Regional Radar (May 12)
With some success, comes some hope: Here's what some college baseball writers think of Auburn's Chances of making it to the NCAA Baseball Tourney:
|Rivals (SEBaseball.com)||1 Seed |
|2 Seed |
|College Baseball Blog||2 Seed |
|2 Seed |
First a word of caution, if you clickThe College Baseball Blog Link. The site is having some malware issues. Nothing major, just a friendly word of advice DON’T EVER SAY OK TO INSTALL ANYTHING FROM A WEBSITE. There. Basic Internet Safety.
Quite interesting predictions here. Starting with SEBaseball: Currently there are four SEC hosts (South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, and Ole Miss) and 5 #1 SEC seeds. Auburn being the one runt of that litter. Has this happened before? Can a team be a #1 Seed and NOT host? Yes. It’s happened. With College Baseball being a national sport, but mainly dominated by South Eastern teams, sometimes the NCAA will spread out the Regionals:
- 2000: ECU #1 Lafayette, LA regional
UCLA #1 OK City regional
Southern Cal #1 Fullerton, CA Regional
Nebraska #1 seed Minneapolis, MN regional.
- 2001: Central Florida #1 Seed in Columbia, SC regional
South Alabama #1 seed Clemson, SC regional
Wake Forest #1 Seed, Knoxville,TN Regional
MissSt #1 seed in Columbus,OH regional
- 2002: South Alabama #1 seed in South Bend,IN Regional
- 2003: Baylor #1 seed in Hattiesburg, MS regional
- 2004: Florida #1 Seed in OK City Regional
- 2006: Ok State #1 Seed in Fayetteville, AR Regional
- 2008: Arizona #1 seed in Ann Arbor, MI regional.
So it happens. Not often as of late, but it does happen. If you’d want a more in-depth explanation of the prediction, then you’ll have to go over to SEBaseball and Subscribe to Mark Etheridge’s site.
Now the other head scratcher is from The CBB. Mark Rafferty over there didn’t actually list the hosts, just the seeding and it also looks like a straight RPI formula. It’s one of the only places I’ve seen Clemson listed as a host. It also has Vanderbilt listed as a #1 seed (and a potential host). Again, something I’ve only seen in one place. It’s kind of a screwy prediction as it’s got a ton of things out of the norm. Beside those things listed above, it also has UK and UT both in which would place 9 SEC teams in (and only 8 make it to Hoover). It also has South Carolina (who some have as a Top 8 Seed) traveling to Florida State. Odd, but we’ll see how they shake out. Again, these are just predictions.
|Boyd ISR (Strength Ratings)||22||-1|
|Nolan NPI (Power Index)||23||+2|
|KEY WINS||Bama, LSU, FAU, UK, Arkansas|
|KEY LOSSES||SEMO (2/19), Missouri (2/27)|
|Warren Nolan Strength of Schedule||12||-5|
|RECORD v RPI 1-50||12-12|
|RECORD v RPI 51-100||7-3|
|RECORD v RPI 101-200||9-1|
|RECORD v RPI 201+||5-0|
Not very good in all honesty. Auburn dropped in RPI in all three major predictors. Also hurting the Tigers? Vanderbilt. The Commodores picked up a big RPI win last night against Louisville and have a favorable schedule with remaining with Mississippi State this weekend and Arkansas the final weekend. The Commodores could make a big push for that Regional Host that Auburn is trying so desperately to steal. Vandy is currently #16 in the NCAA, 13 in Boyd, and 14 on Nolan. If anybody could still a host seed, it’s the Commodores.
But that’s not to say Auburn is out of it. In fact, I’d say the path to hosting is pretty much laid out:
Lionel (Nashville): Aaron, I'm an awfully proud alum of Auburn University today! We were a key hit away against Vanderbilt from having won 4 straight SEC series! My question to you is how close is Auburn to getting serious consideration as a regional host? What would Auburn need to accomplish down the stretch to get that bid?
Aaron Fitt: At No. 15 in the RPI and 12-9 in the SEC, I think Auburn has to be in the hosting discussion. The next two series are extremely winnable, both home against Mississippi State and Tennessee, and the Tigers close with a trip to Ole Miss. Going 5-4 in that stretch is a very reasonable expectation, and that would put Auburn at 17-13 in the league. I think that would put them in position to host, especially if LSU can't get back on track. The SEC will probably wind up with five hosts; and Florida and South Carolina look like locks, and Arkansas is still pretty safe, although it will find itself in a much more precarious position if it loses a third straight series this weekend against Ole Miss. The Rebels also seem pretty safe. That leaves Auburn and LSU competing for one hosting spot, assuming none of the others fall off.
That’s from Baseball America. I know it’s a bit dated, but here’s something from earlier in this week:
SECURE TEAMS: Texas, Virginia, Arizona State, Florida
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Coastal Carolina, Arkansas, Louisville, UCLA
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): South Carolina, Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech, Texas Christian, Cal State Fullerton, Auburn
With Auburn and Fullerton surging, there are now 15 teams with plausible shots at the eight national seeds, and a lot can change in the next three weeks.
SECURE TEAMS: The 15 teams listed above (that includes Auburn)
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Mississippi
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Connecticut, Oklahoma, Rice, Vanderbilt, San Diego, Virginia Tech, Oregon
The Auburn-Ole Miss series the final weekend could loom large, as the loser could find itself locked out of hosting, especially if said losing team also drops its upcoming series this weekend.
Vanderbilt moves into the hosting discussion following a series win against Louisiana State. Vandy is 16th in the RPI and 12-12 against the top 50—both solid numbers—but trails five other teams in the SEC hosting pecking order.
The cliff notes version: Auburn has an outside shot at a National Seed (Top 8, which I find unbelievable, if not impossible) but Baseball America feels they are at least a lock to host a regional. The Ole Miss series will be the deciding factor. All that is moot of Auburn can’t take care of business against the Vols this weekend and it reiterates what Brian Foley said earlier in the week:
- AUPPL: What does Auburn need to do to host a Regional?
- TheCBB: Coming into today, Auburn had an RPI of 16. They have four SEC teams ahead of them this weekend. Auburn needs to sweep Tennessee and then win their final series with Ole Miss to solidify a host spot for the 2010 NCAA Tourney.
It’s in Auburn’s hands now. Just Win. The rest should take care of itself.