College Baseball Top 25 Chat (4/29/19)
Click here to see the NCAA Top 25.
Teddy Cahill: Welcome to this week's college baseball chat. You have questions and I have a flight to catch, so let's get to it.
CHRIS (Jackson MS):
- Why is it that OSU is ranked above either of the 3 following ranking SEC teams below them... Vanderbilt, Arkansas, MSU??? Where does their strength of schedule compare to the 3 SEC teams??
Teddy Cahill: Well, Oregon State is not ranked above Vanderbilt, which is No. 3. Why are the Beavers ahead of the Hogs and Bulldogs? it certainly helps that they only have one losing weekend, while Arkansas and Mississippi State have two. As for strength of schedule, Arkansas' is much better at No. 6, but Mississippi State and Oregon State are back-to-back at Nos. 25 and 26. Also, shoutout to this being the first time all year anyone has thought we had Oregon State ranked too high
- Have a prediction on host sites for regionals? Any chance FSU will host?
Teddy Cahill: We do. They come out every Wednesday and we'll have another then. Here's last week's https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/projected-field-of-64-42419/
- Can Tech catch Baylor with 6 games left to play. It looks as though Tech might have the easier schedule but Baylor has played good ball.
Teddy Cahill: Could they? Sure. Will they? I don't think so. I think Baylor called game this weekend at Fort Worth. I don't think the schedules are appreciably different - Baylor is home against Kansas State and at Oklahoma State, Texas Tech is at Oklahoma and home against TCU. To make up that 1.5 game deficit, Texas Tech probably needs Baylor to lose the series in Stillwater, while it wins its series in Norman and sweeps TCU on the final weekend. Certainly possible, but the way Baylor is playing right now and the way Texas Tech has played away from home, it feels like a big ask.
- No love for Michigan? First place in conference, more wins than Indiana and a win over number 1 UCLA.
Teddy Cahill: The problem with Michigan is that right now it has two wins against likely regional teams - at UCLA and against Indiana State. Overall, the Wolverines are 2-6 in those games. I think they're plenty talented, but they just have struggled to beat the best teams on their schedule. But if Michigan keeps doing what it's doing, it'll get back into the Top 25. Maybe that's this weekend with a series win at Maryland, but it will certainly have a chance to prove itself in two weeks against Indiana.
Mitch (Sherwood Ar):
- Went to the Arkansas-Tennessee series over the weekend, do you think Arkansas hitting will carry them to Omaha after making the nation best ERA look just ordinary? Arkansas looks like they need to find at least two more pitchers to step up and they could be where they were last year.
Teddy Cahill: Yes, I think Arkansas is an Omaha team. Yes, it needs more pitching if it's going to win a national title. Said all of that a week ago. The way the Hogs play in Baum Stadium they're incredibly tough to beat and they've positioned themselves very well to stay at home through regionals and super regionals. It's a powerful offense and that consistency has played well this year.
Frank D (Morrisville, NC):
- With ECU continue to win their mid-week games, win weeked series and climb the RPI as high as #3 at one point this weekend; what are their chances/percentage to land.. 1. Top 8 National Seed 2. Top 16 National Seed Thanks
Teddy Cahill: While, yes, ECU peaked at No. 3 in RPI it also threw that gaudy mark away when it couldn't close out Tulane on Sunday. So that's not doing it a whole lot of good now. But the Pirates look great to host. Just finish off the AAC slate solidly and that will happen. To be a top eight seed, I think they need to keep doing what they've been doing - dominating the American. Win the regular season title, play well in Clearwater - adding a tournament title would lock it up but they may be able to be a top-eight seed even without a trophy. Except for one game at UNC, ECU isn't getting any RPI help the rest of the way, so it has to avoid tripping up at Cincinnati, Wichita and home against Memphis.
James Easterling (Charlotte, NC):
- After another series win by West Virginia, what do they have to do the rest of the season in order to host a regional?
Teddy Cahill: Win their last three series and maybe avoid going 0-2 in the Big 12 Tournament. The Mountaineers play one RPI top 50 game the rest of the way in the regular season, so they're going to be moving up in RPI, they're just trying to hang on to what they have right around 15 or 16. And as long as they do that, I think they'll be ok. But they do finish with some RPI traps against Pitt and George Washington once their Big 12 slate is over and WVU can't let its focus slip that week.
- It seems Texas Tech is comfortably in the hosting column for now, right? What do they need to do to become a top 8 NS?
Teddy Cahill: Win the Big 12 title, either in the regular season or the tournament.
- GT has ten games left, six ACC plus four. What do they need to clinch a hosting spot?
Teddy Cahill: Georgia Tech faces some tough RPI math because of its poor slate down the stretch. It could use a couple home sweeps and if it can win the division that would be a nice addition to the resume. The Yellow Jackets will also have the chance to add to their resume in the ACC Tournament. But they need to win a lot in May, basically.
- what's the chance for the #23-ranked Miami Hurricanes to host a Regional ? they finish their season with 2 weekend series against WakeForest and Duke, and a weekend series with BethuneCookman (obviously a non-ACC series).
Teddy Cahill: There's a real possibility. That's a soft-ish finish, so Miami needs to win a lot of those games to keep its RPI as high as it is (11). But the ACC Tournament will also give it an opportunity to add to its resume. Sorting out the trio of Georgia Tech, Miami and UNC in the hosting pecking order is tricky. The division standings are going to be important for all three.
- FSU is starting to play some better ball, Does weekend series wins over pitt, richmond, get them in assuming they don't win the Louisville series at the end of the year?
Teddy Cahill: Yes. Everything about the Noles' resume has improved markedly in the last few weeks. They're up to 14-10 in the ACC and 57 in the RPI. Just taking the field at Louisville will help that RPI further. Still have to make sure they don't trip up the next couple weeks, but they're looking pretty good right now.
Al (Greenville NC):
- Love the chats Teddy! You and me both have been following college baseball a while now, to me, this is an interesting year. Looking at RPI and conference standings, there’s a very good chance usual perennial powers of college baseball will not be playing baseball into June this year. South Carolina, Cal State Fullerton, Texas, Virginia, TCU...it’s hard to imagine a field without them but it’s possible. Do you think more parity in the game of college baseball is something you can contribute to this?
Teddy Cahill: Yeah, that's all about the amount of parity in the game today. I think it just speaks to how difficult it is to maintain a dynasty in today's climate of many more schools investing in baseball and the roster limits that make it harder to stockpile insane depth. At this point, if you miss on a couple recruiting classes or get hit particularly hard in the draft, you're probably going to pay the price. Let's not forget Arizona State and Miami missed the field the last two years, UNC missed twice recently, Oregon State and UCLA both missed recently. It's hard these days. In South Carolina's case, I also think what you've seen there over the last five years really speaks to how special Ray Tanner was. Because the Gamecocks have been yo-yoing between super regionals and missing the NCAA Tournament for several years now without him at the helm.
Miguel Bruin (Westwood):
- Who do you think would win if the top 3 in the Pac-12 matched up with the top 3 in the SEC? How many in the Pac-12 make it to the tournament?
Teddy Cahill: I don't know. Where are they playing these games? Are they one-offs or a series or using the old regional format? Also, who's the third best team in the SEC? Right now it looks like its Mississippi State, but a week ago that sure wasn't the case. We can all just hope we get to see some of those matchups in Omaha. As for the Pac, I think five bids with a shot at six. UCLA, Stanford and Oregon State could all be top-eight seeds. Arizona State has slid, but still is solid as long as it doesn't tailspin the final month. And then I think you're looking at least at one of Cal, Oregon and Washington. Cal is in the best shape now, but has a brutal finishing stretch, as does Oregon. Washington is trying to dig out of a hole, but has a more manageable final month and did this last year. Can't count out the Huskies yet. I will also add that Arizona's schedule sets up for it to make a run, but its going to need to play better than it has the last three weeks.
Adam (Crown Point, IN):
- Happy May Madness! I'm going to see Elevens last series at Louisville. I've always loved the way Jim Patterson has looked on tv, is it a top 10 college park?! Also, any recommendations for some good eats while I'm there?! Thank you!
Teddy Cahill: I like Jim Patterson Stadium, but not top 10 for me. Solid, but nothing that truly stands out. As for eating - this might be a hot take, but I was disappointed in Louisville as a food town. I have not had any standout meals in my trips to Louisville over the years.
Frank D (North Carolina):
- In general how are 2 seeds placed in the region hosts? Seems like the committee tries to keep conference members away from each other. Will we ever see seeding 1-32?
Teddy Cahill: First of all, conference members are not allowed to be in the same regional. Then, the committee does look at location. They're called regionals for a reason. While they don't seed the 2s officially, I think they do keep it in mind. I don't think it was a coincidence that last year Auburn and UConn, the two teams that finished on just the wrong side of the hosting bubble, were the No. 2 seeds in regionals hosted by No. 16 NC State and No. 15 Coastal Carolina. Will they ever seed 1-64 (I don't think they'd bother with the half measure of 1-32 because you really might as well seed the three seeds at that point)? Ever is a long time. But just getting to 16 was hard. And seeding more teams costs more money because you're going to lose the regional aspect. That's also not great for fans of schools that don't host. So I woudln't look for it any time soon, but it is something that gets talked about.
- Who do you consider the top team in the SEC?
Teddy Cahill: I think the rankings make it pretty clear that we think Vanderbilt is the best team in the SEC
Teddy Cahill: That'll do it for today. Thanks to everyone for the questions. Sorry I have to run and cut this a little shorter than normal. I'll be back here next week, without an impending flight, so get your questions ready for then