that is the best of the bunch. But a 2-7 record against the top 25 and a 6-9 mark against the top 50 are not great, so Duke’s home series against Miami this weekend is huge.
Florida State gave back all of its RPI progress over the last week, tumbling 14 spots to No. 66 following a home loss to Jacksonville and a road loss to Stetson (in which FSU was no-hit). Our field was constructed before the latter loss, when FSU was still in the 50s. With a three-game home series left against Richmond and a road-series at first-place Louisville, FSU can still vault into the top 45 if it wins out, according to the RPI Needs Report. At the very least, those last two series are must-wins to put Florida State within striking range of at-large territory in the RPI, with a chance to make further RPI gains in the ACC tournament. If FSU loses two of three at Louisville to finish 17-13, it could find itself on the outside looking in, even despite that conference record. It’s rare for teams with that kind of ACC record to miss out, but remember that Miami missed out last year with a 16-13 ACC record, though it was just two games over .500 overall (28-26). At least this FSU team has a better overall record (31-18).
Clemson continues to stumble along. After dropping nine out of 10 games during a brutal April stretch, the Tigers split two games against Gardner-Webb last weekend, then lost to Presbyterian before beating 10-37 The Citadel in midweek action. That’s not exactly the sign of a team on the rebound. Clemson finds itself 12-12 in the ACC and No. 48 in the RPI heading into a critical series at NC State followed by a home set against Wake Forest. If the Tigers win both of those series to reach 16 ACC wins, they should be in. If they split those games and finish 15-15 in the ACC, with a horrible second half trajectory, they’ll probably need to do some work in the conference tournament. The Tigers sorely need to reverse their negative momentum.
Big 12 (4 bids)
SAFELY IN: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Baylor, West Virginia
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): None
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Oklahoma, TCU
One change from last week: Oklahoma fall out of our field of 64, making the Big 12 a four-bid league — a startling change for a conference that had seven projected regional teams for much of the season. The Sooners aren’t dead yet at 8-10 in the Big 12 and No. 45 in the RPI, but getting swept at home by Texas Tech was a big blow; now they’re just 3-9 against the top 50, and their best RPI series win came against No. 72 Minnesota, who is 20-23 overall. There’s simply a lack of quality wins on this resumé. Oklahoma finishes with the traveling Bedlam series against surging Oklahoma State, followed by a road series at Texas. If the Sooners can go 4-2 in those two weekends to finish 12-12 in conference, they’ll have a decent shot to get back into regional position, but we aren’t projecting them to pull it off.
TCU forestalled the executioner for one week at least, taking two of three at West Virginia to jump 14 spots to No. 73 in the RPI. The Frogs remain a long shot to get their RPI back into the top 50 and reach the .500 mark in conference; they’re currently 8-10, with a home series against Kansas followed by a road series at Texas Tech. If they win both of those series to finish 12-12 in the league, they’ll have a viable chance, but who’s going to pick them to win a series in Lubbock? Not us.
Big Ten (4 bids)
SAFELY IN: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Iowa
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Nebraska
One change from last week: Nebraska fall out of our field of 64, making the Big Ten a four-bid league. The Cornhuskers have lost three straight conference series, capped by dropping two of three at 20-23 Northwestern. They’re still in decent shape in the standings at 13-8, and their RPI is still respectable at No. 44, but we don’t like their trajectory heading into challenging home series against Arizona State and Michigan. Those two weekends clearly present an opportunity, however: win them both, and Nebraska cruises into regionals. Go 3-3 in those games, and the Huskers will have a decent shot. Anything less than that, and they’ll be in trouble.
Michigan moves from the bubble to the back end of the “safely in” pool after running its winning streak to 13 games — all but one of them against teams with losing records overall. Michigan’s sweep at Maryland last weekend was actually its best series win of the year — and the Terps are 23-25 overall, No. 81 in the RPI. So despite Michigan’s 36-11 overall record, its perch atop the Big Ten at 14-3, and its No. 38 RPI, it still suffers from a lack of quality wins, with just a 2-5 record against the top 50. The Wolverines have a chance to remedy that shortcoming and lock up their at-large position with series against Indiana and at Nebraska in the final two weeks.
Iowa’s resumé is the opposite of Michigan’s, in several respects: the Hawkeyes have RPI problems (No. 58), but they have four really nice quality series wins to hang their hats upon: at Oklahoma State, vs. Illinois (a sweep), vs. Nebraska, and vs. UC Irvine this past weekend. That all adds up to a 9-7 record against the top 50 and a 5-1 mark against the top 25. We think those positives outweigh Iowa’s RPI, which has been dragged down by an 8-4 record against teams outside the top 200. But a home series against 17-30 Michigan State and a midweek contest at 16-27 Western Illinois could exacerbate Iowa’s RPI woes, though a road series at Maryland the final week could help a little. The key is staying inside the top 60; if the Hawkeyes can pull that off, we think they’ll deserve an at-large bid, and we hope the committee will view it similarly. It might come down to making some kind of a run in the Big Ten tournament.
Big West (2 bids)
SAFELY IN: UC Santa Barbara
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): UC Irvine
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): None
No change from last week. UCSB remains a lock, and UC Irvine remains on the bubble due to its No. 47 RPI and 0-4 record against the top 50. Losing that series at Iowa this weekend was a setback for the Anteaters, who are just 8-12 against the top 100 and have just two games left against top 100 foes: midweek games against No. 1 UCLA and No. 83 USC. Otherwise, the Anteaters play 23-23 Cal Poly (which is still tied for first place), 17-24 UC Davis, and 16-29 UC Riverside. The RPI Needs Report suggests Irvine needs to win 10 of its final 11 games to finish inside the top 45, and that’s a tall order. More likely, Irvine will finish in the 50s, and its lack of quality wins might wind up costing it on selection day. But for now, it’s a soft bubble and Irvine stays in, as one of the final teams in our field.
Conference USA (2 bids)
SAFELY IN: None
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Southern Miss, Florida Atlantic
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Louisiana Tech
One change from last week: Florida Atlantic joins our field of 64, making C-USA a two-bid league. The Owls vaulted 10 spots to No. 35 in the RPI after winning a huge road series at Southern Miss, putting them on the right side of the bubble. FAU (17-7) also drew within one game of USM (18-6) in the standings, and improved its top 50 record to 5-8. It’s not a slam-dunk case, but right now FAU is ahead of quite a few bubble teams that are in our field of 64. And the same goes for Southern Miss: that series loss to FAU prevented the Golden Eagles from locking up their at-large position, but they’re still in very good shape at No. 39 in the RPI, 18-6 in the league and 6-5 against the top 50. A midweek win over Ole Miss last week helped.
Louisiana Tech lost six straight games after its home stadium was destroyed by a tornado, and they dropped their series at Old Dominion last weekend, but they bounced back with a huge midweek win at LSU. That win, which came after our projections were assembled, helped La Tech jump 10 spots to No. 46 in the RPI. But the Bulldogs still have work to do, because they’re just 13-11 in Conference USA, putting them in fourth place, five games out of first place. We don’t expect a fourth-place C-USA team to get an at-large bid, although the committee could take the difficult circumstances surrounding the tornado into account and give Louisiana Tech a little extra leeway. Regardless, the Bulldogs must win their final two series against third-place Western Kentucky and at FIU in order to have a realistic shot.
Missouri Valley (3 bids)
SAFELY IN: Dallas Baptist, Indiana State
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Illinois State
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): None
One change from our last week: Illinois State returns to our field of 64, making the Valley a three-bid league. The Redbirds actually lost their home series against Indiana State and have dropped five of their last six overall… but their strong RPI (No. 29) and the soft bubble allows them to back into our field anyway. In other words, other bubble contenders have hurt themselves more than Illinois State, which still has that good RPI and a 10-5 MVC record. But at 4-12 against the top 50, Illinois State’s position is still shaky.
Indiana State moves into the “safely in” category after winning that big road series at Illinois State. The Sycamores now sit alone atop the standings at 11-4, with a No. 28 RPI and a 4-5 record against the top 50. And Dallas Baptist remains in good shape at No. 33 in the RPI and 6-7 against the top 50, even though it is in third place at 9-6, two games behind the Sycamores. The fact is, the RPI is the Valley’s friend this year; the MVC is the No. 6 RPI conference, and it has a legitimate chance to snag three bids.
Pacific-12 (5 bids)
SAFELY IN: UCLA, Oregon State, Stanford, California, Arizona State
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): None
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Washington, Oregon
No change from last week. Cal moves from the bubble to the “safely in” category after sweeping a road set at Utah and running its winning streak to five games. The Golden Bears are now 13-8 in the Pac-12 and No. 34 in the RPI; that’s a slam-dunk at-large case right now, and Cal has even passed Arizona State in the pecking order, though it must be careful down the stretch with three straight challenging series: vs. Stanford, vs. Arizona State, at Washington. We like Cal’s chances to hold its own against that stretch, especially since two of them are at home, and because the Bears are playing really good baseball at the right time.
Washington continues to lurk at No. 69 in the RPI and 9-12 in the Pac-12, but the Huskies missed a golden opportunity to pad their conference record when they dropped the series finale at 10-33-1 Washington State last weekend. We still think the Huskies could play their way in with series wins down the stretch vs. Utah, at UCLA and vs. Cal, but that’s a tough row to hoe. So UW is still alive, but it’s a long shot.
The wheels have fallen off for Oregon, which has lost nine of its last 11 games to fall to 24-22 overall, 8-13 in the Pac-12 and No. 52 in the RPI. The top 50 record is ugly too: 6-13. The Ducks could save their season with series wins against Oregon State, at USC and vs. UCLA down the stretch… but there’s no reason to believe this team is capable of pulling that off, given its recent level of play and the caliber of its upcoming opponents.
SEC (10 bids)
SAFELY IN: Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Auburn, Missouri
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Tennessee
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Florida
One change from last week: Florida falls out of our field of 64, making the SEC a 10-bid league, the first time all year we’ve had it projected to earn fewer than 11 bids. The Gators suffered a crippling sweep at Georgia last weekend, leaving them mired at 9-15 in the SEC, with series left vs. Tennessee and at Missouri. They must go at least 4-2 in those two weekends to have even a chance, and the track record for 13-17 SEC teams isn’t great; they’d likely still need to make some noise in the conference tournament. A 5-1 finish in those two series would probably save Florida’s at-large hopes; but the way the Gators are playing, we have little faith in their ability to pull it off.
This is also a huge series for Tennessee, which took a big hit with a heart-breaking home series loss to Missouri last weekend. Now Tennessee is just 10-14 in the SEC, but its No. 10 RPI gives it a little more wiggle room in the standings than Florida, with its No. 32 RPI. If the Vols can get to 13-17 in the SEC with an RPI around No. 10, they stand a better chance to get into regionals. That means they must go 3-3 in the final two weekends at Florida and vs. Ole Miss, and if they can find a way to go 4-2 they’ll be a slam dunk. Right now, we’re still giving Tennessee the benefit of the doubt.
Missouri moves from the bubble to the “safely in” category after winning that huge road series at Tennessee, improving the Tigers to 12-11-1 in the SEC, with a No. 21 RPI. Fourteen SEC wins seems to be the magic number, so that means Mizzou just needs to go 2-4 in its final two weekends at Vanderbilt and vs. Florida. We expect the Tigers to pull that off.
agree 100% what a great article
Lmbo at not scoring 19 against them smh
Took y’all 10 innings vs our 8 and we didn’t give up 15 runs in the process
Fair point. We both agree that winning a game, hell... a series at Baum is an impressive feat that only happens once in a blue moon.
Only LSU and Ole Miss can do it the last 5 years or so. Bastards
Is 9-3 against y’all since 2016 with two straight road series wins good? Asking for a friend.
Just came to say Title IX is bullshit, and Chad Kreuter ruined our program.
12 natty's and still, USC is ass my dudes
Now you’re just being mean *REPORTED*
If only y’all could somehow convert those regular season wins to postseason wins then yes
I’m jealous that when you guys got to cash all those postseason wins in it added up to
Zero National Championships.
This is what a rebuilding year under Tim Tadlock looks like.
Or should I say
a reloading yer
That runner up trophy ain’t bad
Better than getting boatraced by Tennessee Tech
I just want to host a regional again!
It did get us a .gif that will continue to haunt me until we win one. :pepehands:
unc/nc state series next weekend is gonna be great. i can't wait
Lmbo at the thought of Arkansas displaying a trophy that reminds everyone who sees it of the pop foul
You know the old saying... It’s better to have experienced the gut wrenching agony of nearly winning a national title and literally giving it away than to have not won anything of substance at all
I think that’s how it goes
As a wvu fan I agree
That was brave of you
It’s ok man let’s all be miserable together
cheer up bert nobody can ever ever ever take this away from us:
I’ve always hated that saying.
Wish I was gonna be there to help you get kicked out of the right field bleachers
We are down early to Pitt. I hate sports and am joining a monastery.
our defense is such unbelievable garbage
busch looked like a little leaguer playing that ball off the wall
thats the way baseball go
How are things going tonight boys?
awful! getting worked by pitt
Manoah 8IP 13k 1bb 3h
Now has 121k on the season ..2 behind the WVU single season record set in 1964
Manoah is a god damn stud
Da fuck? You're now my 4th favourite mod
ECU beats Wichita State to clinch the AAC regular season title
Slaw has now scored 9 unanswered runs after being down 3-0
Fucking rolling bottom 8th
Edit: 10 unanswered
You haven’t talked to me all night
Hello user Devine how has your night been? I haven’t seen my mom in a while and she is in town for mother’s day weekend, I realize that is no excuse and I’m super sorry
Fuck y'all and your wins and your big tittied girlfriends.
My night is good we won 6-0 and a lot of people are saying we’re the best
Please link me to the people saying this I would love to read about your good prognostications
People are saying it out loud not on internet message boards
11-3 top of 9th no outs. Runnings
Our bullpen cringe if