Midseason Projected Field of 64Projections
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We’re at the midseason point of the college baseball season, and while some situations out there are crystal clear, others continue to be rather murky. In our first field since the preseason, we project how we feel the postseason field of 64 will shake out on Selection Monday.
As a reminder for those who may not remember, the national seeds are no longer seeded 1-8. Instead, they are now seeded 1-16 with no regard for conference affiliation for the super regional round. For instance, in our field, No. 5 Arkansas would square off with SEC foe and No. 12 Auburn if the two teams won their respective regionals. The rule that teams from the same conference can’t be in the same regional, however, still exists.
With that in mind, using the old structure of national seeds, Florida has the top national seed while two more SEC teams — Ole Miss and Arkansas are top eight seeds. The ACC has two top eight seeds in NC State and Florida State, while Stanford is the No. 2 overall seed and East Carolina is a top eight. As a whole, the Top 16 seeds and hosts include: SEC — Kentucky, Auburn (5), ACC — Clemson, North Carolina (4), American — East Carolina, Wichita State (2), Pac 12 — Stanford, Oregon State (2), plus Texas Tech from the Big 12, Indiana from the Big Ten and Coastal Carolina representing the Sun Belt.
In terms of overall bids, the SEC leads the charge with 10 teams in the field, and there’s certainly a case to be made for more, such as South Carolina. The ACC is second in bids with six, with Georgia Tech being on the bubble and being close to make it seven bids. There’s also the American and Big 12 with five teams each, while the Pac 12 and Big Ten each have four teams in the field.
There are some interesting storylines to watch the second half of the season. For starters, keep an eye on LSU and TCU. LSU has an RPI of 79, but has some big-time RPI series left on its slate, including Auburn, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Ole Miss, among others, while the Frogs are struggling with a 14-11 record and an RPI of 87. If the season ended today, there’s no doubt the two teams would miss the postseason, but we’re projecting both to put the pieces together and embark on a second half run. Georgia is another interesting team to watch. The Bulldogs have an RPI of 9, but we want to see if they have staying power, as we’ll update our projections in a couple of weeks. There’s also the bizarre West Coast, where the Big West and WCC look like clear one-bid leagues, while Arizona, Washington and others jockey for position in the Pac 12 postseason bid race.