Inside the Numbers

The NCAA’s baseball statistics were updated today; you can go get the report here.
That naturally begs the question of why the NCAA doesn’t have baseball stats up until the second week of April. I’ve actually touched on this topic before in a 2002 column (which also features the debut of Shane Komine’s “Hawaiian Punchout” nickname), and not much has changed since then. Jim Wright in the NCAA’s statistics service still works in a staff of seven, and the posting of today’s stats was delayed by the lack of reports from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, a common problem. The NCAA has to compile stats for all three divisions for baseball and softball and can’t do it without all the schools reporting.

Of course, the website isn’t official, so if all schools aren’t reporting, oh well–they aren’t his constituents. So until the NCAA’s leaders get updated, Boyd’s site is the one to go to, and it’s extremely useful for searching for stats. Until this year, it also was one of the best sites for some approximation of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) for college baseball (Ken Massey’s ratings also prove useful). But for the first time this spring, the NCAA will release its official RPI rankings, starting April 25 and continuing weekly for the next five weeks until the 64-team field is announced May 27.

Wright said the NCAA released its basketball RPIs in the 2005-2006 academic year, to positive reviews, so the organization has released all RPIs for all sports in the ’06-’07 year. So the guessing game for regionals should be more interesting this year, because in terms of the RPI, fans will have the same information as the NCAA’s Division I baseball committee.