Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

 

It’s going to be a long week. Auburn will still hold out hope for an NCAA At-Large Bid. Really, though, the team doesn’t know what to think or to expect. Even CJP is torn whether to keep practicing or go ahead and send everyone home:

``There's nothing we can do. You can sit there and watch the scores come in and watch what happens, but we're going to keep moving forward and see what happens,'' he said. ``I'm going to meet with the players and then we'll decide what we're going to do."

So what shot do we have?

It’s still slim and our best hope probably lies in Vanderbilt:

• It’s time to welcome Vanderbilt back to the NCAA bubble. The Commodores, despite a pair of losses to begin the Tennessee series, entered Saturday with an RPI of 38. However, after getting swept by the Vols with a 9-7 setback on Saturday, the ‘Dores have much to prove in the conference tournament. Vandy finished the regular season with a 12-17 record in the SEC. In most seasons, any team that reaches the SEC tournament deserves to be in an NCAA regional. Vandy, though, may be an exception.

Vandy made the SEC tournament. 2 quick losses could eliminate them from the NCAA Regionals as well.

THE RPI’s

In the official NCAA RPI, Auburn has a ranking of 34 (this was before taking the series from Alabama)

One of the best sites for calulating RPIs (boydsworld.com) has Auburn with an RPI of 31 (factoring in the series win against Alabama)

HOW I SEE IT

If Auburn is going to get in. It will be just barely. The Strength of Schedule is there, the RPI needs work. In the latest NCAA Projections from Rivals.  Auburn is still floating around in the “Next 15” category. Meaning Auburn will probably need to be better than the following teams: Baylor, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Troy, Dallas Baptist, College of Charleston, BYU, Oklahoma State, Southeastern Louisiana, San Diego, Western Carolina, Florida International, Tulane, and Kentucky. Yeah. That many teams. However, well look at this:

Team Boyds RPI  NCAA RPI Last 5 Last 10 Record
Auburn 31 34 4-1 4-6 31-25
Baylor 29 21 1-4 2-8 27-22
Hawaii 44 33 3-1* 5-4* 31-23
Rhode Island 59 65 3-2 6-4 35-18
Troy 65 52 3-2 8-2 32-21
Dallas Baptist 36 47 3-2 6-4 38-16
C of C 48 41 1-4 6-4 34-20
BYU 61 63 4-1 4-6 28-22
OK State 27 25 2-2* 3-6* 31-22
SE LA 55 46 3-2 7-3 35-30
San Diego 46 56 2-3 2-8 29-25
WCU 49 50 4-1 7-3 34-20
FIU 67 61 3-2 8-2 32-21
Tulane 68 66 4-1 6-4 32-23
Kentucky 42 48 2-3 6-4 27-26

BOLD text = statistic is better/equal to Auburn’s

*Final Game not finished at time of posting

So, now as it stands, only 2 of the bubble teams have better RPIs (Baylor and OK State) but Baylor has both a worse record in the last 5 and the Last 10. Baylor also has a worse overall record.

WHAT OTHER’S SAY:

The questions was posed to Kendall Rogers (College Baseball Analyst) on the Rivals Message Board: Does Auburn get a Regional Bid?

His answer?

Auburn has no business being in the postseason... so I'll say no.

I’ll disagree. “No Business” is kind of harsh and Auburn has a better RPI than all but 2 of the so-called “bubble teams” listed by Rivals. I’d say Auburn is even better than Vanderbilt (who got into the SEC) and Auburn beat them head to head.

SO NOW WE WAIT:

And let Tom Petty (and Gary Shandling?) Take it from here.

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