Arkansas has had reason to smile lately (Eric Sorenson)


Postseason Stock Report: Breaking Down Races For National Seeds, Hosts, At-Larges

Stock Report

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 every week in this space, we’ll examine how the postseason picture has shifted over the previous week, and look ahead at how the upcoming action will impact the races. 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 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, and we’re still taking talent into consideration when putting together our forecasts.

During this discussion, we will reference the RPI Rankings through Tuesday’s games. 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 10 weeks of the season:

Top-Eight National Seeds

SECURE TEAMS: UCLA, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Louisville, Arkansas, Georgia Tech

ON THE BUBBLE (IN): Stanford

ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Texas A&M, East Carolina, Mississippi State, LSU

One change from last week: Arkansas replaces Mississippi State as one of our top eight seeds. The Hogs swept the Bulldogs emphatically in Fayetteville this weekend, putting them ahead of MSU in the pecking order. The Razorbacks jumped four spots to No. 3 in the RPI over the last week (including a two-spot bump Tuesday, after we had already built our field). Almost all the metrics are looking great for Arkansas now: 31-10 overall, 9-3 vs. the top 25, 13-7 vs. the top 50, first place in the SEC West at 12-6. The only thing that could hold them back behind just a bit is a No. 114 nonconference strength of schedule ranking, but Arkansas more than makes up for that with all of its quality wins. You can make a strong case for Arkansas as high as No. 2, really.

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