Top 25 Chat (May 8)

Moderator: Teddy Cahill will be here at 2 p.m. ET to chat about the Top 25, powered by Louisville Slugger.

Teddy Cahill: Welcome to this week’s college baseball chat. Hard to believe we’re down to the last few weekends of the regular season. Let’s get to your questions.

Jeramey (Locust Grove Ga): Which series loss has more of an effect on a team hosting: Kentuckys vs Georgia or Auburn getting swept by Alabama? As always great chat and thanks for taking time to answer some questions!
Teddy Cahill: This weekend had two stunning results in the SEC, as both division leaders were upset by last-place teams. It definitely impact Auburn more. Auburn had a worse RPI than Kentucky to begin with, was playing a team with a worse RPI and lost all three games, as opposed to losing two. Auburn’s RPI plummeted to 37, while Kentucky is still in the top 10. The Wildcats still look good to host. The Tigers have some work to do in the next few weeks.

JT (Hattiesburg,MS): Man what a weekend in Hattiesburg! How confident are you in that Southern Miss gets to host? What do you see them needing to do over the next 7 games to solidify there chances?
Teddy Cahill: Southern Miss’ sweep of Florida Atlantic was really big for its hosting chances. I don’t feel great yet, in large part because of what happened to Coastal last year. The Chants had the RPI to host, but didn’t have a marquee series win and were left out. That sounds a fair amount like Southern Miss. But these things don’t happen in a vacuum, and I think the climate is more favorable to a team like Southern Miss this year. The Golden Eagles need to win the next to series, finish up a regular-season title and avoid going two-and-out in the conference tournament. Do that and I think the Golden Eagles will host.

Greg (Orange, CA): How much does a sweep of USC help UCLA in terms of the playoff picture? And would a midweek sweep of CSUF be more beneficial?
Teddy Cahill: It helped UCLA a fair bit. The Bruins are now tied for second in the Pac-12, pushed their RPI to No. 52 and built themselves some breathing room in their overall record. All of that was useful. Beating Fullerton again would be nice, but not as important. It would give UCLA a bit of an RPI bump, which it could use, but at this point I think it really just needs to make sure it wins its final three Pac-12 series.

Sam (California): After 0 West Coast teams hosted regionals in 2016, how many will this year? Will both Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton host?
Teddy Cahill: We’ve had three West Coast hosts the last few weeks. There might be a fourth. Arizona’s case is rather interesting. But it’s hard to see both Fullerton and Long Beach hosting. For Fullerton to do so, it needs to beat the Dirtbags on the final weekend of the season, but even then I’m not sure both would have the RPI for it.

Ben Gipson (Southern California): How realistic is it for Long Beach State to be a regional seed? It’s not as sexy as the SEC teams, but with it’s non-conference schedule and taking care of business in the Big West it should be getting more love in that discussion.
Teddy Cahill: Long Beach needs to close really strong to get a national seed. Its RPI is 25, which isn’t going to get it done. But with road series at Minnesota and Fullerton still to go, it has a chance to improve that ranking. It feels unlikely to me, but certainly not out of the question.

Randy (Gainesville, Florida): Regarding the 8 national seeds. Do you see either the SEC or ACC getting 3 national seeds or 2 for both confrences. If one gets 3 do you see it more likely the SEC or ACC? Thanks.
Teddy Cahill: Speaking of national seeds – I think a fairly likely scenario right now is that the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC will all get two national seeds. The SEC feels a little more likely to get a third than the ACC right now. The path for the ACC is simple – Clemson beats Louisville this weekend. But if that doesn’t happen, it gets more difficult to get a third out of the ACC, I think. The SEC has four solid contenders in Florida, Kentucky, LSU and Mississippi State. They all play each other on the final weekend of the season in a pair of series that will likely determine the SEC title and have significant implications for the national seed race. It’s conceivable that three of them would come out of that weekend looking like top eight seeds.

Steve (Columbia, SC): South Carolina has now lost 6 straight SEC series all 1-2. Five series have been to teams ranked.number 6, 7, 11, 13, and 15 in your top 25 poll. The other was to Vanderbilt. We are now 2 games under .500 in the SEC. At Missouri and Georgia at home left. What must happen for us to make the NCAA tournament?
Teddy Cahill: Win those two series. For all of South Carolina’s problems, it is only two games under .500 in the league and is No. 26 in RPI. Teams that get 15 SEC wins and finish in the top 30 in RPI tend to get in the tournament. The margin for error is probably just about all gone, however. And given South Carolina’s history in Hoover, it would behoove the Gamecocks to have taken care of business before the SEC Tournament.

Steve (Virginia): What do you make of Old Dominion? Their record is solid. But they don’t play in a very strong conference nor travel much outside of their region to challenge themselves against stronger non-conference teams. Seems adding a west coast trip to their schedule would help their case.
Teddy Cahill: I like Old Dominion. The Monarchs have been in consideration for the Top 25 much of the season. They’re a regional team. Playing a nonconference road weekend or even a neutral site tournament would have been nice, but they don’t need to go all the way to the West Coast for that. Again, it’s not really holding them back right now. ODU is in second place in CUSA with a top-40 RPI. It’s doing just fine.

Joshua (NC): Charlotte got swept by Rice over the weekend. Can the 49ers get in the field without winning the CUSA tourney?
Teddy Cahill: I think that may have torpedoed the 49ers at-large hopes. Charlotte is down to No. 75 in the RPI and only has one game left against a top-100 opponent. It’s fourth in CUSA with hard-charging Louisiana Tech just a game back. I think it’s going to go to Hattiesburg needing to win the tournament.

Burke Lyle (Athens Georgia): I get Auburn got sweeper by 2-19 Alabama. Are they still a Omaha type team and was their drop from a sure national seed to almost border line regional host too big of a drop. 4 to 13.
Teddy Cahill: Well, Auburn probably wasn’t s sure national seed to begin with, but the RPI was less kind to them than our Top 25 was. And that’s why the Tigers went from potentially being a national seed to on the hosting bubble. Alabama had a sub-200 RPI before this weekend and hadn’t won an SEC series. That was a result Auburn simply couldn’t afford.

Paul (Dallas): How far do you see FSU going in the post season? It still is crazy to see this team look so inept at time with all the talent they returned this year!
Teddy Cahill: It’ll depend on the draw, of course, but FSU is 10-8 away from Tallahassee. Going on the road to win a regional won’t be easy.

Ted (Tampa FL): Are the USF Bulls a lock for a regional? Any chance to host? Where does Shane McClanahan project in next years draft? Any possibility Kevin Merrell goes in the first round?
Teddy Cahill: South Florida would really have to fall apart not to make a regional at this point. As for hosting, it’s not out of the question, but the Bulls really need to finish well. The committee likes to see teams win away from home and, to this point, USF’s lone road series win is at Memphis. Winning this weekend at UConn and next weekend at UCF would go a long way to helping the Bulls’ case. As for the draft prospects, McClanahan has first-round potential. Merrell probably goes a touch lower than that, but he has really helped himself this year.

Brian (Alexandria, Louisiana): Nebraska seems to be hot right now, including a sweep this past weekend. Where do you see them in terms of having a shot at making the postseason?
Teddy Cahill: Nebraska is in regionals right now. The Huskers are leading the Big Ten and rank No. 42 in RPI. They have a very manageable finish to the season. I’ve been high on this Nebraska team for the last year – I picked them as a super regional team back in July – and it is playing to that potential right now.

Eric (Cypress): Considering we are nearing selection Sunday in 3 weeks and knowing the top teams out you see another Coatsl Carolina type team making a run at the World Series this year? Any surprise teams out there like that?
Teddy Cahill: There will most likely be some surprising team in Omaha. Maybe it’s South Florida or Maryland or Nebraska. But part of the appeal of Coastal and UCSB was that it was unexpected. You just have to let the craziness of the NCAA Tournament play out.

Tom (Portland, OR): Is anyone beside me excited for the potential match up this Thursday night between Oregon State Luke Heimlich and Oregon David Peterson?
Teddy Cahill: I’m pretty sure that one will get close attention from scouts. And it should be a really fun start to the Civil War series. Those are two really exciting pitchers going at it in a rivalry series. That’s what makes college baseball so much fun.

Teddy Cahill: That’ll do it for today. Thanks for all your questions. And, as always, if I didn’t get to yours, leave it in the comments and I’ll try to come back and answer there.

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