Postseason Stock Report: Week 8Premium
SEE ALSO: Field of 64 projection: Week 8
SEE ALSO: Week 8 Deliberations Podcast: National seeds & hosts
SEE ALSO: Week 8 Deliberations Podcast: At-large bids
This time of year, a hefty majority of all questions submitted in our weekly college chat, as well as those sent via e-mail or Twitter, center around the battle for postseason positioning. Our readers want to know how the races for national seeds, host sites and at-large bids are shaping up—so it’s time to roll out our weekly Stock Report feature. Every Wednesday, we’ll examine how the postseason picture has shifted over the previous week. This analysis is intended to complement our weekly NCAA tournament field of 64 projection, which was put together in a conference call with Kendall Rogers, Mark Etheridge and me on Monday night.
Below, we’ll look at who’s in, who’s out, who’s on the bubble for at-large spots, hosts and national seeds. This discussion is weighted much more toward performance to date and remaining schedule than projection based on talent, but it’s also not intended to show exactly what the field would look like if the season ended today. We’re still looking ahead.
During this discussion, we will reference the RPI Rankings through Tuesday’s games, although we did not factor Tuesday’s action into our deliberations on Monday, obviously. And we’ll make use of records against the top 25, 50 or 100 in the RPI using the D1Baseball Nitty Gritty Report (also through Tuesday’s action).
We’ll get to at-large chances in a bit, but let’s start with a look at which teams are on track to earn national seeds and which are on track to host regionals through the first nine weeks of the season:
SECURE TEAMS: Florida, Miami, Florida State, Mississippi State, South Carolina
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): UC Santa Barbara, Texas Tech, Louisville
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Texas A&M, TCU, Vanderbilt
Changes from our midseason Field of 64 projection last week: Texas Tech and Mississippi State replace TCU and Vanderbilt as national seeds.
Texas Tech boosted its stock more than any other team last week, vaulting from outside the top 16 hosts all the way up to national seed position. Splitting a pair of midweek games at Florida State helped, and sweeping Oklahoma State on the road helped the Red Raiders jump 10 spots to No. 11 in the RPI, while TCU dropped 10 spots to No. 30. Ultimately, we believe the Big 12’s regular-season champion is likely to earn a national seed (assuming it is TTU or TCU), and Texas Tech has a nice cushion in the standings with an 11-1 conference record, while TCU is 6-3. The Frogs do host the Raiders at the end of April, in a series with massive postseason ramifications.
The other team that takes over as a national seed this week is Mississippi State, whose No. 15 RPI is still a bit low for a national seed, but whose resume is downright sparkling. Winning a road series at No. 1 Florida this past weekend helped the Bulldogs vault 14 spots in the RPI, and it gives MSU a second marquee road series win (MSU also took two of three at Vanderbilt). Throw in a home series win against RPI No. 4 Ole Miss, and the Bulldogs own a superb 8-3 record against the Top 25.
Already a subscriber? Log In to access this article.