Not all college baseball news this time of year revolves around signings and summer league results. Last week we wrote about meetings of the Rules Committee, Baseball Issues Committee and a subcommittee of the Academic Enhancement Working Group. The Division I Baseball Committee also met last week, and this week I caught up with NCAA managing director for baseball and football Dennis Poppe to get the scoop on the committee’s doings. Here are some tidbits:
But don’t expect a major overhaul of the selection process. Poppe defended the RPI’s utility as one selection tool, even though Fresno State won the national title after ranking 89th in the RPI and earning a No. 4 regional seed.
"It’s not the only tool we use," Poppe said. "If you think of what you learn from situations like that, that’s all the more reason the RPI should not be an absolute. (Fresno State) underachieved during the year–they were a good baseball team. But they numbers were the numbers–they produced those numbers during the season. I use it as a reminder; the RPI helps, but that’s where it’s invaluable to have the input from the advisory committees."
"In their case, it was a ratings bonanza," Poppe said. "It was the second-highest rating ever for a championship game, up 27 percent from last year. There are so many factors to address (with the format)–first and foremost the players and teams, and you did have more rest time between games. Traditionally you used to have one team come back and play the next day, and the other team got a day off, so there were some inequities there. So you’ve got the student athlete welfare issue, the equity issue, fan interest and media interest. When you adjust here, sometimes it affects other areas. We addressed two this year (with the stretched-out format): media and players, but it did create a longer time for fans to be there. It is a concern, but I think it just takes some adjustments. We’re adjusting, and I think everyone else needs to adjust too."
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