College Top 25 Chat: May 3
Hello everyone. I'll be starting in just a
few minutes — sorry for the slight delay.
Bryan (Ocala): How impressive have the Florida
starting pitchers been this year? It looked like they lacked an ace to
start the year, but Panteliodis has been great and the two freshmen have
You're right, Panteliodis has emerged as a
very reliable Friday starter. He's not overpowering like Drew Pomeranz,
but he competes and locates, and he always gives the Gators a chance to
win — in that respect, he's like Blake Cooper, who has emerged as an
ace for South Carolina. The strength of Florida's pitching, though, is
its depth, and I think the emergence of guys like Randall and Johnson
illustrates that. Without Tommy Toledo, and Anthony DeSclafani strugglng
as a starter, the Gators still had enough arms to put together a solid
Sharon (Durham): I'm a UVa alum living in
Durham and after watching Keith Werman in the CWS, I went to the games
this weekend to see him in person. Wow, he is bigger on TV! Is he a
He's small, but he can really play, and he
has hit like crazy in 2010. He doesn't just get cheap hits, either — he
hit some balls hard this weekend, including one liner that hit Phil
Gosselin in the head as he ran to second base on Saturday. Gosselin was
OK, but had his bell rung a bit. Werman's a very reliable defender at
second base, too. It's hard not to love watching that guy play. He's not
big enough to be a big-time pro prospect, but somebody will give him a
chance to play pro ball, I reckon.
Taurean (Jacksonville): Was the Florida sweep
over LSU a statement of how good the Gators are or how much LSU is
A little of both. Florida is obviously
really good — they've only lost one series all year, and have won big
series against LSU, Arkansas, Miami and Vanderbilt, even while battling
significant injury issues all season. Florida is an elite team, and like
any elite team it should be expected to win any home series, even
against another elite team. But a sweep really does make a statement.
LSU is in a funk, for sure. The bottom line is that team needs better
performances from its pitching. The Tigers will rebound from this losing
streak, but they cannot repeat as national champions unless Anthony
Ranaudo returns to his dominant self. There are plenty of other problems
with that team right now (the rest of the rotation hasn't been good
either), but more than anything else, Ranaudo will determine just how
far LSU will go in the postseason.
Harry (Jackson, MS): Now that Ole Miss has won
10 straight, what do they have to do be a regional host? Is a national 8
seed possible? Thanks and HOTTY TODDY!!
Certainly Ole Miss is in strong position to
host, and the Rebels have moved into the national seed discussion,
although I think they have more work to do in that department. Now, if
they win that series against Arkansas, I think they'll have an inside
track at a national seed, because they will be the class of the SEC
Jeramey (Atlanta): With Ga. Tech losing thier
last 2 weekend series and 3 of thier last 4, I would assume they have
played thier way out of a National seed, but could still host a
regional. Is their anyway we could still be in the running for a
National Seed? Thanks
At this point, they have played themselves
out of national seed position, but there are three weeks left, plus the
ACC tournament. That's enough time to get back on the winning track and
earn a national seed. Tech is still No. 11 in the RPI, after all, and is
just a game out of first in the ACC.
Daniel (New Orleans): What does TCU need to do
to obtain a Super Regional, is it still unlikely? Are they now a lock to
host a Regional assuming they win the series at New Mexico this
TCU is awfully impressive, but the RPI will
present a major obstacle to its national seed ambitions. The Frogs are
No. 18 now, and they have eight games left against Air Force, Cal State
Bakersfield and UTSA, which will hurt. I think they're just about a lock
to host a regional if they win the Mountain West, but the super
regional picture is tough. I'd feel much better about their chances if
they weren't 0-2 midweek against Oklahoma.
Nelson (Tacoma, WA): Aaron- Any chance the Pac
10 gets 6 teams in? It looks like that even Washington is in the
possible picture with a mid-40's RPI. Do they have a shot if they can
get to 15-wins in conference?
I have a hard time getting to 64 teams
without six Pac-10 teams. ASU, Cal, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona and Oregon
are all deserving of bids at this point, and I think all six will get
in. The Pac-10 has never gotten more than five in regionals before, but
couple of things to keep in mind: (1) The league has 10 teams now, not
nine; (2) It's a great year for the Pac-10, just as last year was a
great year for the Big 12, which was rewarded with more regional bids
than ever before; and (3) It's a rotten year for Conference USA and a
down year for the Big West, which makes more bids available for other
leagues. The Pac-10 is well positioned to capitalize.
David (Atlanta): Which Tiger has had the worst
middle of the season and become the bigger disappointment....Clemson or
Both are 11-10 in their leagues, but LSU's
league is deeper. Still, expectations were higher for LSU than they were
for Clemson, and Clemson did rebound with a series win against Florida
Gulf Coast this weekend. LSU's midseason swoon has been more surprising
and disappointing than Clemson's.
Kyle (Seattle, WA): Portland is on a tear this
year; if they continue their strong play Tuesday at Oregon and at home
versus USD this upcoming weekend, what are the chances for an at-large
bid if USD stays on top of the WCC?
Portland has had a fine season, but its
nonconference schedule was very weak, so it ranks just 80th in the RPI.
According to the RPI Needs Report at Boyd's World, the Pilots would need
to go 13-0 down the stretch to get their RPI into the top 45 (at-large
range). I think Portland's at-large hopes are very slim; their best shot
at regionals is to win the WCC, and my money is still on San Diego to
MJ (New York): Why not Miami for a national
seed? The Canes are 34-11, are currently ranked 8 in the RPI Index and
15 in SOS and never been swept in a series. Thats national seed
material. And with series left at GT and at home against Virginia,
where the Canes have a 14 game home winning streak, win those 2 series
and why not Miami for a national seed? They would have just as good of a
resume as anyone else out there!
If Miami wins those series at Georgia Tech
and home against Virginia, it will be a national seed, without question.
But if not, I think their resume lacks meat. They have done well
against the softer teams in their conference, and they have avoided
being swept, but they have not actually won any of the three series they
have played against sure-fire regional teams (Florida State, Virginia
Tech and Florida). I want to see a signature series win on the resume
before I start talking about Miami as a national seed. Fortunately, the
last two weeks of the regular season provide opportunities to get those
signature series wins.
Chuck (Wichita): Any consideration for Wichita
St. after pounding the Big 12 and winning a series against first place
Illinois St. last week?
Wichita is coming on strong, to be sure.
That was a huge week for the shockers, hammering Kansas and Oklahoma
State midweek, then winning that series against the Redbirds to get
within a half-game of first place. Of course, they're still just two
weeks removed from a 1-5 stretch against Southern Illinois, Nebraska,
Indiana State and Kansas State. Maybe they can make us forget that
stretch with another strong week against ORU and Creighton.
Jason (Charlottesville, VA): Aaron,
Do you think that Virginia's weekend starters Hultzen, Morey, and
Winiarski (who's been very solid in ACC play) are starting to be
mentioned in the same breath as the weekend starters for Texas and UCLA?
Hultzen's been a stud all year, but it seems like Morey and Winiarski
are getting hot at just the right time.
No pitching staff in college baseball
should be mentioned in the same breath as Texas', but Virginia's
rotation is certainly above-average. As I mentioned in today's Three
Strikes, Morey has really come on strong recently — I was on hand for
his complete game Saturday, and he was very impressive. That slider can
be devastating when he's really got it going.
Tyler (Mtrtle Beach, SC): Do you think Coastal
gets a national seed? Does South Carolina getting one factor into our
Right now, I think both teams are on track
to get national seeds.
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?
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.
Matt L. (Sunflower State): Where am I wrong in
my thinking? I am not sure any team from Kansas will even get an
at-large regional bid. The Wildcats have the best shot, but Boydsworld
says Kansas State needs to go 6-5 to have an RPI in the top 45. I don't
see that happening as they play Texas, Texas A&M, and Kansas yet in
the league. I don't see Texas losing to K-State at all and A&M seems
to be playing right at the right time. As for Kansas, who know? They
have about as good of a chance as winning out as they do of losing out.
Pretty inconsistent. Do you think that even with a poor RPI, K-State
will get in? I am starting to think that scheduling those easy games
early will kill the Cats chances.
I discussed K-State in detail in last
week's stock report — I agree with you that Kansas State's finishing
stretch is tough, and I am not sold that the Wildcats are a safe bet for
regionals. You are on target when it comes to the Jayhawks, too. But I
have a feeling the Big 12 could be over-represented in regionals again
this year, particularly with Conference USA looking like a one-bid
league. One of those Kansas teams will probably find its way in.
Dave (D.C.): So. Lefthander Danny Hultzen has
been great for the top-ranked Cavaliers. Where do you see him going in
the draft when he comes out?
No later than the middle of the first
round. To me, he's like a lefthanded Mike Leake, and Leake went in the
Steve L. (Albany): What is the problem with the
Oregon State Beavers? Are they losing because of lack of talent or do
they need a club house leader?
More than anything else, they're losing
because their offense is extremely weak, and their pitching simply is
not overpowering enough to make up for it. But there might be something
to the leadership question. Would Darwin Barney and Mitch Canham and
Kevin Gunderson have ever allowed things to get this bad? The 07 Beavers
went through a rough patch, but the Barney/Canham leadership carried
them through it. Where is that on this team?
Brian C (Phoenix): If UCR gets a solid 3rd in
the Big West and goes 3-3 against CSUF and UCI, do they make a regional?
Not unless that 3-3 stretch is part of a
14-3 finish. At least, that's what Boyd's says they need to get into the
top 45 in the RPI. Without a very strong finish, the Highlanders won't
have the RPI to make regionals. The Big West looks like a two-bid league
Brian (Gainesville, FL): Aaron, I keep seeing
regional projections that don't have Florida as a national seed. I
believe you did have them as a national seed, but I'm just curious how
that is justified nationally that they might not be. The Gators have
lost one weekend series all season and it's a good loss at Ole Miss.
Plus, they have the #1 strength of schedule. What am I missing?
I would think that this week every
projection will have the Gators as a national seed. Those last two weeks
should have been pretty convincing.
DC (Scottsdale): Have you and other BA staff
considered adding the records for ranked teams against CURRENT top 25
teams? Just curious because ASU's 4-1 record against top 25 teams does
not look terribly great (for strength of schedule purposes), but ASU is
11-2 (I believe) against current top 25 teams. I think this would be a
better barometer to evaluate teams in light of strengths of schedules.
It would frankly be too much labor to go
through every single week and update those records against the top 25 as
new teams move in and out of the rankings. And even if we did it that
way, that system would have its flaws too. For instance, San Diego and
Fullerton and Rice were all struggling earlier this year, when all three
fell out of the rankings. If you beat those teams a month ago, you
weren't beating a top 25 team. If you beat them now, you are beating a
top 25 team. Conversely, beating Clemson a month ago was more difficult
and more impressive than beating Clemson now is. Looking at the rankings
at the time of the meetings tends to more accurately reflect how well
teams were playing at the time of the meetings, if that makes sense.
Will (Louisville, KY): With GT and UCLA
stubbing their toes of late, do Louisville's hopes for a national seed
increase assuming they take care of business down the stretch?
I think so, yes. I imagine the Cardinals
will replace the Bruins as a national seed in tomorrow's Stock Report.
Kevin (San Francisco): Hi Aaron, thanks for the
great coverage of CBB!
After getting swept at UW, does Stanford have a chance to rebuild its
case for hosting a Regional? Remaining series are against LBSU, WSU,
UofA and ASU.
Stanford has been too wildly inconsistent
to garner serious consideration for hosting a regional. Certainly, if
Stanford got hot and won all those remaining series (and swept three of
them, let's say), it would be back in the hosting mix, but I don't see
Mike (Chicago): What will it take for East
Carolina to get back into the field of 64?
An automatic bid.
TitansFan (Huntington Beach): Where do you
think Brown and Colon will be drafted? Are they both first round locks?
Thanks, as always, for the chat.
Colon is a first-round lock, and I think
Brown will not slip past the supplemental first round. I think Brown
probably goes in the top 30 somewhere, too, but I wouldn't call him a
Matt (Oregon): With U. of Oregon's quality
number of arms to put on the bump, do they have a realistic chance of
winning a regional?
They've got a realistic shot at hosting a
regional, which means they've got a realistic shot at winning a
regional, as crazy as that seems. That said, with a gun to my head, I
don't take the Ducks to win a regional.
Emmett (San Diego, CA): Is Tim Esmay going to
become the permanent coach of the Sun Devils after the season?
How could Arizona State hire anybody else?
Esmay has done a masterful coaching job this year.
David (Dallas): Other than Jungman, Cole,
Workman, and Ruffin, what other Texas pitchers do you think have pro
Certainly freshmen Hoby Milner, Kiefer
Nuncio and Josh Urban to, and Austin Dicharry does as well, although he
has been sidelined with shoulder tendinitis. I spoke with Augie Garrido
this morning, and he's what he said about Dicharry's status: "He's
throwing now. He's not throwing off the mound yet, still in the part of
rehab where he's taking it week by week. I would imagine he could be
back. The hard thing would be to find a role for him. A person with
tendinitis that's lost their release point, a little bit of rhythm, a
little bit of timing, to try to put them in there in a relief role would
be the hardest thing to do. It would be much better for him to start.
We'll have to be careful with him because he's really a good pitcher."
OK folks, that's all I've got time for
today. Thanks for all the fine questions, and see you again next week!