College Top 25 Chat 5/21/18
Teddy Cahill: Welcome to this week's college baseball chat. It was a busy week with most teams finishing up the regular season and the first NCAA Tournament bids being handed out. Let's get to your questions.
Russ (Austin, TX):
- Hey Teddy, This weekend was a outstanding for the Texas Longhorns. Winning the Big 12 Title was a major step in the right direction. However I noticed that the updated Projected 64 doesn't have the Horns hosting a regional. Do you think they also have to win the Big 12 tournament in order to do that?
Teddy Cahill: We haven't updated our Projected Field of 64 yet this week. Following the sweep of TCU to win the Big 12 title, Texas is in great shape as a host regardless of what happens in Oklahoma City.
Harry (Pearl, MS):
- How bout them Ms St Dawgs Teddy? We are playing hotter than a nanny goat in a pepper patch right now brother. What do we need to do to get up to a 2 seed in the Regional? Win it all in Hoover? Congrats to Coach Hendersons for taking over for Coach Canizorro and as always HAIL STAAAAAAATE!!!!!
Teddy Cahill: Mississippi State may well be a two seed right now. Its RPI is 26 and it went .500 in the SEC. I think it probably needs a win Tuesday against LSU to feel secure in that. But also the difference between being a 2 and a 3 seed is not overly significant.
Kevin Beard (Meridian, ID):
- After sweeping Michigan, and finishing 2nd in the B1G Regular Season standings: What are Purdue's chances of making the tournament? Do they have to win 1 game, 2 games, etc. in the B1G tourney to get an at large bid? How does the NCAA choose what regional a team goes to, and if Purdue is currently projected to make the cut, is there a likely location they would be sent to. Thanks! Kevin
Teddy Cahill: I think Purdue is in a great spot right now. Maybe don't go 0-2 in Omaha, but its run its RPI up to 40 and finished second in the Big Ten. The lack of marquee wins is something of an issue, but provided the Boilermakers don't destroy their RPI this week, I think they're in a good spot. Part of the decision in where teams get sent is geography and based on that, there's no obvious spot for Purdue. I wouldn't be surprised to see them end up in a Mississippi, Arkansas or Texas regional, but they can really get shipped pretty much anywhere. We'll have a new Projected Field of 64 up tomorrow. I'll probably have a better feeling for where Purdue might end up after we put that puzzle together.
Wes A. (Jackson, MS):
- Bottom line. Are the Rebels an Omaha team?
Teddy Cahill: I think yes. I really like the depth of the pitching staff and I think there's plenty of offensive firepower from guys like Fortes, Olenek and Cockrell, among others. I think Ole Miss has what it takes to get back to Omaha.
Jeramey (Locust Grove):
- After reading off the bat this morning, I'm a little surprised that Kentucky is potentially on "the bubble." What do they have to do at the SEC tournament to solidify a spot in the field of 64?
Teddy Cahill: The thing about Kentucky and Texas A&M is that they both have really good RPIs but they're also only 13-17 in the SEC. If they lose tomorrow in Hoover, they'll be 13-18. That's going to be a big negative on their resumes. So for both the Aggies and the Wildcats, tomorrow feels like a must-win. Their RPI probably means they'll hang around the bubble regardless, but it would make for an anxious week. I think both teams need to win two games in Hoover to get to 15-18 in the SEC. I think anything less than that is putting your season in the hands of the committee, which would have a really tough time parsing a resume that includes a lot of top-50 wins but a conference record much worse than they're typically looking for.
Jeramey (Locust Grove):
- After a big weekend, Ga Tech jumps 13 spot in the rpi from 59 to 46. Thier resume is less than stellar 7-15 vs the top 50. What do the have to do at the ACC tournament to get into the NCAAs?
Teddy Cahill: Tomorrow is a must-win against Pitt. The Yellow Jackets can't afford the RPI hit that would come with losing that game. Beating UNC later in the week would probably secure a bid. Going 1-1 in pool play feels like it would leave Georgia Tech as bubble out.
Steven (Montgomery, AL):
- In your opinion, how many wins does Auburn need in the SEC tournament to have a realistic shot at hosting, realizing theres not going to be a guarantee at this point?
Teddy Cahill: Tomorrow is a must win. After that, it probably takes one more win to feel secure. That's a pretty fluid situation. But I don't think 15-16 is going to do it for the Tigers, despite their top-15 RPI.
Jason McCloskey (Dallas):
- Funky series this weekend for DBU. Couldn't tag Coleman until he got to 120+ pitches Friday, mashed Saturday, and too many walks Sunday. Are the patriots safely in with a win or two in the tourney? Any chance they'd be heading down to Austin?
Teddy Cahill: I think DBU is in as long as they don't destroy their RPI. In the MVC that means avoiding taking losses to Evansville and Valpo, which have 200+ RPIs. I think the Patriots have done enough to not be sweating too much this week. They could end up in Austin, but with Houston and LSU also in play down that way, Lubbock is probably just as likely.
Rainmaker (Southeast USA):
- So with rain in the forecast for everything East of Mississippi river do you see any games being relocated to drier areas are pushed into Monday or Tuesday of the following week? I would bet some double eliminations tournaments will at least be shifted to single games.
Teddy Cahill: Everything has to be done by Sunday night. But this really isn't any different from any other year weather wise. Games will be played. People will complain about rain delays. We'll get through this week.
- What's your favorite go-to place in Hoover when you are covering the SEC tournament and if losing 4 in a row and 5 out of your last 8 doesn't move Florida from the top spot what does? Big 12 - Which team(s) lock up national seeds with at least two wins in the Big 12 tourney?
Teddy Cahill: Does the city of Hoover exist beyond the Hoover Met and the Courtyard? I'm not sure I can confirm that. People always tell me about cool spots in Birmingham, but this is not a time of year I generally get to explore much. As for the Big 12, Texas and Texas Tech are playing for top-eight seeds. I don't know if two wins is enough to get it done in either case, but maybe? They're the only two teams to watch in that respect. I think even a run to the title leaves Oklahoma State short, though it would put the Cowboys back in a position to host.
Georgia Shortstop Cam Shepherd Joins The Baseball America College Podcast
Georgia shortstop Cam Shepherd joins us to talk about the Bulldogs and his decision to return for his senior season.
Josh Nelson (Chicago):
- Who do you like winning the SEC Tournament?
Teddy Cahill: So much of winning that tournament - or any Power 5 tournament - is just about attitude and who shows up wanting to win. On talent, I like Florida. But any of the top four seeds could easily win it. South Carolina brings a lot of momentum to a place it traditionally has struggled. And nearly every team in the field is capable of going off for a week.
- Teddy, I live in Hoover, there are no "cool spots" here!
Teddy Cahill: To be clear - the cool spots are all purported to be in downtown Birmingham, which I also can't confirm even exists. The SEC Tournament is a great event but it also has a grueling schedule that keeps me pretty well anchored in the Hoover Met.
Randy Lahey (Sunnyvale):
- With FAU dropping to third place in C-USA due to a rainout, how does their chances of making a regional look?
Teddy Cahill: I think it's close enough between LaTech and FAU that the exact order isn't a significant issue. But I don't think FAU is in a position where it can feel safe this week. It needs a good showing in Biloxi.
Tyler (Loganville, GA):
- Good afternoon Teddy, My apologies in advance ... Now that Florida has lost a weekend series should we be be concerned? 2nd question and this is longshot... Do my Jackets have any chance of a top 16 hosting spot if they ran the table and beat some high RPI teams in ACC tourney this week? If not host, maybe get to a 2 seed. I’m not overlooking game 1 vs Pitt since they took season series from us Thank you as always
Teddy Cahill: Georgia Tech is not hosting. That run would probably include three wins against top-20 RPI teams, so GT would get a significant RPI boost to go with its tournament title. So, yeah, that probably makes the Yellow Jackets a 2 seed. As for Florida, I'm not personally worried, but I don't generally worry about teams being able to turn it on and off. Even if you disagree about how easy it is to do that, I feel really good about a team that's going to put Brady Singer on the mound in McKethan Stadium on Saturday in a regional. If the Gators still need a spark by then, he'll give it to them.
Theodora (Los Alamitos):
- UCLA's team has traditionally been built on pitching and defense but has a better offense this year. You previously were very high on them as a dark horse for Omaha; have your feelings changed despite their recent rough stretch?
Teddy Cahill: Still like the Bruins a lot, but no, I no longer like them as an Omaha team. The pitching has thinned out over the past few weeks. If this UCLA team makes an Omaha run, it will be doing it in a much different way than anyone expected. I wouldn't want to see them show up in my regional, but I don't really like the way they'd matchup in a super regional. This week's offensive explosion was very impressive, however. Should give the Bruins some confidence going into this weekend in Corvallis.
Mike (Corvallis, OR):
- Assuming that you take total body of work under consideration when completing your polls, does the same logic factor in when deciding the top 8 national seeds? Specifically, If Florida can remain at #1 after being swept, is Oregon State guaranteed a top 8 seed even if they stumble and lose the series/get swept by a tough UCLA squad?
Teddy Cahill: It does, yes, probably even more so than a weekly poll. That's why Stanford stayed ahead of Oregon State in the Projected Field of 64 last week. Oregon State is in more of a precarious position were it to lose this week. At that point, the Beavers fall to third or fourth in the Pac-12 and their RPI probably falls out of the top eight. That would have them very much on the bubble as a top-eight seed. You have to remember in Florida's case, this was its first losing weekend all year. Oregon State already has two of those in addition to facing an easier schedule and not having a conference title or nearly as many top-50 or top-100 wins.
- Does UGA have to win a game to be a top 8 seed or are they locked in regardless? Huge series win this past weekend.
Teddy Cahill: I think this weekend moved Georgia ahead of Arkansas in the SEC pecking order. So I think the Bulldogs are in a good position as a top-eight seed. That said, maybe make this decision easy for the committee and don't go 0-2.
- Is Georgia a threat for Omaha or is it all smoke and mirrors?
Teddy Cahill: Any team that figures to have home-field advantage in regionals and super regionals is a threat for Omaha. Now, do I think the Bulldogs make it? No, I've never included them in my weekly Eight for Omaha. I think they're a really good team and they keep winning series, but they also have no postseason experience and I think you can match up with them on the mound. But I wouldn't be surprised to see them in Omaha in a few weeks.
Ernie (South Orange, NJ):
- Do you think Seton Hall has a shot of upsetting St. John's in the Big East tourney this week ?
Teddy Cahill: I think the pitching gives the Pirates a chance, but at the same time St. John's went 15-3 in the Big East for a reason. The Red Storm have a really good all-around team and have clearly been the best team in the league this season.
Garrick (Scottsdale, AZ):
- What does Arizona need to do in it's last series against Oregon to get into the field?
Teddy Cahill: It's definitely a must-win series. It might be must-sweep because that's the only way Arizona can get back to .500 in the conference. The Wildcats are destined to be a bubble team regardless, so doing everything they can to help themselves would be advised.
Teddy Cahill: That'll do it for today. I know most of your questions at this time of year revolve around NCAA Tournament scenarios, so be sure to check back tomorrow for our latest Projected Field of 64. Hopefully that will help clarify where things stand going into conference tournaments. Thanks for all the questions today.