Garrett Cleavinger (Photo by Eric Evans)


Road To Omaha: Projecting The Field Of 64

It’s hard to believe—especially for Northeasterners covered in five feet of snow—but college baseball is back this weekend. Let’s say that again: the sport we all love is back.

It seems like it wasn’t so long ago the Vanderbilt Commodores were dogpiling, in a euphoric state as they celebrated the program’s first national title, perhaps with many more to come in the near future. Those same Commodores are expected to do big things on the national stage again this season, selected No. 1 in our Preseason Top 25, while also coming in as our top overall national seed in the Preseason Field of 64.

Right behind those Commodores in our national seed pecking order? Those Virginia Cavaliers, the team that more than anyone would love to get another crack at the Commodores.

To no one’s surprise, the national seed order is dominated by the Southeastern Conference, which has three teams in the top eight, including Vandy, No. 3 seed Florida and No. 7 seed South Carolina. Meanwhile, the Atlantic Coast Conference is a slight step behind with two teams, including Virginia and No. 8 seed North Carolina. The American Athletic, Big 12 and Pac-12 Conferences each have one team in the top eight: Houston, TCU and UCLA, respectively.

The same trend is true for the regional hosts in our projections. The SEC leads the charge with four hosts (Vanderbilt, Florida, South Carolina and LSU), while the ACC and Big 12 are one step behind with three each — Virginia, North Carolina and Louisville for the ACC, along with TCU, Texas and Oklahoma State for the Big 12.

UCLA, Oregon and Cal State Fullerton lead the way as our West Coast hosts, while it wouldn’t be a surprise if Arizona State entered the mix as the season progresses. Perhaps most interesting about our host projections is the inclusion of Nebraska, our preseason No. 2 team in the Big Ten Conference, and not projected conference winner Maryland, also ranked No. 14 in our Top 25. Though Maryland could very well have a shot to host (perhaps at the short-season Aberdeen IronBirds’ ballpark about an hour away), the Huskers get the edge because of facilities, location and potential fan attendance. As a whole, the Big Ten is expected to have a monumental 2015 campaign.

Overall, the postseason bids for multi-bid conferences breaks down like this: SEC (10), ACC (7), Pac-12 (6), Big 12 (5), Big Ten (4), Big West (3), American (2), Conference USA (2), Missouri Valley (2) WCC (2).

The field was assembled by the entire staff, which selected the postseason bids from the conferences they previewed, while national writers and editors Aaron Fitt and Kendall Rogers put together the rest of the pieces.


D1Baseball's Field of 64

National seeds are indicated in parentheses, super regional pairings are side-by-side with the national seeds on the left hosting, Automatic bids denoted by *
Nashville Regional  Lincoln Regional 
1 Vanderbilt* (1)1 Nebraska
4 Southeast Mo. State*4 Stony Brook*
2 Kennesaw State*2 Miami
3 Indiana3 Arkansas
Charlottesville RegionalEugene Regional
1 Virginia* (2)1 Oregon
4 Canisius*4 Sacramento State*
2 Liberty*2 Illinois
3 Mississippi State3 Cal Poly
Gainesville RegionalAustin Regional
1 Florida (3)1 Texas
4 Florida A&M*4 New Mexico*
2 UCF2 Alabama
3 Georgia Tech3 Sam Houston State*
Los Angeles RegionalFullerton Regional
1 UCLA* (4)1 Cal State Fullerton*
4 St. John's*4 Bryant*
2 UC Santa Barbara2 Tennessee
3 Pepperdine3 Loyola Marymount*
Fort Worth RegionalBaton Rouge Regional
1 TCU* (5)1 LSU
4 Bucknell*4 Wright State*
2 Ole Miss2 Florida State
3 Dallas Baptist*3 Louisiana-Lafayette*
Houston RegionalHouston Regional
1 Houston* (6)1 Rice*
4 Dartmouth*4 Alabama State*
2 Texas A&M2 Arizona State
3 Oregon State3 Oklahoma
Columbia RegionalLouisville Regional
1 South Carolina (7)1 Louisville
4 Western Carolina*4 Kent State*
2 College of Charleston*2 Texas Tech
3 FIU3 Stanford
Chapel Hill RegionalStillwater Regional
1 North Carolina (8)1 Oklahoma State
4 VCU*4 Oral Roberts*
2 Maryland*2 Clemson
3 Southern California3 Wichita State
Automatic Bids
America East: Stony Brook
American: Houston
Atlantic 10: VCU
ACC: Virginia
Atlantic Sun: Kennesaw State
Big Ten: Maryland
Big 12: TCU
Big East: St. John's
Big South: Liberty
Big West: Cal State Fullerton
Colonial: Coll. of Charleston
C-USA: Rice
Horizon: Wright State
Ivy League: Dartmouth
Metro Atlantic: Canisius
Mid-American: K ent State
Mid-Eastern Athletic: Florida A&M
Missouri Valley: Dallas Baptist
Mountain West: New Mexico
Northeast: Bryant
Ohio Valley: SEMO
Pac 12: UCLA
Patriot: Bucknell
SEC: Vanderbilt
Southern: Western Carolina
Southland: Sam Houston State
SWAC: Alabama State
Summit: Oral Roberts
Sun Belt: La.-Lafayette
WCC: Loyola Marymount
WAC: Sacramento State

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